Want to know a secret about stale bread?
You can make it un-stale.
It’s a nifty little trick. All you need to do is take the stale loaf and run it under some water. Hot or cold, it doesn't matter -- just take care not to get the middle wet.
Then you whip the loaf in the oven at 150 degrees Celsius for 6-7 minutes, et voila!
A tasty, fresh loaf. Good as new.
Once you know the trick, the possibilities for bread seem far less limited, don’t they?
It’s the same with your eBay listings.
See, it’s easy to look at items approaching their sell-by date on your eBay page and think they'll never sell.
But just like that neat little trick with an old loaf, there are easy ways to freshen up those stale listings. And once they're fresh from the oven, you can ensure that new buyers catch a whiff.
Identifying the source of ‘staleness’
You’ll need to determine what is causing the ‘staleness’ of your item to know how to make it fresh.
We know that bread goes stale because it oxidises. And while that's easy to diagnose, the causes of staleness in an eBay listing isn’t quite so clear-cut.
That’s why getting insight into your listing performance is crucial. Insights can help you identify a particular area where your listing needs improvement.
Luckily, there are tools you can use to determine the actions you need to take. Start off with eBay’s Listing Analytics to view the performance data of your listings.
To access Listing Analytics:
- Go to your eBay Seller Dashboard
- Click the ‘Applications’ tab
- Look for ‘Listing Analytics’
- Click ‘Subscribe Now’
Subscribing to eBay’s Listing Analytics is an easy and free way to get insights into why your items aren’t selling.
eBay Listing Analytics will allow you to see key metrics like:
- Rank — the search placement of your listing compared to others.
- Format — auction or fixed-price.
- Impressions — the number of times your listing appears to potential buyers in a search.
- Clicks — the number of times buyers have clicked on your listing.
- Click-through — a percentage based on total clicks divided by total impressions.
- Sold items — the number of times buyers purchased an item from your listing.
- Sell-through rate — the number of items sold divided by the number of clicks on your listing.
- Watchers — the total number of eBay members watching your listings.
- Sales — the value of items sold in a listing.
Take a look at these metrics to spot common trends. These metrics will help provide insight into why your product might not be performing as well as you think it should.
For example, let's say that your impressions are high, but your clicks are low. You might conclude that your item is easy to find, but your listing title or image is putting users off from clicking through.
Or, you might see a surprisingly low number of impressions. A low impressions count might prompt you to consider optimising your title and description with keywords to help people find it.
Using Listing Analytics, you can determine the primary areas that are stopping your listings from selling. Then, you can take action to improve them.
Let’s take a look at the main culprits.
1. The Title
The title of your eBay listing is the main source of information for potential buyers.
It’s also what eBay uses to determine which items should show up for different search terms.
To determine the effectiveness of your title, look at your total impressions. A low number of impressions means that few people are finding your item when they search on eBay. And if people can’t find your item, it could be the case that your title isn’t optimised for the search terms your potential customers are using.
Misspellings in titles can prevent people from finding your listings.
And like a loaf of bread left in the back room of a bakery, your items won’t sell if they can't be found.
Now take a look at your title. Is it engaging? Does it provide specific details like brand and model? Is it spelt correctly?
If not, you might need to revise it.
One tool you can use to revitalise your titles is Terapeak Title Builder. It’s a free eBay app that analyses millions of other eBay listings to provide you with more 'searchable' suggestions.
It’s also worth doing a sense check on these suggestions. Keyword-optimised items might get more impressions, but they need to be informative too. Otherwise, you risk alienating users looking for something specific.
In short, use keywords in your title, but keep it informative. That way, your listings not only get found, but they get attention too.
2. The Image
The best bakers make bread that not only smells and tastes great but looks the part too. Picture a golden-broad crust, and you'll get the picture.
High-quality, trustworthy images are proven to be a major factor in improving click-through rate. That's why it’s important that you invest into professional-quality images. If they look amateurish, buyers could get the wrong impression about the quality of the product.