Many sellers come to inkFrog from Shopify—or another web store platform—with the goal of adding eBay quickly and easily as a sales channel.

inkFrog makes this both possible and painless, but at the same time, if you want to do well on eBay over the long term, you should take time to understand the best practices that lead to long-term eBay success. Getting your listings live is one thing—making and continuing to make sales on eBay is another.

Here are some of the most important eBay best practices that may not be obvious to sellers new to marketplaces. Keep these in mind to maximize your long-term eBay sales prospects.

Offer Free Shipping

Free shipping is now virtually standard on eBay. If you don't offer it, you won't make nearly as many sales in most categories.

Check that free shipping box in inkFrog if you want the best sales outcome.

Some factoids:

  • eBay foregrounds free shipping prominently in search results, so that buyers can easily identify and click on listings from sellers that offer it.

  • Buyers can easily filter their search results to include only items offering free shipping using a prominent check box on search results pages.

  • Free shipping is widely acknowledged to be a factor in calculating search rankings, with sellers that offer it tending to appear nearer the top of results.

Put these facts together and you can begin to see why free shipping is often the price of entry when it comes to selling successfully on eBay. Figure out how to work it into your margins if possible, to avoid having to admit shoppers (and eBay) that you charge extra for shipping.

Offer 30-Day Free Returns

In recent quarters eBay has been pursuing parity with Amazon's returns experience. As a result, 30-day returns are now the eBay default, and the standard that eBay encourages sellers to meet.

Sellers can still opt for a “no returns” policy, or in a few categories for 14-day returns. Sellers also choose who pays for return shipping. But to be called out in search results and enjoy the best ranking, 30-day free returns (seller pays shipping) are the way to go.

eBay's standard recommendation is 30-day free returns for all products.

Keep in mind that whatever your official policy, all bets are off if a shopper actually calls eBay—in the real world, eBay may at its discretion issue a return label or refund on your behalf, regardless of your stated returns policy.

For this reason, you may as well work 30-day free returns into your numbers and offer them. That way, at least you'll benefit from the search rank and conversion boost that comes from advertising service at this level.

Use Detailed Listing Titles

There are many factors that play into eBay search rankings, but the most basic of these are your listing titles. Want to be seen by shoppers? Then your listing titles must include the terms they're searching for—and this means more relevant keywords and more detail.

Take "Large Leather Backpack" from your website page and turn it into "Top-Grain Leather Backpack Large Blue Rucksack for Back to School Camping Hiking" if you want to maximize your sales. No, it doesn't roll off the tongue, but it's a more likely starting point for a high-performing eBay listing.

Effective eBay marketplace titles might not be as pretty as the ones on your website.

That said, keep in mind that eBay's search ranking also considers click-through rate. If you appear often in search results but you're rarely clicked on or make a sale, you'll fall way back in the rankings—so monitor the performance of your listings and optimize regularly to ensure that they perform well for you.

In other words, make the most detailed, informative titles that you can—then monitor them and adjust as necessary to ensure that the keywords you've chosen are relevant, and are leading to clicks and sales.

Add Item Specifics

eBay's search engine is thought to privilege listings with completed item specifics fields, and eBay shoppers are encouraged to filter their search results using on-page criteria that map directly to these fields.

For these reasons, item specifics aid you as a seller in two ways:

  1. They boost your initial search ranking, increasing the likelihood that your listings will come up sooner, rather than later, as shoppers shop.

  2. They ensure that you're not excluded as shoppers drill down through millions of eBay listings to just those that they want. If a shopper checks the box saying that they want a tablet with a seven-inch screen, you want to be in the list of results that they see—not filtered out simply because you didn't complete the "Screen Size" field.

Use item specifics fields to make your products visible to shoppers who narrow their searches.

In short, accurately adding as many item specifics as you can improves not only your appearance of professionalism on eBay, but your ability to make sales as well.

Cross-Promote Heavily

On eBay, shoppers see your competitors' products every time they see yours, and there are millions of products on offer. In other words, you're not alone on eBay, and neither are your products.

When you earn a shopper click and get them to your listing, you want to hang onto them for as long as possible, rather than letting them click back and escape to another seller's products.

inkFrog's designer templates offer ways to get shoppers to your other products.

The best way to do this is to cross-promote heavily. Use the spaces for cross-listing in inkFrog's designer templates to link to other related products that you offer, to maximize chances that shoppers will eventually buy from you.

Pursue Great Feedback

On eBay, shoppers are free to publicly rate each of their experiences—including their shopping experience with you. eBay prominently displays your seller rating (a.k.a. "feedback" percentage and score) every time a shopper views your products. A shaky customer service week on eBay can immediately tank your sales.

Worse, poor feedback performance also reduces search visibility. Just two or three negative feedback ratings in a short period of time can lave shoppers less likely to buy and your listings less likely to ever be found.

With a feedback profile like this one, your margins can be a lot better.

In other words, you should be laser-focused on customer service and satisfaction on eBay. With top feedback scores, you'll have leeway to operate with higher margins than everyone else. Meanwhile, poor ones can decimate your sales even if you undercut every other seller on price.

So make sure that each of your eBay transactions is worth positive feedback—then proactively ask your shoppers for positive feedback in messages or in your fulfillment package.

eBay is a Huge Opportunity for Conscientious Sellers

If you're new to eBay, you've probably heard both the success stories and the lamentations—some sellers seem to find a gold mine on eBay, while others have struggled to make any progress at all.

In large part, what separates the winners from the losers on eBay is adherence to best practices—like the ones above—that mesh with eBay's marketplace experience and realities.

Find a way to incorporate these into your business model, adhere to them religiously, and your inkFrog-enabled eBay sales will grow to significantly enhance your bottom line.

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