80 Character titles now live on eBay

eBay have released the promised update giving you space to write better item titles. The previous limit of 55 characters for your eBay item titles has been increased to 80 characters.

How to write effective item titles

  • Make sure your title accurately describes the item. Keyword spamming and misleading titles are against eBay’s search and manipulation policy
  • Think like a buyer – use the words a buyer would use to search for your item.
  • Include terms to describe the item that are consistent with the market and which will be familiar to buyers. (Using different terms can actually prevent buyers from seeing your item.)
  • Add keywords that highlight what’s unique about your listing.
  • Don’t use all capital letters – it’s hard to read.
  • Don’t include multiple synonyms – for example ‘ipad I pad 32gb 32 GB’ – they make it hard for the buyer to read.
  • Don’t use special characters and gimmicks – for example ‘L@@K!!’ as buyers don’t use these terms in searches and it makes your title less readable and relevant.
  • There’s no need for punctuation. It makes it harder for the reader to scan.

One thing to remember for your item titles – Dont’ forget to use Item Specifics and if available list your item against eBay’s catalogue as this will have just as much (if not more) effect in buyers finding your item as a great title. Regardless of how long your title is Best Match will still decide how relevant your item is and the most important part of Best Match is Recent Sales.

Review TameBay’s Best Match Secrets

Best Match Secrets Part 1: Getting found
Best Match Secrets Part 2: How products are sorted
Best Match Secrets Part 3: 5 Top Tips for Best Match

Titles are only part of Best Match and including spammy non-relevant keywords could actually harm your visibility in search rather than enhancing it.

However sellers have been asking for more space to describe there items in description titles for many years so make the most of it. Include keywords such as EAN or UPC codes, Manufacture part numbers. Use alternative keywords such as “Monochrome Black Printer” instead of just “Monochrome Printer”, “Mono Printer”, “Black Printer”.

I can’t imagine many sellers will have objections to this site update, so if eBay has (for a change) made a change which pleases you let us know in comments below 😀

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Comments

Excellent update. :-)

David Brackin • 7th September 2011 •

You can revise title on listings that have no sales.

superhans • 7th September 2011 •

Looks like good news to me. Should be useful with multi variation listings.

Fozz • 7th September 2011 •

I amended a couple of listings last night to 80, but only the first 55 followed by ... are showing in search list

dave • 7th September 2011 •

That's correct - the best advice is to use the first 55 characters as per normal and use the additional characters for additional keywords like part numbers that buyers might search for and won't do you any harm in search engine placement either :-)

Chris Dawson • 7th September 2011 •

It is a move that pleases. I suspect this update was as a result of pressure from the small group of of sellers that do over £1m turnover. eBay clearly listen to this small group. Lets hope this small group pressure ebay in other areas to further improve the selling environment. Maybe Tamebay should invite its visitors to provide further ideas to pass on to this small group of sellers so that they can pressure eBay in other areas? eBay clearly like turnover so why not create stepped incentives to help motivate sellers with this aspect of sales? eBay could reward success with freebies. For example sellers who do over £2000 (a random figure) a month in sales should be rewarded by being offered some of the services that eBay offer such as subtitles and additional pictures for free to help motivate sellers and help them build on their success. Further rewards for £4000 a month and so on. eBay clearly like turnover so why not create stepped incentives to help motivate sellers with this aspect of sales? The current size of the fees and the relatively small discounts now offered by eBay for success probably offer little in the way of seller motivation these days. And the feedback system further demotivates. Even allowing for recent changes designed to smooth things out for sellers it is still high risk to give eBay all your business. Feedback is still a game of poker for sellers when it should not be.

Gary • 7th September 2011 •

Useful for sellers who are constantly adding new products, not sure I'll be ending any BIN's with sales though and loosing best match placement just to add a longer title.

Whirly • 7th September 2011 •

The idea is fantastic! Nevertheless, it is pretty stupid, that only first 55 charecters were shown on the search reslut, the rest is just as "...". As a seller of classical music items, usually we put the name of the conductor (the Most Important) at the end of each title. But now, it is hidden under "..." So if buyers are looking for a particular conductor, for example "Karajan", he will not see it in the item title. In order to see the full title, buyer must actually open the item page. But again, if he don't see the key word "Karajan", he is not likely to open the page, or?

Marky • 7th September 2011 •

I thought the same as you about this, obviously the most important words should be in the first 55 characters, the balance of characters used to test a few extra keywords.

Whirly • 7th September 2011 •

As said in 2 above good to revise those items that either have no sales or not had sales for a while. Also, if you are changing the titles perhaps an updated photograph too? It's worth noting the extra fees when ending and relisting an item too. Changing the title will wipe out Best Match on the listing so maybe best to start with those without sales to refresh your listing and wipe those impressions clean. Busy days :-)

DBL • 7th September 2011 •

According to eBay, changing the title won't affect Best Match placement, only changing the item condition will do that.

Joe • 7th September 2011 •

Can someone clarify this please. I was categorically told that if I ended an item with sales and changed the title it would loose BM placement when re-listed. That's how I read it?

Whirly • 7th September 2011 •

Whirly - eBay FAQ covers it https://sellerupdate.ebay.co.uk/august2011/space-write-better-item-titles.html#faq7 and https://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/find/bestmatch_faq.html#If%20I%20make%20changes%20when%20I%20relist,%20will%20I%20keep%20my%20popularity/recent%20sales%20score?

Joe • 7th September 2011 •

OOPs sorry about the BA links. Chris - feel free to tidy them up

Joe • 7th September 2011 •

Thanks for the links Joe but I don't think you reading it correctly, there is no effect on BM if you edit an active listing, but a listing with sales is not editable, you have to end and relist. I don't think it's clear from that link.

Whirly • 7th September 2011 •

"If I make changes when I relist, will I keep my popularity/recent sales score? Your popularity/recent sales score will revert to zero when you relist only if you change the condition" Don't think you can get much clearer than that.

Joe • 7th September 2011 •

Full quote: "If a listing has sales (or pending offers) it is not possible to revise the title unless the item is ended and relisted. There are many good reasons for this (just think of all the places eBay and you make use of title and what would happen to records if the title changed). We balanced the downside of this limitation with the upside of offering more space in the title and determined it was an ok comprimise. If you end and relist your items the best match score will carry over and you can edit the title as much as you want." So we can end, and relist a totally different item and not lose the BM score from the previous item? :-?

DBL • 7th September 2011 •

Yes we can. And people do. :|

Joe • 7th September 2011 •

So, I could end my bottles of cleaners etc which show in the the top 10 of BM and turn them into listings for baths? and keep the positions?

Whirly • 7th September 2011 •

Well, up until now I've always thought that changing a title wipes out the sales over impressions ratio for best match due to fact you can list a totally different item in place of it. So, I can list one item when it has loads of sales I can change it to another item and not lose the sales over impression ratio gained on the other item? That makes a total non sense. Fine if this is temporary due to the 80 character title change which would be a bonus, otherwise it makes a mockery of the lot. ]:-(

DBL • 7th September 2011 •

I agree with the text, but this is eBay. In your other link: "What happens to my visibility in search if I edit an active listing? There is no effect on the recent search impressions and recent sales elements of Best Match of a listing if you edit its title." An item that you have to end in order to edit it's title is not an active listing, it's a new one. "If your listing doesn’t meet any of the requirements mentioned above, you won’t be able to edit your title. You’ll have to end your listing to change any details and then relist your item." To me this is not clear.

Whirly • 7th September 2011 •

Pinky George has just added on the PS board (sorry Whirly) "If you end and relist your items the best match score will carry over and you can edit the title as much as you want."

Joe • 7th September 2011 •

Don't apologise Joe, I just wanted an answer. :D Did he specifically say that this applies to listings with sales?

Whirly • 7th September 2011 •

I was apologising for mentioning the PS Board :-D The context is talking about the difference between editing items with sales and items without sales, so yes, it applies to listings with sales.

Joe • 7th September 2011 •

Oh haha I did try and look but it wouldn't let me in :D

Whirly • 7th September 2011 •

^ What Whirly said!

JD • 7th September 2011 •

This is why I always ask questions about ambiguous statements made by eBay which might effect the amount of money entering my wallet. *I removed her surname* Rosie Welcome to eBay Live Help, my name is Rosie. How may I be of assistance? thewhirlpoolbathshop Hi Rosie, I have a question about Best Match and the new item title length. If I end an item with sales, change the title and then relist it will it lose it's Best Match position? Rosie While I am pulling up your account, is there anything else you would like me to look into for you? thewhirlpoolbathshop no thank you Rosie Rosie I will just need a moment while I check this for you. Rosie just need few minutes more. thewhirlpoolbathshop okay Rosie Thank your for patiently waiting. I apologised for the delay. If you end a listing, its recent sales score is ended as well. thewhirlpoolbathshop Okay thank you My account manager also told me this, but Pinky George says otherwise, perhaps somebody from eBay George/Patrick maybe could pop onto Tamebay to clarify?

Whirly • 7th September 2011 •

Would be ok if temporary but it's ridiculous otherwise. But then the eBay Best Match guy told me face to face free postage doesn't make any difference either. Such conflicting advice. #poppycock Not happy :-(

DBL • 7th September 2011 •

I'm logged back into live chat, will ask someone else exactly the same question.

Whirly • 7th September 2011 •

Makes a joke of Best Match doesn't it.

DBL • 7th September 2011 •

I can't actually believe it to be honest.

Whirly • 7th September 2011 •

Ron Welcome to eBay Live Help, my name is Ron. How may I help you? thewhirlpoolbathshop Hi Ron, I have a question about Best Match and the new item title length. If I end an item with sales, change the title and then relist it will it lose it’s Best Match position? Ron I would like to tell you that when you relist your item again then you will loose your best match position but there is nothing to worry about it. You can still get your postion back according to the order. thewhirlpoolbathshop Sorry Ron, I don't understand this, what do you mean 'you can still get your position back according to the order' ? Ron Best Match takes into account how relevant the category and keywords in the item's title are to the buyer's query and how often similar items have been watched or bought in the past. It also factors in Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs). Ron Items from sellers who have a DSR score of 4.3 or lower for any of the four criteria are displayed at the bottom of search results, below other sellers'listings. thewhirlpoolbathshop I understand that, but if I end an item which is in say position 5 in Best Match, change the title and re-list it, will it stay in position 5 if I use exactly the same search query afterwards? Ron No but it is possible that your item again appear in position 5. thewhirlpoolbathshop if it makes sales? or because the the Best Match position is carried over? Ron No it is because you are ending your listing and then relisting it again. thewhirlpoolbathshop so you can end a listing, change the title and the item keeps the same position? Ron It is possible that the item keeps the same position but it cannot be sure. Your item may change the position because in the meantime there can be some sellers who are listing their item and who have DSR score more then you. thewhirlpoolbathshop Okay I understand. So if I can change the title I can also change the description? so say I have a low priced item at £9.99 with 100 sales, I could change that to a whirlpool bath at say £599.99 and when I relist it will carry over the sales history of the £9.99 item? Ron Yes you are right. You can change anything you want and then you can relist it. thewhirlpoolbathshop Okay, thank you for your help Ron. I think Xmas has come early :D

Whirly • 7th September 2011 •

George has made a valid point. The relisted item will retain the best match score, not the position. So if you have bottles of shampoo with a high score against other bottles of shampoo that put them at the top of the search, if you relist them as whirlpool baths the score will carry over but in relation to other whirpool baths may not be up to your competitors' listings. IE just because one item is number one in search, it doesn't mean a different item using this semi-cheating relist method will be high in search compared to listings around it.

Joe • 7th September 2011 •

Not sure I'm bright enough to understand that Joe :D I've done a test based on the search term 'whirlpool bath' a bottle of cleaner was returned in position 7, it's been ended and re-listed as a bath, if I search for 'whirlpool bath' again in a couple of hours what's your view on where in search that re-listed item will appear using exactly the same search phrase?

Whirly • 7th September 2011 •

Based on the above all I can say is that the best advice is to sell products on eBay that are not Best Match critical for sales! Then no matter how eBay try to manipulate search it would be absolutely impossible to manipulate the position of the products that are being sold. And there is a very good chance that your products would appear at the top of Best Match anyway even if the buyer was not searching for them, thus further increasing your sales on the back of impulse buys. After all isn't impulse buying what Best Match is all about? Its not about actually finding the item that the buyer actually wants to buy! :-)

Gary • 7th September 2011 •

Howdy, Bit late on this thread, but this might help. If you end your listing and then relist it, referencing the previous listing, the best match weighting gets carried over. The sales 'number' that is shown from the previous listing is lost, but it will carry over the BM history. (We proved this with a little help from eBay a while back & was confirmed by the conversation with Ron above) Now I'm not entirely sure if there is some loss in the BM weight because it was ended and relisted, but I suspect there is. What Whirly has hit upon is a caveat to this relisting process. If you relist an item, referencing an old item and change the item completely, eg a tap into a bath. Then its carried the BM history over. Sounds like there needs to be some form of restriction made on the relisting process, even if it was kept to the same category, it would make it less attractive to do. One not so obvious point, say you do reference a listing that has a high BM rating and swap it for an item that's never going to have an equal standing, over a short period of time, say 1-2 weeks, its going to drop like lead anyway as the BM algorithm irons out the in-balance. That help at all? Matt

Matthew Ogborne • 7th September 2011 •

It's pretty much how I see it Matt. I have about 12 or so sub £10 cleaners, bubbles etc which return on page 1 of search for 'whirlpool bath' if I end those and re-list them as whirlpool baths then to me it gives me a pretty big edge, you are after all probably looking for a whirlpool bath not a bottle of cleaner when searching, the cleaners just show up because of the way Best Match works in categories that don't have rapid sales of multiple BIN items, a single sale of a bath can mean that product stays on p.1 for a couple of weeks. Interesting if nothing else.

Whirly • 7th September 2011 •

Don't worry, I expect that eBay will introduce a catalogue for bath listings any time soon.

JD • 7th September 2011 •

LOL!

Matthew Ogborne • 7th September 2011 •

haha don't say that!

Whirly • 7th September 2011 •

Turns out it doesn't work, never mind.

Whirly • 7th September 2011 •

It's true. Changing title no longer loses best match!

Andrew • 8th September 2011 •

Just a small point but if you use featured first the extra words can help significantly I have just listed a jewellery making kit and have added some of the content to the title 'headpins, eyepins, tigertail etc, etc..' Because no-one uses F/F for those specific items the listing is now first not only under jewellery making kits BUT also in the headpins, eyepins etc, etc searches And so far none of the competition have twigged that fact at all

Paul Platten • 9th September 2011 •

Nice one Paul

Whirly • 10th September 2011 •

The only word of caution I would add is don't use spammy words. Best Match popularity is scored by "Recent Sales" divided by "Search Impressions". If you item starts appearing in a lot of unrelated search results and as it's irrelevant it's not purchased, than it will actually harm it's position in Best Match rather than enhance it.

Chris Dawson • 10th September 2011 •

I will not be making my titles longer than 70 characters. As my items may be suspended from Google shopping search results if I do . As Google only allow you to use 70 characters . PS . I do hope all my competitors on eBay use more than 70.

Sarah • 10th September 2011 •