A simple guide on how to sell items successfully

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Konrad SztorcIt never hurts to review our listings and what’s important to customers, and following the Easter break is not a bad time to do so. Today Konrad Sztorc – Marketing Manager at WebInterpret – has some tips on how online merchants should communicate to their customers that life without their product is simply less beautiful and joyful.


What you see is what you get. People viewing your listings assume that what they are seeing in the photo is exactly what they will receive if they decide to buy. Therefore, no matter how great your products may be, if your photos are poor your sales are going to be poor.

“One of WebInterpret’s biggest customers that specializes in clothing told us that pictures do the whole magic of selling. That’s why he invested in a professional photographic studio, camera and a trained employee to make sure he was producing professional quality photos that presented his stock in the best possible light”, Konrad Sztorc said.

However, as most sellers can testify, items can be sent back just as quickly as they were sent out if the product is not up to scratch. If you sell substandard products using prizewinning photographs then don’t be surprised when disappointed customers start returning items back to you accompanied by negative feedback, low DSRs, and requesting profit-eating refunds. highlight the importance of good quality pictures in the listings and even give you tips on how to produce these high quality photos.

Think like your customers do

Before you describe your listings try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think like they do. Note, that even if your potential customers are looking for your exact products, they will not find them if the listing titles for those products do not include the words that your customers are typing into the search window. If you describe your products using words that your customers might not be familiar with it will decrease the chance of those products being found.

With this in mind remember that customers do not search for items by entering words such as “wow”, “great”, “awesome”. However, they do search for specific brand names or even Manufacturer’s Part Number (MPN) in the Item Specifics. To increase the chance of your product being found you might also consider adding unique identifiers such as Universal Product Codes (UPCs), European Article Numbers (EANs), or International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) to the item description (Now becoming !).

If you’re not sure how to do this, take a sneak peek at your competitor’s listing. eBay recommends that sellers choose up to five keywords that relate closely to your item being listed and then use them appropriately in your listing title and item description.

It is all about money

There is no doubt that customers are more likely to buy a products offering ‘Free Shipping’ than a product that carries a shipping charge. “According to WebInterpret research, based on our customers sales results, using a free shipping option can increase online sales by up to 30%”, says Konrad Sztorc. What is more, Internet statistics emphasize how important free shipping is for online shoppers with:

  • 93% of online shoppers purchasing more products with free shipping;
  • 58% of online shoppers wanting free or discounted shipping;
  • 61% of online shoppers indicating that free shipping greatly impacts their ordering decision;
  • 64% of online shoppers preferring to shop with a retailer that offers free shipping than one that doesn’t.

So when you ask yourself how can you increase your sales, don’t underestimate the power of free shipping. This might just be the answer.

All you need is love…

…from your customers, to grow your business. How do you make your customers love the product you sell? If it was all about the product it would be too simple. But it’s not and companies know this. That’s why they are constantly looking for new ideas on how to please their customers from unique packaging to affiliate programs.

Affiliate programs can be quite effective but need to be well planned with efficient customer data management. However, many companies decide to reserve their the highest discounts, special offers and other unique benefits for their biggest or most loyal customers in the hope that they continue to shop at their store.

Statistics show that 24% of customers who are happy with their sellers recommend them to their family and friends. But, on the flip side, over 40% of disgruntled or dissatisfied customers make sure that no one else makes the same mistake they did by passing on negative feedback about businesses that have failed to live up to their expectations.

Ready to take the high dive?

Oversees selling is simply for those who speak at least 5 different languages, whose days last only 48 hours and who feel no need to rest or spend time with their family and friends. However, for the rest of us overseas selling is a challenge.

That’s why it is important to find partners who can help you sell internationally. Taking cross-border selling seriously can double your business potential as you are no longer limited to selling in only one country. Customers from all over the world buy the same products and search for the best deal. Understanding this potential is the first step you need to take. The second is finding a partner who will support you in selling your products internationally.

When did you last review your listings?

Mobile views are up, penalties for listings with no sales in the last 18 months are coming in the summer, competition is growing. Whilst having a great product and competitive pricing is of course essential, if a buyer lands on a listing and it’s not attractive and easy to view they’re unlikely to buy.

When is the last time you reviewed your listings with a dispassionate eye and what changes did you make?

41 Responses

  1. When Webinterpret translated our titles on ebay they miss out vital keywords on some of them that were obvious to us and anyone who knows something about video games. For example the translated a title for a white battery cover for Nintendo Wii but in translating left out Nintendo Wii. Anyone looking for our product searches the term Wii in any language. Do not recommend Webinterpret at all, they do not practice what they try preach in the advertising of their services.

  2. Webinterpret need to work on their own business first, before dishing out advice to others! All I ever read are poor reviews of Webinterpret, poor translations, and abysmal customer service. I signed up with them late last year, and badly regretted it! Most of the customer service advisors seem to know a bit about business, but not a clue about how eBay works!

    I don’t know why tamebay keeps promoting this business!? Have they had any first hand experience of using them?

  3. We also made the mistake of the free trial with Webinterpret. Listings were terrible and left us a legacy of problems with turbolister getting confused trying to sort out multiple listings. We used google translate and did a far better job ourselves. Ebay are so desperate to implement “keep up with Amazon” ideas I don’t think they bother to check them properly first.

  4. Talking about Great Photographs. Over the last few weeks ebays Book Catalogue on relisting my Book Listings has wiped numerous Photographs from my listings. Are other Book Sellers getting the same problem? Also why is this happening? After all if I tap in the ISBN for a Book Listing and the details of the book plus a perfectly acceptable photograph appear from ebays Book Catalogue why does it then subsequently lose the photograph?

  5. if webinterpret had the first idea about how to succesfully sell something, they would do so.
    what they specialise in, is bad translation.

    if they had much sense, they’d stop trying to exploit tamebay for free advertising. we’ve all tried webinterpret, they’re rotten.

    even the response above “you have to check this then notify us and we’ll change it”.
    – so for them to translate your listings, they expect you to speak, read, and understand that language, to a degree where you can correct their numerous mistakes? if i could, i wouldnt need you.
    – for this non-service, they’ll take a large chunk of your profits.

    webinterpret cant meet the expectations of most sellers, or customers, especially not ebays.

  6. It is interesting tthat TameBay repeatedly advertises WebInterpret under the guise of it being of interest to eBay sellers. Am I the only one here that has a suspicion that Tamebay gets some sort of reward for repeatedly pushing WebInterpret on this site, why else do it, it is a poor service as anyone that has used it will tell you, so why push it so often? Any comments fro Chris or Dan?

  7. PHOTO: Very important, good photo(s) sell. Personally we use the manufacturers stock photo because it is usually excellent (we do state in the description that it is a stock photo) as it is not feasible to take individual pics when you have 20 identical items. As we are very careful about what we buy, quality is always high and issues rare. I appreciate this approach may not work for everyone.

    FREE SHIPPING: This is a double edged sword. Apparently (sic) Cassina, the eBay search engine, places items with free shipping above those that charge shipping seperately. In my experience sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t. My take on this is “Best Match”ofton shows the lowest item price before an item with free shipping. Shipping is never really “free” and buyers know this (with one recent notable exception!) so IMO if you are in a neich market then its ofton better to show shipping seperately. If however you are competing againse 10,000 other sellers of the same item then offer “free” shipping but if your price is not the lowest then you will rarely be on the first page of results. Your search placement must be on the first page.

    Seller standing, feedback/defect score, buyer cases, your number of sales for that item, do eBay CS like you (yes, I am serious), which eBay site(s) you list on, shop subscription, who your competitors are (eBay appear to favour certain sellers), etc… all seem to inpact your placement in eBay search results.

    Just like Google I expect they change Cassini’s parameters regularly so what works this week may not be successful in the future. As eBay have given so little info on how Cassina works this is a tough one so I advise a few identical listings with different pricing and postage options so you can figure what works best for you.

    MOBILE COMMERCE: Its big and getting bigger so tailor your listing for viewing on a screen the size of a match box.

    WEBINTERPRET: Who cares?

    Long live The Revolution!! 🙂

  8. Agree with so much of the above. Used Webinterpret on one of their free trials where they would choose my ‘best selling’ items. They got 3 out of 100 – and, no, I couldn’t choose which items that should be listed based on 10+ years of ebay selling rather than their own sophisticated software. There was a tiny amount of sales through the programme, so I stopped it as soon as they started asking for money. It’s quite clear that Konrad’s advert isn’t fooling most of us. I do wonder why tamebay published it though? It damages the site’s credibility in my view, publishing what are essentially ads or, at best, press releases in this way.

  9. its all wonderful translating ads ,who deals with the complaints refunds questions after sales etc etc in the The local lingo

  10. On the subject of offering free postage, is that not a self fulfilling prophecy?
    I ask the question because some of the truly independent market research I have read doesn’t give a simple ‘offer free postage and you sell more stuff’ type answer, its much more complicated. Particularly if the honest question is asked; would you prefer postage to be shown as a separate cost, or added to the item price and shown as a combined cost.
    There are options such as offering free postage over a certain value (lower packing manpower and materials costs for multiple items in one package), or offering free postage at busy times such as Christmas when competion may be stiffer.

    Hypothetical situation. A marketplace decides that free postage is a good idea and tells its sellers if they offer free postage will be given better search placement. The sellers , not wanting to be dropped in search results, offer free postage. Therefore there are more items higher in search results with free postage. Net result more items are sold with free postage. So offering free postage concluded to improve sales?

  11. its not complicated you don’t need a degree
    PRICE sells everything else is incidental

  12. I sell Books and the vast majority of Books come with a price printed on the cover. So let us say that a Book has a retail price printed on it of £15.99. The seller has three choices. First to sell at £15.99 Post Free. Second to sell £15.99 plus p & p of say £2.99 and Thirdly of selling at £19.00 Post Free.

    What is the Customers attitude towards each of the options? I have my doubts that many buyers will be happy paying £19.00 for a Book with £15.99 printed on the cover even taking into account the free post.

    The other two options are likely to be generally acceptable.

    However I can show you numerous examples on ebay of current titles where the price is printed on the book cover where sellers on ebay have priced them at substantially more than the price printed on the cover and in a few cases where they have also charged for post & packing on top.

    I often wonder just what the reaction of the Buyer is. So I tend to keep my prices low and keep my customers happy even if my profit margin is lower than it could be. I have run a 100% Feedback for well over a year so perhaps I am doing something right.

  13. 64% of online shoppers preferring to shop with a retailer that offers free shipping than one that doesn’t.

    36% of online shoppers know there is no difference between free shipping and seperate shipping.


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