How SME sellers can optimise eBay listings to boost peak period sales

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Exclusive Interview with Harmony MurphyWith the double whammy of Black Friday and Christmas just around the corner, eBay’s SME sellers are gearing up for what should be the most wonderful time of the year – and consumers are getting excited. In this guest post today, eBay’s Harmony Murphy, GM Advertising UK, today shares her insider tips for making the most of the peak selling season with ways to supercharge your sales and tips on how to optimise eBay listings:

Optimise eBay listings to boost peak period sales

Our 2021 Christmas Spend Trend Report found that 60% of Brits are feeling optimistic that they’ll be able to celebrate as usual this Christmas, with 30% planning to spend more on presents and festivities. But with competition fiercer than ever, sellers — be they small, medium or large in size — need to ensure their product listings stand out from the crowd.

Here are my simple tips for doing this and enjoying a lucrative holiday sales period:

1) Write informative listing titles and descriptions

Your listing’s title and description are of vital importance when selling. An opportunity to inform and excite buyers, getting these right will increase your chances of a sale. But what makes them successful?


Both the title and description should be peppered with keywords to help make your item searchable. But don’t go overboard! I recommend choosing three to five keywords that closely relate to your item.

The title

This should tell the whole story of “what” is being sold and encourage customers to click through to the full listings page. It should include key details such as what the item is and key specifications i.e., brand/ designer, size, model, colour etc.

The description

It should answer any questions a potential buyer may have and entice them to convert. You should:

  • Use clear language and short paragraphs to enable shoppers to glean all essential information by skim-reading.
  • Include a bullet point list of all the key specifications (think of it as a list of your product’s USPs).
  • Be transparent about any problems with the item. Omitting these may lead to a faster sale in the short term, but you’ll damage your brand reputation when the buyer returns it because it wasn’t as described and leaves you negative feedback to top it off.

2) Use eye-catching product images

Understanding how to take photos for eBay can make all the difference between a sale and a flop. Indeed, getting your photography spot-on not only draws positive attention to your listings but also gives online buyers confidence in the item they’re purchasing. You should:

  • Use a high-quality camera and take multiple shots from different angles and distances.
  • Consider the lighting — eliminating glare and shadows.
  • Ensure your item is clean and that you use a neutral background, with all clutter removed.

And remember: eBay has a number of requirements and restrictions for images, so be sure to check out all the rules here.

3) Boost listing visibility with Promoted Listings

Aside from creating attention-grabbing listings, you can boost visibility even further during the competitive festive period by using eBay’s suite of Promoted Listings solutions. These enable sellers to sponsor their posts — making their items stand out from the crowd and be seen by millions of active buyers, increasing the likelihood of a sale.

Promoted Listings Standard

  • The solution you’re likely most familiar with, this is a low-risk way to boost the visibility of listings, giving you access to 60+ placements across the eBay network on desktop, mobile and the eBay app.
  • You only pay a commission when your ad generates a sale.
  • It works particularly well with products that have a sales history and is well suited when you’re looking to drive more incremental sales in the run-up to Christmas.

Promoted Listings Advanced

  • Eligible sellers can bid to promote their listings in the top slot of the search results page — giving their products greater visibility in a premium position.
  • You have more control over your ads (daily budget, keyword targeting, keyword bidding and reporting) and only pay when someone clicks on your ad.
  • It’s great for new products without an existing sales history.

Note: Where possible, I’d recommend that SME sellers use Promoted Listings Standard and Promoted Listings Advanced in partnership to provide maximum visibility for their products during peak period.

Promoted Listings Express

  • For sellers with either occasional or more regular listings, it lets you boost visibility for your auction-style listings directly from your eBay app.
  • You pay one flat fee upfront and your listing could appear in sponsored ads on similar listings’ pages — helping you reach the right buyers at the right time.

Ultimately, the festive period is (and always has been) a crucial sales opportunity for retailers. With Black Friday just two days away and Christmas hot on its heels, SME sellers on eBay need to pull out all the stops and use every trick possible to optimise their listings and grab potential buyer attention.


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