eSeller Solutions Blog

Ten Top Tips To Boost Your eBay Sales by Mark Buckingham

Mark Buckingham is a London-based eBay & Amazon specialist and owner of eCommerce consultancy & eBay & Amazon Training Company, NetSeek. In his first blog post for ESeller Solutions, Mark offers five top tips for helping eBay sellers gain and maintain their eBay Top Rated Status…

In today’s increasingly saturated (and some might argue, overly cluttered) eBay marketplace, a failure to qualify for eBay Top Rated status (and thereby, the ability to apply Premium Service to your listings) can not only have a drastic impact on the visibility of your listings, but the overall profitability and health of your eBay business too. In my experience, client’s see a 30-40% drop in sales when they’re not Top Rated Premium – and in doing so, give the edge to their competitors who are. Let’s look at a few ways you can help ensure you stay on track…

  • Monitor your performance – Your Seller Dashboard will provide all the information you need as to whether your account qualifies for eBay Top Rated Status (eTRS). This might be an obvious recommendation but I’ve met a myriad of sellers who are so wrapped up with running their business that they take their eye off the ball; before they know it their transaction defect percentage is creeping up and their eTRS status is in question. It’s a percentage game, so observe any areas where you can improve to ensure optimal health of your account.Download the reports from your dashboard and spend some time analysing the data; look for trends, too – are there certain items that typically incur a late delivery time? Investigate why and scour your account and transaction history to observe where the issues may be.eBay reward excellence so it pays to do all you can to raise your game. For more information on how to qualify for eBay Top Rated Status, visit http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/sell/top-rated.html.
  • Understanding Best Match – Whilst we can never know the exact intricacies behind eBay’s Best Match algorithm, there are several factors that determine where your listings are displayed in search. In knowing the basics at least, you’re better equipped to ensure your listings have the best chance for prominent visibility and to make more educated changes as you pursue different strategies for growth.It follows that by selling more, your transaction values will be higher (which we’ll cover later) and thus, you’ll have a better chance of gaining or maintaining eTRS. Whilst it’s not just about units sold, this can make all the difference if your erring on the edge of losing your Top Rated Status.Having a good grasp of how Best Match works will pay dividends and help your listings enjoy a boost in search. Simply being Top Rated Premium will boost your qualifying listings’ coverage, as well as sales, titles, impressions and conversions, price point. Offering free carriage, we’re told, also provides a small boost in search. It all adds up – so look at every angle of your listing, title, and how it presents to the buyers, to ensure you’re on track.

Recent Sales is one key factor to Best Match success. Observe those listings that aren’t selling well of late and consider revising, or even ending and relisting, to ‘reset’ any Best Match deficit. A word of caution though: be wary of ending listings with a high ‘unit sold’ score as this is a persuasive buying factor. For these listings, look at a markdown discount or other areas you can improve to get the listing selling again.

 

  • Multi-variation Listings: You’re far more likely to improve a listing’s performance if you include all the available options in one place. Even if only your cheapest variation sells well, the whole listing benefits and as such, you’ll likely enjoy a rise in search. You can be creative with variations, too – consider offering something your competitors don’t. Offering your own pack- size options, for instance, allows you to control the discount price as buyers purchase multiple units.

 

  • Fulfil your Promises: eBay sellers that fall short of the required delivery standards will soon find their eTRS status in jeopardy. If you qualify for Top Rated and are offering a Premium Service on your listings – which, to me, is the primary benefit of qualification – you need to work hard to ensure you meet customer expectation (including the required 1 working day handling time). Stay abreast of your orders and anticipate any issues with fulfilment – consider telephoning or messaging customers where you anticipate there may be an unforeseen delay; buyers can be sympathetic especially if you’ve reached out to them, and may choose not to mark the item as late when leaving feedback, if they appreciate that there’s a good reason. (of course, it’s against eBay’s policies to manipulate buyers, and neither should you).Ideally, your free carriage option would be the default selection – Royal Mail 1st Class, for instance; but if you’re experiencing late deliveries, as many sellers do using Royal Mail, consider swapping the free option for an economy service and providing a competitively priced tracking option.Again, keep a close eye on your seller dashboard metrics to observe where you might be falling short: if you are, then it will be all about…

 

  • Transactions: yes, I know, it should really be about making a profit, regardless of how many units you sell or what your revenue is: but whether we like it or not, the system effectively advantages high-volume sellers, who find it far easier to keep the percentage of late delivery defaults below the current 4% threshold – thereby minimising the chance of ever losing their Top Rated. That doesn’t mean such sellers always have an easy ride – operating a shop selling hundreds of items a day poses its risks, too.Given the Transaction Defect percentage looks like it will be reduced to 3% in Autumn, my best advice here is to have a few cost-neutral items (perhaps pre-packaged and easy to ship) that are likely to sell in volume, to provide a buffer zone to ensure your overall account remains healthy, and continues to allow you to apply Premium Service to your listings, which in turn imbues customer confidence and will help you sell the high-ticket, higher-margin items more easily. A small sacrifice with a few listings can yield a bigger game, long-term.

Related posts:

  1. 3 Tips to Turn Listings From Invisible to Visible
  2. 3 Important Actions to Build eBay Sales
  3. eBay Autumn Seller Update to Boost Cross Border Trade
  4. 6 Tips For Taking Great eBay Pictures
  5. 3 Tips For Driving Traffic To Your eBay Shop

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