The words you select to describe your item will have a tremendous impact on the final price it receives or if it receives any bids at all. This is because no matter how great the item is you have up at auction, if you use words that don't lead prospective buyers to it, no one will ever see it. You have a total of 45 spaces to use for your auction headline to get people to visit your auction, so it's extremely important that you use each space wisely.
The vast majority of buyers search through eBay listings by entering the item they are looking for into eBay's search engine. The main auction search engine only searches for words listed in auction titles. If a person selects a word that isn't in your auction title, your auction won't come up as a result of their search.
This means that by far the most important task you have when composing a title for your auction is to use words that are relevant and specific to the item you are listing. While this may seem obvious, a lot of sellers don't do it (in fact, searching for listings in which people have ineffective or mis-spelled titles can often get you some great items which you can resell for a profit).
If you are going to spend any extra time on your auctions, thinking through the best key words for your title is where you should spend that time.
With a limit of 45 spaces, writing everything you want in the title just isn't going to be possible. For example, say you have a consignor with a complete set of four bobblehead giveaways, sponsored by Mountain Dew, that the Minnesota Twins gave away at select home games during the 2002 season.
Although accurate, that description is way too long for the allowable number of spaces. The key is to think through an accurate description that includes everything and then taking the most important words out of that and using them.
A simple title might read "Minnesota Twins Bobbleheads". However, that title would be ineffective because it isn't specific enough. While there are many buyers who are looking for Minnesota Twins memorabilia and bobblehead dolls, the categories are too large and your auction will be lost among all the listings. You will have a very limited number of people who will ever see your auction.
A better title might be "2002 Complete Set Minnesota Twins Bobbleheads". This title uses every available space and gives a specific description of what you are selling. It will also now appear in results for a narrower search.
Another possible title might be 2002 Minnesota Twins Bobblehead Bobble Head". People searching for this item type bobblehead into the search engine, while others type bobble head. A search for one will not bring up any results for the other, so at times it's to your advantage to list two different spellings of the same word.
Take a few minutes to think about who would want the item you are selling and, if they were searching for it, what words would they be most likely to type into the search engine.
You will find many sellers using what some call Power Words. These are words such as RARE, LIMITED, VINTAGE, UNIQUE, WOW, GREAT, WONDERFUL and AWESOME. Many sellers seem to think that using words such as these will attract more bidders to their auctions.
I''ll guarantee you right now, that no one types any of these words into eBay's search engine. The use of words such as these does nothing but take up valuable space that could be used for words buyers do search for. Avoid them like the plague.
The same applies to the symbols so many sellers use in their headlines. They try to make their headline stand out by using symbols such as $,#, %, and @ in their auction titles. A particular favorite of many is L@@K!. Once again, all of these are a complete waste of valuable title space.
The only symbols you should ever use are & or + when their use will save you valuable title space.
Acronyms and abbreviations are another matter however. Collectors of certain items have developed their own abbreviations and acronyms for certain commonly used phrases within their specific collecting specialty. It is to your advantage to learn at least some of these.
NR, for example, means "No Reserve." To a Star Wars collector ROTJ means "Return Of The Jedi." Becoming familiar with some of these that are common with the type of items you sell will allow you to get more key words into the limited space which will result in more people viewing your auction.
Spend some time browsing the titles that others have created for their auctions. Look for both good and bad examples of titles. Just spending a few hours doing this and thinking about where the seller could have improved their title will help you enormously in writing titles for your own auctions.
Never forget - the first step is getting buyers to your auctions because if they can't find them, they can't buy anything from you.
Gary Hendrickson has been making his living selling on eBay for more than six years. He's the author of two eBay related ebooks, has a blog for eBay sellers, and is the owner of ColdItems.Com.
The Auction Rebel Blog