OK, I’ll Leave ToysRus on eBay Alone. Well May be…

This is quite an old article now. I have considered removing it and I have edited it slightly since. However I decided that it would be better to leave this and the other articles on the site, as with anything, experience is only learnt through fire, this was one of those times where I could have done better and approached the subject more tactfully.

I’m leaving it, as it shows I’m just a mere mortal, like us all.

Thats right, I’ll definitely not mention any of following:

Listing titles are being heavily wasted

I covered this off previously in the post called SuperDryStore The Wasteful eBay Listings where they were also wasting their most important asset too (besides the unhealthy amount of ‘Daily Deals’, *coff*).

Picking on a random item ‘Playmobil Firefighter’s with Water Pump’ racks in at just 39 chars, that leaves 16 beauties or 29% wasted. Now times this by +10,000 items, thats a lot of potential lost.

Its really easy to deal with adding extra chars in excel, obviously humans with decent product knowledge are best, but as a temporary measure, you can readily create your own formula in excel that combines cells together. If you use the LEN() function, you can work in layers, here is an example from a recent project:

IF(AD2="something",IF(LEN(E2)<48,"something "&E2,IF(LEN(E2)<48,"UK NEW "&UPPER(E2),IF(LEN(E2)<52,"UK "&UPPER(E2),E2))),
IF(AD2="something else",IF(LEN(E2)<48,"NEW UK " &E2,IF(LEN(E2)<48,"UK NEW "&E2,IF(LEN(E2)<52,"UK "&UPPER(E2),UPPER(E2)))),
IF(LEN(E2)<48,"UK NEW "&E2,IF(LEN(E2)<52,"UK "& UPPER(E2),UPPER(E2)))

In many cases, the eBay listing title and its restrictive 55 chars is a benefit to sellers, as it makes them think about the important keywords and can ‘sometimes’ (I say this very loosely) have a positive effect on website titles and Amazon titles. Although for both of those marketplaces, I’d suggest altering them, if you’re using excel or similar to create titles, you can be extremely coy in the titles that are created and make many variations easily from the same source keyword sets.

Wow, Wasted Subtitles

Obviously a eBay freebie, because no normal seller would waste these little gems so extensively. Again using the section called ‘Subtitles, WTF?‘ in the previous post, using the formula:

Seal | The | Deal

Should work quite well, lets face it, its unlikely that each will have their own special subtitle, so a common approach is needed and of course for those daily deals, a hand written one can be employed. But for now, anything is an improvement.

I’m not in a creative mood currently, I’m sure you can use the similar process I used and knock up a winning subtitle.

Think About The Shipping

Using the image to the left, which is the shipping box from one of the eBay categories [4631] and then look at one of the toysrus listings and you quickly spot that as soon as customer selections expedited or free shipping, the listings are gone from the results, that’s BAD.

This is where covering as many bases as possible is really important, to the point, I may have let loose a naughty one to cover 50% more bases in this post by abusing the new and used options.

Sooo with this in mind, if you can load a sensible shipping price into the item and offer a free shipping option by default, then add at least one upgrade option an expedited service too.

I’m not even going to go-there for international deliveries, the feedback is already too hammered to even contemplate suggesting this, plus it would probably not be a wise decision and would be better run from stock held locally in the local countries (plus knowing what toy distribution is like, it would be a damn nightmare) .

For those not aware, the free shipping options does not appear to carry the same kind of weighting to best match as eBay would like to lead you to believe, it helps for sure, but its not a hugely important factor. I’m suggesting a free shipping option purely on the basis that as many item specific options need to be covered (and then some).

Item Specifics

I’m not saying much on this, at least they’re marked as new. A great job of categorisation has been done, so for now, no comment. Categorisation is secondary to the listing titles being correct. I do rant about item specifics quite a lot, they’re important, but I have always classed the order of importance as titles > categorisation > item specifics.

Although saying that, I do suspect I am now wrong, and categorisation and item specifics need to be swapped around in the order of importance.

*coff* the toys categories support custom item specifics, at least setting brand on the majority (most haven’t, I checked) of items would help.

Listing Design

I’ve already gone on a bender on this, you can see the full break down here, if only a single change could be made, add the shipping ( if CA can total prices?[doubt it thinking about it] total order price to the ‘Our Price’ box, so a total cost of ownership can be quickly worked out in ones head.

Please note that buyers are idiots, making them think is a bloody stupid idea, so give it to them on plate.

It is your role as the business to provide clear, informative details so that a buyer can make an informed decision, that this item, really is the right item for them. Never forget this.

eBay Shop

At least it has a header and I do like the extra boxes that have been added to the left navigation, although a custom landing page would be a better idea.

Ask your self this:

If you were to walk into M&S and they piled every item infront of you, what would you do?

Not a lot right? Wood for trees and all that? Exactly, when entering the front of a store, people need to be guided in a decompression area (this ‘decompression area’ is from Why We Buy, brilliant book that, finally gave a name to it) so that they can then navigate themselves to the right area (I am not saying don’t make offers here, just do not overwhelm the idiot, err I mean buyer).

Last one feedback

Yep, you knew that one was coming… Get the wallet out and get on the phone and bribe your way out of this mess.

Negatives, attract negatives.

They always have done and always will do. Anyone remember the Shu screw up a while back? I have never seen sooooooo many negs left in such a short amount of time. At least follow them up with a constructive personalised comment for goodness sake. Admitting you made a mistake is the first step forwards in anything.


Sooo, use every one of the 55 chars you get for listing on eBay, its the most important asset you have; If you’re using subtitles, ideally they should be personalised to the inventory you are selling, or carry a reinforcement message for the companies USP’s, sorry my bad, ‘Unique Selling Points’.

Break the click-loss battle over that left hand bar in the eBay navigation and work it to your advantage, in some cases being smart is your only advantage, dumb-brute-force also works too as clearly shown above.

The listing template isn’t even worth mentioning in detail, it my frank opinion its been done really poorly and I would have expected better from the companies involved (Channel Advisor, eBay and I suspect GSi had a hand in this somewhere).

Wow and those negs, if you ever get this issue, get the wallet out and start bribing, its Christmas time as well, any seasoned idiot can work out what motivates people this time of the year, use it and abuse it.

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