Six Tips to Boost Slow-Moving eBay Listings

It happens to every seller sooner or later: that one piece of inventory you just can’t seem to move. You list it, and after 30 days, it comes back unsold. Maybe you list it again, in the hopes it will sell the second time. But if it continues not to sell, then it’s just taking up valuable space and tying up capital, both of which you could put to better use.

So what do you do when your eBay listings aren’t selling? Just listing it again isn’t the answer — that only costs you time and money. Here are a few tips to help get that slow-moving listing out of your inventory, fast.

Identify the Problem

Before you take any concrete steps into fixing your listing, inspect it and figure out what might be wrong. Here are some of the most common problems with slow-moving eBay listings:

  • There’s too much competition for that type of product
  • The item price is priced too high
  • There’s not enough information to entice buyers. Perhaps the item description is weak, or there are not enough photographs (or the ones that exist are poor quality)
  • Customers can’t find your listing

With a little tweaking, these issues are simple to address.

1. Make Your eBay Listings Attractive

When in doubt about the reason for a slow-moving listing, start by improving the quality of the listing itself. Your first step should be to check your pricing to see if it’s too high compared to the competition. If so, consider bringing it down to get yourself on top of the “low to high” price sorting stack.

Next, optimize your listing’s description. Concentrate on adding enticing detail and drawing in the buyer. If there are any form details you’ve left out, fill them in. Take every opportunity to convince the buyer they want this item, and go the extra mile to differentiate yourself from competing sellers.

High-resolution photos are another great way to increase your conversion and get people buying. For best results, use photos with a resolution of 1600 pixels, which allows viewers to zoom in and look at your item in detail. You should also include as many photos as you can — more than 12, if possible. The more photos you have, the better your conversion rates are likely to be.

Finally, think about your shipping options. Shipping can be a deal-breaker for many bargain-minded shoppers. If you’re able to offer free or discount shipping, it could make all the difference to a potential buyer. If your item really isn’t moving, this might be a good time to look at your return period and return shipping policy. It could influence customers’ buying decisions.

2. Optimize Your Listings for Visibility

If your listing is as attractive as you can make it, and it’s still not moving, maybe it’s because your prospective customers aren’t finding it. If that’s the case, it’s time to put your search engine optimization (SEO) skills to work and supercharge your eBay listing’s title and keywords. Do some keyword research — both on your own product and your competitor’s products — and find out what customers are searching for when they look for your product.

Once you have your keywords in hand, it’s time to optimize your eBay SEO:

  • First, make sure you’re taking full advantage of eBay’s 80-character title field. Make every letter count!
  • Use relevant and detailed keywords in your title. If you need to, take advantage of tools like Title Builder, Terapeak, and other eBay-specific keyword tools to wrestle maximum advantage out of your title.
  • Past success is a good indicator of future success, so look at your own stats to see what worked best for you, and leverage it. You can also review similar listing that sold in the past — simply use the “sold listings” filter in your eBay product search.
  • Make sure your listing is in the appropriate category, and that it shows up in popular filters. You may also consider reevaluating your listed category based on buyer behavior and moving it to a new category.

3. Get Creative to Drive Views

When optimization and visibility aren’t enough, a more direct approach might be called for. If you have an email list, it might be time to write a newsletter to alert your customers of your latest (and finely polished) listing. Social ads and features on deal forums can also get you some eyeballs, especially if you add a coupon discount or add your listing to a bundle deal. Savvy sellers should also keep their eyes on key retail dates to find just the right time to relist their goods.

4. Create Some Urgency

One time-honored technique to motivate buyers: hint that your product may soon become unavailable. If you have quite a bit of stock listed (and not a lot of competition), you can use the Quantity Manager app to control how much stock you show on eBay. If you make your listing appear as the “last one” available, this may help drive demand.

5. Switch to “Good Until Cancelled”

A “Good Until Cancelled” eBay listing will keep relisting your inventory automatically after 30 days, until all stock is sold. Technically, this doesn’t help sell your inventory sell any faster — but it will help retain your sales history, and keep you from building up a history of poor sales. Good Until Cancelled listings also tend to do well on searches, as they list as “new” when the 30 days is up. The only thing to be mindful of are the fees, which may eventually incur if the listing never moves.

6. Try Again Later

Sometimes, it just isn’t the right time or place for a product. Maybe there’s a seasonal slump, or there’s too much competition, or some other reason beyond your control. In some cases, it may be best to cut your losses, stop paying the relisting fees, and either try again later, or sell through a different channel. Just because your eBay listings aren’t moving now, doesn’t mean they never will. A quality product with an optimized description will almost certainly find a buyer sooner or later.


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