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5 Essential eBay Listing Title Tips: How to get your item seen

Updated on April 26, 2013
eBay listing title tips
eBay listing title tips

The eBay listing title that you establish for each and every item you advertise for sale could arguably be the most important 80 characters you ever write.

Whether you realise it yet, when it comes to the titles of your items, there could be 'gold' in them, or not.

The headline you create is your gateway to having your item seen, not only by eBay buyers, but by search engines too and ultimately it has the potential to be the make or break of a sale.

If you have never given any thought to your choice of words, you probably have never given any thought then to whether you are giving your items the best chance they have of being found.

Believe it or not, every single word counts. Here are 5 essential eBay listing title tips to ensuring that your item is seen.

Indexed by Search Engines

Listings on eBay are indexed in search engines, just like your website and blogs are and just like your hubs and articles are.

If this is foreign language to you, in a nutshell it means that every single item listed on eBay has the potential to be found in google, or another search engine, if someone happens to search for a particular word or phrase that matches the title listing of your item.

This is why keywords you use in your title are so important to your success. When chosen carefully, they will help your item stand out and not become that needle in a haystack.

This means that not only can you potentially capture buyers from within eBay itself, but also from those who are purely searching the internet. This is why your listings must be carefully prepared.

When it comes to searches for your item, your goal is to get more as many 'hits' or 'visits' as possible. Few shoppers have the patience to browse multiple pages of results. If they cannot see what they are after on the first page, or maybe the second, they look elsewhere or type in a new search term or phrase. Keep this in mind when preparing your titles.

80 characters of potential gold

On eBay, your listing title is limited to 80 characters. This includes spaces. In this very short space, every single word used must serve two key purposes.

  1. To be effective enough for search engines to show your listing based on keyword searches.

  2. To accurately describe your item for sale.

Think about your item. What words or phrases would someone be likely to enter into a search engine to locate it. How would they dig around the internet looking for your item?

If you are stuck, take a look on eBay itself and review other items for sale that are similar or the same as yours. Check also completed listings. Take note of those that sold and those that did not and see if there are any key identifiers. Did a successfully sold item use descriptive words whilst the unsold item hardly describe it at all?

Your 80 characters needs to at least include as much of the following key points as possible:

  • Brand, Artist or Designer Name
  • Condition
  • Color
  • Size
  • What it is made from
  • Be accurate and honest

And if it is of a specific era or year of manufacture, you will need to include that also.

If you are selling highly priced, genuine products like Louis Vuitton, Gucci or Prada where there is a high chance others are selling counterfeits, make sure to state the word Genuine, or Authentic and provide the evidence within your listing description and through your photos.

There are a lot of fake and replica items on eBay, knowing how to identify them is critical from a buyer's perspective so if you are selling a genuine item make sure you provide the detail.

Misspellings on eBay

As a buyer, knowing how to find misspelled words in eBay titles is one of the best ways of grabbing a bargain. As a seller, this is the worst experience you can have. See why!


Check your spelling not just once, but once more just for sure. Spelling counts!

There are thousands of items listed for sale right now with spelling mistakes in their titles. From the perspective of a seller this may potentially mean lost sales, listing fees for no positive outcome and a wasted opportunity.

If your brand name, for example, is spelt incorrectly, a general search in eBay will never show your item. It is lost in a void.

If you are listing your item open to international buyers, consider how they may spell something and whether or not there might be a variation worth using.

If you are selling a pair of Levis Jeans and you accidentally transpose some letters with the outcome reading Leivs Jeans, they will never come up in a search for 'Levis Jeans'. Someone with a misspelling tool however will be able to grab the bargain of the century and potentially be the only bidder - that is if they are looking!

Use 'Real' Words

Sounds logical, but you must use real words at all times. Your 80 characters is precious. I cannot stress that enough so do not fill it with words that someone simply will never look for.

You may think your shoes are adorable, or your jacket is the cutest item around but I assure you no one will type "adorable shoes" or "cutest jacket on earth" into eBay.

Also avoid using words that serve no purpose such as "L@@K"

  • Make sure you state exactly what your item is.
  • Do not use asterisks, exclamation marks or commas - they are just taking up space.
  • It does not have to be a complete sentence - just a string of words is fine.
  • Don't include words like "wow" or "look." Buyers don't search for words like these.

Standard Abbreviations Only

Remember you are aiming to not only be found by internet browsers but within eBay too so use of an abbreviation that only makes sense to you is not going to help anyone.

Refer to the table below for some standard, universally recognised abbreviations which you can comfortably use within your eBay listing titles to give more power to your 80 characters.

Common Abbreviations

Brand New In Box
New In Box
Interchanged with BNIB
Brand New With Tag
New WIth Tag
Interchanged with BNWT
Certificate of Authenticity
No Reserve
Hard To Find
Out Of Print
One Of A Kind
Never Removed From Box

Time to succeed

Next time you list an item for sale make sure you consider these tips. They will give you the boost to ensuring your item is viewed by as many people as possible. If you are an eBay trading assistant, make sure you take the time to do justice to those items you are selling on behalf of another person. It will make a great deal of difference.

Even if you think you are purely selling bits and pieces of 'junk' that you have had laying around the house, or left over from a yard sale, make sure you still give your cheap items the attention they deserve.

Having bought and sold on eBay for over 10 years, as a home business, I know that every little bit of help counts to making your items found. There are thousands of items for sale that will be exactly the same as what you are selling, but not everyone will know the tricks!

All Hubs are Original Material by 'Work At Home Mums' ©


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    • VibrantViews profile image


      6 years ago

      Neat list of Common Abbreviations - thanks!

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Australia

      Hi Liza - no never received anything.

    • Lizam1 profile image


      6 years ago from Scotland

      I have foolishly not put time into this. My ebay boxes have been a courtesy add on. Now I realize from your hub they are really important. Thank YOU so much for drawing my attention to this. BTW I did email you with my contact yesterday. Let me know if you didn't receive it. Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you. Liza


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