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Item Description Best Practices

Drive more sales, lower refund rates, and build customer trust.

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A good listing title and high-quality photos might give you listing views, but a well-written item description helps seal the deal. The purpose of an item description is to educate buyers on the key benefits and unique value proposition. It also helps drive more sales, lower refund rates, and build customer trust. Here are 5 best practices to get you going.

screenshot of accurate and detailed item description

Be accurate and detailed

1. Highlight the benefits 

Write to sell by highlighting the product benefits at the very start. Don’t limit your description to just features, describe the usage experience or how the product helps in your daily routine.  

2. List down the specifications

This is essential for all item descriptions. Buyers need to know what they’re purchasing. State all the product specifications clearly and accurately.  

3. Include size and measurements

Provide accurate size and measurements to prevent any misconception and reduce returns.

4. Add in the usage guidelines

It’s always good to include usage instructions and guidelines. It also gives buyers a sense of how easy it is to use before making the purchase.  

Tip: Make it easy for buyers to read by putting the details in bullets. Keep your descriptions short and concise.

Be truthful

Be honest with the condition of your item. State all the flaws and imperfections like scratches, discoloration and dents (if any) especially for used items. Also, don’t mislead buyers with false claims. Example:

If you’re selling a brand new watch with vintage design inspired by the 1980s - don’t state that the watch is a vintage from the 1980s. There is a big difference between an inspired design vs. an actual vintage.


Buyers are protected on under the eBay Money Back Guarantee policy. If they are unhappy due to inaccurate item descriptions, they can request to return the item for free and ask for a full refund. 

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Don’t steal content

Write your own item descriptions unless a third party explicitly gave you permission to use theirs. This includes the use of brand names and logos. Using someone's content without permission is a violation of copyright and trademark laws and can be misleading for buyers. Creating a logo that's similar to someone else's can also be a trademark infringement.

As a seller, you are responsible for ensuring that any item you list on eBay is original and does not infringe on the rights of others. Such listings will be instantly removed under the VeRO program.

 

 

Use eBay Messaging Platforms

Communicate with your buyers via eBay's messaging platform such as eBay Messages. It’s easy to use and FREE!

On eBay, sellers are not allowed to refer or promote personal websites. This includes links to web addresses and social media pages. The same goes for putting email addresses, phone numbers, and domain names in the item description, title, subtitle, images, or item location.

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item description on mobile phone screen

Create Item Descriptions that are mobile-friendly

If you plan on running a successful ecommerce business on eBay, you absolutely must cater to mobile users. Here’s why - 63% of eBay sales are transacted on a mobile device. That’s a USD33 Billion opportunity that you’ll miss out on for not creating mobile-friendly item descriptions.

Viewport Meta Tag

Copy and paste this string of code in plain text: <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">

Mobile Optimisation Best Practices

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Use a font that is legible on mobile

Use a base font size of 16 pixels to avoid pinching to zoom in on screen.

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Keep formatting simple

Keep the white background for buyers to read your descriptions easily.

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Use bullet points

Bullet your descriptions and make it quicker for buyers to understand your listing.

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Use the eBay photo uploader

Don’t insert photos in your description. It’s simpler to use the photo uploader.

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Don’t clump all info into your description

Include product identifiers, item specifics and listing fields for postage, payment and returns in the designated space when creating your listing.

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Don’t use active content

Avoid active content such as JavaScript, Flash, plug-ins and form actions. These are commonly used to enhance listings to provide interactivity, animation or video to customers, but they are not mobile friendly.