Give Yourself an eBay Makeover

There's nothing like a fresh coat of paint to help perk up sales.

by Danna Crawford
- Oct 05, 2009

At least once a year, eBay sellers should take a step back from their day-to-day work and look deep into their selling styles. Take a good look at auction templates, About Me pages and terms of sale with an eye toward making improvements. Prepare yourself for a mission!

Push up your sleeves, have an open mind and seek out ways to improve your presence on eBay.

Think of it as "spring cleaning" you can do at any time of the year when it's convenient for you. There are no set rules about when to undertake your selling makeover; you can do it according to your schedule, on your terms and at your pace. The important thing is to set aside the time and prepare to get the job done.

You might find the best time is when the kids head back to school or when the air turns crisp. Some sellers may decide to tidy up the shop when the time is near to test the Christmas lights and show some holiday cheer. Others may find the best approach is to stick with the traditional spring cleaning tradition and dust off the virtual shelves on that first day of spring.

Pretend you're a buyer opening up your eBay listing for the first time

Whatever time of the year works for you, you'll know when "spring is in the air" and it's time to clean up the look and feel of your eBay selling. But if once a year is good, twice a year is even better!

During this process, there are several strategies I recommend, based on your selling style.

For the eBay Store owner:

  • Adjust your storefront
  • Change the colors
  • Add holiday charm
  • Add or change your custom pages

For all eBay sellers:

  • Adjust your listing template
  • Include happy terms of sales
  • Remove all negative words
  • Add holiday graphics
  • Spruce up your Me page

Why is this ritual important?

I know firsthand, as an eBay seller, I sometimes get so busy trying to list, spending time sourcing products and getting caught up with so many different tasks that I don't take the time to notice if my store has become cluttered and/or outdated. When you follow a daily routine week after week, month after month, year after year, it's easy to forget to pay attention to the sound of the words on your template, or to notice if the background display is a bit much.

It's funny how it looked great when I set it up. But when I look at it later, I'll ask myself, "What was I thinking?"

For this exercise, pretend you're a buyer opening up your eBay listing for the first time. Take a good look at the listing and ask yourself a few questions:

  • Is it inviting?
  • Do I want to shop here?
  • Can I understand the terms?
  • Do the colors look nice?

If it's too hard for you to be objective, ask a friend to critique your listings. You can even e-mail me. I'll be happy to answer those four questions for you and give you my opinion—not a problem.

Don't distract buyers with unnecessary clutter and flashy animation

Once you discover the results, don't be discouraged if your listings need some work. Set a plan on your calendar and dig in for an eBay selling makeover. If you have too many listings to adjust all at once, make changes to each one before you relist or as you post new listings. As they come up for renewal, adjust what's needed before putting it back into the marketplace.

Once you're ready to make a change, my suggestions are:

  • Keep templates clean. Use cheerful, inviting colors and don't distract buyers with unnecessary clutter and flashy animation.
  • Keep terms of sale short and sweet. Don't make me feel like I need my attorney present before I can place a bid. If those terms go on and on, chances are I'm going to click away from your page, because I will either get bored or afraid there's something hidden in there that will come back to bite me.
  • Remove any language that sounds negative. Avoid phrases like: "I will not ship to," "I will not ship then," "I will not," "I do not allow," "Do not do this" or "Do not do that because I will not," "No refunds" and "No returns." You may as well write: "Go away and bid somewhere else!"

Keep a happy tone. Include phrase like:

  • Welcome to my listing!
  • Thank you for visiting us today!
  • I take great pride in my shipping!
  • Customer care and service is our priority!

You'll feel like a million bucks once you've spruced up your eBay appearance and added a personal touch to your selling style.

Next priority: Clean the eBay office!

About the Author

Danna Crawford, CEO of PowerSellingMom, Inc., has been a successful eBay seller since 1997. In 2008, she received eBay's Community Hall of Fame award, as well as the Golden Ribbon Community Seller Award from eBay Giving Works. As an eBay Certified Education Specialist, she teaches at the community college and university levels, and frequently speaks on topics such as how to make money blogging, writing eBooks and more. Crawford can be heard every Friday night on her Internet radio show, PowerSellingMomRadio, and in weekly webinars at

Opinions expressed here may not be shared by Auctiva Corp. and/or its principals.

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