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Sell More on eBay: Getting Item Specifics Right

Wednesday May 3, 2017 | By Ethan Morgan


If you’re struggling for organic search ranking on eBay, it’s hard to drive increased revenue. However, you might be fighting an uphill battle without knowing it or needing to.

eBay’s Cassini search engine bases results on more than 100 data points, not just titles, or your seller performance metrics. It includes subtitles, variations, and most importantly for today, item specifics.

eBay want the buyer to be able to access relevant results easily, so Cassini uses item specifics to filter out results that don’t match filters the buyer applies. These filters appear on the left-hand side of a search in eBay and allow customers to filter for colour, size, and so on.

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Categories and Attributes

Different categories allow different filters to be used, and display them in different orders – typically by popularity. Above, Shoe Size comes above Main Colour.

It’s vital to use the right attributes to appear in relevant filtered searches. Below, “Main Colour” is the filter offered to buyers. If you’ve used “Colour” to vary items by colour, that will not be picked up by the filter and it will discard your listing.

Another common pitfall is the use of values which eBay does not display to the buyer. Below, the filter screen offers simple colour names to filter by. If a seller has populated the “Main Colour” field with, say, “Olive”, or “Wine Red”, they will not be featured in searches filtered to “Green” or “Red”.

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Variations and Values

So as you can see, it’s vital to have the right variation attributes and the right values. A classic offender is Size – the values used vary widely, by brand, region, item and seller preference. The challenge from eBay’s perspective is to teach Cassini that “XXL” is the same thing as “Extra Extra Large”, “XX Large” and “2XL”.

Ideally, you want to avoid any circumstances where Cassini (and therefore buyers) might not find you from a filter. You want all your variation values to match eBay's valid values as much as possible. These values can be found using the eBay developer tool, and are built into the Volo platform.

Mobile App Benefits

The importance of all this is amplified when it comes to mobile searches which heavily lean on filters to serve highly relevant products to make the most of the limited screen space.

eBay have said that over 60% of all transactions on the marketplace are touched by mobile devices, so it’s essential going forward to make sure that item specifics fields are correctly used.

Even if a search is not filtered, item specifics are picked up by Cassini and can be considered as extensions of the title for search purposes.

Getting it Right

Obviously, this is all more easily said than done. Businesses selling on multiple channels often find they don’t have the resource, time or know-how to really maximise their potential on each individual channel.

However, the reward for maintaining high quality eBay data is a boost to your visibility, conversion and consequent sales volume. 

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