How to Lose eBay Buyers in 5 Easy Steps - Sellbrite

How to Lose eBay Buyers in 5 Easy Steps

If you sell on eBay, you know there are lots of tips and tricks to increase sales. For example, you can use relevant keywords in your listing title to make an item easier to find. What you might not know, however, is that there are also certain things you can do to actually drive buyers away from a listing. The worst part is that sellers often don’t even realize they are doing this. Here are some things we see that can cause customers to walk away from your listings, and what you can do to prevent that from happening.


You may think that using all capital letters in the title of your listing will make it stand out, but the truth is that in ‘Internet speak’ all caps are considered screaming and worse, it makes your listing harder to read. Many people find all caps annoying and no one really wants to buy from someone who is yelling at them. Unfortunately, this little rule sometimes confuses people and some sellers believe that you aren’t suppose to use any fully capitalized words in your listing title at all.

That’s not exactly true either. In fact, fully capitalizing one or two of the words in your title actually makes the title stand out. It also pushes the title onto a second line, meaning that your title appears bigger than the other titles when it shows up on the buyer’s search page.

Negative language

There is a fairly good chance (100%) that at some point you’re going to get a bad buyer. The problem is that some sellers take the old saying ‘once bitten, twice shy’ a little too far. Although it’s normal to occasionally worry about receiving payment or wonder if the buyer will expect a refund (but still want to keep the item), some sellers turn away even the good buyers by threatening them before the buyer ever places a bid. ‘Don’t bid if you’re not going to pay’ and ‘I have the right to refuse to sell to you’ doesn’t really endear you to the buyer and may ultimately cause you to lose the sale.

Clutter on the listing

Although some sellers don’t provide enough information on a listing, other sellers perhaps add a little too much. Manifestos about return policies or a diatribe about how long it takes for the seller to ship an item not only take away from your item’s presentability, but studies have shown very few people actually read everything on a listing, so buyers may actually miss important information.

If they are looking at the listing on a smartphone, most buyers read even less and may only read the first few lines before they make a decision. If you do need to write a lengthy description, divide it into paragraphs and keep the information as specific as possible.

Not allowing returns

Did you know that A UPS study showed that 63-percent of buyers review the return process before they make a purchase?* While the idea of allowing returns is a scary prospect for some sellers, it might be somewhat comforting to hear that only a small number of items ever actually get returned.

eBay also gives you some leeway in how your return policy works. While they do want it to be user-friendly, eBay allows sellers to decide who pays the return shipping costs, how long the buyer has to return it, and whether buyers have to pay a restocking fee.

Not enough pictures

In the world of eBay, a picture not only speaks a 1000 words, it also has to stand in for the item itself. Since buyers can’t touch the item in a listing, the sense of sight heavily informs their decision about whether or not to buy the item.

If you only supply one or two photos for the buyer to view, they really can’t get a good idea of how the item looks. eBay now allows you 12 photos per listing for free, so there is really no reason to not take advantage of this.

Take photos of your item from several different angles. If your item has a flaw or unique feature, get a closeup of the area so the buyer can determine exactly what it is they are buying.

* © Comscore, Inc. Online Shopping Customer Experience Study, May 2012 (Commissioned by UPS)