Optimize listings - item visibility on eBay

This article provides recommendations on making your listings as visible to Buyers as possible. The more your listings are seen by International Buyers, the more likely you are to make a sale.

Topics in this article:

Item visibility on eBay - introduction

eBay listings and item visibility are likely to be affected and influenced by specific actions taken when creating and maintaining said listing.

Within this article, we will provide some basic steps and advice in how to get the best out of your listings and improve their visibility worldwide. This includes Buyer visibility and also within both eBay Shop View and Seller Hub.

Managing & optimizing international listings - titles & item specifics 

In order to optimize your international items, we will (depending on the item itself and the original title/description) potentially add additional keywords not included within the original domestic title.

Our listing procedure would normally translate and localize an international listing based purely on the original title used. However, there are applications possible where this like for like localization would not be optimized for international marketplaces. On these occasions, additional terms/words will be utilized to ensure the most effective titles and therefore increase the likelihood of selling these items.

Item visibility - examples

To provide an example of how this may work, see the listing highlighted below:

“Apple iPhone 7 - 32GB/128GB/256GB - All Colours - UNLOCKED”

The listing here is effective in its domestic form, and sells extremely well.

Now, on the basis of a literal like for like translation, the equivalent French title would be as follow:

"Apple iPhone 7 - 32GB/128GB/256GB -Tous Coloris - Débloqué"

In comparison with the original listing, this listing has provided only minimal sales (in contrast to the vastly significant number for the domestic listing).

So, in cases such as this, how can we optimize the French listing to increase the sales in the same way it has on the original domestic eBay store?

To optimize, we translate this item as follows:

“Apple iPhone 7 32 128 256 Go Noir Or Argent Rose Rouge Débloqué”

By simply changing ‘'All Colours’', we focus on specifics, utilizing the commonest search keyword on the French market for this specific type of product, thereby increasing the likelihood of the product appearing in a buyer search.

In addition to the above optimization on listing titles, we are also providing similar support on item specifics. This again, means that where viable, we will add keywords or missing terms that can, again, optimize the listing itself. This could, for example, be adding model or storage capacity information which are presented in descriptions (please note that due to the need to be eBay compliant, the item specific optimization is still in continued development, therefore if item specifics are not adding keywords or terms, it is simply a case of allowing our algorithm time to roll out over the coming months).

Item visibility on eBay is primarily influenced by:

Keywords in titles
Item specifics
Mobile friendly item description
Return policies
Free shipping
Images displayed and their titles
Performance standards
Listing in right categories
Item location
Default shipping location (Applicable to item/brand/shop etc searches)
Geotargeting (also known as Geolocation targeting or IP Geotargeting)

Abiding by and keeping up to date with eBay Business policies is vital to ensuring listings are active, available in the locations desired, and not liable for eBay violations.

As these Business Policies are updated on a relatively frequent basis, we have an article which offers a guide to the most significant recent updates in 2017.

Important to bear in mind is that it is possible that search results may vary on certain factors:

  • Whether you are signed in to your eBay account and/or
  • Whether you are viewing as a Buyer and/or
  • The location(s) set for the search ie Default search location, Domestic, EU, Worldwide etc

Listings are shown in eBay Shop Views (and search results) based on the shipping country of the viewer. For example, if your default shipping country is the UK, items (original and translated) with shipping options to UK will be shown.

Based on our experience and research, listings are likely affected and influenced by the previously mentioned Geotargeting. The visibility of your items/listings internationally, depends on the IP (address) Geolocation (geotargeting). Simply put, an offer available in in the closest proximity market (based on your IP address) is likely to be seen to be higher in the listing priority.

Buyers from the domestic eBay site can view the items and order them anytime, whereas if you are signed in to your eBay account and are seeking to view your items on international eBay sites, they may not be visible.

However, if you can not view the articles from your IP location, it does not mean they can not be found and are not visible to prospective buyers. 

In the event that listings are not visible (once you checked the different views and shipping locations etc), it may be related to this from eBay's User agreement ''a listing may not appear in some search and browse results regardless of the sort order chosen by the buyer.''

In cases such as this, please contact eBay directly for support.

Working with the eBay ''Cassini'' requirements

eBay updated their search engine in 2013, changing a lot of the requirements related to optimizing listings. As this article from WebRetailer suggests, ''eBay likely put these policies into place for several reasons, including:''

  •  ''They wanted to limit the number of duplicate listings in their marketplace, making it easier for a customer to find products.''
  • ''Google made changes to their search engine penalizing websites with duplicate content.''

''Just like Google’s search engine, Cassini is all about relevance and the customer. Cassini reflects how much value you can offer the customer as a seller.''

Again, as the article suggests, ''Cassini wants Relevant content (product title, description, images, categories, item specifics), Value for buyers & Top-rated to above standard seller ratings''.

In conclusion, to offer the best opportunity in optimizing your listings, ensure Business Policies are adhered to, especially those updates included here in this updated FAQ Article.

Finally, understand and operate according to eBay's Cassini Search Engine.

For additional information related to eBay item visibility, Business Policy updates and Cassini, please check the following articles:

Getting The Most From Item Specifics

Managing International Shipping Methods

WebRetailer - Getting Seen on eBay: 21 Tips for Cracking the Cassini Search Engine