The words you choose to describe your item will greatly impact the final price it receives or if it gets any bids at all. This is because no matter how great the item is you have up for auction if you use words that don’t lead buyers to it, nobody will ever see it. You have a total of 55 character spaces to use for your auction title to get people to visit your auction, so make sure that each space is used wisely.
The most common way for people to search through auction listings is to enter the item they are looking for into the auction search engine. The main auction search engine only searches for words listed in the auction titles. If a person inputs a word that isn’t in your auction title, your auction won’t come up. This means that by far the most important task when making a title for your auction is to use words that are relevant and specific to the item you are selling. Although this may sound obvious, a lot of people don’t (in fact, searching for listings where people have made ineffective titles can often get you great items to resell on the auctions). If you are going to spend any extra time on your auctions, thinking through the best key words for your title to attract potential buyers is where that time should be spent.
With a limited space of 55 letters, writing everything you want in the title just won’t be possible. For example, say you are going to try and sell a Star Wars trading card issued in 1977 featuring Darth Vader on the front which was made by Topps Trading Card Company. That description, although accurate, comes in at almost double the allowable characters. The key is to think through an accurate description that includes everything and then taking the most important words out of it.
For example, a simple title of “Star Wars Trading Card” will be ineffective because it is not specific enough. While there are many people who are probably looking for Star Wars items, the category is so large that your auction will be lost among all the listings and you’ll have a limited the number of people who will see your auction.
A better title would be “Darth Vader Star Wars Trading Card” since this gives a name of the specific character on the card. Now your auction will appear for people looking for Darth Vader as well as Star Wars items. Even better would be “Rare Vintage Star Wars Darth Vader Card Topps” since it gives you the character name, the card company, the time period the card’s condition and some power words to attract potential buyers to your auction. Take a few moments to think about who would want the item you are selling and if they were searching for it, what words would they most likely input into the search engine.
Power Words: In addition to the specific words that describe your item, adding “power words” that help make your auction stand out from the rest is important. After a person has done a search, your auction will be one of many that appear on the screen. You need to make your title stand out from the rest so the potential buyer will notice it and look. Again, since space is limited, short, powerful words can help a lot to get people to take a look at your auction. These include such words as RARE, LIMITED, VINTAGE and UNIQUE. In addition to power words, you can also add adjectives that can grab the potential buyer’s attention. Words like WOW, GREAT, WONDERFUL and AWESOME can attract a buyer toward your listing when there are many to choose from.
Symbols: Another way that people try to make their auctions stand out is to use symbols such as #, %, $, and @ in their auction titles. This can attract or distract depending on your perspective and who your target buyers are. A common usage of this method in combination with power adjectives is L@@K! Another way of using symbols is to replace words. This can be effective in freeing up more of the valuable 55 spaces for key words. Common examples are & for “and” and + for “plus” or “more than” The best approach is to try using them in some of your auction titles if you feel they may work and take note if you get more bids using them.
Acronyms & Abbreviations: It will also be important to quickly learn the acronyms and abbreviations that are common for the type of items you are selling. This will help free up space for more words in your title. For example, it is common for people to use GWTW in place of “Gone With The Wind” or POTA for “Planet of the Apes.” Whatever you are selling, there are probably a number of acronyms associated with the product that will get eyes to your auctions without wasting valuable space. Another very common one is NR for “No Reserve Price.” Abbreviations are also used frequently with certain words. “Mag” for Magazine or “Mt.” for Mountain are examples. Becoming familiar with the acronyms and abbreviations that are common with the type of items you are selling will allow you to get more key words into the limited space which will result in more people viewing your auction.
Spend some time looking at the titles that others have created for their auctions. Just spending a few hours viewing what appeals to you and where you think the seller could have done better will help you enormously in writing titles for your auctions that attract buyers. Feel free to experiment and take note if something works particularly well at attracting buyers to your auctions. Never forget that the first step to a successful auction is getting buyers there because if they can’t find it, they can’t buy it.