Optimize your eBay business for Holiday Season


Successful e-commerce business managers typically know which metrics and programs they must focus on to stay at the top of their vertical, but even the best e-commerce sellers can become overwhelmed while navigating all the available options. 

When seeking growth, do you change your listing title or pricing? Enroll in the Global Shipping Program? These changes take time, so prioritizing the ones that will have the greatest impact is key for both your finances and your sanity. Knowing this, the eBay team has developed a personalized report for you that will help you see which metrics are the most important and guide you toward making better business decisions.  

Below are 10 things you should be doing to maximize your sales. Read through these suggestions, make notes and then click the link below to request your personalized business report. We encourage you to use it to create immediate and significant impact on your business.


1. Seller Standards

First and foremost, you want your selling account to be healthy. Every eBay seller should be striving for the status of Top Rated, which earns you the trusted gold badge on your listings. This badge signifies trust and lets buyers know you offer a smooth and delightful online experience. How do you earn this highly sought-after gold badge? By mastering these four important metrics: 

• Defect Rate: Your defect rate should stay below 0.50%

• Cases closed without seller resolution: This metric should stay below 0.30%

• Late shipment: Three percent or less of your sold items arrive late to customers

• Tracking uploaded: Tracking numbers are uploaded and validated by the carrier at a minimum rate of 95%


2. Service Metrics

In the summer of 2018, eBay announced two new insight metrics related to returns called Service Metrics. These offer additional visibility into the status of “item not as described” and “item not received” open return requests from buyers. eBay is very aware that open claim rates can vary by category. In creating a peer group, eBay therefore took into account important considerations: sellers who list on the same listings sites as you, sell items in the same category and have similar listing attributes, such as item price, estimated delivery dates, item condition and return policy. Ultimately, these service metrics will help you identify listings that aren’t meeting buyer expectations and allow you to manage your business better. 

It’s important to call out that if you are rated VERY HIGH compared to your peer group in “item not as described” returns, you may be subject to an additional 5% surcharge in affected categories based on the Service Metrics policy. If you are rated VERY HIGH in “item not received” requests, you may be subject to extended delivery estimates of three days in affected categories.

Your Service Metrics dashboard is now live in the Performance tab in Seller Hub. Guidance is available within your dashboard to help you improve your metrics if needed. You can also download a report that shows which listings may be driving a majority of your returns and require updating.


3. Active Listing Behavior

When a business experiences a year-over-year (YoY) decline in sales, eBay always checks if the number of active listings has changed over the last year. Removing inventory is a leading cause of YoY decreases in GMV, so sellers should review how many listings were live when sales were strong and check for listing behavior changes. 


4. Free 30-Day Returns

As an eBay Top Rated seller, adopting free returns and 0/1-day handling, earns you 10% off your final value fees. While offering 30-day returns may seem intimidating at first, research shows that providing this option can increase volume and buyer trust, since your buyers don’t feel “stuck” or “locked in” with their purchases. 


5. Free Shipping

eBay strongly encourages sellers to offer free shipping to remain competitive in today’s e-commerce industry. Listings with a free shipping option earn healthier sell-through rates. Also, offering free shipping is a factor in qualifying your listings to show up in the Fast N’ Free Guarantee Delivery program, which is popular among buyers.  


6. Zero – One day handling time

Buyers are setting a new standard by demanding faster shipping, which means that taking two days or longer to ship a product is now a thing of the past. Getting your product out the same day on all orders placed before 2 p.m. PST is the new eBay best practice. If this is currently a stretch for your logistics team, start by pushing to get your items out next day. Get creative on how you can meet this new industry expectation. It may present a challenge, but sellers are held to these higher buyer standards as a way to ensure continued success on the eBay marketplace. 


7. Promoted Listings

Promoted Listings gets you access to high-visibility placements that help your items stand out and be seen by millions of active buyers when they’re searching and browsing for what you are selling, increasing the likelihood of sales. The best part? You only pay when your item sells! Promoted Listings is available to all sellers with an above-standard rating or higher, even if you don’t have an eBay Store 


8. Average Title Character Count

Your title is incredibly powerful! The goal is to get into the minds of your buyers and understand which keywords they may be using to search for your product, as well as in what format. eBay allots you 80 characters and encourages you to use as many of these as possible while still including only relevant keywords. Avoid filler words as this practice does not help buyers find your items. Some good advice to keep in mind: If the buyer would not use certain words to search for your product, don’t include them your title. We recommend structuring your listing titles in the following way:

Brand | Gender | Product | Attribute (color, size, material, weight)


9. Number of Photos per Listing

We live in a world where we are surrounded by beautiful photos, perfected by filters with the best lighting and angles. We are accustomed to being visually delighted, especially when we are shopping. Buyers want good visuals of your products as much as they want useful product descriptions and specifications. After reviewing all of the photos you offer in your listing, they want no unwelcome surprises upon receiving their purchase. Remember, buyers buy with their eyes! That’s why eBay strongly recommends displaying at least four photos per product. A clean white background is also a best practice as it conveys professionalism and eliminates noise that can distract buyers from the products they are considering for purchase.


10. Number of Item Specifics per Listing

Item Specifics is a major focus for eBay right now. You want browsers to find your items, and these key pieces of information convert those browsing your products into buyers. At a minimum, include five of the most critical pieces of information about your product in the item-specific fields in your listings. This helps eBay algorithms surface your items in search and makes sure you still appear when buyers use the right-hand filters. These item specifics are an extension of your title and are searchable fields.  


Seller Standards Policy Page

Promoted Listings