I used to go to potlucks with my grandmother and one of her famous dishes was chicken and homemade noodles. Although it was not unusual to have several chicken and noodle dishes at each potluck, I always noticed that hers was the first to go.


One day I asked what her secret was and she told me that she simply added yellow food coloring to make the dish look richer. Her dish didn’t taste any better than others, it was the presentation alone that made her dish so popular.

Successful sellers on eBay are not always the best, but they make themselves memorable using product presentation, online as well as offline.


As a buyer, I love shopping with sellers who pleasantly (to the eye) present their products in the listings as well as upon delivery. Sellers recognize that buyers have a huge window of options so to retain their attention and convert it into a purchase is the key.


Listing services should be able to give sellers a way to list a product that shows various views depending on the electronic technology a buyer uses. Over 50% of buyers today buy on a smartphone.


If you’re using 3Dsellers listing templates, the option to preview the listing is at the top in a gray box. You may select the preview mode you want (desktop, tablet or mobile) before you send your finished listing to eBay. To improve your listing, make sure the top words of your description are shown on each device that you select in the preview mode.


The full description is seen only on desktops while only the first 800 characters are seen in mobile view. Listing templates that present the items effectively, make your listings stand out from the others and get more repeat sales.

ebay listing compliant with ebay active content

Buyers remember and recognize good presentation and a good presentation doesn’t cost much so it’s worth it to make yourself memorable to each buyer. In this article, I’d like to present my tips for building and retaining eCommerce customers.

The first thing a buyer sees is your listing

As eBay is getting more competitive, sellers need to stand out from the crowd and a presentation of your listings in a professional manner will do the trick. An excellent way to showcase your eBay listings is to use modern, clean listing templates. 3Dsellers has great ones that also allow bulk listing


Buyers enjoy a visual “eye candy” and will look over your listings for longer if they are pleasant. As a result, they will spend more time in your store and listings, increasing the chances of a purchase. That’s true because buyers recognize the extra work and design, which breeds their confidence in you as a seller.  


As a seller, I have used 3rd party listing templates that are cluttered and old-fashioned. Instead, I always needed listing templates that are easy to use and reasonably priced. Most importantly, I am NOT a coder so I need the listing tool that does the coding in the background.

ebay listing templates design

3Dsellers listing templates

When you use a listing template you have two main application choices. You either use same listing template for all items or use a different one for each listing.


Using the same listing template for ALL items in your store can help you build customer retention. Buyers will see your style and recognize it as your store and as someone they have purchased from before.


If you use a different template to match what you are selling, for instance, baby clothes in a pastel shade background, then that gives your listings an “eye candy” benefit. Buyers like a variety when they are shopping. So you can make your listings stand out significantly by using this “trick”.


For store owners, who want to classify categories, you can use ONE color for each class. For example, black & yellow for tools, blue for clothes, green for electronics, etc.

Sell-Through Rate Is Important To All Sellers on eBay

eBay figures sellers sell-through rate by dividing the number of sales by the number of clicks eBay sends to your listing on each item. For example, you have 100 buyers who click on your listing and 2 of them buy your item. That makes your sell-through rate at 2%.


This is an important number as it affects your SEO on eBay and many other websites. A good product presentation gives buyers confidence in your status as a seller. A good presentation makes your click-through rate higher and sales go up.

To find your sell-through rate: on the dropdown box on the right-hand side, click on MY eBay, choose Selling

my ebay drop down options
SELLERS HUB>> go to Performance TAB>>> Chose TRAFFIC
Two percent is average so you want to aim higher. eBay is in business to make money; it makes sense for them to show items and sellers that have a higher sell-through rate on the top of their search.

My Tips for building and retaining buyers with eBay product presentation

If you sell clothing and soft goods..

Wrap your items in a pretty tissue for women and in a masculine color for men’s soft goods. There are sites that sell many nice prints to enhance the presentation of your products. You may pick prints to match your items, current holidays or the type of products you are selling.


Don’t pick a color like red since it can bleed on the item during shipping. Wrap your item in an envelope style, add a pretty ribbon and put a “Thank you” sticker on the tissue.

wrapping items with colorful paper

Selling jewelry and other accessories..

Add value by putting your items in presentation boxes. Nowadays, you can buy presentation boxes in all sizes and shapes. There are sizes to fit necklaces, rings, earrings, scarfs, ties, etc. Most have cotton added inside already to insert the accessory sold.


The boxes also protect your product during shipping. I also use small, drawstring organza bags for lower priced products.

Add a small cute “Thank you” card in your package

Customers like to be appreciated, it helps them to remember you as a seller. I buy cards at a dollar store and can get eight cards for $1.00 in Minnesota.  I don’t spend much time doing this but it works like a charm, I simply handwrite many of my cards while watching tv.

Go the extra mile and protect your items with a plastic waterproof bag

One order that I placed for an electronic camera from Hawaii was dropped in the ocean. It was shipped in a plain cardboard box and was destroyed. If the seller would have shipped it enclosed in a waterproof bag the item would have been saved.  


Since then, I ship everything that can be ruined once wet in a waterproof bag, especially electronics. Doing that also cuts down on the amount of INADs. I buy these bags in large quantities, also at my local dollar store.

Offer gift wrapping with a card enclosed

People are very busy in today’s lifestyle and this service is beneficial to a buyer who is rushed to find a gift and doesn’t have the time to wrap it. Seniors and other people who are homebound also appreciate this service.


Doing this saves buyers from worrying about gifts for loved ones when they are busy or away from home. Offer this with a same day shipping and/or express shipping.  Buyers may still use a payment like Paypal and have it sent directly to the recipient.


When you add this feature, set up a multiple listing with different sizes and types of wrapping paper, showing pictures of each wrapping paper you carry. Include this service in each listing as well as the size of box they will need to purchase. Add the item number for this listing and a link to make it easier to find.


Choices of paper can be selected by the buyer depending on what their needs are. Some examples to consider are seasons and holidays, birthday paper, juvenile or adult theme, anniversaries, weddings, or an attractive gold/silver paper. This service does not need to be costly. If you are a small seller, most of these supplies may be picked up in dollar stores. Larger sellers can use a supplier they purchase their shipping supplies from already.

Don’t cheat yourself out of the costs. Be sure and figure out your labor costs and the costs of all the supplies. Be fair to yourself while pricing this service. Gift wrapping is expensive in malls and department stores so this is a simple way to upsell Your items.

woman holding a well presented item in a box

Add a purchase order inside your packages

This simply creates good will. A buyer can check off immediately and see that the whole order has been received. Some buyers get many orders from many vendors so it’s a great time-saving tool for them, which will be highly appreciated.


Adding a purchase order prevents confusion on who sent the order and what was enclosed in the order. As a buyer, it’s good to have a record of what was purchased and from whom. I have had buyers confuse orders and unintentionally file INAD from me when they actually planned on filing it on another seller. With a purchase order enclosed, I can easily reference the PO to reorder items that I use on daily basis.

I am ALL for recycling but some recycled materials can be offensive to buyers

Sellers with the goal of building repeat business don’t want to offend someone unintentionally, simply due to lack of consideration. Everything should remain neutral, so here is my list of offensive things to avoid:

I would not use meat or liquor boxes

Meat boxes contain traces of animal blood which can be offensive to certain religions and/or to vegetarians/vegans. Liquor boxes offend people that don’t approve alcohol consumption. USPS does not allow alcohol to be shipped by first class so such package could cause problems with shipping.


However, the dividers included with liquor boxes are handy for shipping multiple fragile items that can easily break at close proximity.


It is not offensive to use recycled boxes

Electronics stores have NICE boxes and they are generally willing to give them out. You may also save money by buying boxes at the dollar computer stores or a Walmart has nice large boxes, the night shift hangs thing to stock later at night they are good boxes to use.  I do not use any Box that would be offensive to Any group of people. Sellers with the goal in mind of building repeat business don’t want to offend someone that is different.

Toilet Tissue Rolls

Bathrooms are some of the germiest areas in a house.  It has been proven every time you flush the toilet droplets of toilet water are dispersed in the air. Shipping things in toilet tissue rolls are gross to many people.


Don’t use newspaper to fill space in boxes

When items are smacked around by a shipping service the newspaper starts to decrease in the space, causing things to break. I personally have witnessed this with several purchases. For instance, I once ordered a porcelain tea set and I am sure the seller had it packed well to begin with but by the time I got the package the tea set was all broken and I had to file an INAD. The other thing to consider about the newspaper is that it is heavy and adds weight to your shipping costs. Finally, newspaper ink may stain some products.

Decide to use newspaper regardless? Be sure and check it for offensive ads

Offensive ads might include content that mocks a gender, a race, different lifestyle, religious preferences, editorial pages, personal products, swimsuit ads, and underclothing ads. If you do use newspaper, be sure and select paper that is non-offensive.

Last week, an eBay buyer posted a great example of bad packaging at the eBay community forum. You can see the response the buyer had as well as the conversation it created. 

Stay professional 

The hardest time to be professional is when buyers don’t file the right reason for the return. They will sometimes file the return as an “Item Not As Described”, instead of filing it properly as “I changed my mind”. That costs you, as a seller, for either lost postage, lost item or both. eBay’s and many other sites policies are to believe the buyer first and give them a refund. Sellers knowing this usually try and communicate with the buyer and work it out.


Some sellers always just reply nicely “return for refund” and send the buyer a return shipping label. Many times the buyer can be “fishing” for a partial refund and does not want to return the item at all and will not return the widget. The complaint can then be closed if the buyer does not ship it out within 5 business days. Some sellers just go ahead and give a partial refund to the buyer, adding them to their Blocked Bidder List and move on.


I don’t have an answer to this, unfortunately. October 1st, 2018 eBay is adding another metric to measure both the returns you have INAD and INR complaints. They will add your statistics with other sellers of the same general item and figure out a low average and a high average and charge you a higher Final Valuation Fee if you are on the high side. The added expense IS .04% of the total sale and shipping costs OR a 40% increase on FFV’s.


Sellers will have to take a wait and see how this metric plays out for each instance above. It might be better to give a partial and move on. This would especially work out well if partial refunds do NOT count AGAINST THE SELLER’S complaints.


This metric alone will make it more important for sellers to step up their game and ADD value to their sales by presenting their items in a professional manner and going the extra mile on the presentation of their eBay products.  When buyers open their packages they are pleased with the professional handling of the items they purchased. I always remember sellers that go the extra mile for me.

About the author

Angela Hoffman is an eBay seller since 2011.

“I sell a mixture of items including new jewelry, purses, and accessories. I have written on the eBay forums since 2010. I have answered 747 posts with 349 upvotes. I also answer questions on other sites for people that need answers on eBay. I enjoy selling on eBay because it is the best platform and has the best exposure as an e-commerce site. I believe with the right tools eBay can successfully make money for people from all walks of life and for any size operation. In my spare time, I spend time with my granddaughters and my 3 chihuahuas, named Little Gurley, Little Man, and Peanut.”

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