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Work at Home Moms > Online Auctions Getting Started Tutorial >  Headlines and Descriptions

Writing Online Auction Headlines and Item Descriptions

The headline and copy used to sell online auction items can make or break a sale. Here are a few tips to get started writing both attention getting headlines and descriptions that motivate a bid.

Research, research, research. Take a look at your online auction competition. What headlines and descriptions stand out? What headlines and descriptions have a ton of bids and what items are sitting there without any attention at all? Document your observations. Do some headlines completely lack detail? Do they use the word “free”? What adjectives do they use? Write down the descriptions that really stand out.

Write your headline and description on paper first to see how it looks and sounds. Adjectives, words that describe like blue, sleek, lush, etc add interest and benefit to the headline.

For example: Looking at a jewelry making kit we found two headlines:

#1 jewelry making kit
#2 The Original Deluxe Jewelry Making Kit

They’re both the exact same item, however one is likely to receive more attention both because it is written with some formatting – the first letter of each word is capitalized – and because it uses a few eye catching adjectives: Original and Deluxe.

While the first description is specific and abbreviated, a bit more embellishment would help particularly when competing with many other products that are exactly the same and at the same price.

When writing a description it is important to remember the old adage, less is more. Getting too creative and descriptive is just as ineffective as a description that says nothing at all. Try to keep headlines between eight and ten words. The task is to be accurate, succinct and compelling all at the same time.

Use formatting to your advantage. All caps can draw attention to a description however it can be taken to an extreme and a headline can end up looking a bit silly. When using all caps or formatting use them wisely.

Using the example above


has a different effect than

DELUXE Jewelry Making Kit.

Writing the description is a separate task all together. You already have the attention of your potential buyer because they’ve clicked on your item. The best descriptions are detailed. Tell everything you can about the item be detailed and specific. Thank them for viewing your auction. Include a relevant number of pictures to make sure your buyer knows exactly what they’re getting. When possible, use strategies of catalog copy writers and tell buyers the benefit they have of buying the item.

For example:

Looking for a high quality professional jewelry making kit? This is the highest quality jewelry making kit available on eBay.
Test your headline. Not all headlines will receive the same response. Test two headlines for the same product and see which one receives more bids and sells for a higher price. This will help with headline creation the next time.

Consider writing a few headlines and testing them with friends and family before posting them online. Ask them which headline stands out and would compel them to bid and which headlines fall short. You may be surprised which ones they choose.

When it comes to selling online, a good headline and descriptive copy is one of the most important aspects of the business. Take the time to craft compelling headlines and descriptive copy, you’ll be glad you did.

Recommended eBay Resources:

NEW! Learn how to start your own eBay Business with the Moms Talk Biz Guide to Making Money with eBay.


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