Are we still eBaying?
I will assume, if you are reading this, you have not been living under a rock for the last 20 years and therefore you have heard of eBay. Chances are even pretty good you have either bought or sold something on eBay, if not both. Just in case you thought the big bad, big box, conglomerate in the sky, Amazon, (whom we all love to hate) had totally taken over the world, it might surprise you to learn that eBay’s sales rose 33% in the USA in Q3 of 2020. Additionally, eBay’s international sales also grew 22.3%. Suffice it to say, as the number 2 global marketplace, eBay is, in case anyone had any doubt, not going anywhere.
For those of you who have in fact been living under that metaphorical rock, eBay Inc. is a 20-year-old American multinational e-commerce corporation based in San Jose, California. They facilitate consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales through their website.
With enough patience and determination, any consumer, that’s you, can build a business on eBay that can supplement or potentially replace their income! In 2020, eBay unquestionably continues to be an excellent place for entrepreneurs who want to build successful businesses and make money online.This is true even for those who are just starting or are on a budget.
What is an eBay Listing Template?
What's one of the hottest topics right now for both buyers and sellers, veterans and newbies alike? If you answered eBay Templates, you win a prize!
eBay Listing Templates are on everyone’s mind. The conversation focuses on several questions; What is a template, do I need one, are they helpful, how do I make one, do they increase sales, are they affordable, do buyers prefer to see templates...etc.
Ok, you caught me. I don’t have a prize for you if you guessed correctly. But I do think you should go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back for your good effort!
Let me help...
When referring to e-commerce, especially on eBay, listing templates can have 2 different meanings. I’ll explain both meanings right now for you so there is no confusion.
Meaning # 1
A listing template is a set of parameters that you use to create a new listing that you want to save together as one set to make creating future listings easier and faster. For example, one might want to save a template with a brand,category, item specifics, price and quantity that is the same for many different products. This way, they would simply choose the template they created, and all those parameters will auto-fill, thus leaving significantly less work to be done to complete the listing.
However, this is not the Listing Template we are going to talk about today. Confused?
Meaning # 2
The kind of Listing Template we are talking about today is a design template for inside your listings. An eBay listing (design) template is a professional design layout that you can use when listing items to eBay. It helps you achieve the look of professionalism and consistency across your eBay listings while also making it quick and easy to add new products to the platform.
You might ask how you would know which Listing Template someone is talking about. The eBay listing template we are talking about in this article is also referred to as a Listing Design Template. Adding the word design defines a more accurate description of the template's purpose.
Why do we want an eBay listing design template?
Glad you asked! A well-designed and professional-looking eBay template can transform your listings and engage customers while improving your SEO. These templates can give your listings a more professional appearance and, in that, build confidence in your buyers.
Besides making your listings look pretty, a well-thought-out listing template can have a considerably greater impact. It can increase your sales and create an environment conducive to customers having a more enjoyable purchasing experience.
Additionally, a well-designed eBay template can be the foundation of your brand. This is a way to get your business's personality, trustworthiness and integrity across to your customer. Creating an engaging brand can boost repeat business, conversion rates, increased profits and additional sales through cross-selling. It can also help you attract attention to any sales and promotions you may be running.
What do BUYERS think about listings with eBay templates?
An interesting question I asked myself was what do the buyers prefer to see? There isn't very much information out there on buyer's opinions regarding eBay listing design templates. I conducted a few polls myself and was a little surprised at the results. For the most part, buyers are saying they don't care if the listing has a design. However, the overwhelming majority of pollees stated although they don't put too much thought into it, they do like the professionalism of a listing design template, so long as the information is clear and concise.
This is important to remember moving forward when you create your eBay template; Less is more. However, as sellers, we know having listing templates has benefits the buyers don't even know about. For example, one benefit the buyer doesn't realize is that a listing design template can get the right product in front of them by using a cross-promoted listings feature. Maybe the listing they are on isn't exactly right, but the cross-promoted listings can direct them to the perfect item!
What do we need to consider when creating an eBay template?
When using any type of tool for selling on eBay, you'll want to have a good understanding of eBay's policies first to make sure you're in compliance.
eBay's Active Content Policy
Fortunately, in regards to listing design templates, eBay does permit sellers to use them. However, as a more recent development, eBay has recently banned the use of active content.
If you're like me, you may not know what active content actually means. Active content consists of scripts and plugins that add functionality to a page. Examples of active content are streaming videos, page view counters, tracking codes, chat-bots, etc.
Although I'm sure Karen complained about the ban on active content, it really does serve the eBay community. The most significant motivation for the ban is that third-party content had becomes abundant, it slowed page loading, and in some cases, when the content failed to load, so did the entire listing page.
This was not good; if they can't see it, they can't buy it.
An additional concern was that malware can be injected into active content. Thanks to eBay's change, we are all more protected with pages that load significantly faster. Thank you eBay Gods!
The next and extremely important issue we need to look at when creating a listing design eBay template is mobile shopping, A.K.A. m-commerce.
Business Insider forecasts that m-commerce will account for more than 45% of all e-commerce sales by the end of 2020 in the US alone. That's about 284 billion dollars that consumers will spend from their handy dandy little mobile devices. eBay mobile app downloads worldwide reached 514 million as of 2020.
I don't know about you, but I sure want a piece of that pie.
This movement away from shopping on computers means we need to change the way we approach listing designs by assuring our listings have responsive designs. This requires us to create a design that automatically adapts (and responds) to screens of all sizes.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Cassini, eBay's search engine, and how templates may affect your search rankings. Cassini, launched in 2013, is eBay's internal search engine. Cassini is basically an algorithm that determines a listing's rank in search results and helps customers find the most relevant items on the marketplace.
There has been much speculation that the HTML found in listing design templates could interfere with Cassini. Rumors were widespread on eBay forums that listings could drop in search results due to eBay’s new technology and it's poor handling of HTML.
However, as time has passed, it should be noted that the use of eBay templates does not seem to have any negative impact on listing's rank in searches.
What are eBay Powersellers Saying?
“I don't think there is much validity in the Cassini rumors. Testing hasn't shown any demotion of HTML listings.”- shipscript
"I've seen no evidence to support the idea that the use of design templates interferes with Cassini." -highenddesignerwholesaler
Sold on using an eBay template? Now you have to decide how you will create your listing template.
Essentially, there are 2 ways to develop listing design templates.
Professionally designed eBay templates you edit yourself without knowing HTML. Think drag and drop.
If your urgency, ambition or wallet lead you to Do It Yourself, you have several options to choose from. Many companies offer affordable options and fully customizable eBay templates. But not all companies are created equal. (see our top 3 recommendations below)
Creating these templates is reasonably straightforward. The company would offer you a selection of already designed, fully functional templates. With these templates, you can customize the design, layout, images, color, text and more or you can create your own from scratch. Each template has placeholders for components like title, images, description, policies, and marketing features like cross-selling galleries. You would enter these components and then simply drag and drop things the way you would like or you can leave the layout the same.
Some companies offer a monthly subscription plan with their template designs. This is a tremendous advantage because you can edit your template as many times and as often as you want and all of your eBay listings will automatically update. You can also create a different template for different listings. If you choose a company with a subscription plan, once you have completed your initial template, all of the listings you select to receive this template will instantly be updated on eBay. #KeepItSimple
If you use a company that simply has a one time cost, whether it be low or high, they will give you the HTML code to paste in each individual listing. Moving forwards, if you ever want to make changes to the template, you will have to edit each listing.
When choosing a company to go with you want templates with a professional appearance and you also want to make sure they are up to date on the industry standards we previously covered. A trusted company that has been in business and worked with eBay forat least 5 years should be fully up to date on Cassini, Active Content and M-commerce compatibility.
Our top 3 recommendations for easy, quick and affordable do it yourself eBay templates:
Easily our favorite platform we will mention, 3Dsellers has pre-made eBay templates that help you sell more and are 100% mobile responsive. Their templates are very easy to use and customize with no coding skills required and you can have them up and running in as little as 30 minutes.
PROS - With their monthly subscription you will be able to apply the templates in bulk to all your current eBay listings and apply any future template changes instantly. They also have tons of other INCLUDED features that can increase your sales and help you manage your business. They offer full listing, inventory and order management tools plus automatic tools like feedback, message campaigns, offers,shipping tracking and Good Til Canceled. Plus they have the absolute best customer service message system we have ever seen! You can even manage multiple accounts from multiple sales channels all in one place. They are a true all-in-one when it comes to e-commerce management.
CONS - They are currently growing to add additional sales channels like Shopify, Etsy, Amazon and more,however, some of these channels are still in their BETA testing phase and may not be 100% fully functional yet.
With WidgetChimp you can change the colors, layout, widgets & content on your own, so it is fully DIY.
PROS: They have a good amount of eBay listing templates to choose from, and they work with many listing platforms. However, be careful. Unlike 3DSellers above, you’ll have to pay the monthly WidgetChimp fee PLUS the monthly fee for the listing tool you are using. Not getting all your tools in one place can really add up.
CONS: If you have more than a few ebay accounts, be prepared to jump in price to about $50 a month. And, although they have templates, templates is the only feature they offer. This means you will be paying their subscription fee along with whatever other management tools you are using.
3. Super Auction Template
It doesn't get more simple than this. Super Auction Templates offer eBay templates and that's it.
PROS - The pro would have to be the one time, non-recurring $20 fee. Once paid, you will gain immediate access to 59 simple templates and you will have free access to any templates they may create in the future.
CONS - The significant downside here is you will have to manually edit each and every eBay listing to add the template. When you want to make changes to policies or any part of the template in the future, you would also have to manually edit each listing. Additionally,the templates they offer are quite basic and do not have the same professional feel as those companies listed above.
The second way to develop a listing design template is to:
Hire A Pro
Hiring a Pro could be the best option for you if you're seeking a significantly higher level of design and customization. If you choose this approach, you'll want to be sure that you have plenty of time to get the project done and you'll also need to have a more substantial budget.
When you hire a pro, you'll simply find a professional designer, (I've included some recommendations below) and you'll instruct them on exactly what you are looking for from color, design, layout and more. Many times people use this opportunity to establish their entire brand's identity by getting a new logo, website, banners, printed materials and more.
Contrary to the DIY option above, the custom eBay template design process could take weeks or even months, and that's if the designer can start on your project right away. They may already have a booked schedule, and your project would have to wait in line. Additionally, you are looking at around $500 to well over $1500 for this option, so keep that in mind.
Upwork, formerly ODesk, is an American freelancing platform where enterprises and individuals connect in order to hire "talent"to perform tasks such as web design, proofreading, bookkeeping and more.
PROS - With UpWork you can search through profiles of freelancers or you can post a free ad stating exactly what you need. UpWork will give you some suggestions based on your ad and you will receive messages directly from people offering you their services.This will give you a plethora of people to choose from.
CONS - The negative part about all of this is you may spend a lot of time syphering through profiles from people all around the world with varying levels of experience many of whom English is their second language. It's easy to get wrapped up with someone spending your time and money and in the end, still not have the finished product you wanted.
Using 3DSellers as your platform, you can add your UpWork pro as a Teammate to your account. They will have their own login and you will be able to choose permissions that only allow them to only access the seller accounts and features that YOU decide. Your pro can then do things like use design templates that allow custom code for automatic cross promotions and easy editing. Or, they can create a custom template for you by starting from scratch and adding their HTML.
We definitely like the fact that this can be an all in one stop for you for templates, logos, branded commerce websites and more, that is if your budget allows.
PROS - Here you can get an e-commerce website, logos, templates and more. Additionally, they can create stores and templates for eBay, Amazon, Shopify, Big Commerce and WordPress.It's rare to find a company that specializes in all of these.
CONS - The downside is going to have to be the pricing. The packages start at around $1000 and this is just for the eBay side of things. To get it all, you'd be looking at well over$3000.
4. OC Design Online
PROS - Unlike UpWork, OCDesign claims to not outsource any of their jobs and promises to never use any pre-made eBay store designs or templates. They are also known for their family-owned business and offering excellent customer service.
CONS - Unfortunately, the downside here again is going to be price. Since they are a professional design firm, you'll need to be ready to fork out some dough. Prices start at $349 and increase from there.
A well-designed eBay template is key to getting repeat business, increased sales and it also creates an environment where your buyer feels safe, confident and ready to purchase.
Now that you know all about eBay listing design templates, you can make an informed decision on what kind of template is best for you. To help you get started, CLICK HERE to get a free trial of 3Dsellers.