what is a watcher on eBay

eBay Seller Basics: What is a Watcher on eBay?

January 8, 2024

eBay has been a household name for quite some time now, and throughout the years has evolved a collection of unique terminology and practices found only on the platform. If you're relatively new to selling on eBay, you may be scratching your head and wondering "what is a watcher on eBay?". Luckily, understanding what it means to have an eBay watcher on one of your listings is simple. In this short guide, we'll go over what a watcher on eBay is, why they're good to have, and how to get more watchers for your eBay listings with insider tips and strategies. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about eBay watchers as a seller on eBay!

eBay watcher meaning

What is a Watcher on eBay?

At any given time, there are millions of active listings on eBay. With so many items being listed, bought, and sold on the marketplace, it can be hard to keep track of specific listings when you're a buyer. To make it easier for buyers to keep track of items they're interested in, eBay added a "watch" function to listings, which simply means that buyers are able to add listings to a "watchlist" on their eBay account. This watchlist is private, and enables buyers to more easily keep track of listings on the platform.

There are many reasons for watching an item; sometimes buyers watch an auction in order to keep tabs on other buyers' bids, sometimes they add items to their watchlist to compare similar items before deciding which one to buy, sometimes it's used as a way to signal interest to the seller, and sometimes the watchlist function is used by other eBay sellers for market research purposes. No matter the reason another user watched your item, it's never a bad thing to have watchers. In fact, the more watchers you have, the more your listing appears to have interest among buyers, leading to a perception of increased demand.

Additionally, when another eBayer watches one of the items you're selling, view it as an opportunity. Getting an eBay watcher means that someone has shown interest in your item for one reason or another, and to help you take advantage of the momentum, eBay has integrated eBay Offers with its watchlist to enable you to easily send offers directly to watchers. While watchers don't necessarily equal buyers, they can oftentimes present an opportunity to close a sale with buyers who otherwise would have added your listing to their watchlist, then promptly forgotten about it.

In short, a watcher on eBay can mean many things, from an interested buyer to a competing seller. In some cases, having an eBayer watch your item can be an opportunity to send an offer and make a sale.

eBay watcher

Strategies to Get Watchers on eBay

While not all eBay watchers are buyers, many buyers do indeed watch items before they proceed to check out. Getting watchers is half the battle, and turning those watchers into buyers is easier than you think with attractive offers and promotions. In this section, we'll draw on 3Dseller's 10+ years of eBay experience to give you the best strategies for getting more watchers on eBay. Plus, while these strategies are great for getting more eBay watchers for your listings, they're also good eBay selling practices in general. Whether it's optimizing your listings for SEO to get better visibility in searches or leveraging social media to promote your eBay listings, all the strategies below will help you not only get more eBay watchers, but also get more sales and better visibility on eBay in general.  

Optimize Your Listing for SEO

No matter what you list on eBay, one of the most important things you can do is optimize your listings for SEO. Optimized listings appear in more buyer searches, and are seen by more relevant buyers who are much more likely to add them to their watchlists. Additionally, optimized listings also have a better chance of being indexed by off-eBay search engines like Google, giving you an additional source of traffic.

Optimizing your listings can take many forms, since many factors affect your listings' ranking in a given search, but the core principle is simple: the more quality information your listings have about the item you're selling, the better their rankings will be in buyer searches. An optimized listing includes relevant information about the item being sold, such as the MPN and other product identifiers, for instance, and utilizes its main keyword naturally in the listing title. It will have a well-written product description that incorporates both long- and short-tail relevant keywords into the text, and use an attractive listing template that showcases both the item and the eBay store.

Use High-Quality Images

An item's images are the first thing eBay shoppers see at when scrolling through their search results, and the main item image has less than a second to make a good impression and get a potential buyer to click on the listing. Once they've clicked in, buyers will continue by looking at the rest of the item images on the listing. Since buyers cannot interact with the item you're selling in person, the next best thing is to look at the images on the listing. The better your images are, the more likely they are to attract watchers and buyers.

But what makes a good listing image that entices eBayers to add your listing to their watchlist? The answer is high resolution, amply-lit, and consistently-staged images from multiple angles, and as many of them as possible. eBay lets you upload up to 24 images per listing, giving you plenty of opportunities to showcase your item in the best possible light, both literally and figuratively. Take the time to stage and edit your photos – it will pay back in dividends in watchers and buyers alike.

Offer Free Shipping

Nothing catches buyers' interest like free shipping, which makes it a perfect method for attracting watchers and (hopefully) turning them into buyers. Free shipping is so important to buyers, in fact, that that it is directly integrated into eBay's search result sorting. Buyers can sort results by lowest price (calculated as item price plus shipping), or even filter results by free shipping only. As such, listings with free shipping are far more likely to rank higher in search results and attract engagement in the first place. Combined with high-quality pictures and general SEO good practices, free shipping can rake in a significant number of watchers for your eBay listings.

If you're concerned that free shipping could take a large chunk of your sales revenue, we recommend crunching the numbers first. Most sellers will find that they can offer free domestic shipping easily, while international shipping is best handled through the eBay Global Shipping Program.

Utilize Social Media

Arguably the most powerful tool in any online seller's toolbox, social media has virtually limitless potential for promoting your eBay listings and attracting watchers. If you have an established social media following in your relevant niche, you've already laid the groundwork and can promote your eBay listings yourself. If social media isn't your forte, partnering with influencers is a great way to get people interested in your items and snagging more watchers on eBay.

When searching for an influencer to promote your listings, consider not only the influencer themselves, but how well their social media platform of choice matches your niche. For example, if you're selling vintage costume jewelry, visually-based media like Instagram is a great choice; for things like car part sold on eBay Motors, a car-oriented YouTube channel may be more suitable.

Use Discounts & Promotions

Nothing boosts buyer interest like an attractive sale or promotion, and that makes it an excellent tool for not only attracting watchers, but turning those watchers into buyers. Many eBay shoppers will watch several similar items in the hopes that they'll get a discount offer on at least one, or that sellers will enroll their items in a promotion.

In the first instance, you can take advantage of the momentum with existing watchers and send them private discount offers. These discounts are valid for a short period, and since many eBay watchers have come to expect that they will receive a discount offer on an eBay listing they've watched, the likelihood of them accepting the discount and purchasing your item is high.

eBay's Promotions work a little differently, and are aimed at attracting buyers and watchers rather than nudging existing watchers into making a purchase. eBay sellers who have an eBay Store subscription have access to the Promotions Dashboard, which enables them to apply a variety of promotions to their listings. Promotions like bulk discounts, price drops, or free shipping over a certain purchase amount are a great way to pique interest in your listings and attract buyers and watchers alike.

watchers on eBay

Final Thoughts & Key Takeaways: The Benefits of Having Watchers on eBay

Understanding what is a watcher on eBay is an important first step to leveraging eBay's watchlist feature to your advantage. What it means to have an eBay watcher varies – an eBay watcher can be anything from an interested buyer to a competing seller – but you can oftentimes turn watchers into buyers with the right strategies. Even when they don't all result in direct sales, other eBayers can see how many watchers a particular listing has, increasing a sense of demand and urgency for the listed item among other interested buyers.

In short, getting more watchers on eBay is a net positive, but it is important to remember that watchers on eBay are a means to an end rather than a selling goal in and of itself. Remember that a high number of eBay watchers doesn’t mean a high sales volume, and that unless you actively take steps to turn watchers into buyers, you may see little benefit from increasing eBay watchers for your listings.

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