eBay Doesn't Like Like
Using The Word Like In eBay Titles
This article is only about using the word like in eBay titles. Here's general information about eBay Auction Titles
What Were They Thinking?
About a month ago I listed an item made by Richart on eBay. I used a title like this one:
EBay cancelled the auction for keyword spamming. (McCoy is another manufacturer that made similar trains.)
The truth is I was wrong. I didn't follow the rules even though I know better. I was just in a hurry.
A little background. . .
EBay rules say you cannot make comparisons in your titles to use additional brand names. However, you can mention a single additional brand name by referring to a brand the item can be USED WITH. More on this can be found at - eBay Keyword Rules
So, after eBay cancelled the auction, I relisted the item with this title:
The term "use with" is acceptable, and eBay let the auction run.
Here's where it gets weird.
Last week I listed a signal on eBay. Here's the title I used:
EBay cancelled the auction for keyword spamming.
Now look at the title again. There are two keywords in the title. Lionel which is the manufacturer, and the model number 154.
Can you see what is wrong with that title?
Confused? You aren't alone. I couldn't understand it either.
Here's the explanation eBay sent me by email:
I was still confused.
You see, in this case the words LIKE NEW refer to the CONDITION of the item. We have commonly used grading standards in the toy train community and Like New is the second highest behind MINT.
It's not an attempt to slip a keyword into the title by doing a comparison.
At first I thought maybe eBay was making a judgment call. Grading is not an exact art, and maybe eBay figured the item wasn't "like new." But, I try to grade my items conservatively so my buyers are happy. I might stretch the line a bit, but I never exaggerate. It's the nature of grading. Sellers tend to grade things high by ignoring tiny faults, while buyers tend to emphasize faults to lower the grade.
After I thought about it for a while, I decided it had to be something else.
Maybe there is a brand called "New?"
So, I contacted eBay about this and explained that like new is a commonly used grading term.
Here's eBay's response:
First time I've heard about this.
I've been listing items with the words like new in the title for almost 10 years, and never had a single problem.
I could understand if someone described a piece of clothing as like new causing problems with searchers being disappointed, but in the antiques and collectibles categories, this is just being stupid on eBay's part.
I guess they need to protect people who buy underwear on eBay.
Actually the root problem here is eBay no longer wants to be thought of as a place to sell antiques and collectibles. They want to be the online marketplace. This means they are gearing their site to compete with Wal-Mart.
It's their site and they can take it in any direction they like. We can get around their stupid rules by using abbreviations.
I put a whole list of common eBay Abbreviations online. Take a look at my list and if you find ones I've missed, drop me a note.
PS Here's some comments sent in by readers like you.
Terry - I don't use any references to condition in my titles unless it is indeed New. I keep the title more plain so as to draw them into the auction where I will state the condition right under the top center photo. I also keep the Condition box on the listing entry page blank, unless again, new. I guess with vintage collectibles, the condition in the title is more standard than with the latest appliances! Don Hoppe
My pattern for a sock doll monkey was removed because I listed it under patterns and ebay said, in letters very similar to yours, that I cannot list socks in the pattern category. There was no getting them to understand that I wasn't listing socks. After 3 canned letters where it was apparent that eBay just didn't get it, I finally convinced myself that there was no way that I could possibly be dealing with a human being and that the computer's gramma had never made it a sock monkey. Thanks for making me laugh.
Just wanted to let you know, I had an auction get canceled for using the "word" LNEW because they said that was keyword spamming of the word new. I still don't understand how that can be considered keyword spamming since LNEW is not a word that will come up when they search the word NEW. Had a long conversation with them, going back and forth about how it doesn't make any sense, but of course the bottom line is that Ebay will do what it wants to do. So Ebay is not only canceling auctions with the words LIKE NEW in the title, but they are canceling the auctions with the abbreviation as well. Go figure
Hello Terry Gibbs, Just finished reading your The Auction Revolution for the second time. Much useful information, much more than I have found in any other e-book or auction course I have bought. After reading your book, I now feel I have been cheated by those courses, which cost me hundreds of dollars. None supplied me with the hands on information needed to run a successful auction business. Thanks for writing the book. I also find great value in you newsletter. Just what I need to get me started at e-Bay. Loretta Woehst
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