Last Updated on July 25, 2020 by Lee Meier
Wondering why your stuff on eBay is not selling? Here are 13 reasons why your items aren’t selling and how to fix them so you can increase your eBay sales and start making money!
(Affiliate link disclosure: this page may contain affiliate links through which I may make a small percentage from at no additional cost to you. This helps keep this website running. Thank you for your support!)
Before we get started, is it possible what you are selling are things no one wants?
Check out these articles that will help you figure out if you have great items to sell:
1) Take Better Pictures
Is it possible your pictures aren’t up to par? Pictures are arguably one of the most important pieces of your listing as they are the first thing buyers see.
If you don’t have great pictures it might be why your stuff on eBay is not selling.
Pictures are what sells your items!
Here are a few tips to taking great pictures:
2) Take Enough Pictures
Have you taken enough pictures?
eBay allows you to upload 12 photos. Make use of them.
eBay’s search engine favors listings with 8 or more photos.
If you have too few photos your listing may appear toward the bottom of search results.
Make sure you have pictures of:
- All angles
- All flaws
If you are still struggling to come up with 8 photos you can always upload your photos twice.
3) Improve Your Title
Your title should match the words someone would use to search for your item.
If your description doesn’t include words people would use to find your item, you may be loosing out on sales.
Make sure your title includes:
- The brand
- Who it is for
- What it is
- Be as specific as you can.
- Avoid works like “Cute,” “L@@K,” and the like. Those aren’t words shoppers will be searching for and they can actually hurt your rank.
- You get 80 characters. Use as many of them as you can.
- There is no need to repeat synonyms such as “Top,” “Blouse,” “Shirt.”
If you’re struggling to make sales, make sure you’ve included appropriate keywords.
For fashion, this would be trend or style names. For other items it could be what activity it is used for.
4) Check That Your Item Is In The Correct Category
Have you listed your item in the correct category?
If you’ve chosen the wrong category, options available to you in the listing further down (such as in item specifics) won’t be correct.
Select the correct category, then be sure to update item specifics.
Here are some common mistakes:
- Not listing vintage fashion in the vintage clothing category.
- Listing sports gear or winter sports items in regular clothing categories.
- Listing active wear in regular clothing categories.
5) Fill In As Many Item Specifics As You Can
Have you left some item specifics blank?
This is another reason why your stuff on ebay is not selling.
Item specifics are the pull-down options and check boxes eBay provides for the category you selected.
The more item specifics you fill in, the more likely buyers will be able to find your items.
6) Offer A Competitive Price
One of the biggest reasons for items not selling on eBay is that the price is too high.
Did you check comparable sold listings?
Do this by searching for your item, then filtering down to show only sold items.
What is the price similar items are actually selling for?
Adjust your price accordingly.
7) Allow Best Offers
In addition to pricing your items competitively, you will also want to consider checking the box to allow best offers.
If you currently don’t have your listings set up to allow best offer, it’s easy to add.
If you need help with this, see my post “How To Add Best Offer To Current Listings.” This is also where you can see how to auto accept/decline by percentage!
The facts on best offers…
Before you write this tip off, let me tell you….this will increase your sales! Worried about getting less money for items? Here’s some facts to help ease your mind:
Levi’s Men’s Jeans:
Average Selling Price (all listings): $17.99
Average Selling Price (Best Offer Accepted): $17.71
Lululemon Tank Top:
Average Selling Price (all listings): $17.80
Average Selling Price (Best Offer Accepted): $17.78
Free People Jeans:
Average Selling Price (all listings): $23.86
Average Selling Price (Best Offer Accepted): $22.48
*All numbers from Terapeak for sales in the last year. Best Offer Accepted is only the listings where a best offer was accepted.
What This Means For You!
In looking at the Terapeak numbers above, you can see the selling price where a best offer was accepted was just slightly less.
The Terapeak numbers do not take into account listings that allowed best offer, but sold for full price. (Yes, this happens a lot!)
There doesn’t seem to be a way to check on those actual numbers, but I would venture to guess once you add those sales in, the average selling price is as much as the average selling price for all listings.
If You’re Still On The Fence About Best Offers
If you are still hesitant to add best offers to your listings, I’ve written an article called “5 Reasons Why I Allow Best Offer On Almost All My Listings.” In it you will learn:
– Why your item will stand out.
– How to price your items.
– What to do when you get an offer.
– How best offers can save you time.
Give it a try!
If you don’t use best offers yet, just give it a try! There is literally no risk in giving it a shot. If you don’t like an offer, just decline or counter it.
But seriously, the best offer setting on my listings (and being willing to accept offers) is the ONE thing that has increased my sales the most.
8) Offer International Shipping
Are you offering international shipping?
International shipping can expand your customer based worldwide!
9) 30-Day Return Policy
Are you offering returns on your items?
Not offering returns may be another possible cause of your items not selling on eBay.
Returns can help your buyers feel more comfortable buying items from you, thereby increasing your sales.
I recommend NOT providing free returns. Have your customer pay for return shipping.
With 30-day returns, buyer pays shipping, I consistently run a 2% return rate.
My actual return rate is less because about 1/3 of returns don’t actually get returned for whatever reason.
10) Promote Your Listings
Are you promoting your listings?
Promoted listings are an easy way to DOUBLE the exposure of your listings!
Not sure what promoted listings are? I’ve written a whole article here called “What Are Promoted Listings?” In it, I show you:
- What a promoted listing looks like
- How they work, and
- How much I pay in a month for 500 promoted listings (hint: it’s less than you think!).
How Promoted Listings Can Double Your Impressions
With setting an ad rate of just 1%, you can double your exposure!
Don’t believe it? Here’s the data to prove it.
You can see my impressions were more than doubled (the green portion) with an ad rate of just 1%!
Worried About The Cost Of Promoted Listings?
If you’re worried about the cost, I’ve written an article title “Why Promoted Listings Don’t Cost As Much As You Think.”
In it, I show you:
- How little I pay for doubling my impressions
- How promoted listings have increased my page views
- How my sales have increased.
How To Promoted Your Listings
Promoted listings available to everyone including store subscribers and non-store subscribers.
If you have an eBay store, I’ve written step-by-step instructions on how to promote listings in bulk. In just minutes you can start doubling your impressions too!
So if you haven’t used promoted listings, get out there and start promoting them! You will see a difference.
11) Send Offers To Buyers Daily
Are you sending offers to buyers on a daily basis?
This is probably my number one tip on how to keep money rolling in every single day!
From the computer, it’s very simple to send offers in bulk and shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes.
The bulk send option is only available to eBay store subscribers. Otherwise you will need to send offers one by one.
If you’re not sure how to send offers in bulk, you can check out How To Bulk Send Offers To Watchers.
I have four recommendations for you when it comes to sending offers:
- Send offers regularly. At least once a day.
- Include a personal message with the offer.
- If you’re wanting great results, you have to send great offers.
- Price your items to give yourself room to make offers as well as having sales.
There is only a small window of time to capture buyers before they move on to another item.
12) Run Promotions (aka “Sales)
Have you tried running sales?
Unfortunately this option is only available to store subscribers. Check out this plus 9 other reasons you should consider an eBay store subscription.
Promotions (also known as sales) are a great way to get product moving! I run an (almost) continuous sale in my store. The only items not on sale, are the newest listed items.
How To Run Sales
I have directions here on how to put items on sale in your store.
I’ve also written a complete guide about sales here: Running Sales For Your eBay Store: Everything You Wanted To Know
Reasons For Running Sales
Here are my top 3 reasons for running sales and why you may want to give it a try.
1) Starting a sale will send a notification to watchers!
Did you know, when you create a sale, all watchers will get a notification that pops up on their phone (assuming they have notifications turned on) that alerts them the item was put on sale?
I think this is so cool! It’s like a personal message to watchers. Sometimes just a small discount is enough to remind them of your item.
2) It’s easy to clearance items out by how long they’ve been on the site.
If you’re wanting to get rid of older inventory, this is the way to do it! Setting up a sale event + markdown is an easy way to give a bigger discount the longer you’ve had the item. (If you’re wondering the different types of sales available, go here.)
You can easily filter items by how long they’ve been on the site. You could give 10% off for items that you’ve had listed for between 15-30 days, 20% for items listed 31-60 days, and so forth.
3) Save time pricing items.
The last reason I love using sales, is because it saves me a ton of time when I’m pricing items. And time saved is money!
It means you can get more items listed in less time. Using sales, I don’t feel like I have to get the price “perfect.”
If it’s listed a bit high, it will take care of itself when I discount it.
13) Reasonable Shipping Costs
Are you charging too much for shipping?
High shipping costs can keep buyers away.
Here’s some general rules when it comes to shipping costs:
- USPS Media Mail is the cheapest if your item qualifies
- The next cheapest is USPS First Class. This is for items under 1 pound.
- For items over 1 pound, the next cheapest options are USPS Flat Rate Envelope, Legal Flat Rate Envelope, and Padded Flat Rate Envelope.
- Next are Regional Rate boxes. These must be ordered online.
- Next are medium and large flat rate.
- If your item is being sent near you, straight up standard Priority (not a flat rate) may be cheaper than a box.
- Very large or heavy items are usually cheapest being sent by FedEx. eBay gives a hefty discount when you buy the label through them.
On a similar note:
Do you need to provide free shipping?
While eBay encourages free shipping, most sellers do not provide free shipping.
For most categories you do not need to provide free shipping in order to be competitive.
If you have an eBay store subscription, you can use the research tool, Terapeak, to see what percentage of sellers in each category are offering free shipping.
The first reason I don’t offer free shipping is this: When you get a return, you have to refund the whole amount.
Take this scenario:
Case 1: A $10 item plus $6 shipping.
Case 2: Versus a $16 item with free shipping.
If you get a return with Case 1, you only need to refund $10.
If you get a return for Case 2, you will have to refund $16 ($6 of which you spent on shipping).
The second reason I don’t offer free shipping is because I allow best offers.
When I had free shipping plus best offers, I would get lots of offers for say $2, free shipping. Sellers don’t realize how much shipping actually costs and that you are the one paying for “free” shipping.
There is obviously no way you could accept an offer like that and not lose money.
As soon as I started charging for shipping this problem disappeared.
Thanks For Joining Me
I hope this post has helped you figure out why your stuff on eBay isn’t selling and what you can do about it.