A “gents” watch will pay twice as much as a “men’s” one and “authentic” products fetch up to 50% more than “genuine” ones
Words such as “authentic” and “sport” can boost your eBay sale by up to 50% – and sellers should avoid the term “genuine” at all costs, according to linguistics experts.
Researchers at Birmingham City University have trawled more than 68,000 items listed and sold on auction giant eBay.co.uk to reveal the buzzwords that can reel in the cash – and the ones that’ll cost you your sale entirely.
The word “gents” can fetch you up to £70 on a standard men’s watch – however, use the word “men’s” and you’ll make just under half, at £34.
Likewise, “authentic” products fetch up to 50% more than “genuine” – with fragrances selling for an average of £13 more on the auction website.
Similarly, users paid nearly three times as much for “on-ear” headphones as “in-ear” headphones (£25 to £71) while a watch with “resistance” can expect to attract nearly 50 per cent more than a “resistant” watch (£85 to £59).
Grammatical errors such as missing apostrophes and internet speak were also found to have a negative impact on the price products sold for.
Research also found that antique sellers were the most likely to use a personal connection to sell products with words like “I”, “me” and “my” – with the result being positive.
Elsewhere, used car sellers were found to shy away from the term “second-hand” with only nine instances of the phrase found among nearly 1,000 sold.
Instead traditional car sales speak was found, with phrases like “honest”, “reliable”, “clean” and “reluctant” all among the top eBay terms.
Researchers Andrew Kehoe and Matt Gee from Birmingham City University’s School of English were behind the study.
Kehoe said: “The term ‘second-hand’ seems to have a stigma attached when it comes to cars, but people will happily use it to sell smaller items like books or DVDs.
“We’ve found that the language used in eBay descriptions really does have an impact on whether items sell and for how much.”
Top 9 terms to use if you’re listing a car
If you’re retailing your old motor on eBay UK, trade terms like ‘lights’, ‘sensible’, ‘minor’, ‘seats’, and ‘Clio’ for one of these more attractive terms.
- Mercedes Benz
Top 9 terms if you’re listing a mobile phone
If you’re getting rid of your current phone for some extra cash, boost your profits by ditching terms like ‘Querty’, ‘keypad’, ‘Nokia’, ‘handsets’, and ‘clock’ for one of these alternatives:
Top 7 terms if you’re listing a tablet
Tablets are in high demand online, so there’s scope to make a lot of cash. Unsurprisingly Apple scores highly among desirable selling terms on eBay, while ‘Android’, ‘tablet’, ‘operating, and ‘micro’ score less favourably.
5 top tips if you’re selling on eBay.co.uk
- Iron shirts and anything wrinkled to allow your item to look its best.
- Give detailed measurements of your item – failure to do so will only result in buyers emailing you with individual requests.
- Keep your picture bright – and take a picture of it on where possible.
- Be honest about the condition and any faults – or you could end up with a case against you.
- If you’re selling shoes, photograph a picture of the soles.
The best selling times on eBay.co.uk
Aside from the start of the month (because it’s free), Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings between 7-9pm is the recommended time to list on weekdays as you’ll find most ‘eBayers’ are at home and browsing the internet.
Likewise, Sunday evenings are recommended, along with payday weekends as many shoppers will be clearing out their watch list.
When NOT to list on eBay
Reflecting buyer behaviour, it’s wise to avoid listing items that will end on Friday and Saturday evenings when many people are out.
‘Graveyard hours’ – auctions ending after midnight – can also be risky, as less people are likely to be browsing the internet overnight – unless, you’re aiming for an overseas audience.