How to Create Powerful Listings, Part 1: A Primer

Selling items online is hard.

Sorry, let me qualify that — selling items well online is hard.

Actually, it isn’t even hard. It just takes some effort.

The actual act of taking some pictures, writing a description, clicking “Create Listing” and waiting for a sale doesn’t take that much time or thought. It’s doing it well that takes some effort.

And trust me, the extra effort is well worth it.

If you’ve ever bought an item online, think about your experience as a buyer. Here at Debt Free Dawn we specialize in clothing resale, so let’s use a related example. Let’s say a buyer goes to eBay and wants to buy a pair of second-hand Lululemon Pace Breaker shorts like the ones below:


They’re nice shorts. Super comfortable, clean, functional — definitely a great item. There’s no doubt these shorts will sell, and they’ll probably go for $30-$40. Because Lululemon products are in such high demand, you could take some lame photos and write a two-word description (e.g., “nice shorts”) and they’ll still sell.

But there’s also a ton of other people selling shorts just like these. So while your Lululemon Pace Breaker shorts will sell, they might sell after or for less money than someone else’s.

That’s a problem.

In the reselling business the goal is to find that happy medium between sale price and quick time to sale. Poor photos, bad headlines, and lackluster descriptions hinder your ability to sell items quickly or for their full value.

Take a look at the image below, which illustrates this point:

Optimized Listings, Sale Price, and Turnaround Time

This is a completely made-up theoretical discussion, but bear with me. At every point on the horizontal axis (time from listing to sale), the Final Sale Price is higher for the blue line — the listing with the optimized title and images. And look at the dashed line, which represents the same final sale price.

There are two things I want you to take away from this discussion. With optimized titles and listings:

You can sell the same item for the same price in less time.


You can sell the same item in the same amount of time for more money.

Now, wouldn’t you prefer either of those two outcomes? Of course! How do you do it? Consider the image below:

Sales Funnel dfd

In reality, selling products online is a numbers game. What do the best sellers do?

  • They ATTRACT more people to their listings with clickable titles and eye-catching images.
  • They INTERACT better with those potential customers through accurate photos and complete descriptions that aren’t just a wall of text.
  • They CONVERT more of those potential customers into actual customers.

In other words they either sell the same item for the same price in less time, or they sell the same item in the same amount of time for more money.

In this four-part series I’ll discuss three of the most important ways to make sure your items sell for as much as possible and as quickly as possible:

  1. How to optimize your listing titles with irresistible keywords
  2. How to take and create eye-catching photos (especially cover photos!)
  3. How to write and format gripping item descriptions

It takes a little extra effort, especially at the beginning, but in no time you’ll be reaping the benefits of a more streamlined, optimized process that leads to more profits and higher returns on your initial investments.

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Thanks for reading! In my full-time job as a Business Analyst for a health system, I apply analytical rigor to everyday business questions. My goal at Debt Free Dawn is to bring some of that rigor to the business of online resale but to do so in a fun and understandable way. Please ask me anything as I love to chat with fellow flippers!


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