The words that bump up your selling price on eBay - and those you should steer clear of

Study finds the phrases that pay - and the mistakes that will damage your sale

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The description and photos are everything when it comes to getting the best price for your items on eBay. We've always known that a few good photos - in good light and showing a fair representation of the item - will swing a purchase. However, a new study has revealed the words you need to add to your eBay description (and the ones you should avoid like the plague) if you want to sell for a decent price.

Researchers at Birmingham City University trawled more than 68,000 items on eBay to identify the words that successful sellers used. One of the most valuable words was 'gents' used instead of 'mens'. The study discovered that 'men's watches' sold for an average of £30, while 'gents' watches' sold for an average of £70.

The word 'authentic' also did far better than the word 'genuine'. Perfume and aftershave described as genuine fetched an average of £21, while those described as authentic sold for an average of £34.

Similarly, a watch with water 'resistance' can expect to attract nearly 50 per cent more than a water 'resistant' watch (£85 as opposed to £59).

Regardless of the words you choose, it also pays to spell them correctly - and steer clear of grammatical errors. The study found that both damaged the price an item sells for.


In fact, spelling errors can derail a sale entirely, as many buyers fail to find a listing, so it gets a fraction of the number of bids it would otherwise have received.

While it may be galling for a buyer who is forced to sell for a pittance, this opens the door for buyers who are after a bargain. There are a number of websites devoted to tracking down items with spelling mistakes on eBay. One of the most famous is Fat Fingers.

A search of Fat Fingers reveals, for example, that at the moment there's an enormous array of Disney merchandise without a single bid - due to the fact that people have spelled the name of the firm as Disnet, Dinsey or Dissney. If you're after a cut-price toy, outfit or DVD, this could be a useful place to look.

There's also a Sony PS4 with six games that is selling for £137, due in part to the fact it has been described as a Sony Playstation.

Other similar sites include Missing Auctions, Typozay and Auction Bloopers. You can use these sites, or try it yourself, by searching for typos of keywords. You never know what bargains you might stumble across.

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