Improving performance through better item descriptions

Think of your listing title and your item description as advertising—an opportunity to inform and get buyers excited about your products. Buyers rely on these details to make their purchase decision, so it’s important that all of the information you include is accurate, clear, and comprehensive. Not only does this help set buyers' expectations, it can also help you avoid:

  • Low Detailed Seller Ratings for item as described

  • Cases where a buyer says the item doesn't match the description in your listing

  • Negative or neutral Feedback

Item condition

Describing your item's condition is a key ingredient in your listing. Tell people exactly what they're getting—and be honest. Mention even the tiniest imperfections so they know what to expect. It also reduces the chances of the buyer saying your item was not as described.

Common problems Solutions

Describing refurbished, demo, or open-box items as "new" is misleading. New means brand new, never returned, and with no missing parts or accessories.

  • Clearly identify your item as refurbished, demo, or opened throughout your listing, including the title and description, and highlight its quality separately.

For example, you can use a 5-star rating system, where 5 stars indicates the item is in perfect condition, meaning no flaws or defects and all parts and accessories are included. Therefore, a 1-star rating indicates an item that may have some functional defect. Be sure to clearly outline what each star rating means.

Burying information about the item's condition can make it easy to miss. It can look like an attempt to hide potential flaws about your product, which isn't fair to buyers.


  • Include information about the item's condition in your title, description, and item specifics (when available). Make sure the information is easy to find and easy to understand.

  • Use headlines, bullet lists and other visual elements to make your item details easy for buyers to find.

Not including details about the item's flaws or defects  can lead to misunderstandings.  


  • Clearly describe wear and tear, flaws, defects, malfunctions, missing parts or accessories, and any other special traits.

Item details

Buyers tend to focus on a few key details within the item description before purchasing an item. Sometimes, not including this information in your listing can lead to a misunderstanding about what's actually being sold.

Common problems Solutions

Not including all the relevant details about the item

  • To let buyers know exactly what they're getting and to help enhance the value of your item, here's a list of item details that you may want to include in your listing:

    • Brand name, company, designer, author, and so on

    • Item condition and quality

    • Model number or compatibility

    • Quantity

    • Size (give exact dimensions, if possible) and weight

    • When the item was made

  • Use headlines, bullet lists, and other visual elements to make your item details easy for buyers to find.

Putting details for items that aren't actually offered in the listing


  • Keep your listings simple and focus on providing only details that are relevant to the item for sale.

  • Don't use keywords that are unrelated to your item to inappropriately draw attention to your listing. This is against eBay's policies because it's unfair and it can confuse buyers.


The photos in your listings should reflect what the item is and its condition. Including clear and detailed photos, especially for used items, tells people what they can expect from your products and can increase the chances of making your buyer happy.

Common problems Solutions

Using stock photos for used or less-than-perfect items. Buyers generally expect stock photos to be used on brand new and unopened items.

  • For items that aren't in perfect condition, take pictures of the actual item and include them in your listing, rather than using a stock photo.

  • If you can't take your own photos and decide to include stock photos instead, you should explain in your listing that you're using stock pictures and let buyers know about the item's condition.

Having misleading photos—for example showing two shirts when only one is actually for sale

  • Keep your photos simple, clear, and accurate, showing only the actual item for sale.

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