Keywords – this might be an overwhelming topic to many resellers, but it’s an extremely important part of getting your product SEEN by buyers, and we’re here to help make it easy!

When you picture someone shopping in your store, what are you envisioning? Perhaps you picture a super cool, very stylish person stumbling across your store and scrolling through your endlessly impressive inventory but being disappointed because they can't buy everything in your shop. While that’s a dream scenario, it’s not that realistic because, more often than not, sales happen because a customer is searching for a specific item, not because they just happened onto an item that they can’t resist. And that means good things for our planet—people purchasing more mindfully and only buying the things they need! Though this may sound like a challenge, we think it’s an opportunity for you to utilize the tool of optimizing and maximizing the keywords on your listings to make sure that when folks go searching, they find your stuff. So, we've put together our top three quick tips for making the most of your keywords to improve your search results and sales!

A woman shows a man something on her phone

1. Start at the very beginning, with your item title. Pack it with keywords!

You’ve got a fab The North Face winter jacket that you scored from a Helpsy Source Outerwear Pack.

Tell people you’ve got the goods! Don’t shy away from name-dropping; it helps people find what they’re looking for. Run a search of your own for the item you’re selling. Think about how you would search for those and try it out to see what you find. Are you finding similar items with your first example of a listing title? If not, maybe it’s time to rethink your search terms. Of course, we’re all made to stand out and not blend in, but if your listing titles are *too* unique, folks won’t be able to find them, which doesn’t help any of us sell more product.

Product titles should not be formatted in a regular sentence structure. eBay best listing practices recommend a specific format for product titles that generally follows this layout:

Brand > Category/Style Name > Fabric (if relevant) > Gender > Color > Size > Other Descriptors

For example, let’s list that amazing North Face Jacket – you may be tempted to make a sentence structured title that says something like “Super Warm North Face Jacket for Skiing”, but who really searches for products that way online? First, find the style name/code on the tag, then look it up to make sure you know the exact style. The best way to optimize your keywords for this title would be:

The North Face Metropolis Jacket Women’s Cordovan Red Size M Excellent Used Condition Winter Down Coat

You want to include any variation of terms in your listing so that as many people as possible looking for your item will be able to find it. Is there a technical difference between tennis shoes and sneakers? Yes. But will the average person looking for a pair of white Keds know the difference? No, probably not. Try sending your friends a photo of an item you’re about to list asking them what they’d call that thing. Not only do you generate peer and market research, but it can be a fun game to play too!

Finally, try running your description through an SEO tool to check it across the whole internet. However, we recommend you take their recommendations with a grain of salt since you’re the expert on your inventory. If a term feels funny or off to use, don’t use it! Trust your instincts because your expertise is part of the service you are offering as a reseller!

2. Use Keywords to Get Your Product Description Right

Poshmark’s latest advice is to make sure it’s over 100 words, but less than a Dickens novel. We trust you to find the sweet spot. Now what should you include in that description? Obviously, the important stuff like brand, color, style, and fit details, as well as material and product condition should all be there. But it’s also important that you don’t forget to include the fun stuff. If items are on trend, say so! Don’t just list that tan plaid pleated skirt as a skirt, also drop in terms like Light Academia. We’re giving you an excuse to flip through Vogue and stalk your favorite fashion influencers in the name of research! Secondhand shopping is no longer just about saving money, it's one of the best ways to stay on top of trends and be unique, and lucky for you, it’s part of your job to stay on top of those trends!

Another quick tip is to make sure the most important words are first in case the listing gets cut off in the preview. A search engine will be able to catch the keywords throughout your description, but if an impatient buyer doesn’t see what they’re looking for highlighted in the description immediately, they may keep on scrolling to someone else’s listing. So you may want to make sure that you say Light Academia before specifying the pleated skirt part.

3. Proofread, verify your keywords, and then proofread again.

Double-check everything before setting your item active. People are more likely to be wary of clicking "checkout" on your listing if something is misspelled or important information is missing. Trust is tantamount in reselling, and it could be hard to trust someone to get your address on a shipping label correct or fulfill the correct item if something as simple as pants is misspelled on the listing description. It might also make it harder for your listing to get in front of folks since a misspelled keyword means no one will be able to find your gem of an item. Of course everybody makes mistakes; just use the edit button!  

Keywords can seem overwhelming at first, but we promise that with practice, incorporating keywords into your titles and descriptions will become second nature. We also recommend that you look at listings for the same type of product that have already been sold. See which items sold for the most money and learn from how the seller used keywords in the title and description. 

And with that, we wish everyone happy listing. With experience, you will learn what resonates most for your shoppers and your personal brand (yes, you have a brand!). Don’t forget to track how changes to your keywords and improvements in your listings affect sales. Data is key to learning how to improve future listings and increase revenue. This is only a starting point for when you’re staring at a bunch of empty product fields while attempting to launch a brand new gem you thrifted. Take the tips you’ve learned here and incorporate them with your own unique twist on business, and we bet you’ll see sales improve!

Have more suggestions for our community on how to make the most of your reselling business? Drop us a line over at @helpsy_source.

Need more inventory to create great listings with?

December 28, 2022 — Helpsy Team

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