eBay sellers have stumbled on a special "trick" to make their descriptions more visible on the mobile app - here's what you need to know
For many years, sellers have been frustrated that eBay hides their descriptions one click away in the app view, requiring buyers to take additional action to see this important seller provided information.
But a recent thread in the eBay community noted that some listings show the description without requiring the extra click, leading to questions about why there was a difference and what sellers can do to make sure their descriptions are seen.
At first, one community member believed the difference might be that sellers who are using eBay's new AI powered description generator were being favored, but that turned out not to be the case as other sellers chimed in to explain they had been seeing this difference long before the magic listing experience was introduced and that it had always appeared to be random.
eBay Community staff took the question to the appropriate team and came back with the following answer:
Hey @valueaddedresource! I heard back from the design team and this is what they said:
"We show item description on View Item (without a click) if the seller has provide text description. If the description is HTML then we show it only upon click. That is the key difference."
That answer lead to more questions as one seller rightly pointed out all listings will have some amount of HTML.
I'd like to point out that all the descriptions contain HTML; if they didn't, you'd just have a sea of unformatted Courier. (You can see the HTML coding by clicking the link above the description window for enhanced formatting. I sometimes have to go in there and clean out multiple layers of blank coding left behind after editing changes.)
After doing some additional testing, another seller figured out the difference comes down to whether or not sellers are using the default description box on the listing form or the "show all options" feature to add more advanced formatting.
I played around a little with this and it looks like what the team is actually saying is (at least if you are using the ebay listing form):
Use the default box to provide the description. This will then show up as the full description in the app.
If you use the "show all options" HTML feature, your description will end up with the "see full description" link only. So, stick with what the listing calls "simple formatting" (the default) and you get the benefit of a full description in the app.
Simple, default description:
Advanced HTML description:
The seller started a new community thread about their findings after doing more testing to determine if that is what makes the difference as far as how descriptions are displayed in the mobile app.
The early results seem to indicate not only do you need to use the default simple description box, but you also cannot change the font, size, color etc. - if you want your description to show on the mobile app without the buyer needing to click on a "see full description" link, you'll need to use plain text only with eBay's exact default settings and no additional formatting.
OK, first off, that title is similar to the "click bait" titles You Tubers use. In fact, I'm not revealing any secret, but I'm asking you to help---if you'd like---to figure out just how to do what the title says.
Based on a response from ebay in another thread---and I'm waiting for further confirmation from ebay on just what it means---I've experimented a little, and have concluded that this MAY be the answer:
But first, this disclaimer:
- This assumes you are using the ebay listing form or app to create your listings. I have not tried using third party listing tools.
2.This assumes you WANT the description to show in the app MORE than you want specific fonts etc.
- I'm asking others to try this, because my own efforts are too limited to really prove much of anything.
So, what's the secret?
Just use the description box as it is. That is, use the default settings for font, font size, everything. Do NOT click on "show all options"
My older descriptions---most of them---all use the default except that I use a different font and different font size. That's the only thing I have been changing. They show up in the Android app as "see full description" In other words, the buyer MUST click that link to read the description.
I have now stopped using my preferred font and font size, and just use ebay's default.
Now my full description shows in the app (not, however, divided by paragraphs)...the note "see full description" appears below the full description, and if you click the link, it takes you to the same text, but with paragraph breaks.
This seems to work, but I've only tried it with a couple listings so far. Which is why I'm asking other sellers to give it a try, and report their results.
There's a trade-off. Yes, your full description will be seen. No, you won't be able to use different colored fonts, etc. For me, the trade off is worth it. I've never used colorful fonts etc, just a different font and font size...accepting the default from ebay saves me time when listing and is a very small price to pay to get my description in front of buyers without the extra click. Your situation may differ.
I hope some here will be willing to test this. Thanks in advance to any who do.
This discovery also explains why the original theory about the AI description generator may have made sense - the AI tool is currently only available when listing through the eBay app and the app listing experience doesn't provide any options to change from the default plain text.
So naturally, any descriptions that use the AI tool will show the full description (assuming the seller doesn't edit the listing in desktop mode to add additional formatting) but it's because they use the app to list, not specifically because of the AI generated description.
The app doesn't provide any way to change font, etc, so I would guess anyone using the app to write the description---as long as they don't make changes to font etc afterwards on their PC---should be OK, and their descriptions should show in full. (I would guess that would be true whether they write their own description or use the AI feature.
I usually use the voice tool to write the description in the app, and then make any corrections in the PC. I'm not a good typist, so that saves me some time.
Keep in mind this is all still just a test and while results seem promising, we are still waiting for clarification from eBay staff about what exactly was meant with the answer about HTML and whether this "trick" will work every time.
Would you give up the ability to use customized formatting in order to get your eBay descriptions seen by buyers without any additional clicks needed? Let us know in the comments below!