An HTML template provides a way to give an eBay auction listing a more personal touch by adding a background, styled text, and images to express a theme. Whether you're a beginner or experienced designer, a number of websites offer free templates that you can use to design or customize a free template to fit your listing. Your listing will still show eBay's basic listing contents, and the customized template will make your page more personal to your buyers.
Five Places to Find Free eBay Seller Templates
While many designers are happy to take your money and create a custom design, a novice seller or new business may not have the money to pay for a design. Thankfully, many designers offer free eBay templates that you can configure and use in your listing. Making an HTML template can be as easy as filling out a form that generates the code for you or as difficult as writing the HTML code yourself. Five examples, ranging from easiest to use to the most difficult, are as follows:
- Template-o-Matic: Although it is the easiest of all template generators, this site is also the least effective. It really doesn't do anything besides change the background color and some of the font sizes for your listing. The end result really doesn't look much different from the default eBay listing. However, this may not be a bad thing since it may put buyers at ease if your listing looks like it belongs on eBay.
- Auction Insights: Similar to Template-o-Matic in that it has an easy to use form and doesn't require knowledge in HTML, this site has a selection of template themes that center around holidays, color combinations, and the seasons. It has space for users to add three images that must be hosted on another website and includes an area to write about and customize the auction's description and terms. The text box for the description lets users select font styles, choose paragraph spacing, and insert URLs and images. If you know HTML, you can switch to HTML mode to further customize the auction's description. After completing the template, you get an HTML code to paste in your auction listing.
- Auction Supplies: This site uses the "copy and paste" method in which you copy their code and paste it into your eBay listing. You will only need to modify certain image URLs and the name and description of your product. It is necessary to host the images with an outside hosting service, but the backgrounds and alignment create a very professional feel. It's also a good way to get familiar enough with code to create your own templates.
- FreeAuctionDesigns.com: This website offers a huge selection of predefined templates that you can further customize by editing the template's HTML code. It works in a similar method as Auction Supplies and requires some HTML knowledge to appropriately customize the template for your auction listing.
- RobsHelp.com: While this application has a bit of a learning curve, taking the time to master it will enable you to create amazing individualized templates that speak directly to your customer. Rob has been working in this field since 1999, with millions of pages created with his tool. Although not all of the templates are free, the ones that are available are worth a look.
What Goes Into an eBay Template?
Although eBay uses a template when you create a listing, this template is plain and looks like the one used on thousands of other items on the site. In order to attract and retain customers when selling your products, using a template to spruce up a page can be an effective marketing tool.
Basic eBay Listing Contents
A template contains most of the same things as the basic listing including:
- Large images of the product, as well as a few supplemental images
- A catchy title and sub-title (Example: "New iPhone 3GS!" "Original packaging, never been opened…")
- A full description of the item that uses search engine optimized terms
- Information on shipping, your return policy, and accepted payment methods
The differences between a basic listing and one using a template include the following:
- A colorful background
- Embedded images that express a theme
- Fonts chosen to attract the viewer's attention and highlight information
Templates are designed to connect on a more visceral level with your customers. For example, a classic '50's look could be used for a vintage car site, or a dark industrial look can work for a Goth clothing seller. Customers are more likely to return to your site if they feel they belong there.
Personalized eBay Auction Listings
Personalizing your auction listing with a template is helpful to draw attention to your offered products. If you are conversant in HTML and other web coding technologies, you could create your own template layout with Dreamweaver or another design program. However, it might save you time, frustration, and effort to simply download free templates to use them in your listings.