How to Use Inserts in the Item Description to Save Time Listing on eBay

6 May

As I mentioned before, I’m working down the eBay “Sell Your Item” form, starting with the Item Title and finishing with whatever comes last.  The eBay Item Description is a substantial topic and I could go on for months about various subtopics relating to it.  For that reason, I may skip around a bit so we aren’t stuck talking about html coding for the next three weeks.  Not today though, as I will be explaining how to use “Inserts” to quickly include html code or text in the description.  I recommend using Microsoft Internet Explorer to do this.  It’s a little more buggy when using Mozilla Firefox.  Read on to find out how.

The Insert tool is overlooked by many eBay sellers because it is now hidden by default.  You can program Inserts to automatically paste text or html into your listing.  This is helpful because you don’t need to copy and paste your seller terms from one listing to another or constantly type out complicated html code.   The Insert tool saves this information for you  for easy access.  First, we need to enable the Insert box if it isn’t already available.  To do this, scroll down to the description box and click “Add or remove options.”

eBay Insert Add or Remove Options

Check the “description builder” box and click save.  Sorry about the obvious arrows but it’s best to be thorough, right?

Now, you should see the Inserts box on your “Sell Your Item” form.  Don’t mind the “PayShip” Insert, I’ll be showing you how to create that momentarily.  For now, click somewhere in your listing and choose one of the two Inserts that come preprogrammed (Seller’s Other Items or Add to Favorites) by clicking on it from the Inserts drop down menu.  See how it automatically pastes the html code or text into the description wherever you place the mouse cursor?  Soon, you’ll be able to automatically paste whatever information you like.

eBay Insert

The Insert we’re going to create together is for quickly inserting your payment and shipping terms.  Since these terms go in every listing you create, it will be useful to be able to quickly paste them in.  Begin by locating your terms in your description.  Go up to the Inserts drop down menu and choose “Create an Insert.”  Call it “PayShip” or anything else you like.  Now, there are two ways to create the Insert.  The first is the most basic; you simply copy the text you want the Insert to include and paste it into the box.  The downside is that it won’t have any formatting.  This means it will just be the text you paste in paragraph form, no matter how the original text was formatted.  You can format the text afterwards in the listing, but you’ll have to do it every time you use the Insert.  The more complicated method is to use html code.  This method will include the original formatting, font, and spacing in the Insert.  The good news is that eBay automatically converts your text into html right in the listing.  The easiest way to get the html code is to delete everything in the listing except what you want to go in the insert.  For example, if you’re copying your shipping terms from a previously created auction or template, delete everything other than the text you need for the insert.  After you do that, click over to the html tab and copy everything that’s left in the description box.  If you aren’t familiar with html code it will look a little bizarre, but don’t worry you need to copy it all.  Then paste it into the Insert creation box where it says to “Enter text or html.”  One of the downsides of creating an Insert is that little box never gets any bigger.  For that reason you’ll want to write your text or html in the description and paste it in rather than trying to type it into the create an Insert box.

Once you’ve done that, click save.  Click on the Inserts drop down menu and see if your newly created Insert is available.   If it isn’t, you’ll need to go back to the “Add or remove options” menu and uncheck the “description builder” and then go back in and check it again.  Now it should be available for everyone.  I recommend finishing a listing and submitting it to make sure that the Insert saves properly.  If you aren’t ready to create one now, schedule the listing to start some time in the future and come back and edit it later.   I’ll be going in to more detail in the future about more advanced inserts after I explain more about how to use html in your listings.

One Response to “How to Use Inserts in the Item Description to Save Time Listing on eBay”

  1. Gail 08. May, 2009 at 12:53 pm #

    This is most valuable information, and the first I’ve ever seen it explained so thoroughly.

    As a small eBay seller out of necessity, I want to thank you for your invaluable blog. Selling on eBay has gotten so complicated over the years, I feel confounded at every turn. Your clear directions are immensely helpful.

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