Submitted by 10X Marketing | Category: General Interest | Published on Nov 10, 2006
How spelling counts in online auctions. Incorrect spelling can spell doom for a seller and a bargain for a buyer.

Item misspellings – how spelling will make or break an online auction

Do you remember learning in grade school the importance of correct spelling? Even with spell checkers and word processors, you must be careful to check your spelling. Correct spelling is critical in school, business, medical and any professional field. Did you ever think that spelling could affect auctions on the Internet? Spelling makes huge differences in online shopping and auctions. As a seller, if your item is misspelled you will get less visitors and therefore lower bids on your item. As a buyer, misspelled items will yield you the best buys.

Here’s why: Unlike at a physical retail store or any shopping that’s not done online, consumers can recognize products by their labels, product placement, brand images, logos, by asking for it by name etc. When it comes to online auction sites however, people can only find your item by searching for it by name, or less often by just browsing a particular category and “running” into it. When searching by name, if your listing is misspelled by just one letter, someone who searches for it by its correct name has less of a chance of seeing your item. For example, let’s say you were selling some Puma suede shoes and you listed the item as Puma Swede Shoes than this can greatly reduce the number of visitors and bids you can receive. In that example the only difference is the switching of the letters “w” and “u” from Puma suede shoes to Puma swede shoes. It’s much harder for potential Puma suede shoe buyers to find your item if it’s misspelled because they won’t be searching for it under the incorrect spelling Puma Swede shoes. People are similar and there will be those who misspell it just like you and they’ll find it, but generally speaking less people will see it and there will be fewer bidders. For the buyer this is great. If a buyer wants a pair of Puma suede shoes without a lot of competition, then they should search for it and purposely misspell it to look for people who’ve listed it under the misspelling.

Other examples include popular Cartier glasses. Misspelling Cartier glasses as either Cartir or Carter people will have a hard time finding your item. The band Shinedown’s popular DVD could be misspelled as Shindown or Shinedon and it brings up completely different search results then the correct Shinedown DVD search has. The other day I heard about this company called Dolce & Gabanna but when I heard it I thought it was Dolce & Cabana. I was way off, but out of curiosity I did a search on an online auction site and sure enough I found a few Dolce & Gabanna items listed under the incorrect Dolce & Cabana name. Try it yourself, try searching for dimond and diamond and see what comes up under both of those. Check the differences and any similarities in the search results. Try Adidas to Addidas and see how many items are listed incorrectly under Addidas. You can try combinations on your own to get the point. You’ll soon find that it’s not just with items like cartier glasses, shinedown dvd, dulce cabana and puma swede.

One of the best conveniences of online auction selling is that potential buyers are searching online because they want to buy, you don’t have to find them because they’re searching for you. If you’ve misspelled your item you hurt your sale so much because it’s not easy for potential buyers to find you. Misspellings can spell doom for a seller and yield great buys for a smart buyer. There will be the occasional occurrence when both buyer and seller list and search under an incorrect name. If getting top dollar for your item is your goal then you want as many people as possible seeing your item then correct spelling is critical.

Rick Laurensen writes for 10x Marketing. For more info about online auctions


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