Storefront Essentials, Part 3 of 4: Fine Details of Inventory Photos & Descriptions

Show the Buyer Quality Inventory Details

This is Part 3 of a GoAntiques newsletter series on revamping storefronts to instill buyer trust in online sales, if you haven’t read Part 1, click here. To catch up on Part 2, click here. In this newsletter, Part 3, we explain the necessity of detailed inventory images & descriptions, and why buyers need them in order to make a purchase.

We hope you’ve been enjoying the Storefront Renovation Series, which has been exploring the importance of building trust with a potential buyer by providing the details necessary to make them comfortable enough to buy.

“You want to make sure that people understand what you are selling and why they should want it.  Unfortunately that’s where many site owners get things wrong.  They display the product but neglect to provide sufficient detail about why the consumers would want it.  This is perhaps based on the assumption that their product is so great that it needs no explanation.” –

Photos/Item Description:

It is vitally important to be detail-oriented in product photos and descriptions, because this is how you compensate for the customer’s inability to assess the item in person.

Above all, photos must be totally in focus, and taken in good light–preferably against a plain background. The more consistent the background is, the more professional the photos appear. The more photos you offer, from all angles, including flaws/labels/details, the more the shopper can trust he has enough information to buy your item.

The online sales experts at tell us that, “Most users prefer to have as much detail as possible about anything they are considering buying.  They will never hold it against you for providing too much detail, but they could avoid buying from you if you don’t give enough details. Often when a customer declines to buy from you, they won’t tell you why, and often they won’t even know why.  But the reason is you left them with unanswered questions, and so they didn’t commit to making a purchase immediately.  Once a customer has left your site, it will often be their last visit.”

In your item descriptions, give all the details you would want if you were buying that item, making up for the fact that the shopper cannot see or handle the item as they would in person.  Include product functionalities, dimensions, payment terms, minimum orders, packing options, etc.

“Most (buyers) prefer to have as much detail as possible about anything they are considering buying.  They will never hold it against you for providing too much detail, but they could avoid buying from you if you don’t give enough details.”

While it is sometimes effective to make a brief pitch that plays to emotions, be careful not to oversell.  When you go overboard, readers feel it’s gimmicky and may lose faith. Pay attention to the keywords you use. Be accurate, be clear, and do not exaggerate. Be careful of inaccurate style terms. And again, proofread to ensure a professional tone.

Note: This is not the place for long descriptions about your own possible inaccuracy. In general, disclaimers like that should be clearly stated in your Storefront Policies page.

eBay warns its sellers is to avoid adding text that could be viewed as negative by buyers:

“Harsh or restricting terms of service — requests to do, not do this, do not do that, you must do that — that kind of language doesn’t work in any marketplace, and on eBay it’s actually an effective way of getting rid of customers.”


In general, shoppers now do item and pricing research on the Internet, “cross-shopping” for almost all merchandise before making purchases.

That’s one reason an inventory that covers a range of prices is important. Also, within each category of items, it is wise to have a range-with items that are priced to move as well as rarer items with prices that reflect their value, but are still competitive.

It’s important to offer high end products as well as low end ones to cover the entire range of customers you may encounter.

BEWARE, however,  of this traditional pricing strategy:

“Let’s say you wanted to encourage customers to purchase Item A from your store because that product nets you the highest margins. If you were to price Item A similarly with the rest of the items in Item A’s category, then Item A would simply not stand out.

However, if you were to price the rest of your items extremely high and place them next to Item A in your shopping cart, then Item A would be perceived as an absolute bargain. If you make sure your “relative” prices are on the high end and you will net a higher profit.”

Because today’s buyers cross shop, both online and in brick and mortar establishments,  this is NOT sound online strategy.

In fact, it is a good idea to comparison shop yourself, as a part of your pricing strategy. The online advantage of no brick and mortar and staffing costs can allow you to become a fierce competitor.

Item descriptions, images, and prices are the reasons why a buyer decides to purchase. The combination of these three elements act like a virtual walkthrough of a product the shopper would otherwise experience in-person.

Digging through your inventories may take some time but the end result, of a purchase, will be 100% worth your investment.

Update My Inventory


Let the Renovations begin!

Best Regards,
The GoAntiques Team

Click here for Part 4! 

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