Want A Great Copywriting Medium? Look to eBay

Writing on his agency’s blog, Red C creative director, Julian Gratton, suggests that copywriters practice their craft on eBay.

You see it has suddenly dawned on me what a great place eBay is to sharpen copywriting skills. Why? Well eBay allows you to pick any object that you don’t want from around your home (or someone else’s) and write an advert that goes in competition with all the other eBay users out there who are selling the same thing as you. So your challenge is to write a better advert than they can so yours sells or at least sells for more than their item does.
As we all know, people buy from people. And more importantly, people buy from people they like. So it should stand true that if the above advert copy for the Corby Classic is loved as much by other people as it is by me… it should not only sell but also sell for a better price than if the copy were just a straight forward description.
In fact if you believe the multiple guides there are out there about eBay listings, a good well-written creative listing should reassure buyers they are dealing with a friendly, reliable seller which should then translate into higher prices.

He’s got a point. The web has seen an explosion in writing–good, bad, and ugly. But just as the notion of long-copy print ads is dying, new opportunities for great writing with salesmanship abound. Just look at Woot, for example. Even Craigslist gets its share of interesting writing. For aspiring writers who want to learn to sell via prose, great opportunities are few clicks away.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. Oh, cool. Now there are even MORE places for Creative Directors to ignore writing skills in favor of fratboy jokes and visual solutions.

  2. My father learned his craft writing for the Sears Catalog, the Mad Men version of Ebay 😉