I Think You Think I Can't Read

I like to peruse eBay–sometimes with purpose, sometimes without. Lately, my obsession with Mad Men has lead to an increase in the quest for vintage brooches and dresses. It’s always interesting to note the different design-based tactics sellers take to entice a sale. Some use flashy, distracting backgrounds and animated gifs. Others show pictures so horrible, a bidder would have no clue of the item’s actual appearance. And some make the font so large that I have to back away from the screen to read it. The header of this post is at scale slice of an item description. Below is a larger slice, so large that it had to be scaled down to fit in this post. Does this seller think that I’m new to reading and need very large print? Or that my vision is impaired and I can’t see well? It also feels like she’s yelling at me with the all caps, and yelling very loudly with the ludicrously large font. That, combined with her plea for plenty of time to answer any questions does not entice me to bid. I will move on to the next seller who displays merchandise in a more pleasing manner. The seller of the black dress below should have checked out these design basics. My wishes to her for more successful eBay sales in the future.

eBay Screenshot


  1. Jakob Michaelis

    Typing regular copy in all caps is one thing that touches a nerve with me; and I’m talking about that nerve that makes you want to do awful things to the person that types in all caps all of the time. The Caps Lock button is 1/8″ away from your left pinky finger if you type how you were taught in grade school. If you “hunt and peck” then I recommend you hunt your way over to the left side of the keyboard and peck that Caps Lock key.

  2. Shottest Star of '72

    Jesus amigos! How about this for all caps: ANAL RETENTIVE. Design does not matter on ebay, period. She’s selling a digusting black dress that the Wicked Witch of the West wouldn’t buy. When I look at the message I simply think “Oh here’s a person saying all she needs to say considering the circumstances, and the content of the message is polite and right to the point, i.e. anyone dumb enough to buy the dress or the other crap she is selling can read it.
    I have to question anyone that has the audacity to criticize font
    in an arena where pleasing th consumer with eye-candy is counter productive. Here’s a little eBay maxim for ya. The people who promote items with glitzy spiced up web pages on eBay are usually the ones that rip you off. Of all people an art director of an advertising firm should know that the garage sale feel is what gives eBay its allure. To Jakob, uhhhhhhm….therapy might help you with your problem? Turning into Jack the Ripper when someone touches that special “nerve” is not exactly healthy.

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