Those selling on eBay would do well to mind their language, a study suggests.

Certain words, coupled with good spelling and grammar, are key to achieving high sale prices.

Researchers from Birmingham City University found "men's" watches sold for an average of £30 ($62) while those labelled for "gent's" went for £70 ($146).

"Authentic" fragrances sold for an average of £34, while "genuine" ones only went for £21 ($43).


A watch with water "resistance", meanwhile, typically sold for 50 per cent more than a water "resistant" watch.

Used car sellers on the site use words like "honest", "reliable", and "clean" to tempt buyers.

Only nine out of 1,000 listings used the phrase "second-hand".

Researchers Andrew Kehoe and Matt Gee, from the university's school of English, trawled more than 68,000 items listed and sold on the auction giant's UK site, downloading the listings over a 70-day period before they were analysed.

Dr Kehoe said: "People often think of eBay as a way of getting rid of household junk and unwanted gifts but it actually contains a wide range of products in 35 different categories.

"Sellers write their own descriptions, so we find a lot of language variation ... The language used in eBay descriptions really does have an impact."