Feel the Power! -- Searching with HammerTap
We’ve got a lot of ground to cover today, so let’s jump right
in. Today, you’ll learn how to run the HammerTap searches. These three
search tools help you power up your eBay listings in just a few simple
First, let’s take a look at the search
taskbar. This taskbar contains three search buttons: Product Search,
Category Search, and Seller Search. We’re going to walk through the
Product Search today because it’s the most complicated, you’ll probably
use it most often, and the others will be a breeze afterwards!
Product Search--Researching a Specific Item
Product Search is the best way to research a specific item you’re
planning to sell on eBay or that you are already selling. When you
enter your search criteria, and hit ,
HammerTap searches through thousands of closed eBay listings from the
last 30 days and returns information on how the product is currently
doing within the market. These results answer questions like “How many
are selling on eBay?”, “How much are they selling for?”, and “What can
I do to increase my profits, if I sell the same thing?”
before we answer questions, we need a product to find the answers for!
For the rest of our course, we’re going to be researching Skullcandy
really picky about my headphones, but last spring I discovered these
little gems, and my music experiences haven’t been the same since. So I
figured I should look at sharing my love with the rest of the
But in order to start sharing my passion,
I need to figure out if and how I can profitably list my earbuds on
eBay, and that starts with a Product Search.
click , and
we'll get started.
walk through each of the search fields, and I’ll show you what we need
to do for our search on Skullcandy Ink’d earbuds. Feel free to open up
your HammerTap software and do the search along with me, but remember
that since HammerTap data is continually updated, your results will be
different than mine. We may not talk about each of the fields and
buttons in order, but hang with me and by the end you’ll be searching
like a pro!
I want to introduce you to the different search methods. These options
are right under the Include Keywords field, and you can search
All of These Words, Any of
These Words, Exact Phrase,
different search methods allow you to determine how you want your
included and excluded keywords to be handled.
of These Words: Your research results will include
listings with all of the specified keywords in any order in their
- Any of These
Words: Your research results will include listings with
any of your specified keywords in any order in their titles.
Phrase: Your research results will return listings with
the same, exact phrase entered in this field, in the same exact
This option allows you to manually enter in keyword criteria (for
example, +skullcandy +ink’d +earbuds –used –lot, etc.).
you’re considering which keywords to include and exclude in your
search, it’s important to be mindful of which search option you’ve
selected. I typically use All of These
that we’ve chosen our search method, we need to choose which keywords
to include. We want to enter words we think will most likely be part of
listing titles for our product. Our goal is to get our research as
narrow as possible but still include as many listings as we can. I know
it sounds like a goal with conflicting interests, but it will give us
the best results.
So, let’s get started looking
for the keywords we want to include for our earbuds search. I’m going
to start with the brand name, Skullcandy. The Skullcandy brand is
pretty specific to headphones, and I’m not sure what other keywords to
include, so I’m going to type skullcandy into my include keywords field
and then hit . The
Search Preview feature will give me a preview (go figure) of the
results my search will return, BEFORE I actually run my entire search.
Here’s what my search preview window looks like.
First, notice that
there’s a listing for headphones that are completely different from my
earbuds. You’ve heard the saying “One bad apple spoils the bunch,” and
this is also true for your research. Including listings in your
research that don’t match the product you’re selling contaminates your
data, giving you bad information; and because you’re making business
decisions based on this information, bad info equals decreased
So, how are we going to make sure our
search doesn’t include these other kinds of headphones? (Play the
Jeopardy music in your head while you’re working out your answer…)
Figured it out yet? I’ll give you a hint… Notice that the listings that
depict my product include the keyword
ink’d. This is the model name for my
specific earbuds, and since most, if not all, of the listings for my
earbuds include this keyword, I can use it to ensure that I’m only
getting my product in my results.
Finally, do we
want to include the keyword earbuds? Well,
if we look at the listings that do depict our product (and scroll
through the rest of the search preview listings), you’ll notice that
some of them use earbuds, some use headset, some use earphone, and some
use earphones (with the ‘s’, HammerTap searches for the exact word—so you’ll get
different results if you searched for earphone versus earphones.).
There isn’t one word that is included in all of the listings for my
product. Since we’re using the All of These
Words search method, we can’t include all of these
different headphone descriptors because our search will then only look
for the listings that have all of those keywords included in the
titles. So, since we’ve gotten pretty specific already with our
ink’d keywords, I think we’ll be ok
without including earbuds… or earphones, or headset.
Choosing the keywords to include certainly took a while! But I think we
covered some pretty important stuff, and all of those recently attained
keyword-choosing skills are going to make choosing the keywords to
exclude a snap.
Keywords is an invaluable tool for narrowing your
research. Quite honestly, I often exclude a lot more keywords than
those I include. The Search Preview window is again going to be your
best friend as you pick and choose the keywords you want to make sure
you exclude. Use the same process we outlined above (look through the
Search Preview, find what you want to exclude and add it to the Exclude
Keywords field, hit again…
and lather, rinse, repeat). For my search I’m going to exclude the
keywords used and
Search Time Frames
next portion of our search window has two options—Recent
Auctions and Last Year’s
Auctions. Recent Auctions is your default setting and
allows you to search the past 30 days. It gives you a great look at
what’s happening right now. If you want to look at smaller chunks of
data, use the little arrows to the right of the dates to adjust the
time period. For example, if I wanted to look at the performance of my
earbuds week-by-week, I could run a search for each week within the
The second choice is Last Year’s
Auctions. This is an awesome feature that’s unique to HammerTap. It
allows you to get an idea of seasonal and holiday trending as you plan
your sales and inventory. It gives you an idea of what’s going to
happen. We’re going to talk about this search option later in the
course, so for this search we’ll stick with recent auctions.
pushing right along, and next up we have a field for an eBay category
number. You can use this field to run your search within a specific
category. For example, if I sold my earbuds all the time, and I knew
they sold best in a certain category, I may want to just research my
earbuds in that category. But how do I know what number to put in the
box? I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t have enough room in
my head to remember all the eBay category numbers!
click this nifty little button, , and…
ta da! You get this screen with all of the eBay categories!
the + and – to expand and close the categories and find the one you’re
looking for. Once you’ve found the category you want, click on it and
hit OK and the number will be automatically entered in the search
However, since this is the first time
we’re selling these earbuds, I’m not sure which category will be best
to list in. So, let’s leave this field blank. This way HammerTap will
return listings that match our search query regardless of category, and
we’ll be able to decide which category will be the most profitable to
Number of Auctions
field allows us to control the number of listings our search returns. A
good rule of thumb is to start with 500 or 1,000 listings. In Lesson 3
we’ll talk about when you would increase this number.
The higher the number of auctions you’re
searching, the longer your search may take.
Min $ and Max $
fields allow you to narrow your research even further. You can exclude
results based solely on their selling price. Since we’re trying to find
out how much I can expect to make on my earbuds, we want to leave these
This is a great tool for excluding accessories
that sell for less than your product and bundles that sell for more.
However, be very careful because these fields can also make your
product appear more attractive than it actually is. When you add a Min
$, HammerTap will exclude listings that did not result in a sale and
had a starting price lower than the minimum, which can result in LSRs
and ASPs that are higher than accurate.
done a good job selecting your included and excluded keywords, you
usually won’t need to use these fields.
almost done! This last section of the search window simply lets you
choose the data you want to look at. Regular and Fixed Price listings
are the default choices, but depending on what you’re interested in,
you may want to select other listing types.
A Dutch listing is an auction-style listing for
multiple items. If you’d like a more detailed explanation and example,
check out this eBay
Our Product Search
so we’ve finally gotten through our entire search window! If you’re
following along with me, you’re search window should now look like
we’ve only included and excluded keywords—everything else is the same.
You’ll find that most of your searches are like that, but it’s
important to understand all of the other search fields too.
go ahead and click .
HammerTap will run your search query and bring up the five result
windows that will give you all the info you need to power up your
listings. Now, I know you’re chomping at the bit to dive into these
results, but please, please, PLEASE stick with me for the next lesson
when we’ll talk about how to make sure we have accurate research.
There’s no sense in doing research if your results are going to give
you the wrong answers.
Now that we’ve completed
our Product Search, we can quickly and easily apply all this new-found
know-how to our other searches. But before you try out those other
searches, please go ahead and save this report so we can come back to
To save your report:
on File (on the top menu bar) or click
- Select Save Report.
- Select the My Reports folder
- Enter the name of the report. Name this one Earbuds.
- Click OK.
now see this report on your left window screen in HammerTap under
da! In just a few minutes you’ve mastered the Product Search! The
Category and Seller searches are very similar, and you should have no
problem figuring them out (and we’ll run them together in some later
Make sure you stay tuned for our next
lesson too because I’m going to show you how to make sure your research
results are accurate. Accuracy is the most important part of our
research since it in fact determines whether or not you increase your
Assignment #2: Practice using the three different searches
You didn’t think you were getting away without homework, did you?
this assignment, please select a product you’re currently selling or
thinking about selling on eBay and complete both a Product and Category
search. Also run a Seller Search on either yourself or one of your
competitors and get an idea of how you’re doing or what you’re up
against. There’s more to come on all these results soon!
You’re now well on your way to finding the right
answers, by asking the right
questions, to give you the right
information on which to base your selling decisions
CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve finished this
session! Sorry it was a little long, but I wanted to make sure you
could search like a pro. If you have any questions, be sure to send
them off to our support
Look for Lesson 3 in your
inbox in a day or two. Or, if you can't wait, move forward to Lesson
Or, return to Power
to Profit Tutorial Home