How Do I Plan My Sales and Inventory?
This is your last lesson! Can you believe it?! Congratulations on making it this far!
doubt you now know HammerTap inside and out, and you’re light years
ahead of everyone who didn’t get the Power to Profit (and everyone who
dropped out after the first couple lessons too!). You know exactly how
to use HammerTap to decide what to sell, to optimize your listings, and
to effectively compete within the eBay marketplace, and I’m sure you’re
already seen a difference in your eBay listings. But, we’ve only been
looking at one side of the equation.
experienced business executive knows that you can’t just focus on your
product and market in the here and now—you have to plan for the future!
But how do you lay your plans when the future is always
Well, all markets experience trends,
and eBay is no exception. There are both general trends (like increased
sales around the holidays) and product-specific trends (like clothing
fashions), and today I’m going to show you how you can discover and use
these trends to make your plans. I’ll show you how HammerTap saves the
day yet again!
Using Last Year's Auctions
planning for the future, what has happened in the past is one of our
greatest resources. Unfortunately, finding accurate information from
anything but the recent past can often be difficult and time consuming.
But not with HammerTap! HammerTap’s exclusive Last Year’s
Auctions feature makes it easy for you to quickly
predict and plan for what is going to happen.
Let’s open up our Filtered Earbuds report, and I’ll show you how it works!
you’ve opened up the saved report, go ahead and click . This
will show you the Product Search window with the same search criteria
we used to get the results for the past 30 days, or what’s happening
right now. Now, we’re going to take it a step further and check out
Last Year’s Auctions and discover what’s
going to happen.
To do this all you have to do is
check the box to include Last Year’s
Auctions instead of Current
Auctions, and hit .
Notice the dates when you select
Last Year’s Auctions. Instead of searching
closed listings for the last month, we’re now searching listings that
closed last year within the upcoming 30 day period. This will give us a
good idea of the trends we can expect to see in our current market.
Keep in mind that a Category Search will allow you to search up to 90
days of information, and the Seller Search does not allow for a
Last Year’s Auctions search because of
eBay’s privacy policies.
Once you’ve run your
search, HammerTap will bring up the same 5 windows we’ve talked about
in all of our lessons, and you can use the same techniques we’ve
discussed within these new search results to get an idea of what was
working last year. However, we don’t just want to know how sellers
could optimize their listings last year. We want to discover our
Trending For Success
trends can be very hard if all you have to work from is a single set of
search results. For example, if I showed you a picture of a ball in
midair, would you be able to tell me if it was on its way up or down?
Probably not. It’s almost impossible to decide if the ball’s rising or
falling based on only one picture. However, if I then gave you a second
image that was taken just a few seconds before or after the first,
would you be able to make a better decision?
HammerTap searches are the same. When we examine our research results,
we’re essentially looking at a “freeze frame” of our product market,
and it’s very difficult to see whether the product’s performance is
rising or falling. However, if we can compare several searches from
various time periods, we can get a much better idea of what’s going
So, instead of trying to decipher trends from
our overall Last Year’s Auctions search,
let’s conduct four searches for four different time frames.
do this, simply click , again
select Last Year’s Auctions, except this
time use the arrows to adjust the time frame to one week, then hit
this three more times, but change the dates each time so that you end
up with four searches for four subsequent weeks. Now, your have four
reports that you can easily compare by clicking between them at the
bottom of your search windows. (Remember, that the time period I’m
searching is different than yours, so our results will be
Now, we’re going to compare these
search result to one another and try to find the trends. Here’s a chart
of my search results that I put together:
conducted my research at the end of October, so, my results pretty much
show the month of November, and I can see that as we enter the holiday
selling season, both supply and demand for my product are on the rise.
(For a more thorough discussion of Supply and Demand, check out this
Even though each week’s individual ASP and LSR vary, we can see that
our potential for sales and profit are definitely increasing by looking
at the Total Sales, Average
Sales Per Seller, and Average Revenue Per
Seller. These numbers all steadily increase, showing us
that this is a market we can expect to sell more in.
is great information as we plan our inventory and sales. It may be
somewhat of a no-brainer that sales are going to increase during the
holiday season, but we now know how much we can expect them to increase
by (the Total Sales more than doubled from
Week 1 to Week 4). We can also continue conducting this research to
pinpoint exactly when sales started to drop off. Knowing when to expect
decreasing sales is incredibly valuable because it allows you to plan
you inventory and sales in a way that ensures you make the majority of
your sales when you can get the best prices, instead of missing your
window of opportunity and having to hold excess inventory or move into
Now, you may be thinking that this
seems like an awful lot of work just to sell one set of Skullcandy
earbuds, and you’re exactly right! Doing this kind of trending research
is much more worthwhile when you have a large inventory of an item. If
I was only interested in selling one set of earbuds, I probably would
have just figured out how to optimize my listing. However, if I’m
selling this item many times, this trending research gives me the
information I need to build an inventory based on anticipated sales
levels, just like a retail store.
Building Your Plans According to Trends
Last Year’s Auctions search is a great
tool as we plan our sales and inventory, and we can also use it to see
how buyers behave on certain days. For example, if I wanted to see if
sales for my product decreased or increased on Thanksgiving Day I could
run that research, although I would probably want to make sure I had an
idea of normal day-to-day sales so I could make an effective
comparison. Understanding what happened in the past, is a great way to
build your plans for the future.
So now you can
not only optimize your listings with strategic decisions based on
facts, and not just guesswork, but you’ve now learned how to use
HammerTap to predict and plan for the future! You are now officially a
HammerTap Master, and you’re armed with information that will not only
make you a powerful seller, but it will also help effectively build and
grow your eBay business. Congratulations!
Assignment #10: What trends are in store for your product?
You can’t get away from the last lesson without at least a little assignment!
ahead and run a Last Year’s Auctions
search for one of your own products. Are sales levels going to stay the
same, increase, or decrease? Just in case you need a little more help
interpreting the data, I’ve put together this short list of articles
that may help.
See what you can predict about the future of your products!
on officially finishing this Power to Profit course! I promise that
you’re miles ahead of the competition with all of the techniques you’ve
learned here. HammerTap has the facts and numbers you need to make
educated and strategic decisions, so you’ll never have to just guess
Remember, if you have any questions, you
can always send them to our support
team. You can also find support contact info, frequently
asked questions, and a ton of other educational resources in our forum. I
look forward to seeing you there!
Congratulations on completing the course!
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