Sell It For More Or Sell It For Sure?
By Steve Myers, Online Marketing Consultant
There's just two things. When you measure the success of
an eBay auction, you probably care most about:
- Will the product sell?
- How much will you sell it for?
If you increase your likelihood of selling your product
on eBay, do you increase or decrease how much it will sell
for? Keep reading to learn how to find the perfect
combination of listing features to sell for more and sell more
often on eBay.
To find out which factors increase your chances to sell
or to sell for more, we'll need an eBay auction research
tool. We'll use HammerTap Deep Analysis to determine the
best combination of listing features.
Right now, the eBay community is buzzing about "eBay
market research." What's all the talk about?
Here's what it comes down to: selling more listings
and getting higher selling prices is not just "good
luck." What makes it tougher is that no single aspect of
an auction listing makes it a success. Some auction listing
success factors include:
- How desirable the product is
- Starting price
- Keywords used
- The listing title
- Listing features used (gallery picture, bold, highlight,
Each of these factors is like a number in the combination
for opening a safe. If you knew your bank had a vault with
a single number as its combination, I'm guessing you wouldn't
want to keep your money there. But increase the numbers in
the combination by even three or four, and your valuables
are safe there. Why?
With a single number as a safe's combination, a child could
crack the safe in a minute or two. If the dial on the safe
goes from one to 100, that's only 100 possibilities to open
the safe. If there's even two numbers, that grows to 10,000
combinations. With three numbers, that grows to 1,000,000
Determining the best combination of product, starting
price, keywords, and so on for your product can get complex
without rich market research to quickly and easily make sense
of it all.
If you're trying to open a safe, getting just one digit
wrong means you're locked out. In the same way,
it only takes getting one eBay listing factor wrong to turn
a potentially profitable eBay listing into one where you practically
give the product away or it doesn't sell at all. Either way,
you lose money. We'll show you how to prevent this from happening
To consistently increase your chance to sell
at the best margin takes real-world data, the kind that auction
research software like HammerTap makes easy to find and quickly
Research helps you accurately predict the success
factors to use before you ever risk a dime paying for listing
fees on a failed auction or other listing. Sure, you can
often act on your intuition and still sell your product on
eBay at a profit. With auction research, you'll just do it
Which Listing Factors Matter Most to Sellers Focused on
If your goal is to quickly sell on eBay, you want to identify
features which influence a buyer to make a quick purchase
Which Listing Factors Matter Most to Sellers Focused on
These are those factors which influence a buyer to bid higher.
This is most often caused by creating a bidding frenzy, where
each buyer bids just a little bit higher until the price goes much higher than any of the bidders
really want to pay.
These seem like simple answers to these two questions, maybe
no-brainers. Where the challenge comes is in determining
how to achieve these goals with the auction factors we can
change. Some factors, such as how desirable the product is, we
can't change, so we focus on the factors like starting price
and listing features we can change.
Let's use some actual market research to look at some
eBay items. I have two old balls sitting in my garage that
I want to sell. One is a football and the other is a basketball.
Right now, I'd like you to make some guesses about
ways to sell each item in two scenarios:
- I need to make sure that
my auctions sell quickly. I'm leaving on vacation and
don't have time to hang around waiting for a sale.
What's the best starting date for my auction? Does
starting date really matter?
got all the time in the world and I just want to make sure
that I make the most money possible off my two items. What
is the best starting date now? Again, could that really
make any difference?
to how confident you were when you guessed which the best
start days in each scenario were. Without auction
research, you make your most educated guess. Even
so, to some extent you have no choice but to rely on your
best guess because it's all you have to go on.
Best Chance of Selling vs. Selling Price
In scenario 1, we wanted to increase our chance to sell,
without focusing on the selling price. Let's see what HammerTap
research tells us about the best day to sell our items.
|Figure 1 - Selling a Football on eBay
Figure 1 shows it's
in my best interest to start my auction on Sunday if I am
mostly concerned with having a successful sale. However,
if I am concerned about getting the highest possible sales
price (ASP) for my football I might want to start my auction
on a Monday.
What about my basketball? Again let's look at the
data and see what we find.
|Figure 2 - Selling a Basketball on eBay
With my basketball, I'm better off to start my auction on
Monday if I am mostly concerned with having a successful
sale. However, if I am concerned about getting the highest
possible sales price (ASP) for my basketball I'd want
to start this auction on a Saturday.
Let's sum up our findings.
- Best start date for auction success: Sunday
- Best start date for high sales price: Monday
- Best start date for auction success: Monday
- Best start date for high sales price: Saturday
When you made your guesses earlier, were you right?
An important point I want to make here is that, with good
data research our confidence level in our choices goes way
up because our decisions are based on factual data not trial
and error or lucky guesswork.
Now that I have the initial research to help me decide what
day I should start my auction on to meet one of my two goals,
I'm ready to make a much more important decision.
Up to this point I have been asking you to decide between
two strategies: a better chance of selling or
a higher price. Now, let's try, instead,
to maximize them both.
So the question then becomes, what day should I start my
auction on if I want to have the highest possible chance
of a successful auction and at the same time maximize the
final sales price? The answers to each of these questions
for every product—sometimes even for every
I'll find the answers to my questions, once again,
on the Reports tab in DeepAnalysis. It’s clear that with my football, Monday is going to be the best day to give me the best chance of selling my ball and the best chance at getting a higher average sales price.
It’s clear that with my basketball, Saturday is going to be the best day to give me the best chance of selling my ball and the best chance at getting a higher average sales price.
you have thought that there would be such a difference between
two balls from my garage?
It's important to remember here that these differences
exist with every product listed on eBay and they change relative
to every feature that you can choose from when you generate
an auction on eBay.
Again, let's think about the “code” we
needed to crack. Today we used data research to quickly discover
one digit of our code, auction start date. Although the process
was quick and easy, we now will need to continue with a few
other features (end date, reserve price, bolding, highlights,
photos, etc.) so that we can have the entire code to higher
eBay profits revealed completely.
Once the process is complete we can sell with confidence
that comes from knowing that guesswork has been eliminated
and that our decisions are instead based on actual data.
It's my hope that after today's discussion we
all understand that quality research software tools, like
DeepAnalysis, can help you decide the best time of day to
end your auction, the best auction duration, the best starting
price, categories and title words that will bring more buyers,
and lots more.
With practice, you'll discover all kinds of treasures—and
not just the ones in your garage.
Make the most of your auctions with research!
Try HammerTap FREE for 10 Days and remove the guesswork!
Determining what works and what doesn't when it comes to your listings requires research.
Anything less puts you at risk of not making the sale or not making as much as you could be on each sale. A research tool like
HammerTap helps you bypass the costly trial and error process by quickly giving you the key information you need for profitable online auctions.
Why not take HammerTap for a FREE test drive? We'll give you 10 days to put HammerTap to work for you. Use its power to determine:
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- Which Listing Features Improve Your Chance to Sell and Which Increase the Closing Price
- Optimal Start Price to Use
- Best Day of the Week to Start and End Your Auctions
- Seasonal Trends
- And much more!
As a bonus, you'll receive 10-lesson Power to Profit course to help you immediately see the effects research can have on your auctions.
We'll also throw in selling tips from Industry Experts in our members-only Auctionography newsletter.
You owe it to yourself to take the guesswork and risk out of your auctions. Try HammerTap free for 10 days. If you are
not absolutely sure you'll increase your eBay profits by the $19.95 subscription price, you're free to cancel. It costs you
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