Finding the Most Profitable eBay Products that Play to Your Strengths

By Steve Myers, Online Marketing Consultant

There's two schools of thought. One says you should only sell those things you know well on eBay. The other claims you can sell any product and make money, regardless of your product. Which is right? Both are. Let me explain.

With Good Auction Research, You Can Sell Anything on eBay

It's true. With good tools and accurate data to research your auctions, you can make money on eBay, with or without specific knowledge of your product. But there are limitations.

If you've followed past newsletter articles, you've seen how market research tools like HammerTap give you specific knowledge to discover, for example:

  • For how much will your product sell?
  • How likely is it to sell?
  • When's the best day to close my auction?

These are a few of the factors that go into a successful eBay listing. They are all important factors that we can sum up with a simple answer. Maybe if I'm selling Wilson brand baseball catcher's mitts, I find it's likely to sell for $12.52. Maybe it sells 59% of the time at that price point and I find the best day to close my auction is Sunday.

Competitive Edge

This information puts me hands and feet above my competition all by itself. But let's say I know nothing about baseball (in my case, not far from the truth). I may know what price I can expect for a Wilson catcher's mitt, but is that enough?

It's not. What do I lack? Well, I need to know more about catcher's mitts in general, and this mitt specifically. I could go to Wilson's web site and get a product description for the mitt I wanted to sell. And guess what? It's likely the same description half of my competition's ads will use.

Sell What You Know

Here's where knowing your subject comes into play. If you're going to create a successful eBay listing, it's not enough to know "just the facts, ma'am." If you don't mind your product description sounding as cold as a winter January night, go ahead.

But if you want to stand out from the crowd, you've got to do something a little different. That's where your product knowledge comes in.

OK, I already admitted that baseball isn't my thing. So for me, what stirs me up? What can I get excited about? What do I talk about with my friends?

My Addiction

For me, it's marketing. I'm a marketing addict. And it all started out so innocently. I had a client several years ago who paid me an hourly rate to do their online marketing and technical work for them. I got an hourly wage.

Then they did something truly evil. They offered me a commission on online sales. Well, that turned me to the marketing "dark side" for good. I was hooked.

I couldn't learn marketing fast enough. I devoured the works of the greats like Joseph Sugarman (my all-time marketing hero), John Caples, and David Ogilvie. I have studied hundreds of advertisements and direct mail pieces. I can't watch a commercial the same ever again. I even enjoy looking at my junk mail, because I'm looking for new angles to try in my own writing.

If I've bored you already talking about marketing, I've made my point.

What's Your Passion?

You may never become a marketing junkie like I am. But I'll bet you could sense my passion about the subject. You likely have not heard of Joseph Sugarman, but you can tell how enthusiastic I am about his work. He's the master copy writer.

Now, what are you passionate about? Are you selling the things on eBay that get you excited? If not, let me make this clear. You can still make money selling things on eBay that you're not passionate about. You just handicap yourself in doing so. People who don't know much about your product will sense how you feel about it.

So, all things being equal, should I sell baseball mitts or marketing books? If both are equally profitable, what edge will my specific product knowledge give me?

Why Passion Matters

I'll write a better description. I have no idea what makes a world-class baseball glove better than a discount store special. And good descriptions come down to one of the most basic marketing principles: features vs. benefits.

At its simplest, a product feature is some aspect of the item. For a baseball mitt, a feature might be "child-sized glove." It tells something about it.

A benefit wraps why I should care about the feature into the description. In the example above, a benefit might read, "This child-sized glove will fit your youngster perfectly, so they'll catch that pop-fly more often. Better yet, they'll stop borrowing your glove."

Be the Expert

Not only will you write a more compelling description that makes your product more likely to sell, you're ready to answer questions from potential sellers. Let's say I'm selling a catcher's mitt and I get the following question: "What kind of lacings does the mitt have?"

If I know all about baseball gloves (and remember, I'm pretending here), I might say "They are of the highest grade leather, extra-thick for durability."

If I know nothing about baseball mitts, when asked about the laces, I'd likely say something useful like "Uh... they're brown." Exaggerated point? Maybe. But you get the picture. You're better able to speak intelligently about your product when you know more about it.

Finding Profitable eBay Products to Sell

So how do you decide what to sell on eBay? Maybe you check out eBay's "hot lists" to determine what's selling well. The problem there is that once an emerging "hot" product makes the list, the word's out. Competition increases, and profits are on the way down.

Others may just browse eBay listings to see which items have high bids on them. You can spend a lot of time that way and still not know which features are contributing to the high selling price.

When you combine your specific product knowledge with an auction research tool like HammerTap, you drastically improve your odds of finding the most profitable items for you to sell on eBay.

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:

  • Successful Keywords
  • Best Auction Type For Your Products
  • Best Listing Duration
  • 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 nothing to prove to yourself there's a more profitable way to eBay.

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