Great Big Leaps in Profit with Teeny Tiny Changes

By Steve Nye, eBay Certified Consultant and HammerTap Research Expert

How do you make every listing count? And by count I mean make the most money possible each and every time you list the product.

Let’s start with a hypothetical situation here. You found an amazing deal on ionic air purifiers, and so you buy five of them. One of them you keep, and you plan on selling the other four on eBay.

You list the first purifier and make $10 in profit. The next week, you list the second purifier with what you think are slight improvements and only make $7 in profit. The next week you list the third one the exact same way you listed the first, and make only $8 in profit. Still trying to get back the high of $10 in profit, you list the final purifier completely different than the previous three and make $18 in profit.

In the end, your grand total of profit is $43, which isn’t bad. But what if you could have sold every item for the high of $18 in profit? What if you could have made every listing count? If you could have sold each purifier at an $18 profit, you would have made a total of $72, which is $29 more than your actual profit.

Keep reading to learn how to make every listing count and maximize your profitability every time!

Cracking the Code

Have you ever tried to guess the right combination of numbers for a triple-combination lock? Take a triple-digit briefcase lock, for example. How long would it take you to crack it? An hour maybe? But that’s just three numbers. But this is a piece of cake next to the possible combinations of listing options available when you list your product on eBay.

With your auction, there are a more than a million different ways to list an item. For example, multiply possible closing days with possible auction types, with listing features, with categories, with listing duration, with keywords…. Well, you begin to get the picture. Each new digit adds an exponential increase in possible ways to list your product.

So how do you know the optimal combination of listing options that will produce the maximum price, making you the most money on every listing.

Simple. You crack the code.

If you can’t crack the code of the briefcase, you will never know what’s locked inside. However, not cracking the code for your listings means that you are losing out on profits that should be yours!

How Can I Crack the Code for my Listings?

The bigger eBay gets the more important it becomes for you to create auctions that are making you the most money. You can get this knowledge through 1) trial and error, like our hypothetical situation at the beginning, or through 2) market research.

Just think of HammerTap as your little code breaker that will unlock the door to increased profits. Let’s see how.

When you list an item on eBay, it walks you through the listing process, giving you several different ways to list your product. For example, how do you know which of the following options will maximize your profits?

  • Category
  • Listing Title Keywords
  • Gallery Picture
  • Starting Price
  • Listing Type
  • Duration
  • Starting Day and Time
  • Ending Day and Time
  • Listing Features

Let’s take a look at how this is done with HammerTap. I did the research for Ionic Purifiers, and the results are listed below.

Figure 1 - Research results for Ionic Purifier. Copyright 2007, HammerTap.

Now remember, we are concerned just with an increase in our profitability, so we want to sell our product for the maximum price. Here we see that the Average Sales Price (ASP) is $67.82, and hypothetically the cost of our product is $60. Two of our sales were right around the average, while two were more than the average.

We need to select the best listing options that we discussed above to make more than the average of $67.82.

Maximizing Your Profits with Research

By looking at closed auctions, we can find out what combination of listing options increase your sales price.

Figure 2 - Research results for Ionic Purifier. Copyright 2007, HammerTap.

All of the listing options above bring you the highest sales price. Just to explain a few things. First, the best Listing Type is a regular auction with a BIN (Buy it Now) feature. Because of this, people can buy the item immediately without waiting for the auction to end. In that case, the Start Day is more important than the End Day. And the best Duration was “other” indicating that when buyers used the BIN feature, it ended the auction early, making the duration different than the regular 3, 5, 7 or 10-day auctions. The important thing is to pick Sunday as the Start Day, and make your initial duration long enough to last until Thursday.

(Note: I’m not going to go into every detail of how to do the best Category, Start Price and Keywords in this article. Please register for our Advanced Webinar to receive live training on how this is done.)

In the research, I found the best Category to be 115955 (Home & Garden > Heating, Cooling & Air > Air Cleaners & Purifiers > Ionic Air Purifiers), which boosted my Average Sales Price to $79.59.

With the Keyword Analysis, I created my listing title from the following keywords:

  • Washable = $176.15
  • Ionic = $67.82
  • Air = $67.78
  • Purifier = $67.93
  • Cleaner = $73.10
  • Odor = $92.48
  • Eliminator = $155.00

Putting these keywords together to make a title, Washable ionic air purifier / cleaner odor eliminator, boosts my ASP to $100.04.

Making Every Listing Count

Bringing everything together will really help you see how profitable research can be.

Remember from the start that we made $43 in profit. However, if we would have made $18 in profit, we could have made $72?

After we have done the research and have done everything to maximize our sales price, we can expect to sell every listing for $95.22.

Now, with the cost of the product being $60, we have increased our profits to $35.22 per sale. And of course, with research we are making every listing count, so we now increase our total profits to $140.88!

By cracking the code for these four ionic purifiers, we increased our sales from a total of $283 to $380.88. That is a 35% increase in total sales. Not bad for five minutes of your time.

But, here is the kicker! Our profits went from $43 to $140.88, which is a 228% increase in profit!

Now that I have your attention and you are no doubt ready to learn more, join me for live training by registering for our Advanced Webinar.

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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