I Know What's Hot on eBay!


by Jen Cano, eBay Certified Consultant

Some would have you believe that there´s a simple answer to what’s hot on eBay. Well, I´d agree—to a point. That simple answer is a starting point. But, to find out what works on a practical level, you have to delve a little deeper to find the answer for specific product offerings.

A few weeks ago, I promised you an article that would tell you how to use eBay´s list of super-hot items, together with HammerTap, to discover new hot-selling items.

eBay´s Hot Categories List

We´ll start with the Hot Categories report eBay publishes. You can find the report at eBay Seller Central. eBay keeps this report up to date and organizes their findings into categories.

The report shows the "hotness rating for categories all the way down to level 4 categories. They´re rated Super Hot, Very Hot, or Hot. I, of course, looked for a Super Hot level four category, and found it in Clothing > Girls > Shoes > Boots. I chose this category because, as a mom, I have some interest in children´s clothing.

To create a winning auction, though, I really need to know which brand, which style, and maybe even which size will give me the most successful sales rate and the highest price. For that, I turn to HammerTap.

Getting Specific with HammerTap

For my initial research, I entered just the category (57976), selected 1000 auctions, and hit the Start button. The research came back with all 1000 auctions, averaging a 62% success rate and an average sales price of $15.90 for the last thirty days.

62% is fine, but I was on a hunt for a hot-selling item. I needed to find out what kinds of boots were selling most often and for the best price. To begin finding this out, I went to the Keywords tab.

Sort by Auction with Sales on the Keywords Tab
Why would I begin my search by looking at the keywords tab? The Keywords tab shows statistics about every word in every auction included in the research. Since most people include the brand name in the title, this is a great place to begin an initial comparison of brands.

I began by clicking on the Auctions with Sales column heading. This sorts the words in the titles according to the number of auctions that sold. As I scanned the list, two brands popped out at me: Gap and Elefanten. They each showed nearly 80 successful auctions, with an average success rate of over 80%. Average sales prices looked good, too. These statistics told me that it was worth my time to find out more about the two most promising brands.

Comparison Research

To fully compare the two brands, I requested two more reports. For the first one, I entered the keyword Gap, in addition to the category information. For the second one, I entered the keyword Elefanten, in addition to the category information. Not surprisingly, the information on the Keywords tab from my more generic report gave accurate clues to what I found when I ran the more specific reports. Here´s what I found:

Brand # of Auctions ASP (average sales price) Success Rate
Elefanten 132 $25.04 82.5
Gap 157 $17.07 82.8

As you can see, other than sales price, the auctions are pretty neck-and-neck. I´d have to do some research to find out how much I can get the two types of boots for. That will help me make a decision about which brand will give me the highest profits.

Make Your Auction Even Hotter

Once you´ve identified that hot-selling item, you can take your research one step further to find out how to boost your chances of selling and your profits to an even higher level. For example, the Reports tab on my Elefanten girls boots research shows that Buy It Now (fixed price) auctions had an average success rate of 89.87% with an ASP (average sales price) of $26.23.

Use the Reports tab to find out other ways to boost your success, such as the best auction features, starting day, ending day, and ending time. For more complete information about how you can increase your auction success using HammerTap, see the Getting Started section of our Sellers Guide, found at http://www.hammertap.com/support/sellersguide.pdf.

HammerTap Resource Center

Sometime in the next week or so, the HammerTap team will add a new Resource Center to the HammerTap website. The Resource Center will include archives of our weekly newsletter, Auctionography. It will also include links to websites that will help you with your auctions, as well as suggest other tools designed to help you create more winning auctions.

Right now we´re welcoming your suggestions of what you would like to see in the Resource Center. Please send suggestions to auctionography@hammertap.com.

Call for Topics

We want to know what you want to know about the world of auctioning for future issues of Auctionography. The topics don´t have to be limited to auction research. For example, last week we recapped a report on the eBay buyer profile. Please send your requests to support@hammertap.com.
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