Research: Your eBay Crystal Ball to Increased Profits

By Sean Eyring, eBay Certified Consultant

Have you ever been frustrated with your eBay performance for some items you have sold in the past? I know I have.

When I first started selling on eBay, it was really quite embarrassing for me. Trying to sell some odds-and-ends around the house, I ended up loosing money rather than making some extra cash. Why? I sold everything in the exact same way: same starting price, same duration, same listing type.

Generally speaking, I knew how to sell on eBay, but was stuck in a rut of listing my items the same way each time, without any variations.

But I didn’t know how to sell those items specifically. I was listing maternity clothes the same way I was listing childrens books, scrapbooking supplies and sports equipment.

No offense, but the same is probably true for many eBay sellers who are selling a wide variety of items like I was.

Often it takes several sales of the same item before you learn how to sell it most profitably. Selling just the one item is just a shot in the dark unless you can get some quick insights on how to sell the item.

By Quick I mean Quick!

The clock is always ticking. I know you are pressed for time. You have large amounts of items to sell, which means taking pictures, listing, packaging and shipping. Your profits are really determined by sales price and the number of sales you make.

This means that the more you sell the product for and the less time you spend on an item, the more money you make for each item and for your time.

But what if spending one more minute on each item could increase your profit substantially; would you spend that extra minute? But how could just one minutes make that big of a difference?

Using what I like to call “quick-shot research,” you can get the information you need to sell an item successfully in less than a minute.

Remember my experience at the first? Although I knew how to sell on eBay, I didn’t know how to sell a specific item. But what do I mean?

I didn't know the ending day when more buyers were ready to make a purchase. I didn't know which keywords to use in my listing title. I knew how to list, but I didn't know how to sell.

With quick-shot research you can know more about selling a specific item. Think of it as your own crystal ball that you look inside to find out how to make the most money selling a particular item.

Crystal Ball Research in One Minute or Less

Enough talking about how quick it is, let me show you.

Let’s say you picked up a Coleman camp stove from a yard sale. You know a little bit about camping equipment, so you pick it cheap with the intent of turning around and selling it on eBay.

The problem. You've never sold a Coleman camp stove before. How do you do it?

Using HammerTap, I do a Category Search for the eBay Category I would be listing in: Sporting Goods > Outdoor Sports > Camping & Hiking > Cooking Supplies > Stoves (Category #62117). See the figure below.

But how is this a crystal ball? What do these figures mean? I'll show you.

With a quick glance, you know that you have a 64.3% chance of selling a stove (Listing Success Rate, LSR) if listed in this category, for an average sales price of $48.04 (Average Sales Price, ASP).

But now what? How does this help me sell this item for a higher price? Let's move on to the next figure.

What am I Looking for Here?

Remember, we are using research to find out what the buyers want when looking for this product. For example, which listing type brings more attention to your listing? What end day and time are the most shoppers ready to make a purchase? Or what listing features do grab buyers attention and their pocketbooks?

The answers to these questions lie in the results above. This means that I need to know which listing options (listing type, end day, etc.) will increase my chances of selling, anything higher than 64%, and increase my selling price, anything higher than $48.04.

In the results above, I’ve circled just a few examples of what we have been talking about. For example, ending your auction on Thursday already increases your sales price by $7.30. For you, that’s $7.30 in extra profit! Choosing a 10-day auction increases your sales price by $38.16, nearly DOUBLE the average sales price!

Are you getting my point? The extra minute spent looking into your crystal ball is really starting to pay off.

Information like this is vitally important to your success. Not only are you making more money for yourself, but it isn't eating into your most precious asset, TIME.

Now you can SEE into your future sales through market research—your personal crystal ball—to increase your profits on every sale in less than a minute!

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