How to Make Huge Leaps in Profit with Teeny Tiny Changes

By Sean Eyring, 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 a Weber Genesis gas BBQ grill, 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 grill and make $120 in profit. The next week, you list the second grill with what you think are slight improvements and only make $93 in profit. The next week you list the third one the exact same way you listed the first, and make only $86 in profit. Still trying to get back the high of $120 in profit, you list the final grill completely different than the previous three and make $128 in profit.

In the end, your grand total of profit is $427, which isn’t bad. But what if you could have sold every item for the high of $128 in profit? What if you could have made every listing count? If you could have sold each grill at an $128 profit, you would have made a total of $512, which is $85 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 a Weber Genesis Gas Grill, and the results are listed below.


Figure 1 - Research results for Weber Genesis Gas Grill. Copyright 2009, 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 $443.86, and hypothetically the cost of our product is $349.00. 

We need to select the best listing options that we discussed above to make more than the average of $443.86.

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 Weber Genesis Gas Grill. Copyright 2009, 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 Fixed Price listing. 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 10 days.  The important thing is to pick Wednesday as the Start Day, and make your initial duration long enough to last until Thursday.

With a little more research, I found the best Category to be 79687 (Home & Garden > Yard, Garden & Outdoor Living > Outdoor Cooking & Eating > Gas Grills & Accessories > Gas Grills), which boosted my Average Sales Price to $689.66.

Figure 3 - Research results for Weber Genesis Gas Grill. Copyright 2009, HammerTap. 

With the Keyword Analysis, I filtered my report to show the best keywords with the highest Average Sales Price.  I came up with the following keywords and sales prices (keeping in mind my ASP was $443.86):

  • Weber = $443.86
  • Gas = $443.86
  • Grill = $443.86
  • Barbeque = $860.12
  • Propane = $750.21
  • BBQ = $777.86
  • Natural = $797.01
  • New = $518.12

Putting these keywords together to make titles such as:  New Weber Genesis Natural Gas BBQ Grill or Weber Genesis Propane Barbeque BBQ Natural Gas Grill, have the potential of boosting my ASP to $860.12 (a whopping $416.25 profit!)

*Remember you have 55 characters worth of space for that listing title, make the most of it with the most beneficial keywords!

Making Every Listing Count

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

Remember from the start that we made $427 total in profit. However, if we would have made $128 in profit on each item we sold, we could have made $512?

After we have done the research and have done everything to maximize our sales price, we can expect to sell every listing for an average of  $443.86.

Now, with our cost for the product being $349.00, we have increased our profits to $94.86 per sale. And of course, with research we are making every listing count, so we now increase our total profits to $416.25 on average per sale!

By cracking the code for these four BBQ grills, we increased our sales from a total of $512 to $1664. That is a 43% increase in total sales. Not bad for five minutes of your time.

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.

Click HERE to See How HammerTap Gives You the Power to Profit

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