Hogging the Holiday Spotlight


By Steve Nye, eBay Certified Consultant

Hello again, all of you eBay research fanatics!

Speaking of fanatic, I am a huge fan of the outdoors during the holiday season. One of my favorite outdoor sports is skiing, and since I only have a car, I have collected quite an array of ski and bike carrier parts and accessories. Well, I think I mentioned that I recently moved, so it was time to get rid of some of these ski racks to make some extra cash for my holiday shopping.

So, I got on eBay, and I typed in the type of racks I wanted to sell in the search bar. Of course, eBay’s search engine returned listings it had found with my keywords in their listing titles. There was a large quantity of these racks being sold, but they were all different, and all had very different listing titles.

That left me with a challenge—creating a winning title that would help me hog the spotlight. What does it mean to hog the spotlight, you ask? Hogging the spotlight means that you are drawing all the attention you can to your listings through the keywords that you use in your title. The problem is, if your title doesn’t match the keywords the customer is looking for, they will never even see your item, even though it might be exactly what they are looking for. That’s why HammerTap’s exclusive keyword analysis helps you determine the combination of words that will help you hog the spotlight, which in the end, brings more traffic to your listing and more money to your pocket.

Keywords and the Findings Window

I did some research to sell these racks using HammerTap and this is what I found.

We can see that my Listing Success Rate (LSR) was almost 58% and my Average Sales Price (ASP) was $56.14. Now these are the averages, but surely I want to make more money than the average selling price. And in order for me to do that, I need to hog the spotlight and get as many holiday shoppers to my listing as possible.

It's a fact that the auctions that contain more of the keywords shoppers are looking for sell for a higher price. Why? Because the more shoppers that find your auction means the more demand and less supply there is in the market. You now have 100 people watching and bidding on your auction instead of only 10 because people can find your listing.


For my racks, I used the Findings Window for a quick glance at keywords that can boost my LSR and ASP.

With one quick glance, I can see Title Words that will increase my LSR and ASP. But I'm not sure how all of these words fit well into a title. So, I went to the Keywords Window to find some more words that will boost my auction (and that coincide with what I am selling - I don't want any false advertising here).

Utilizing Keyword Analysis

A helpful thing to remember when using this window is that you can move the data around in this window, so you can look at this information from whatever angle you like. I like to organize my results like the illustration below.

To do this with your own product:

  1. Make sure the data is sorted in descending order for # of Auctions.
  2. Scroll to the right of the screen until you find the Auction Success Rate column.
  3. Left-click and hold on the Auction Success Rate column and drag it to the left of the window.
  4. Drop the Auction Success Rate column next to the # of Auctions column. Green arrows will appear to show you where to drop it. Let go of the mouse to drop the column.
  5. Now drag and drop the ASP/Item column next to the Auction Success Rate column.

In this example I've circled the words that greatly increase my ASP. You can see that I circled BIKE. Well, I am selling a roof rack during the winter for skiing, but using the word BIKE - because these racks can be used for bikes as well - increases my sales price? Why? Because now you doubled your audience size from skiers to skiers and bikers.

Now that we have the data in front of us from the Findings and Keywords Windows, we are ready to build that title that will hog the spotlight.

Building that Winning Title

We want to find a good combination of words that will give us both a high Average Selling Price and Listing Success Rate. If we can do this, we are using keywords that shoppers are using when they search for an item. How do you know that this is the case? Because the items with the highest ASP and LSR have the highest demand, meaning the highest number of bidders bidding on a shortage of items.

Tip: You might find keywords that will also help you pinpoint hot-selling products using this same method. For example, if you’re selling clothing, you might use this window to check out which brands, colors, and styles are in the highest demand from the highest paying buyers.

Remember, we want the words that give us a higher sales price and success rate than the average (or higher than what our cost is).

From these words, I created my sizzling-hot title: Ski/Bike Roof Rack W/4 Q Towers, Locks, Key. This listing title brought in a sale much higher than the average because it containted more of the keywords shoppers were looking for.

The Facts Never Lie

I have to be honest with you - this title works. I sold one set of racks with this title, but my gut instinct told me to change it up a bit for the second auction, and I listed it with different keywords. I left out the letter "Q" which I had found to be very successful in the titles. Through this mistake, I learned that leaving out "Q" brought in a much lower sales price.

I learned to follow the facts. What I thought would be a better title, ended up not being as compelling. In order to hog the spotlight, I needed the words I came up with through research.

Now I carefully select the keywords to use in my listing title according to their effect upon my success rate and sales price. You should do the same with your auctions. Even if you are selling the perfect product, no one will buy it—let alone see it—if it doesn’t include the keywords they are searching for. Something as simple as the letter "Q" can add more than $50 to your total sales. Now that’s what I call Powering up Your Auctions!

Now you must be dying to open HammerTap and work on hogging the spotlight for the holidays! Okay, okay—you're free to go!

Hope you have a very successful week!!


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