Lesson 2: Feel the Power!—Searching with HammerTap

Greetings eBay PowerBroker,

Let´s just jump right into Lesson 2. Today you will learn how to conduct three different searches with HammerTap. These three searches allow you to power up your auctions in just a few simple steps.

First let´s take a look at the search taskbar. This taskbar contains the three different search buttons: Product Search, Category Search and Seller Search. Let´s start with Product Search.

Product Search—Researching a Specific Item

Product Search is the best way to research a specific item you are planning to sell. When you enter your product, along with other search criteria, and hit start search, HammerTap will search through thousands of closed auctions within the last 30 days and will return the results of how that product is currently doing within the market. How many are selling? How much are they selling for? What can I do to increase my profits? Finding the right answers to these questions begins with asking the right questions.

For example, let´s go ahead and pick a product to sell and use that same product throughout this course. I own (and love) an iPod 30GB. Let´s do a Product Search for one of these.

To begin a Product Search:

  1. Click .
  2. In the Include Keywords field, enter words you think will most likely be part of auction titles you want to research (for this example, enter iPod 30GB). You could also enter words into Exclude Keywords, but we will cover that in Lesson 3.
  3. Click the Current Auctions checkbox and select the Start/End dates you prefer from the appropriate fields. (For the Current Auctions in a Product Search HammerTap will only research within the past 30 days, with a couple days´ lag time.)
  4. Next, select the appropriate category you want to research by clicking . (For this search I chose "iPod" or category number 90964.)

    If one of your research objectives is to find the BEST CATEGORIES to list your auction in, do NOT limit your query to a particular category.

  5. Select the Number of Auctions you want to include in your research. Choose a number that is large enough that results will be representative of a large portion of all available auctions. 500 to 1,000 auctions is a good rule of thumb to begin with.
  6. Select the Minimum and Maximum $ amounts if desired.

    Our purpose in researching this product is to find out the maximum amount we can make on a sale, so it may also be helpful to leave this field blank.

  7. Select the Auction Types you wish to research. (By default, HammerTap selects Regular, Dutch, and BIN Auctions.)
  8. Click .

If you entered in the information correctly, your Product Search screen should look like the one below. (Note: Your dates will differ from the dates in these searches. Your research will cover the 30 days previous to the date you conduct the research.)

Above: Product Search criteria for "iPod," eBay category 90964.

Once you click , HammerTap will perform the research and pull up five results windows. These windows contain all the information to power up your auctions. I know you are chomping at the bit to dive into these, but please stay with me for the next lesson, where I will teach you how to get accurate results. There is no sense in doing the research if it is giving you the wrong answers to your questions.

Before we move on, go ahead and save this report for later use in this course.

To save a report:

  1. Click on File (on the top menu bar) or click .
  2. Select Save Report.
  3. Select the My Reports folder.
  4. Enter the name of the report, for this one name it iPod 30GB.
  5. Click OK.

You will now see this report on your left window screen in HammerTap under My Products.

Category Search—Researching Within a Specific Category

For now, let´s move onto the Category Search option. This option is your search of choice when you are determining the size of the market for a specific product within a category, finding hot items within a category or selling a rare item within a category. However, instead of reaching back 30 days, a category search reaches back 90 days to give you a snapshot for trending over the last three months.

Since we are selling iPods, go ahead and conduct a Category Search for "iPod" or category number 90964.

To begin a Category Search:

  1. Click .
  2. Next, click to find the category you wish to search. (For this search, select "iPod" or simply enter 90964 in the eBay Category Number field.
  3. As with the product search, click the Current Auctions checkbox and select the Start/End dates you prefer from the appropriate fields. (By default, HammerTap will research the past 90 days, with a couple days´ lag time for category searches.)
  4. Select the Number of Auctions you want to include in your research. (For this example, I chose 5,000 auctions.)

    When researching in a category, use a higher number of auctions to produce a larger data sample. Doing this brings back more accurate results. (Note: Researching larger numbers of auctions often requires more time than smaller numbers of auctions.)

  5. Select the Auction Types you wish to research.
  6. Click .

If you entered in the information correctly, your Category Search screen should look like the one below.

Above: Category Search criteria for "iPod," eBay category 90964.

Don´t forget to save this report for use in later lessons. Call this report iPod 30GB Category Search. (Review above on how to save HammerTap reports.)

Seller Search—Researching a Specific Seller

Your last search option is the Seller Search, used to research specific competitors within the eBay marketplace. Being able to monitor your competitors´ sales trends and product movement can give you the competitive edge for your specific product or category. Once you master this, you will be proud to say, "My auctions can beat up your auctions!"

Now, for privacy reasons, we will not conduct a Seller Search in this lesson, but will ask you to practice researching a specific competitor.

To begin a Seller Search:

  1. Click .
  2. Next, enter the eBay Seller ID for the seller you wish to research.
  3. Complete the remaining fields just as you did in the Product and Category Searches above.
  4. Click .

Above: the Seller Search form

See that? In just a few minutes you know how to conduct three different searches in HammerTap. The next lesson is my favorite because I will teach you how to get accurate results for your research. (I know what you are thinking: "This guy is a total geek!" Well, I have to be honest here, I hated college statistics, but now that I can use a tool as slick as HammerTap, I love doing market research! And by the end of this course, you will too!)

Assignment #2: Practice using three different searches

You don´t think you are getting away without a homework assignment, do you?

For this assignment, please select a product you´re currently selling or thinking about selling on eBay and complete each one of the three search options. Start diving into the different results windows and finding out ways to make your listings better.

EXCELLENT! You´re now well on your way to finding the RIGHT ANSWERS, by asking the RIGHT QUESTIONS, to give you the RIGHT INFORMATION on which to base your selling decisions every time.

CONGRATULATIONS—you´ve finished this session! Have questions? Our support team is standing by to assist you.

Look for Lesson 3 in your inbox in a day or two. Or, if you can´t wait, move forward to Lesson 3 right now.

Or, return to Power to Profit Tutorial Home Page

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