Friday, August 11, 2006

Predicting the Future with eBay Market Research Tools

I'm re-running a popular article today. It's by guest writer Jen Cano, a certified eBay Consultant. Without further delay...

I Can Predict the Future (with Auction Research)

Part 1

By Jen Cano, Certified eBay Consultant and Senior Editor for HammerTap

I know how to predict the future. I’ve been able to do it ever since the first time I sold on eBay. A couple of years ago, my job was to write a series of articles on the journey of an eBay beginner—me.

Part of my assignment was to use HammerTap’s DeepAnalysis, auction research software, to help me decide what to sell and when. I researched candles and lotions of all kinds. The research results proclaimed that the auctions with For Every Body scented candles had performed very well, while those with For Every Body lotions hadn’t done so hot.

So, rebel that I am, I decided to ignore the research and list both. In short, my candles sold with a 100% profit margin, while my lotions didn’t sell at all. Even when they’d been listed three times.

Now that I’ve told my story, I’ll have to revise my initial statement. I know how to read the past to predict likely outcomes. I know how to use auction research software to predict the future.

What Can Research Reveal about the Future?

Auction research software tools, such as DeepAnalysis, search eBay to find a group of closed auctions that match the criteria you enter. Then, they give you statistics about how the auctions performed and which listing elements were the most successful.

A research tool that lets you narrow your research to include only auctions that match your exact criteria also allows you to:

  • Find out what sells.
  • Reveal what you need to do to increase your chances of selling.
  • Help you increase the profit you make on every auction.

Find Out What Sells

Research will do more than tell you whether a particular product is likely to sell and for how much. Quality research tools will also let you save and compare research files, so you can decide which brands, styles, products, sizes, and etc. sell best.

Once, I compared large lots of boys Gap clothing to smaller lots to see which lot size performed the best. The difference was staggering. Only 70% of smaller lots sold, while 93% of larger lots sold.

Incidentally, at the same time, I discovered that Gap clothing outperformed Old Navy by a wide margin, as well. And, I was able to narrow my research even further to discover which size and type was the most successful.

About the Author

Jennifer Cano is a certified eBay consultant and Senior Editor for Bright Builders, the makers of HammerTap. She is also an editor for eBay Radio.

© Bright Builders, 2006.

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