You can sell just about anything on eBay (with a few notable exceptions). But just because you can sell anything doesn’t mean you should. If your merchandise doesn’t sell (or sells too cheaply), you have wasted time, effort, and money. Researching your prospective products before you list can help ensure that you don’t make costly mistakes.
Here are three tips to make sure there are customers out there for your merchandise.
1. Check the Hot List
Each month eBay compiles a hot list of the most popular categories, which give you valuable insight into what items are in demand. In addition, the eBay merchandising team combs trade magazines, speaks with industry experts, and more to project hot selling items that will be promoted on the home page, in the buyers catalog, and in e-mail. Click here () to view the hot items on eBay’s list.
2. Shop theCompetition
Start by searching eBay for similar items to the ones you are selling, noting the categories other sellers list their items under, how much they are asking for them, what descriptions they use, and the photos they provide. Write down what you like and dislike about the product descriptions, whether the category is a good match for the items being sold, and if you think the photos make the item seem more appealing.
3. Learn from Others
eBay’s completed listings are a treasure trove of sales data. Browsing completed auctions can yield insight into which pricing, sales tactics, ad copy, pictures, and other techniques worked and which ones failed. Compare like items and see why some sell for more than others. Was it the ad? The picture? The time the auction ended? A reserve price? All of this information can help you craft the very best auction.
eBay makes it easy to reach a vast market of potential customers, but it’s not magic. You cannot just list random merchandise and expect the money to come rolling in. Like any other business, market research is essential. And a little time spent conducting research now can save you precious time and money later.