You may have already discovered that selling on eBay can be fun and profitable. But after you’ve cleared out your garage and attic, and auctioned off everything your husband owns, where can you go to get new product ideas?
Tapping into EBay’s Resources
Most people don’t realize that eBay itself is actually a terrific place to find product sourcing ideas. Besides being an easy selling venue with built-in traffic, it also contains a goldmine of useful data about what that traffic wants to buy. One of eBay’s best-kept secrets is their Seller Central page (http://www.EBay.com/SellerCentral). Very few people, even PowerSellers, are aware of this valuable resource. Consequently, very few people are taking advantage of the tools available there:
• The merchandising calendar — this is a great spot to get sourcing leads because it shows you specifically what products eBay will be promoting over the next few months. It gives you dates and tells you which item categories you need to list your product in for it to be displayed on eBay’s homepage. When a user clicks on that item, your auction will pop right up.
• The hot items section — this is basically a monthly trend-watching report. It tells you what items are moving, producing more bids, and getting higher final prices. It lets you get a feel for where the demand is.
Whether you’re searching for products at a tradeshow or a rummage sale, Janelle Elms (http://JanelleElms.com), of eBay University, recommends, “Print this report and keep it with you at all times.” She explains, “If you don’t know what to look for, this will help direct and keep your mind focused to what’s moving on eBay.”
• The hot categories section — this resource takes the top categories and gives you tips on how to sell in those categories, insider secrets about your buyers, and trending info. For each category, there’s a section called ‘In Demand’ that tells you not only the top-selling items in that category, but also the top keywords that buyers are using to find these items. Use those keywords in your listing titles. If you have any left over, put them in your description. Essentially, eBay tells you what to sell and then tells you how best to list it.
Catering to Your Customers
Advises Elms, “Don’t ever try to sell to the buyer what you think they need to own.” Users are already telling you what they want to buy — you just have to listen. These tools show you what consumers are saying they want and how they’re saying they want to find it. EBay users are ready to spend money with you — all you need to do is give them what they’re looking for.