The Auction Inspector has recently hit the market with a bang. It’s a nifty piece of software that analyses statistics from eBay’s ‘Want it Now’ listings and indicates how much potential there is for selling a particular product successfully. Judging from all the happy testimonials on the site, it seems that customers are delighted with Auction Inspector so far.
It certainly offers some great benefits:
In the name of research I went through each of these claims to judge for myself whether Auction Inspector actually delivers!
First of all: hidden trends….I couldn’t help but wonder how well Auction Inspector would tell me those. Not only does a ‘hidden trend’ seem a rather tenuous statement, but if they really were such a goldmine, wouldn’t the creators want to keep those trends to themselves?
Doubtfully, I performed a search on ‘toy’ with little hope that I would find a hidden trend in such a broad category. But to my surprise, after a 5 minute wait I discovered that ‘toy car’, ‘plush toy’, and ‘Fisher Price’ all had very good potential.
Still a little unconvinced, I went to eBay’s completed auction listings and searched for ‘Fisher Price’. Amazingly, almost all had sold and for decent prices too. I have to admit I was blown away at the percentage of toys sold – at a glance it looked to be over 80%, which is a lot higher than many eBay categories.
I was very impressed with this result.There were 3 ‘hidden trend’ ideas here that would’ve taken days for me to figure out for myself without the help of Auction Inspector. I also began to see that there are so many niche markets that the creators couldn’t possible use them all themselves.
Round one to Auction Inspector!
The second challenge was: would Auction Inspector tell me what niche markets were packed to the hilt with sellers…and which are ripe for the picking.
To test that claim I spend some time searching for a whole lot of very popular products such as Ipods, makeup and Barbie dolls.As I already guessed, these products had little room for a new seller such as me.Except in a more obscure tangents such as knitted doll clothing…Interesting – even for such an unlikely search, one can still find a niche item.
Then I decided to try the less popular term ‘Quilt’.And I found that ‘Pottery Barn Kids’ has the very high potential of 24.39!
Auction Inspector seems very good at finding niche markets. Just keep on typing in search terms related to products you are interested in selling, and before long you’ll have at least a couple of niche areas to try.
I think I can safely say that the previous two tasks have already proven the third claim: that you can quickly find demand for certain products using the keyword search.
As for the fourth, I’ll tell you why it’s so useful to be able to search eBay USA, Canada, UK, or Australia.
First of all, if you want to burgeon out overseas, Auction Inspector can give you peace of mind that your product will sell. Worried that your light sabers won’t be in demand in Australia? Use Auction Inspector to find out.
You might also be surprised to find that some products that aren’t in demand in your home country are greatly in demand elsewhere.For example, Arctic Cat mobiles have a potential of 40.63 in the US, but they don’t even appear in a search on eBay Australia.
Or you use this tool to carry out market research on a product before you buy it in. This will give you an idea of the extent to which you may be able to expand in the future.Is this a global demand or a national one? This is particularly useful if you only want to invest in an idea that is able to be expanded indefinitely.
Finally, we reach the fifth claim Auction Inspector makes: that I’ll be able to see which markets are full before getting burned.Now that I liked the sound of that!
This claim also turned out to be right on the nose.All the popular items I could think to search for – such as the Gucci and Levi labels - were packed to the hilt. And if they weren’t completely saturated, there was usually only a very small potential such as 2.00 or 4.00 for a niche product like Men’s Gucci shoes for example.
So my verdict? Auction Inspector lives up to all of its claims; I couldn’t find anything to criticize! It’s a great market research tool and allows you to get a fantastic insight into a market, alleviating a significant portion of the risk before you go and dive in headfirst.
It’s also very tempting to fill spare moments searching for whatever happens to pop into your mind and see whether there is a demand! But I doubt that’s a benefit they intended…