eBay Market Research: SaleHoo Rolls out New Research Lab

Whether you are a new online seller, or a seasoned expert, market research is the surefire way to choosing the right products and making the most profitable sales possible.

We at SaleHoo often talk about how performing market research is an essential step in online retail… but we know it’s not exactly easy for you: You don’t necessarily know what exactly you need to research or how much you need to do before you can decide whether a product is viable or not.

Now, we have made your essential market research easier by doing an overhaul of the SaleHoo Research Lab.

3 Quick Facts About the SaleHoo Research Lab

1. The SaleHoo Research Lab pulls data from eBay to help you determine whether an item will be profitable for you to sell.

2. It’s free to use! If you’re a SaleHoo member, you can use the Lab as much as you like. You can access the Lab at http://www.salehoo.com/labs

If you aren’t a SaleHoo member yet, join now to get instant access to the SaleHoo Research Lab as well as full access to our wholesale supplier directory, jam-packed with over 8,000 suppliers. 

3. The SaleHoo Research Lab is based on data from eBay.com. We may look at pulling data from other sites in the future, but even if you are selling on eBay.co.uk, another eBay site, or your own website, the data from the Lab still gives you a solid idea of whether an item is viable.

The SaleHoo Research Lab in Action!

Want to know more? Here’s a quick step-by-step look at how to use the SaleHoo Research Lab.

Start by logging in to SaleHoo and going to http://www.salehoo.com/labs

You will see this page where you can start a Research Project.

Here you should enter a keyword for an item that you want to research. If you are short on ideas, that’s OK, you can get some inspiration below on the left where we list ideas worth considering that have good sell-through rates.

For this demonstration, I’m going to test out the market for power drills, so I have entered that into the search field.

After I click analyze, the Lab returns this report for me:

The first thing you will see is the Research Report Summary. The summary is designed to give you a quick overview of the product’s viability (whether or not it will sell well).

Sell-through rate:

The first thing I always look at is the sell through rate. This tells me the percentage of listings that are uploaded to eBay that sell. So in this instance, 35% of all power drills listed on eBay.com last month sold.

For me personally, a good sell-through rate is 50-60%, though some sellers are comfortable with much lower sell-through rates than this. Others won’t touch anything below 75%.

However, there is much more to it than just sell through rate when you are deciding what to sell: Sale price, or end price is also crucial. After all, you could have a sell-through rate of 100%, but if you are selling items for below what you buy them for, it means nothing!

So what’s the use in a sell-through rate, I hear you say, well, it’s a fantastic indicator of the potential of an item. If an item has a low sell-through rate like 10%, it’s probably not worth doing any further research, so you can move on without wasting any time.

Median End Price:

The median end price is the average price that the item sold for the month before, so in this case, in September. This gives you an idea of what the item sells for. Note that this data is based on listings that ended with a successful sale (it doesn’t count listings that didn’t end with a sale or that ended with 0 bids). This gives you the most accurate results possible.

Total Listings, Total Bids and Total Sellers

These metrics are all fairly sell-explanatory, but it’s well worth checking these out because you can get a feel for how competitive the market is.


The next section you will see is the Recommendations section where you can discover some important settings that successful listings used including the day of the week when most listings ended and time of day that the listings ended with a sale.

When you find a niche that you want to pursue, you should definitely take these recommendations into consideration when you create your own listings.


The snapshot also gives you some valuable insights for when it comes time to list the item.


Auctions Ending Soon

The Auctions Ending Soon feature shows you live listings that contain your keyword and that are due to end soon. Use this feature to check out live auctions and see how other sellers are marketing their items and gain some inspiration from them.

Another reason why this feature is important is to show exactly which items are selling. For example, with my search term “power drill”, the data that the Research Lab pulls could be for all kinds of items that relate to power drills including books or power tool accessories, so it is important to have a look through these listings. You might find that you need to change your keyword to something more specific, such as “black and decker power drill” to get the most accurate results possible.

Successful Keywords and Categories

In this section, you can see the keywords and categories that successful listings used. This will give you valuable insight into how best to categorize your items and the best keywords to consider using in your listing.

This data also gives you important clues about what buyers are looking for. In this example, ‘cordless’ is a successful keyword. This tells me that buyers are looking for cordless varieties of power drills.

Data Trends

The data trends information essentially tells you the volume of sales associated with the keyword you are researching. You can see the number of items sold, total revenue and average revenue to gauge an idea of how well the market does each month.

We are excited to hear about what you think about the new look and functionality of the SaleHoo Research Lab, so make sure you let us know what you think by leaving a comment below. 


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Comments (12)

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norberto rivera on 10:57 13 Oct
Seems I tried to research items too quickly and the system returned with a warning that I was entering searches too fast and the administrator will be informed. Please explain this.
Lokwing Yeung on 7:37 14 Oct
Hi, Great marketing research tool! Compare with the old version SaleHoo Research Lab, it is more technical analysis and informative. Good Luck, everyone.
Alice Delore on 2:08 17 Oct

I got our Research Lab developer to look into this. He said that We have a mechanism in place to avoid batch indexing of our content (to protect it from being misused)

Therefore we limit the number of requests made by a single user to 35 in 60 seconds.
Under normal circumstances it is pretty much impossible to reach this limit.

Somehow you managed to though! Please let us know if it happens again. Thanks :)
Alice Delore on 2:09 17 Oct
Glad you like it lokwing! Happy niche-hunting :)
Dan Moore on 13:00 11 May
I was talking to a friend and he loves finding a deal on eBay for shirts. So I used the tool to search "mens 4x polo" sell through rate 57% .....total listings 378 I click the "view search results on ebay" link to see what brands are listed and there are 2,526 actual listings a difference of 2,148 why such a difference in the results
Irene Vallejo on 3:31 15 May
@envelope150: Please note that the SaleHoo Research Lab analyzes product data from the previous month on eBay. You might be comparing on a different time/ phase so the figures do not match. Let us know if you need further help.
Marben Dimson on 18:18 30 Jan
Hi, it appears that Salehoo is based solely on eBay markets. What about Amazon? Do you do research on Amazon's market. Amazon appears to be a better marketplace compared to ebay since they launched their Fulfillment by Amazon.
Irene Vallejo on 1:44 31 Jan
@findithere73 The SaleHoo Research Lab is created to analyze data solely from eBay, however, SaleHoo members may use any selling platform of their choice to resell when sourcing products from the SaleHoo Wholesale Directory. :) We currently do not have any tool to do research on Amazon.
Teri Sigerson on 21:11 20 Feb
Hey there :) so whenever I try to do a search in the lab, I'm getting this message back: "We can't load this product right now; please try again in a few hours" ... this has been going on for a few days now and it's happening for everything I try (not exclusive to one product).. Just wondering what might be happening here? I'm new and have not done 30 searches yet.
Richelle Monfort on 22:25 20 Feb
Hi Teri,

When this happens it means that the search limits for the keyword you keyed in has been reached that is why no results are returned. Kindly email us at support@salehoo.com a screen shoot and the keywords you have been trying to fetch results for.

Talk soon!
VanDavid Guy on 16:01 16 Nov
hello there was wondering was there posssible other research methods other than salehoos ?
Melissa Johnson on 20:43 17 Nov
There are. For example. we actually have an arrangement with TeraPeak where SaleHoo members can get a free trial and additional market research information: http://www.salehoo.com/blog/find-hot-selling-products-in-our-directory
jason macdonald on 14:51 21 Apr
Is the arrangement with Terrapeak (For example. we actually have an arrangement with TeraPeak where SaleHoo members can get a free trial and additional market research information: http://www.salehoo.com/blog/find-hot-selling-products-in-our-directory) still in place? How do we use this?
If not, has it been replaced by an arrangement with a different company?

I am interested in offering backpacks, a limited number, styles and use. By use, I mean is it used by a seasoned hiker in extreme conditions or a child going to 1st day of school. I have no idea to even begin researching these types of scenarios. Another issue, same example with bacpacks.. how can you find suppliers for both the top rated item (it could be the most expensive but is considered worth the money) and chepest item?
Rhea Bontol on 4:47 25 Apr
Hi Jason! We no longer support this but we do have tool called the Labs. It's also a tool that populates hot selling items currently being sold online. You can view the instructions on how to use the Labs here.
fawad Siddiqui on 18:19 20 Aug
I cannot find creating research project option for new items. has any thing changed in the UI? I cannot run the steps mentioned on this blog. Please let me know how to research new items that are not in search list right now?
Melissa Johnson on 15:06 21 Aug
Hi, Fawad!

Yes, I believe we've updated the UI on the Lab since we made this post. There's a video on the labs page that might help, though: http://www.salehoo.com/labs

If you're having issues or need help, feel free to reach out to our support team! http://www.salehoo.com/support

Hope this helps!
Andrew on 8:23 24 Sep
The new Research lab of Salehoo does Not have that feature of creating a new research project which destroys the main concept of this blog post!

Why Did you remove that feature?

The new research tool now is pretty useless. No insights, no comprehensive sale or competition analysis.

It only shows some products with Salehoo's affiliate links to Ebay and Amazon.. (i don't mind giving u commissions if the tool is useful).
But the way the competition is being calculated is weird!

For example, I found "Magnetic Detacher" which says it has a High Competition with 75% sale rate,
While infact there are only 7 listings for the keyword "Magnetic Detacher" on Ebay.. How does this make sense?!

Also, the suppliers link doesn't help find or locate the same product from a wholesaler.
It only takes me to the related category of suppliers on Salehoo ... but i'd still need to go and look for that item on each website !!
which is a very time consuming process...

I look forward for your reply or explanation.


Melissa Johnson on 3:50 26 Sep
Hi, Andrew!

I'm sorry that you're so unhappy with the SaleHoo labs! This feature has been around for a while now, and it's undergone several iterations. I honestly don't have the answers to some of your questions -- for example, I don't know how the competition rating is calculated, so I can't comment on it. I did check our own support materials, which say that the metrics are pulled via third-party APIs. (You can find that question here: http://www.salehoo.com/support/market-research-lab/where-are-the-metrics-and-product-ideas-from)

I do know some lovely people who can help you! Our support team (http://www.salehoo.com/support) is really great. You can reach them by phone or email, and they can help you find specific suppliers who are offering the product you are interested in. They can also show you how to maximize the effectiveness of the lab and get the information you need.

Good luck using the labs, and unlocking everything that SaleHoo has to offer!


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