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).
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.
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.