You’ve heard it said over and over; find a niche market and dominate it. But with people selling all sorts of things on eBay – from the bizarre (dirt from Alabama, fresh air in a jar, and a piece of tissue paper) to the mundane (shovels, light bulbs, and toothpicks), to the absolutely amazing (Star Wars costumes, precious vinyl records, and classic automobiles) – it can be overwhelming trying to pinpoint what to sell to get high conversion rates.
Fortunately, eBay offers some tools that allow sellers to track down the best selling items.
Using completed listings to research sales history
eBay keeps a record of all listings that have ended in the last 90 days, and you can view 2 weeks of this data for free. The completed listings feature allows you to sort and search by ending or listing dates, price, and the location of the item/seller. Note that you will need to be logged into your eBay account to be able to carry this out.
To see completed listings, first carry out a regular search for an item by entering relevant search terms. In this example, I have entered vintage plastic animals.
The results page displays all active listings for the item as usual. You will notice that on the left side of the screen there are a couple of option boxes that allow you to further refine your search, or set certain options. Scroll down to the group Show Only and click Completed Listings.
The results will reload, but this time showing completed items rather than current listings. The listings color-coded green indicate transactions successfully completed, while the black listings indicate the listings that did not sell.
Scanning the ratio of green versus black listings will give you a super quick indication of how likely this product will sell. More than 70% green and you’re onto a winner!
Using Completed Listings you can make decisions about what items to sell based on how many items were sold versus how many were listed, which categories are crowded with sellers and items, and what the final selling price was.
One other thing: this data is often a reasonably accurate market gauge, but you’ve got to take into account seasonal variations. For example, if you are searching for love heart necklaces around Valentine’s Day, a spike is going to be pretty likely, and it would be foolish to build your entire business around those two weeks of results.
Part 2 tomorrow.
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