The year is not quite over yet, but eBay expects net revenue between $2.85 billion and $2.89 billion for 2018. Whatever you want to sell on eBay, customers are there. And with eBay’s average visit duration being 50% longer than on Amazon, eBay is the perfect place to cross sell to browsers and increase your average sale value.
Competition is fierce, trends change fast, and popular items can quickly fall out of fashion. Having the right stock to sell on eBay is vital to your success as a seller, so we want to give you some tips and processes that we find useful to help you decide on the right things for you to sell on eBay.
Decide who to sell to
Before you decide what to sell, its good to know who you are selling to. Having a clear vision in your mind of the people you are reaching out to will help you with choosing products, writing descriptions and building a brand that appeals to your customers.
Fast and free postage is a big incentive for buyers. When you consider what to sell on eBay, how much it will cost to get to the buyer is a big consideration. If you are able to cover postage in your item price and offer free delivery, that is always best. Look at what other sellers are charging for delivery of similar items on eBay. If they are offering free delivery and you can’t, that item will not sell well for you on eBay.
Supply and Demand
You know who your buyer is, you know what they like and you know what they want. This is great, but you are not ready to go out and buy a truckload of stock just yet. Offering a popular item is not enough to ensure success. The key to successful selling on eBay is to select items that people really want, that mass sellers don’t already target.
Let’s say that you noticed unicorn items are a current trend and so you want to open the magical unicorn store, a store where unicorn lovers can discover and buy lots of things they like. Your next step should be to list lots of ideas of items that people who love unicorns want to buy, and search them on eBay in the same way a customer would.
Before you decide that a product is right for you to sell on eBay, you need to check how much it usually sells for on eBay and see what the competition is like.
Ideally, you are looking to sell items with high demand and low to medium competition. More niche items with less demand can also be good if the saturation is low.
Unicorn iPhone covers are a good example of a high demand, high saturation product. We help many sellers in the highly competitive phone cover niche, and although many are massively successful, they’ve built strong supplier relationships over years and increased order volumes to drive price per unit down to pennies and create margins a new seller just couldn’t compete with.
Unicorn hair brush and unicorn wine glasses are low saturation, and so if there is demand for these items and you can source them at a cost which allows for a healthy margin, they could be good items to sell.
But how can you gauge demand for items with low or zero listings on eBay?
Look what’s popular on Amazon
A sensible way to start gauging what will sell well on eBay is to look at what is selling well on Amazon. The Amazon best sellers page is updated hourly, and gives you a clear view of what is currently in demand.
You can select to look at just the category you want to sell in, and there’s a menu on the left-hand side where you can go even deeper into looking at sub categories.
Another section that may be of interest is the Amazon Movers and Shakers page. On each category page you’ll see a set of products. Each product has been given a ‘sales rank’, noting its previous ranking against its current position. It looks at which products have made the most gains in sales over the past 24 hours.
See What’s Trending on eBay
eBay have some very useful pages that can help you look at what is trending on their site. Explore eBay is a useful tool in the arsenal of an eBay seller. Just click the flag icon in the search box to change the country to your location and see what is currently trending on eBay where you are. This gives a good insight into the type of items people want to buy on eBay, and shows how the seasons, film releases, and even tv series can affect demand. When Game or Thrones of Great British Bake Off air, associated items always start trending.
See what’s trending in search
Google trends allows you to type in a word or phrase and see how many people have been searching for that same term. You can set your country, the time frame you want to see search volume over and even the category with the easy drop-down options.
Looking at the search volume for unicorn gifts in shopping over the past 5 years in the UK, you can see that this is a search which peaks every December and seems to have grown in popularity in the last year.
This graph clearly shows that if we wanted to sell unicorn gifts, we would need to have plenty of stock ready before the holiday season started, because that would be when we would expect most of our sales.
Some items generate massive demand, but for a short time. The trend graph below is for fidget spinners. Searches for fidget spinners skyrocketed in April 2017, but were dropping like a lead balloon by the end of May. Popularity that explodes out of nowhere is generally short lived. Just because a product is trending one year, it doesn’t mean you should be looking to sell it the following year.
Know your categories
Some categories will always be more popular on eBay than others. We have used Terapeak to look at both search volume and sell through rate to determine which categories were most popular on eBay in 2018.
- Cell Phones & Accessories
- Clothing, Shoes & Accessories
- Home & Garden
- Sporting goods
- Health & Beauty
- Consumer electronics
- Jewelry & Watches
- Computers Tablets & Networking
- Pet Supplies
Selling in a more popular category and using these keywords in your eBay listing or classified title will boost your eBay exposure and click through. Be sure to only sell items in their relevant category though, and not to keyword spam because that is an eBay policy violation.
Creating bundles using these keywords & categories can attract increased attention to your listings.
When you are looking to sell on eBay it is helpful to stay up to date with developments and changes on the platform. A couple of very significant changes have recently been made which will have very positive effects for eBay sellers of in the motors category and also the jewelry and watches category going into 2019.
Changes for motors on eBay
eBay announced it would acquire Motors.co.uk, a leading UK-based classifieds site. Combining the inventory, customer relationships and traffic available on Gumtree UK, eBay Motors UK and Motors.co.uk is expected to help UK car dealers increase their leads and bring buyers more choice and better value.
In the U.S. alone, Amazon and eBay together account for over 70 percent – an estimated value of $7-7.5 billion – of all car parts sold online. Amazon only allow sales of new or manufacturer approved refurbished parts, so for used parts sellers especially, eBay will bring a significant portion of your traffic selling auto parts online.
Changes for Jewelry on eBay
Every day, 50,000 jewelry items sell on eBay. That’s more than 2,000 per hour – and it sells one diamond ring per minute. In December 2018, eBay announced that they will be expanding the capabilities of its eBay Authenticate service — its luxury goods verification program — to now include luxury jewellery. The eBay authenticate service was first launched just over a year ago, and has helped to increase sales of high end luxury goods such as designer handbags and watches.
eBay’s Most Popular Gemstones in 2018
When you sell on eBay, a competitive offering is essential. This means considering not just your product and pricing, but your listing quality, customer service and delivery too. On a marketplace where you will be often competing with many people selling the same items as you, fast delivery, descriptive listings and outstanding feedback can be the extra details that make a customer choose to buy from you. Whatever you decide to sell on eBay; experiment with how you market, stay open to change and be flexible with your selling. Trends on eBay may pass quickly, but sellers who learn to use their intuition and adapt will always make sales.