Can your eBay Competitors Teach you a Lesson?

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Sometimes it can be painful to look at your eBay competitors' listings, especially if they appear to be doing better than you are. On the other hand, you could treat this as a wonderful opportunity! By looking at your competitors' listings, you can figure out what's working and what's not working for them. You can then use that strategic intelligence to improve your own selling performance! So, let's put on our analytical hats and start learning from our competitors.

There are four effective ways to analyse your eBay competitors' listings:

1. Visit your eBay category of interest and from the menus on the left tick the 'Completed Listings' checkbox. This will show all the listings in your chosen category that ended recently. Look at the listings with a green price, which means that the listing ended in a successful sale. Start making notes about which products sold most successfully.

2. Make a note of the eBay ID of the competitors you wish to investigate, go to eBay's Advanced Search and perform searches by seller. For each seller you input, remember to check the box called "Show completed listings only". As with method one, you'll need to make notes about what is selling best.

Both this method and the first method can be a little tedious, since you have to do everything manually.

3. This method is to browse your chosen eBay category and observe which Buy it Now listings on page 1 and 2 have the longest end date. Let me explain…

As you know, by default eBay now returns searches in Best Match sequence. One of the key elements of Best Match is how successful a listing has been to date.

A second element of best Match is the amount of time a listing has to run. The shorter the amount of time left, the better mark Best Match gives a listing in determining its position in search return lists.

Therefore, you can be assured that listings on page 1 and 2 with long end dates are performing extremely well. To get into this privileged position they have to be selling well and to overcome the penalty of having a long time to run.

By creating similar listings using the same keywords in your title and then by offering a better by price or offer, you could beat those sellers and have your listing feature on the first two pages of the eBay results for as long as 30 days, receiving maximum exposure.

In methods 1, 2 and 3 I should emphasise that I'm not recommending you blatantly copy your competitors' titles and listings descriptions. What I want you to do is intelligently use your knowledge of what they offer to help you in creating your own differentiated listings.

4. A fourth research method is to use a paid for service. I personally use Terapeak, but there are several others available including Vendio and HammerTap. These services typically allow you to specify a keyword to obtain statistical data on success rates and average selling prices for your chosen products on eBay. You can see which are the strongest selling categories, when is the best time to start and end your listing, which durations work best, and much more.

You can get more information about Terapeak here:

http://www.workwinners.com/terapeak/
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