Sometimes it's painful to look at your eBay competitors' listings, especially if they seem to be doing better than you are. It can make you feel defeated and wonder if you can really be competitive ... WAIT A MINUTE! It's absolutely wonderful to be able to look at your competitors' listings on eBAY because that's how you can figure out what's working and what's not working, then use all of that strategic intelligence to accelerate your own selling performance! So, put on your analytic hat and start learning from your competitors.
Analyse the competition
There are four effective ways to analyse your eBay competitors listings:
- Visit your eBay category of interest and from the left menu tick the checkbox 'Completed Listings'. This will show all the listings in your chosen category that ended recently. Look at all the listings with a green price. Green means that the auction or BIN listing ended in a successful sale. Evaluate, by taking notes, which products sold most successfully.
- Use eBay's advanced search feature: search your desired keyword, checking the 'completed listings only' box and setting the minimum number of bids to '1'. (No point in looking at listings that received no bids.) Go through the results carefully (again ignore prices in red Ė means the auction didn't close with a sale.) and take notes. Both this method and the first method can be a bit tedious, since you have to do everything manually.
- A third, newer, method is to browse your chosen eBay category and observe which listings on page 1 and 2 of your category have the longest end date. eBay now ranks listings based on how successful they have been in the past (they no longer rank listings based only on how soon they will end). By observing which listings on page 1 and 2 of your preferred category have the longest end date, you can automatically know which products / bundles are performing well. If you can beat those sellers prices (or offer, by selling a bundle with extra bonuses at a higher price) you can have your auction feature on the first two pages of the eBay results for as long as 30 days, receiving maximum exposure.
- A fourth, more stable, method is to use market research services like the eSources Market Research Wizard. These services allow you to specify a keyword to obtain statistical data on success rates and average selling prices for your chosen products on eBay. Identify which categories are best for your products, which categories will yield the best sale prices, when is the best time to start and end your auction, for what duration, and much more.
Additional Strategies To Outperform Your eBay Competitors
Titles are incredibly important. They create the keywords that will bring searchers to the product. Copy the titles and look for commonalities. Are there keywords you should be using? Are they paying for bolding, a subtitle, highlighting? The eSources Market Research Wizard reveals how much extra return you can expect from each extra eBay listings feature, helping you maximise your spend.
How are your competitors descriptions written? Are they long, short, terse, friendly? How much information is given?
When did the auction start and end? How long was the auction? What days of the week were involved? You can again try the eSources Market Research Wizard to reveal the best start and end times for your auctions.
How many views are there? What kind of quality is involved? Anything special about the setting?
What's the price range? Do the variations in price correlate with condition of the item, special circumstances, special offers or anything else?
How are your competitors handling shipping? Are high delivery charges correlated with lower pricing? If so, you know why the price is lower. Which shipping strategies seem to be working the best?
Now that you've gathered the information, look for tactics that you can use to your advantage as well. For example:
- Are you using the keywords that successful sellers are using?
- Are successful sellers consistently using any differentiating feature that you are not, such as subtitles or bolding?
- Do your pictures measure up to photos from the most successful sellers?
- Are your prices competitive? Is there a way to use price to your advantage?
Once you have a list of proven tactics, you may want to try them all together to get the biggest advantage or, if there is expense involved, you may want to test one or two at a time to see what works best for you, giving you the best cost/benefit ratio.
Take example from your successful eBay competitors and try replicating their strategies to your advantage.