The #1 challenge for most eBay sellers is knowing what to sell is. No matter if you’re making your own products, private labelling, dropshipping or sourcing second hand items, if you don’t research what’s in demand you won’t get any sales.
Luckily, there’s a very simple process that you can follow to find hot products – even if you have absolutely no idea of what to sell in the first place!
Finding what sells well, and what will make you profit is just about following supply and demand. Once you know the characteristics of a profitable market, it becomes super easy to find the killer products you’ve been searching for.
Let’s start by looking at the 2 main ways to generate ideas for hot products to sell.
Method 1: Searching categories for top-sellers
With this method, instead of jumping straight in and thinking of specific products like a “pen” or “pencil sharpener”, you need to start by thinking of a general item category. So with this example you might choose “stationary”.
The aim of researching an entire category is so that you can quickly identify the top selling items as these will be the ones with the most potential.
If you’re struggling to think of item categories, there’s a simple way to come up with a few ideas. Go to a website like Walmart or Amazon and list some that you see. For example, you might see products sold under “baby clothing” or “cat toys” – write them down or copy them onto a blank doc.
Once you have a few categories listed, it’s time to see what the best-selling items are within them.
The most accurate way to do this is by using the Category Research Tool in ZIK Analytics (if you aren’t already a user you can sign up for a 7 day free trial here). With ZIK, you can type in your category and within seconds it’ll display a list of all the top selling items.
If you don’t have ZIK Analytics, don’t worry. Instead, you can head on over to eBay, search for the name of your category and identify the listings that have a high amount of sales. A good way to tell is by looking at the red items sold indicator at the bottom of listings.
Whichever way you choose to do this, the next step will be to start making a list of the keywords that define the items you find.
For example, if your category is “camera drones” and you find the listing above, the keywords that define this item would be “RC Quadcoptor”.
Or if your category is cat toy, your list might look something like this:
- Yarn balls
- Cat socks (yes, they exist)
- Toy mouse
- Scratching post
Aim for a list of 5 items for each category – then we’ll show you how to research the potential of them in the section “finding profitable products to sell”.
Method 2: Competitor Research
You can also get product ideas by looking at what other eBay sellers are selling.
When you find an eBay seller that’s making lots of sales on one item, you’ll usually find they have lots of other fast-selling items too because they’re likely to have invested time in doing market research.
So after you’ve searched some categories on eBay and found a few listings with a high amount of sales, click on the seller and see what other high selling items they stock.
Always remember that the best indicator that you’ve found a good product is by the amount of sales it has, so you only want to look at the best selling items from a seller.
From here, simply follow the same process as in our first method and create a list of the keywords defining each item you find. So for the seller below, we’d take a note of “hanging file folders” as a potentially profitable product.
Finding profitable products to sell
Now that you have a list of item keywords, you’ll need to check if the products follow a few tell-tale signs that there’s high demand.
The best indicators are the product sell through rate, average product price, and percentage of successful listings.
This is sales data gained using ZIK Analytics
Specifically, you’ll want to look for the following
- A successful listing percentage of 50% or higher – the percentage of successful listings is a great indicator of how current sellers are faring in the market. The higher it is, the better. Aim for at least 50%.
- A sell through rate of 100% or higher – Sell through rate is a measurement of how fast items are selling, calculated by dividing the total amount of sold items by the total amount of listings. The faster that items are selling, the more demand there is.
- An average product price above $20 – On most occasions you’re best looking for an average price $20 or more. This is because it’s much easier to make a decent profit selling a higher priced item.
To find out this information you scroll through the eBay listings and try to do some manual calculations, but alternatively, you may find it quicker and more accurate to use the Product Research Tool included with ZIK Analytics.
The products that pass these tests should have very high potential, so now it’s time to add the finishing touches.
How to launch a best-selling product
A killer product idea isn’t enough to win on eBay, you need to understand (a) what’s driving demand for the product and (b) how you can beat the competition.
So let’s tackle the demand side first.
Type your product into eBay e.g. “cat scratching post” and take a look through all the different products you find. Your job is to look at all the subtle differences in the products and listings to work out what’s driving sales.
Perhaps you notice there are some scratching posts that are very high priced and selling well but the lower priced ones don’t. It might mean that buyers are looking for a quality product.
Or it could be that you notice scratching posts with a specific colour or feature are getting all the sales whilst others are stuck on page 50 with 0 sales.
Insights like these will help to make sure you source a product that flies off the shelves when you launch it.
Choosing the right keywords are also a big factor in getting sales on eBay. Take a look at which keywords the listings with the most sales have and read about eBay SEO to understand how to drive traffic to your own listing once you launch your product.
The second element is having a plan to beat your competitors.
To win sales, you need to be unique in some way. It could be that the product itself is unique and no-one else sells it, but you can also consider other ways to differentiate yourself, such as:
- Having the lowest priced product
- Offering a better delivery service
- Writing a better product description
We wouldn’t typically advise that compete just on price. So if you find yourself struggling to charge more, read this article instead to see how to charge more for your eBay items.
And that’s all there is to it. Once you combine a hot product with a unique selling point, you have your winning plan – all you need to do next is source your product!