With summer over and fall decidedly underway, if you haven’t started thinking about what you’re going to sell this holiday season, it’s high time you did. Holiday buyers are already going online, and you need to be sourcing seasonal trends so you can give your buyers exactly what they’re looking for.
Thankfully, eBay makes the Market Research portion of your holiday product sourcing a snap with two very helpful resources:
• The Holiday Hot List (http://pages.ebay.com/sellercentral/holidayhotlist/)
• The Holiday Catalog (http://pages.ebay.com/catalog/)
Holiday Hot List
The holiday hot list gives you industry insider information—you’re getting an analyzed breakdown of all eBay’s own Market Research statistics. Enthuses eBay University instructor Janelle Elms (http://JanelleElms.com), “EBay has taken all the data from their category managers, and given you a list of exactly what items are going to be hot this year in all the different categories, from antiques to computers to toys.”
Not only that, they give you the keywords that buyers have traditionally typed in to find those items. You need to pay special attention to those keywords because it does you no good to source all the right products and list them under terms no one is searching for. You can’t assume that you know what buyers are going to call things for a number of reasons:
• People from various geographical areas give the same items completely different names. You may never have heard anyone from your area call your item by a certain name, but that might be the only thing people from another locale have ever called it.
• People often type in very specific words or terms that you wouldn’t know unless you were an expert in that particular category. A buyer searching for Star Wars figurines may type in “ROTJ” for “Return of the Jedi.” But unless, besides being an online retailer, you’re also a Star Wars enthusiast, you wouldn’t know to include that term in your headline.
The holiday catalog goes out to eBay’s top buyers, filled with buyer recommendations. However, it may prove even more useful to eBay’s smart sellers—what better way to get product sourcing ideas than to see what items eBay is promoting to their top buyers? Advises Elms, “Use eBay’s advertising dollars and go source the products that eBay is putting in front of buyers.”
In addition to giving buyers ideas of what to look for this holiday season, eBay is also telling buyers how to find those products and making keyword suggestions. The recommendations are very specific: Shoei motorcycle helmets, Alpine Star motorcycle jackets, Under Amour shirts, etc. This is immensely helpful to you, as a seller, because it lets you know what keywords you need to be including in your titles.
The holidays are your prime selling season, but you have to prepare and do your sourcing ahead of time. If you’re getting a late start this year, don’t despair. Take advantage of eBay’s holiday tools to see what you should be stocking up on and how you should be getting those items in front of buyers. With the right products and the right keywords, you’re putting yourself in position to capitalize on the biggest selling opportunity of the year.