Sizing Up the Competition, Part 2

Mine a year's worth of eBay listings using Terapeak.

by Brad and Debra Schepp
- Sep 01, 2010

Not long ago, we were trolling about the Web looking for article ideas, and came upon an interesting bit of market research. Namely, we found a blog article about the 10 athletes whose branded merchandise sold the best on eBay. No.1 was Tiger Woods, whose items in the past year rang up more than $5 million in eBay sales. No.2 was Kobe Bryant at more than $4 million.

Aside from making you pant over the sheer value of a name, we're sharing this data for a good reason. But first, isn't it enough that after everything, Woods' most recent yearly take was still more than $90 million? It's a bit amazing, too, that his name still sells so much stuff on eBay.

Our reason for sharing this data is that this sort of exacting market research is available to every eBay seller through Terapeak. In fact, Terapeak subscribers can now mine data through a years' worth of closed eBay listings. That's 500 million! This is a fourfold increase over the 90 days' worth of data that was available until recently.

Terapeak has quantified the value of this data in terms of increased sales for eBay sellers.

For example, according to the company:

  • Its sellers of notebooks/laptops make 43 percent more than nonsubscribers.
  • Sweatshirt/hoodie sellers earn 72 percent more.
  • Sellers of video game consoles earn 65 percent more.

In Part 1 of this article on eBay market research, we explored the value of a HammerTap subscription. Now we're turning our attention to one of its biggest competitors, Terapeak.

We spoke with Matt Brossard, the company's customer service manager. We were especially interested in how Terapeak's data could help eBay sellers better compete against other merchants. But along the way, we'll also reveal some recent hot-selling products on eBay, found through Terapeak research.

It's not just about having an edge over competition but also being well equipped to stay successful in a constantly changing marketplace

Schepp: How can an eBay seller use Terapeak data to gain an edge over competitors?

Brossard: Terapeak offers insight into the performance of any listing or group of listings from the eBay marketplace, going back a full year. Using this sales history, an eBay seller can optimize listings for higher sales, build titles using top-searched keywords, explore new products to sell, identify competitors and alternative selling strategies, and trend seasonal shifts in demand. Using Terapeak is not just about having an edge over competition but also being well equipped to stay successful in a constantly changing marketplace.

Schepp: What sort of data along these lines is available through Terapeak?

Brossard: Terapeak research tools reference 365 days of closed listings and sales from active listings. Two years of category sales and statistics are also available for seasonal trending.

Schepp: Can I use Terapeak to help me decide who my primary competitors are?

Brossard: Competitors can be identified using product keywords, or through category research. In other words, you can find out who has the highest sales for a particular brand of wristwatches, or who has the highest sales in eBay's wristwatch category.

Schepp: Is there a way sellers can assess Terapeak's value before they commit to a subscription?

Brossard: New users can check out our sample report.

Schepp: Can you run us though an example of how you would go about researching a competitor, step by step, through Terapeak?

Brossard: Here are instructions for researching competitors using product keywords.

  1. Log into Terapeak.
  2. In the search field that reads "Type here to begin," type a keyword or two about the product you and your competitors have in common. Press Search.
  3. A report on listings that contain your keyword(s) will appear. To find out which sellers these listings belong to, click on Top Sellers on the left-hand side.
  4. A report on the sellers who have listings that match your keywords will appear. The sellers with the highest sales appear closest to the top.

Terapeak recently expanded its listing history from 90 days to 365 days

Schepp: It seems that by using Terapeak data, I can zero in on products I should source, by observing others' success rates. True? Using Terapeak data, what are some examples of products sellers might consider sourcing right now?

Brossard: Terapeak offers several methods of researching potential products to source. From research on hot categories to the best-selling listings, sellers can find out as much as possible about each product before committing any overhead. There is a lot of variety to what's in demand each season, from antiques and collectibles, to consumer electronics. Some examples of recent hot products entries include TaylorMade golf clubs, 2010 exclusive Transformers toys, Coleman tents, Samsung DualView cameras and Harry Potter Blu-ray collections.

Schepp: What pricing plan makes sense for experienced eBay sellers (but not those at the Titanium or Diamond level yet)?

Brossard: From $9.99 for Basic features to $24.95 for 365 days of data and Advantage research options, Terapeak has multiple pricing plans to suit anyone's budget for marketplace research.

Schepp: Are there any very new features or services from Terapeak that readers may not be as familiar with (having to do with any type of research)?

Brossard: Terapeak's most recent improvement came in the way of an expansion of our listing history from 90 days to 365 days. This is an exciting development for all Advantage subscribers, especially sellers focused on rare collectibles and antiques. Terapeak has also launched Terapeak for PayPal, which helps sellers manage payments, fees, foreign exchange and more.

Whether you ultimately become a Terapeak subscriber, or not, we recommend you add its blog to your reading list. It's an entertaining rundown of hot eBay trends, and the case studies of eBay sellers who are Terapeak subscribers will also help you decide whether it pays to subscribe.

About the Author

Brad and Debra Schepp are the authors of 20 books, including eBay PowerSeller Secrets and The Official Success Guide: Insider Tips and Strategies for Sourcing Products from the World's Largest B2B Marketplace. Their most recent book, which Deb co-authored with John Lawson, Kick Ass Social Commerce for E-preneurs: It's Not About Likes—It's About Sales, was recently named the 2015 Small Business Book of the Year in the social media category.

For further information, visit Brad and Deb's website,

Opinions expressed here may not be shared by Auctiva Corp. and/or its principals.

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