Posted On: 2007-01-16Length:
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You have big ideas for our future with eBay, and who can blame you. But you know, wise planning is critical. HammerTap now is president of eBay radio. Contributing editor, Craig Cole, I'm sorry, Greg Cole, is with us to talk about evaluating growth potential for your eBay businesses. Greg, what's the first step in assessing eBay growth potential for eBay sellers?
Well, the first thing that we'd like to look at is just getting a basic comprehension of the size of the marketplace on eBay. It's very important for people to understand that they need to look at the market on eBay, not the world. You may think, gosh, well, you know if I have this product and there's a HUGE market and everybody in the world would need it. But you have to narrow that down and say, well, I'm going to sell this on eBay, I need to look at what's the market on eBay, not really take into account the rest of the world. The other thing that we want to look at today is looking at the sellers that you'd be competing with in that category. This is an important concept for, if you're already selling in a category, it's a good thing to go back and do if you haven't done it yet. Go back and understand the marketplace. Understand your competition. The other thing is, if you're looking to grow, everybody's trying to grow their business and trying to expand, and you want to try to expand, in my opinion, you want to expand into things that you know a little bit about. So try to look and go up and expand your categories in nearby, the things that you're already selling, but try to see what a good place to go into next would be.
Oh, so you want to make sure you're not just static in one area of business. There's always potential out there. I know that a lot of folks email me and they'll say, you know my business isn't growing, and they're selling one particular type of item. And that always concerns me, because you want to, I think you probably need to expand your business into different product lines in order to keep it active. And, how important is research for doing this sort of planning?
Well, first, I totally agree with you. I think people are always needing to look at how they can expand their business. Research is, you know we wanted to look, really without a research tool it's very difficult to get the information you need off of eBay. I mean you have to go through hundreds of thousands of records to try to get a good sample. We wanted to talk about, you know, about this today, so we went and did a case study on bowling balls. Everybody's favorite thing. But we found just some really interesting information. First of all, I'm going to ask you, how many, in the last 30 days, take a guess, how many dollars worth of bowling balls do you believe have been sold on eBay?
Oh, I couldn't even, it's not a category I normally check, so let me just guess without going to the keyboard here. $10,000.
I say $14,700.
Well, you're dramatically off. And that's what's cool about research. $930,000 worth of bowling balls were sold last month, in the last 30 days. Can you believe that? That just blew us away. So that's the kind of information that you want to get. If you're trying to expand you say, I want a marketplace to have a lot of volume. If you only think it's a $10,000 category, you probably wouldn't go into it because maybe there's not enough business there. Now, a million dollar category, wow! There's some room there. It's broken down into four different categories. Now, we looked at some interesting things about it. First of all, we looked at the top ten seller's listings, just by number of listings, and the top ten seller...