How Do I Know What to Sell on eBay?

UPDATE: 1/3/13: ebay Pulse has recently been replaced by ebay Popular, which is basically the same service rebranded and changed. I will be updating my blog about this shortly to give you all a heads-up on the major changes. Thanks! 

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This is a question I get almost daily– “How do I know what to sell on eBay?” There are literally millions of products that are being listed to sell on eBay, and with so many options, it can be difficult to choose! So where to begin?

First of all, remember that there is no one “golden ticket” for making sales on eBay. There are numerous eBay businesses that thrive, selling anything for electronics to patio furniture; antique Star Wars memorabilia to high-end designer clothing and handbags; iPhone accessories to simple gardening tools. People are making small fortunes selling numerous items. The trick is to choose what works for you.

eBay Pulse

eBay Pulse is eBay’s main tool for users to find what is currently trending. For eBay’s article explaining Pulse, click here. Here’s a quick screen shot:

how do i know what to sell on eBay-- eBay Pulse
The first thing you notice about eBay Pulse is the “Popular Searches” section. As of today, 5/28/12, the keyword “router” seems to be the keyword most often used in searches; then “iphone 4 unlocked,” etc… That means that these top 10 keywords or keyword phrases are the most popular searches. Does that mean the items are selling? Maybe (most likely). That cannot be concluded by simple looking at the list. What can be said is that these are easily the “most popular” because they are being searched for most often.

Also listed are the “Largest Stores.” Pretty self-explanatory… listed are extremely popular eBay stores that are getting promoted. One other thing you’ll notice about eBay Pulse is a list of the most watched items currently on eBay. At the bottom of the page, individual listings are shown that are currently counted as the most watched items on eBay. Remember– something is being “watched” when a user likes the item enough to click the button on the listing to “add to watch list.” That allows the user to easily monitor the listing through the My eBay section of the website.

Most Watched Items Screen Shot eBay
So after seeing the most popular keyword searches and the most watched items on eBay, you should have a better idea of things that are currently trending. If you are noticing certain types of items or particular name brands, you should look to source those products at reasonable prices.

eBay’s Completed Listings

This is the second way to determine what to sell on eBay. The completed listings are just that– a list of items that have recently closed on eBay (or the auction/listing has ended), indicating whether the item sold or not AND at what price it did or did not sell for. How do you access the completed listings? Simple– just go to the search bar and find the “Advanced” link next to it. Click on it. Then– when the new screen appears, type in the keyword phrase for the product you are looking up and put a check in the box next to “completed listings.” Finally, click the search button.

You’ll then see the most recently ended auctions/listings. It’ll look something like this:

eBay completed listings
Notice that the green items sold and the one at the top in red did not sell. As you do various searches, you’ll literally see what is selling and what is not.

So why does this matter? Well– when wondering about what to sell on eBay, you need to make sure your item is something that is going to move. The completed listings indicate whether items are selling at given prices. If you were to see a product at the mall on a discounted rack and were wondering if you could list it on eBay, mark up the price, and sell it for a profit, the completed listings would be the first place to come and look! They give you a true sense of what the real value is for a product. After all, in any marketplace, the value of a product is only as high as what somebody is willing to pay.

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So– next time you ask yourself “how do I know what to sell on eBay,” you’ll have the answer! Using eBay Pulse and the completed listings, you should be able to answer that question with a little bit of research! And also remember that virtually ANYTHING sells on eBay– the trick is to get products at a low enough price to compensate you for your time, the cost of the product, shipping, eBay fees, and allowing for some profit at the end!

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2 Responses to How Do I Know What to Sell on eBay?

  1. Don says:

    I find it hard to come up with items to sell on my own. It’s overwhelming because there are so many choices. I’ll have to try using eBay Pulse; never heard of it until now.

  2. Trevor says:

    Pulse was good for a lot of years, but now they have replaced it with “Popular.” Go to popular.ebay.com.

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