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eBay By the Numbers: Stats to Help You Sell More

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Verified Blogger
Verified Blogger

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to the dynamics of selling on eBay.

The more you know about how people are shopping and what’s selling, the better you can plan, supply and close sales.

To help, here are some important insights that reveal how eBay buyers are shopping, as well as what they’re buying.

Use this intelligence to shape everything you do—from sourcing to listing to shipping.

How They’re Shopping

Mobile has changed the game. Last year it accounted for $20 billion of eBay sales and this year is estimated to break records, as well.

Buyers are no longer confined to the mall during normal store hours, they’re shopping the moment they’re inspired—anytime, anywhere on any device—and eBay is driving them to you. See how in the new “Shop the World” commercial.

Want proof? Every day shoppers are performing more than 250 million searches on eBay. That’s 11 million searches per hour, 190,000 searches per minute and 3,000 searches per second. So it’s clear that the traffic is here, your buyer just needs help finding you.

Here’s what you can do to attract the new “global-mobile” buyer and convert these visitors into sales:

  1. Optimize Your Listings for Mobile
    More than half of eBay buyers are shopping via multiple screens. They’re using the eBay app for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and Windows devices—and even smartwatches. And they’re doing so in 190 countries, in 8 languages. Make sure that your mobile listings are optimized to wow.
  2. Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Best Practices
    Every word in your title and listing should be chosen carefully and deliberately to help buyers find you. It’s also a good idea to include unique identifiers like Universal Product Codes (UPCs), European Article Numbers (EANs) or International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs), as well as video, to improve your search rankings. Want an example? Check out how video improved this seller’s listings.
  1. Take Professional-Grade Photos
    If you compose the perfect listing, using keywords and SEO best practices, but include weak photographs, you run the risk of losing the sale, every time. Think quality and quantity. Take pictures as if you’re competing with big retail stores…because you are. You’re selling to the world now so your item has to shine.
  1. Promote Your Store via Social Media
    Once you cover the basics of ensuring that your Store and listings are optimized for mobile and search, spread the word via all of your business social media channels. You never know who your next buyer will be. However, learn from this seller’s misstep, don’t use your personal social accounts.
  2. Reach More Buyers by Selling Internationally
    Now that the world is watching, make sure that they can buy from you. Approximately 20% of eBay sales are “cross-border,” so customers are increasingly shopping globally for what inspires them. And now it’s easier for you to sell to them with the Global Shipping Program.
  3. Offer Free Shipping
    More than half of items on eBay ship for free and a large percentage of buyers select “Free Shipping” in their search criteria. Make sure you show up when they’re looking for your item. To offset the cost, just build the shipping into your item price.

What They’re Buying

Now that you know how eBay buyers are shopping, here are some of the things they’re looking for:

  • Men’s and women’s fashion items are among the most popular items on eBay, along with collectibles.
  • Wristwatches account for the most Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) in the Fashion category.
  • Athletic shoes and coats are among the top men’s fashion items in terms of GMV. 
  • For women, dresses, handbags, boots and fine jewelry, most notably rings, account for the most GMV in Fashion.
  • Collectibles are an eBay mainstay. Sneakers dominate the category and eBay boasts the largest collection of coveted sneakers—globally.
  • eBay sells $15,000 in collectibles and art every minute and has one of the widest selections in the world. In fact, approximately 5 collectible items sell every second. And, in 2013 the Art and Antiques category realized over $1.2 billion in sales.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. To keep your finger on the pulse of what buyers want, visit the What’s Hot on eBay site. And visit it often.

Selling on eBay is both an art and a science. The science is in the numbers and trends, but the real art is in the way that we all adjust to supply the demand of the new global-mobile buyer.