The eBay Pulse was a helpful tool for discovering what items were popular sellers, trending, getting the most views, and receiving the most bids on eBay. Smart sellers used this tool to refine product lines, discover new trends, and keep an eye on competitors.
Unfortunately, back in 2013, eBay discontinued The Pulse and sellers were wondering how to research new products and trends. There was not a replacement for the eBay Pulse. Fortunately, there are other ways eBay sellers can discover hot products on the internet or through broadcasting, even without the pulse.
Look for Facebook Trending Topics
Next time you are checking in on Facebook, check out the crooked arrows on the right side that say trending. A trending topic is a topic that is getting a lot of attention and that Facebook users are discussing. Trending topics are organized by top trends, political, science and tech, sports, and entertainment. Sometimes, they are news stories, public figures, celebrities, events, or human interest stories.
For example, when Prince died, this news was at the top of Facebook trending topics. Facebook is a smart way to discover product trends. It's free research, and since Facebook is a social media platform, you can see what people are really discussing, and you don't have to guess.
Watch Shark Tank
Shark Tank made its TV debut in August 2009 and has been going strong ever since. The sharks are self-made millionaires who listen to pitches from contestants and decide if they want to negotiate a deal to invest in the product for a percentage of the company. Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, Mark Cuban, and Kevin O'Leary are the sharks, and eBay sellers watch this program because the sharks help point out trends in different industries.
Lori Greiner, also called "The Queen of QVC," often knows which types of products are a hero or a zero, based on her experience marketing other products. She has over 400 patents on various products and knows what sells. Mark Cuban has experience in the software industry. When these self-made millionaires say a trend is starting or ending, they know, because they earn their money investing in other businesses.
Pinterest is another convenient way to visually study what's going on with product trends. You'll find thousands of pins on fashion, do it yourself (DIY), natural products, baby items, sports and leisure, and travel products. For example, aromatherapy is becoming a huge industry right now.
Not only are people selling essential oils, but also a whole industry has popped up around aromatherapy including diffusers, base oils, bath products, skincare products, inhalers, candles, eye bags, yoga products, books, and recipes. Notably, at the time of this writing, eBay showed 180,000 active listings with the keyword aromatherapy, and 95,000 sold listings in the last 30 days. Other popular topics are organic food and clothing, pre-packaged paleo products, cross-fit products, and products for senior pets.
Visit Reputable Major News Websites
While the word reputable can be debatable, most major news sites are easy to navigate and the stories are categorized. For example, USA Today has sections on health, technology, travel, food, and sports. You may not care for some of these sites based on your political views, but put that aside and classify this as research. Discover trends and new products by visiting these sites on a regular basis:
- New York Times
- USA Today
- Fox News
- ABC News
- NBC News
Research eBay Completed Listings
The most accurate way to learn what is popular and selling on eBay is to go directly to the source. Some people have a false perception that there is a secret list of what sells best on eBay.
Unfortunately, this isn't the case; in fact, sellers only wish we had a list of "what to sell." A product list isn't a great idea because popular products are a moving target. What is hot now may not be hot six months from now. Items become obsolete. (Nobody is using VCRs or 8 track tapes anymore.) The only way to stay on top of hot products and trends is to constantly research, pay attention, and experiment with different items.
There is no reason to pay for a service to do eBay research. Everything you need is right on eBay itself. Facebook eBay selling groups are another great resource because sellers often share what is working for them. Some groups allow members to post their sales so the power of the community helps everyone succeed. Just go to Facebook and search for eBay seller groups—there are hundreds of them. But make sure to read the group rules carefully to avoid being deleted for violating group policies.