eBay market research for consignment sellers – Part 3

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This is Part 3 of 3 in the “eBay market research for consignment sellers” series. Get caught up to speed on Part 1 & Part 2.
***NOTE:*** Click to learn more about my eBay Consignment business and how I can help you turn your treasures into cash!

Throughout this particular eBay tutorial series, I’ve been sharing the in-depth Terapeak & eBay research being conducted on consignment items brought to me by my traveling friend, Anne.
I’m showing you my step-by-step process for a couple reasons:

  1. To help you understand the work involved after clients drop items off to my consignment “shop” and;
  2. To share with those learning how to sell on eBay how important it is to research before you list (as I talked about in Part 2 it’s about “Quality Listings not Quantity listed.”)

eBay Research: Go big or go home

I saved the toughest best research item till last!
The final interesting item I’m researching is a lovely “chunk of glass”, imprinted with the shape of a cat on one side. It looks almost like a block of ice.
The funny thing is that when I first saw this item I thought of our cat that passed away last year, “Mr. Sox”. It was a lovely memory that flashed by. Don’t you love it when that happens?
Okay, time to find out if this glass kitty is eBay worthy…
As I can’t readily identify the origins or artist of this piece, I inspect it for clues.
On the bottom/back there’s a sticker which reads: ‘MATS JONASSON Sweden Full Lead’.
Awesome! Now I know the designer and the fact there is more possible value in this item because it’s lead crystal and not just a “chunk of glass”.
Thank goodness for people who leave stickers on items!
Off to Terapeak we go to do a search for the artist: Mats Jonasson. The results showed over 3,271 listings with only an 11.59% sell-through rate.  
Terapeak eBay Market Research Mats  Jonasson Cats 700x500
No offense to Mats Jonasson but this data alerts me that the brand name is not “huge”. There will be a limited audience of collectors.
Looking through the top sellers I can see the different animals and artwork styles. The large wolf for example was #1 and sold for $399.00 as an auction but with only one bid. This means $399.00 was the opening bid and only one person bid on the item.
When things look like they might not be going so well, go BIG!

What this means is that normally I search items using very specific terms. But when those terms show me limited profitability, I’ll think and search “outside the box”. Mats Jonasson may not be so popular (maybe) but CATS sure are! Just look on Facebook! LOL
Using very specific keyword terms can increase your CTR (click-through-rate) because you’re showing buyers that you have exactly what they want, right? Right! But, being creative and broadening the scope of the audience can, also, help you make more money on eBay.
By adding the word ‘CAT’ to the same search at Tereapeak, I soon realize that my cat does not compare to any of the cats showing up. The styles are a bit different so now I am kind of doubting that mine is a cat!;)
Looking a bit closer at the fur I notice there are some distinctive stripes and the more I look at it the more I still think it is a cat but I do try a few other searches using the following words:

  • Mountain Lion
  • Kitten
  • Bobcat
  • Racoon

No luck.
There are many glass blocks “like” this one but not with the same cat!
Next I try eBay current listings using the same words “Mats Jonasson Cat”.

Now I see many different kittens with balls of yarn with asking prices all over the board.
Some glass kitties are priced as low as $12.00 and others as high as $230.00.
OK, we need better data.
Now I adjust the settings to “View Highest Price” first.
I scroll down and poof, there is our cat with an asking price of $50.00! This eBay seller has titled it a “Lead Crystal Paperweight.”
I also discover that there is actually a whole category for this artist! Mats must be a pretty big name if he even has his own category on eBay! It can be found under Pottery and Glass > Glass > Art Glass > Scandinavia > Mats Jonasson.
Remember earlier when I thought maybe Mats’ crystal sculptures may not be profit making items? By going BIG with the search, I’ve learned that is not the case!
As a side note, when you can, use the option to add a second category. This gets your item in front of more ‘eyes’.
The practical choices here would be either paperweights or cats. I’m going with cats!
Armed with the paperweight intel, I search on Tereapeak for “Cat Paperweight”. This produced over 2,702 listings with a 17.58% sell through rate.
This isn’t setting my hair on fire but I learned a *LOT* by conducting this search because the number one selling cat paperweight was by Rookwood. It sold for $550.00!
We must watch for those in the future! Can you say, “Here kitty, kitty”?
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Adding the word ‘Crystal’ to that same Terapeak search found a Waterford cat which sold for $99.00. However, a the end of the day, the average selling price for Crystal Cat Paperweights looks to be about $39.00.

eBay research wrap up

So, with that said and all this eBay research, I listed the cat as an auction with an opening bid of $34.99.
I’m rolling the dice and taking it out for a spin!
View eBay item #401042197079 and check back because if it does not sell then, as you know, Plan B will be to run it as a “Fixed Price” listing and make it a bit less than the $50.00 one we found.
On a final note, it’s important that you send clients an email once you’ve listed their items. Include links to their products and invite them to follow along.
Many of my clients have LOVED watching the selling process! It’s kind of like a reality show blended with a game show – especially when they receive that payment! They get so excited when they see bids on their items! Just another reason I love my ‘job’!
Until next time!
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