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Q: Purchasing on E-Bay ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Purchasing on E-Bay
Category: Business and Money > eCommerce
Asked by: ms_sandidge-ga
List Price: $4.00
Posted: 05 Jun 2002 06:50 PDT
Expires: 12 Jun 2002 06:50 PDT
Question ID: 21211
What is the most commonly purchased items on E-bay?
Subject: Re: Purchasing on E-Bay
Answered By: mosquitohawk-ga on 05 Jun 2002 07:19 PDT

I had never thought about this, but what an interesting question. I
don't know how successful we'll be, because it seems it would be
difficult to track specific item types, but maybe eBay will be able to
tell us.

They list on their site they had over $5 billion in annualized gross
merchandise sales in the year 2000, and are the most popular shopping
site on the internet with 46.1 million registered users! They claim on
any given day there are millions of items listed on eBay across
thousands of product categories. Ebay does specifically mention
several categories, which would seem to suggest these are the most
popular, but they do not verify this. Those categories of products
are: automobiles, jewelry, musical instruments, cameras, computers,
furniture, sporting goods, tickets and boats.

After some investigation, and comparing numbers, it appears that
women's clothing and accessory items are most likely the #1 seller on
eBay. eBay divides its products into categories, and keeps count of
these categories in a forum
( When
comparing all the category counts, women's clothing far exceeds the
nearest competition with a whopping 354,244 items as of 6/5/2002 at
10:15am EST.

Hope this answers your question! I didn't use any specific search
strategy, but simply investigated the website.

Thanks for the great question!

Subject: Re: Purchasing on E-Bay
From: indicted-ga on 05 Jun 2002 13:58 PDT

I don't believe you should have to pay for that response as the answer
was incorrect.  I can't understand why the questions was attempted if
the answer was going to contain "most likely" and "I believe".  Here's
the answer you want.

E-Bay only breaks down it's selling information in terms of
categories.  What mosquitohawk gave you was how many items were UP FOR
SALE in each category and assumed you could extrapolate additional
info from this.  Unfortunately you can't.

What I have found out though is that there is software out there which
analyzes the selling patterns of E-Bay.  This program is called
DeepAnalysis and is available for download at  Unfortunately, the registered
version runs for $129 US - pretty unaffordable for most!  I did
however download the demo version which has limitations in term of
limiting you to searching through only 2000 auctions within a category
as opposed to all of them.  Here is what I found by looking at the top
three categories with items listed in them:

1)  Trading Cards - 306,346 items for sale on June 5th, 2002.  A
successful selling rate of 56.5% for total sales of $16,728.67
2)  Women's Clothing and Accessories - 354,244 items for sale on June
5th, 2002.  A successful selling rate of 46.5% for total sales of
3)  CDs, Records, and Tapes - 306,346 items for sale on June 5th,
2002.  A successful selling rate of 46.5% for total sales of

Now, assuming that what would happen in the last 2000 auctions in each
of these categories is representative of this category as a whole and
that people properly list items in the first place, of the items for
sale on June 5th, 2002, 173000 trading cards would be sold, 165000
women's clothing and accessories would be sold, and 142000
CDs/records/tapes would sell.

Hopefully this is of help.  I apologize for people haphazardly
answering these questions when they don't have the information
necessary to do so - especially when he didn't even search outside of
E-Bay!  It really sheds a dark light on this forum.

Thanks for the question!

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