I don't like these short answers, especially for the bid you are
giving, but the fact is, ... this is a short answer. eBay publishes a
"Hot" list every month. The one published June 1, 2006 can be found
here... (it is a PDF file).
I believe that the link stays the same for each month. The document
itself is a bit hard to grasp at first, and I thought that it was just
listing categories when I initially looked at it, but then I realized
it starts at a category and goes down several levels. The beginning of
the document gives a definition for what they define as "Hot".
--"The Hot Categories Report (a.k.a. ?The Hot List?) is updated
monthly and gives an unadulterated
view of level 4 (L4) categories that meet the following criteria:
1. Month-over-Month bid growth is at least 1%.
2. Month-over-Month bid growth is at least 1.5 times greater than
3. Bids-per-item is greater than the average for the relevant level 3
category. Note: this is
per item, not per listing. For example, the number of bids-per-item
for work boots (L4) in
a given month may be 7, while the average bids-per-item for all L4s in
boots (L3) may be
2. Therefore, work boots would pass this condition for ?hotness.?
4. Conversion rate for the L4 category in the most recent month was at least 50%.
5. Level 4 category must receive at least 100 bids per week.
6. In the interest of providing clear and actionable information, L4
categories named ?Other?
have been omitted." --
So we are talking "Sales" hot, not "Looky-Loo" hot.
For example, under the Collectibles area, in the Super Hot section, we
see Comics -> Figurines - > Wolverine as Super Hot.
Not much vagueness there... if you are selling Wolverine (from the
X-Men) figurines, you are going to get quite a bit of traffic.
Just under that (two down, actually), we see Militaria (still in
collectables) -> Militaria (Date Unknown) ->Coast Guard ... which is
fairly vague. I know collectors, which is why I went to this section
first, and just knowing that "Coast Guard Miltaria" is hot right now,
would still require some research to see what items were going and
what were not.
Adding this information to the eBay Pulse tool, however, gives a much
better idea of what is going on in a particular section.
From the help page of the eBay Pulse tool, we get a description of
what is available
--" The eBay Pulse contains several dynamically created lists showing
popular searches, stores, products, and more. These lists are a great
way for you see what is hot in the eBay marketplace.
Refine by category
The various lists on the main eBay Pulse page provide an overview of
the entire eBay marketplace. You can also use the drop-down menu at
the top of the page to refine and filter the lists to show content for
specific categories on eBay.
This list is based on actual searches performed by eBay users. It's a
great way to see what people are looking for across eBay or within
your favorite category.
Based on the number of active listings from eBay Stores, this list is
an excellent way for buyers to see which eBay Stores currently have
the most inventories to choose from.
This list is based on the number of recent purchases of particular
products on eBay. Only items that were listed with Pre-Filled Item
Information are counted when this list is generated.
Most watched items
This list shows items that are currently the most watched on eBay,
according to the number of users who have selected the ?Watch this
Item? link on an eBay listing page."
This is helpful in a general way, but its hunt and peck with out a
starting point from the published Hot Sheet. What I don't like about
it, is it gives Most Popular Searches, and Most Watched, but doesn't
give a dynamic view of the Hot Sheet. I suppose this is because many
of the auctions are longer than 2 weeks, so the information simply
isn't available (or able to be considered reliable because of huge
amounts of missing data).
The New Tool is the Marketplace Research Tool,
--"For Sellers - Access up to 90 days of eBay historical completed
items data. Understand the demand for items you're planning to sell
with charts trending average bids per item, number of completed items
and more. View top searches within a category or the entire site to
see what buyers are searching for." --
Starting again with the Hot Sheet, and then using this tool you could
track the items that are not only the Hottest selling items, but also
create a list of what is continuing to sell, and what has the greatest
gross margin. This addition is very important, because the eBay
market tends to move through trends very rapidly (or rabidly,
depending on your view point). So, by the time you get a list, many of
the items would already be bottoming out, or the market would be
flooding. This tool will help avoid both of those pit falls.
An interesting article which goes into more detail about this means
for market research can be see here..
Hot Products Aren't Such Hot Ideas
All of these tools and some others can be found on the eBay "What's Hot" page
There are third party tools as well, for example Terapeak.
A news article on Auction Bytes dot com gives an example of how these
reports can function (there is also a small Flash Tour on the Terapeak
site as well).
Hot Items on eBay (August 21-27, 2005)
The subscription fee for the Terapeak service is just under $17 per
month. They also have a "Lite" service for less.
This data gathering is made possible by the eBay Market Data Program
This is a collection of data gathering access tools to the eBay site
(called an API library if you are a programmer). These tools allow
several data gathering options, which if created by a programmer could
give you a tools that does exactly what you are looking for (within
the limits of the library of course). While it is some very dry
reading, you can get a broader understanding of what the API has
available in the developer manual
The eBay Developers Program News and Forum page is located here.
If you have a question about any of it, please use the Clarification
Request function, and I'll get back to you.