Research sales trends and find out what to sell and when to sell it.
Most sellers come to eBay when they've got some stuff to sell, but if you're running a business on eBay, you've likely cleaned out your own attic by now. The next step, of course, is to find something new to sell.
There are two basic approaches: buy products inexpensively for the purpose of reselling on eBay for a profit, or sell other people's stuff for a percentage of the profits. To pursue either course, you'll need to know what's currently selling well on eBay.
While you may be intimately acquainted with a particular market on eBay, such as hand-painted clogs or wind-up walking sushi, there's no reason you couldn't branch out and start selling other kinds of things.
eBay updates its Hot Categories Report every month with the latest list of categories in which, as they put it, "demand is growing faster than supply and bid-to-item ratios are relatively high." In other words, these are markets that eBay believes to be untapped of their full potential.
You can download the entire report in Adobe Acrobat PDF format by going to ebay.com/sellercentral/whatshot.html. (If you can't open PDF files, you can get the free Acrobat reader at www.adobe.com.)
Categories are listed by level (e.g., L2, L3, L4), which is another way of saying the "number of layers deep." For instance, in the Antiques top-level (a.k.a. Level 1 and L1) category, you might see a table in the report that looks ...