BAM eBay Blog

Posts for eBay buyers about buying on eBay

A Look at High to Low Sales Across Some eBay Categories

A Look at High to Low Sales Across Some eBay Categories

I do miss the old eBay Pulse, in which eBay gave us a look at what categories and subcategories were trending. But the terapeak tool has a feature that looks at what categories have high and low sales, from the top-level on down.  I thought it would be fun to take a look at what categories have the most sales right now, or rather, within the last seven days.

On the top end, we have:

- Clothing, Shoes and Accessories as having high sales.  Within that:
- Women's Clothing is trending big as well.

- Cell Phones and Accessories have moderately high sales, with:
- Cell Phones and Smart Phones garnering the high sales "red dot" in the terapeak color spectrum.

Rounding out the C's, Collectibles are an overall high sales top-level category. Within that,
- Comics are the hottest with highest sales, followed by:
- Militaria
- Knives, Swords & Blades
- Decorative Collectibles
- Advertising
- Transportation

Most of the other top-level categories show a grey dot (for low sales), but within those we have, for example:

Antiques - Low sales

- Silver - high sales
 - Asian Antiques - second highest, etc., with the rest in order on down to Periods & Styles.
 - Decorative Arts
 - Rugs & Carpets
 - Furniture
 - Periods & Styles

Within Computers/Tablets & Networking, we have, in highest to least order:
- Laptops & Netbooks
- Tablets & eBook Readers
- Desktops & All-In-Ones
- Computer Components & Parts
- Printers, Scanners & Supplies
- Drives, Storage & Blank Media

What about Sporting Goods? That top-level category shows moderate sales, with high sales in:
- Hunting, and then on down in order from most to least:
- Outdoor Sports
- Cycling
- Golf
- Fishing
- Fitness, Running & Yoga

Home & Garden is a "warm" top-level category. People are still buying things for the outdoors despite the turning of the season. In order, we have:
   -  Yard, Garden & Outdoor Living
   -  Home Improvement
   -  Tools
   -  Kitchen, Dining & Bar
   -  Furniture
   -  Household Supplies & Cleaning

That's a quick snapshot of how some key eBay areas have done in the last seven days. What categories do you buy the most from, and what information from those would you find most helpful?  Post a comment here!

What Could Be Better About EBay Search?

What Could Be Better About EBay Search?

Do different shoppers get the same results when conducting identical searches? Not according to this article in EcommerceBytes, where they conducted a test with multiple shoppers entering the exact same search words.

For example, one set of searches entered the term "black cocktail dress," and these are the results they got:

Black Cocktail Dress:
63%: 453,000 listings (+/-2000 listings)
21%: 363,000 listings (+/-1000 listings)
8%: 376,000 listings (+/-1000 listings)
4%: 472,000 listings (+/-1000 listings)
4%: International participants

Other search terms with inconsistent numbers of results included "Diaper Bag," "Tackle Box," and "Star Wars Figure."

You can see the results on the EcommerceBytes Blog post. It also explains the methodology and numbers of people who participated in the study.

The question here is why would a search using Best Match bring back different numbers of results for different people? Is eBay somehow tailoring the search results people see based on their past buyer behavior?

One other thing that troubles me about eBay search is that they got rid of the use of the asterisk, which I found very helpful in conducting searches. Anybody else with me in wishing eBay would bring back the asterisk for search? Post a comment here!

What other changes would you like to see made to how eBay search works, or are you fine with it as it is?

How to Recognize a PayPal or Other Phishing Scam

How to Recognize a PayPal or Other Phishing Scam

If you're like me, and you've been buying and selling on eBay and using PayPal for years, you're bound to come across a PayPal or other "phishing" scam.  This is when someone is trying to trick you in to giving them your PayPal login id and password, or login and password for other sites.

Some of the "phishers" have become very sophisticated, including graphics, logo, and legal language in the email that looks legit. Here are a few tips for recognizing these kinds of evil emails:

- Check for any sort of incorrect grammar or punctuation. I've noticed some will put a space in between a word and the followup punctuation, such as, "Your account has been limited ,"  Other times the punctuation is wrong, such as a comma instead of a period, in that example.

- Hover your mouse over the link in the email, and see what url pops up when you do (if one does). Most times you will then see the url of the phony site and it will not look like the legitimate PayPal or other site login.

- Watch for scare tactics like "Your account has been limited."  There were reports of such an attack in March of this year. The email then has an html attachment that launches the victim onto a page where all sorts of personal data can be collected.

My favorite tip for checking emails is the hovering of the mouse one.  But the best rule of thumb you can probably keep to avoid these scams altogether is to never login from the email; always type in the url of the main site and see if there are any notices or messages there on which you need to act.

Have you been the victim of a phishing scam? What was it that pulled you in? What are your tips to avoid these kinds of scams? Post a comment here!

A Look at Amazon Handmade Vs. Etsy

A Look at Amazon Handmade Vs. Etsy

It's been a little while since Amazon launched its handmade section, so I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how far its come along, and compare it to Etsy, the latter which of course has had a huge lead.

To be considered for Amazon's handmade area, you need to receive an invitation. But, you can also request an invitation from their Handmade at Amazon page.

When I looked at the Handmade at Amazon shopping area, I got 215 results. Many of these are artisan jewelry items. There are also some whimsical "Mistaken Lyrics Coasters" and an attractive porcelain red flower mug, along with a matching red flower design bowl.  These cost $38.00 and $36.00, respectively.

In general, prices in the Handmade category are going to skew higher than those in Amazon's regular category; this is to be expected for handmade, quality items. The same can be said of Etsy, where prices tend to be higher for items than those on eBay.

Right now on Amazon Handmade, I saw:

- 145 Jewelry Items

- 70 Home & Kitchen Items


- 8 Handbags and Accessories.

(Right now on Etsy alone, there are some 8,339,000 jewelry items).

Jewelry items on Amazon Handmade include funky necklaces such as a cat sculpture pendant and some Chevron-designed disc pendants; there are also several "Druzy," raw gemstone-encrusted looking pieces.

While there are of course tons more items on Etsy, a big reason Etsy sellers may want to look at applying for an invitation is for more customers, and specifically the draw of the "two-day shipping" Prime offers.

If you are a seller of handmade items, check out the invitation request on Amazon. If you are a buyer, don't neglect looking at Amazon handmade as an up-and-coming place to buy unique handmade gifts.

In a subsequent post, we will take a look at the eBay handmade offerings.

What do you think of handmade items on Amazon, and would you buy any of them? Do you look for handmade items when shopping for gifts or yourself? Post a comment here!

Considering Negative Feedback When Buying on eBay

Considering Negative Feedback When Buying on eBay

EBay has changed the way it displayed negative feedback over the years.  In the past, you used to have to scroll down through a member's many transactions to get the details of a negative feedback transaction.  Currently, though, eBay displays the number of negative feedbacks a member received for a six-to-12-month period, and you can easily click on the number and read the comment or comments buyers have left.

I think negative feedback is instructive in what it is, so you can learn the type of questions you should be asking a seller.  For example, for a pair of pants in my size I'm considering buying, one negative comment for that seller complained that some pants "require tailoring" and that they hang below the pant leg.  This is the kind of information you can get if you ask the seller for measurements, and check them against yourself with a tape measure.

It's also helpful to see if a seller replies to negative feedback.  I think a response by a seller is very important, if just to show they are on top of their mail and pay attention to what their buyers say.  Sometimes the response will be the seller defending themselves, such as "measurements were given and I offer returns."

But one seller admitted that the transaction gone wrong was "my bad," as they had been on vacation.  That kind of honesty is a good thing to see in a seller too.

If you want to see a seller's feedback that goes back more than a year ago, consider going to and inputting the seller's ID in the "Negative/Neutral Feedback" area.  There are also sections on the site for "30-Day Negs," "Mutual" feedback, and "Blocked-Bidder Check," which lets you search your blocked bidder list for invalid/NARU ("not a registered user") users.

I think the bottom line is to be reasonable when checking a seller's negative feedback.  If they have some 1000 transactions, and only three negative feedbacks, that's not such a bad track record, especially if it's something like a sizing issue and the seller offers returns.

Do you make a point of checking a seller's negative feedbacks before buying?  What kind of negative feedback would keep you from buying something, given how many transactions a seller had?  Post a comment here!