Hidden Market Research on Ebay, Amazon, and Others
Are you looking to provide interesting content to your visitors?
How about popular in-demand products? Do you know what your
target customer is really searching for online?
No worries. You are about to discover that there are literally
thousands of untapped markets just waiting at your fingertips.
To get started, let's go on a little virtual journey.
Our first stop is on the huge metropolis of eBay. This may be
your favorite place to shop online, but did you know that it is
also one of the most valuable sources of keyword and market
To mine eBay for the true gold, you have to dig a little deeper
into their online treasure chest. Let's begin our search at eBay
Pulse (http://pulse.ebay.com/), where you can get a daily
snapshot of current trends, hot picks, and popular search terms.
On this page, you will be finding out which keywords and phrases
people are searching for the most on eBay. From there, you can
then dig down into categories.
To do this, simply click on the drop-down menu right above where
the popular searches are listed. This will allow you to find the
most popular searches by category and sub-category.
Don't take eBay Pulse for granted. They are basically handing
you a proven business model on a silver platter. From this one
page, you can find out exactly which products are in highest
Let's take a further look at some additional hot product items.
To do this, go to
On this page, you can search by category to find out about
insider selling strategies, which items are in demand, and the
most popular searches. Take your time here. There's lots to
learn and many treasures to uncover.
I would also advise you to check out the Hot Categories Report
(http://pages.ebay.com/sellercentral/hotitems.pdf), which is
updated monthly to show you the most in-demand products in each
and every category.
With the holiday's right around the corner, eBay has even
created a 2006 Holiday Hot List
(http://pages.ebay.com/holidayhotlist2006/) which gives a
detailed list of products predicted to be in high demand and
short supply this holiday season.
Your next stop is at eBay Keywords (http://buy.ebay.com). This
is a directory of thousands of highly popular terms that people
search for on eBay. This is invaluable information because these
are keywords that have proven profit potential.
Other valuable eBay Tools:
Popular Keywords: http://popular.ebay.com/ Find the most popular
items in any category.
http://product-index.ebay.com/best_selling_1.html - Browse the
most popular products on eBay, sorted by category.
The next part of our journey will take us to a web site that you
are probably very familiar with. It's time to slip on over to
Amazon.com. This online hot spot is one of the most popular
online shopping destinations, but it is also a remarkable free
research tool for Internet marketers.
Within each of their 35 product categories, there is a "Top
Sellers" tab at the top of the page. So, for instance, if you
sell fitness equipment, you can quickly find out which items,
and which types of items are best sellers on Amazon.
You still need to do your own testing and research to see which
products sell best on your own site to your unique audience, but
the Amazon top sellers can certainly give you a very strong
Amazon is one of the most underused sources for market research.
However, if used properly, it could be your own personal gold
mine. One of the best places to start on Amazon in order to find
an untapped niche is in the magazine section. Here, they list
over 80,000 magazines.
Magazine topics are profitable by their very nature because they
only exist if a large number of people are willing to buy them.
Therefore, just knowing that there is a magazine on a particular
topic shows that there is a particular group of people that
are passionate about that topic and are willing to spend money
on their interests.
The last time I dug through some of the magazines at Amazon I
found some really good markets. They included sea kayaking, fly
fishing, and retirement planning. Retirement planning is
definitely an upcoming trend with all of the aging baby-boomers.
Once you find a magazine that appeals to a certain sub-culture,
order some back-issues. Thumb through the older versions and
find which advertisers have been advertising their product in
multiple issues. By doing this, you'll know which products your
target audience is buying.
If you're like me and like to save money, you could just go to
your local library and look through the back-issues there.
Amazon.com can also be used to tap into a wide range of trends.
Simply check out their top-selling magazines, which are updated
every day. Using the Amazon movers and shakers tool, you can tap
into the latest trends before the rest of the online marketers
ever think about catching up to you.
Our last stop online is at the Learning Annex
(http://www.learningannex.com). This site is a comprehensive
list of adult education classes that are available online. As
you probably know, information is one of the hottest selling
products online. In fact, information is the number one reason
that people even go online.
By finding out what people are paying to learn about, you can
uncover a multitude of profitable niches. Here are just a few
of the niches I discovered the last time I explored the
* Real Estate
* How to learn a foreign language
* How to create gift baskets for fun and profit
* How to become a special event / party planner
* How to talk to your cat
* How to make money doing voice overs on Radio & TV
* How to become a successful travel writer
* Speed Reading
* How to be a mystery shopper
Are you starting to see the unlimited amount of opportunities?
Well, we're almost to the end of our journey. I have saved one
of my very best tips for last. It is a free marketing magazine
called Direct Mag (www.directmag.com). Every month, this magazine
contains a feature known as List line, which shows announcements
of mailing lists, their number of subscribers, and what and how
much of a product they are buying. Directmag.com will show you
exactly what people are buying and how much of it they are
buying. This is an invaluable free resource that I would highly
suggest you take advantage of.
Now that you have found some niche topics that you think could
be successful, it's time to see if those markets are truly
One of the best ways to do this is to search actual eBay
listings related to your niche. Count exactly how many listings
there are under your chosen topic. Then, take a look at how many
people are actually bidding on those items. Do you see any
bidding wars? If so, you've definitely found a hot market.
Next, go into Google and type in your keyword phrase. Make sure
that you use a targeted phrase. For example, I might type
"model hovercraft kits" into the Google search engine. If the
results show 600,000 or less results than this is potentially
a good market to target.
If the number is much higher than this, you should probably look
for a different market that has less competition.
Remember, you are looking for a niche that you can dominate. It
is much easier to find a very targeted market than to try and
compete with companies like Microsoft and Wal-Mart.
To further analyze this markets profit potential, you'll want
to go into the Overture suggestion tool
(http://www.pixelfast.com/overture/) and look for the top 3
highest bids. If the number 3 bid is under 30 cents, then this
market may not be a profitable market that you want to go after.
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself about your
* Is this market wildly passionate about their interests?
* Do they have their own events?
* Do they have their own celebrities among this market?
* Are there magazines that target this particular topic?
* Does a typical member of your target market have a credit
* Are there related products being sold to them online?
* Does a typical member of your target market have disposable
* Are members of your target market buying products online?
* Are advertisers paying good money to advertise to your target
If you answered yes to most of these questions, then you have
probably found a profitable niche.
The many in-demand products and keywords that you find during
your search can transform into hundreds of different web sites,
info-products, and ebooks. They can also lead to successful
SEO and pay-per-click campaigns.
Just a few years ago, this kind of information would cost you
thousands of dollars to access and now it's all free of charge.
All you need is an Internet connection.
There are literally millions of untapped markets, it's just a
matter of picking one.
Read more: Hidden Market Research on Ebay, Amazon, and Others