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Hidden Market Research on Ebay, Amazon, and Others

Copyright (c) 2006-2019 , All Rights Reserved

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 research?

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 demand.

Let's take a further look at some additional hot product items. To do this, go to http://pages.ebay.com/sellercentral/sellbycategory.html . 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 starting point.

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 Learning Annex:

  • 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 and 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.

    Profit Analysis

    Now that you have found some niche topics that you think could be successful, it's time to see if those markets are truly profitable.

    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 potential market:

  • 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 card?
  • Are there related products being sold to them online?
  • Does a typical member of your target market have disposable income?
  • Are members of your target market buying products online?
  • Are advertisers paying good money to advertise to your target market online?

    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.


    About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
    Kim Roach is a staff writer and editor for the SiteProNews and SEO-News newsletters. You can also find additional tips and news on webmaster and SEO topics by Kim at the SiteProNews blog (http://blog.sitepronews.com/). Kim's email is: kim @ seo-news.com

    This article may be freely distributed without modification and provided that the copyright notice and author information remain intact.

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