eBay is a great marketplace that attracts hordes of buyers and sellers. But is it the right marketplace for testing new products?
From my experience with eBay, it is not the best marketplace for new products.
First, the market that eBay attracts is looking for low prices, particularly for commonplace items such as children’s clothing, women’s handbags or outdoor power equipment. Buyers go to eBay because they think they can find deals and huge discounts. They want the lowest possible price for the quality they want.
Second, people come to eBay to look for unique items such as antiques and collectibles. They search for unique items that they collect and other hard-to-find items that they know they can’t find in their local Wal-mart or Main street store.
Whether it is a unique or commonplace item, a common factor between these two types of items is the familiarity of the buyer. The buyer goes to eBay looking for these products; they know these products and are aware that the products exist. A buyer shops at eBay looking for Gucci shoes whether used or brand new; or looking for 1910 real photo postcard of Russian royalties. They know what they are looking for; what they want.
Price and uniqueness are two main factors ebay buyers are looking for. If you will introduce a new product or idea on eBay, it will be extremely hard to sell unless you advertise it extensively or use keywords that people are familiar with. For one, people are not familiar with it, after all your product is new. So NO ONE will be searching for it. No pageviews mean little chance of getting your items sold. Or if ever the someone stumbles upon it and the item gets sold, you will not get the buyer bidding frenzy that results in top price; rather, you may get only 1 bid at your starting price.
Some do it, but they have to list and relist, again and again, until their products become familiar to eBay users. Or you will introduce a new product ONLY after you have gained a coterie of loyal buyers who checks out the items you sell on a regular basis. Introducing a new product could work if you have got the history of selling for eBay users to trust you and your products. Plus, you’ve got hundreds or thousands of positive user feedback.
It is not easy to use eBay as a launching pad for new products — unless you are willing to spend money advertising your new product and increasing awareness for it.