eBay August Chat: Terapeak Research & Sourcing Insights

Liz Morton ~ Founder
Liz Morton ~ Founder


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This month's eBay community chat featured Product Manager, Seller Experience, Lucan McRandall talking about eBay's Terapeak Research and Sourcing Insights tools.

Lucan is a member of the Seller Experience Growth & Insights team and honestly, it's a shame the topic was limited so specifically just to Terapeak - the low level of participation is perhaps an indication not many sellers are interested in Terapeak specifically but I bet if they had opened it up to more general questions about seller growth they would have gotten a lot more engagement.

Monthly Chat - August 10th at 1:00 pm PT - How to use Sourcing Insights and Product Research
Hi Everyone! This month’s chat you’ll have an opportunity to talk to Lucan from our Seller Experience - Growth & Insights team. The theme of the chat is, “How to use Sourcing Insights and Product Research”. See you August 10th!!! Edit: Thanks for joining us for the Monthly Chat with eBay Staff and…

Also a little pro tip for the community team - it's a good idea to double check you've removed and replaced all of the placeholder text in the script before publishing. 😉

On the plus side, I was able to ask about the issues with Sourcing Insights that have been reported since June 2021.

Terapeak Sourcing Insights Not Working For eBay Motors
Terapeak Sourcing Insights appears to still be a work in progress showing inaccurate data for eBay Motors categories.

Over a year ago, I posted this thread here in the community about sourcing insights not working in the Motors categories.

https://community.ebay.com/t5/Selling/Terapeak-Sourcing-Insights-Not-Working-For-eBay-Motors/m-p/31989224

I had tagged Harry Temkin back then but since he's no longer at eBay and I never got an answer there, hopefully you can help.

I've confirmed with other sellers as recently as this week and the issues I found then appear to still be happening.

Most significantly, for any sub-category under Motors, it's showing 0 search volume and 0.0 search-to-listing ratio. This has to be a technical problem or data error - with millions of listings in some of these categories, I don't believe it's possible no one is searching for those items on eBay in the last 30 days.

tpinsight6

Switching to Table View instead of Card View still shows 0 for search volume and search-to-listing ratio.

Table View also adds a column for Market Share. If you hover over it, a note pops up showing that Market Share is defined as "the share of the market owned by the top 10% of sellers in this category."

While I don't have hard numbers to verify, these percentages don't make sense to me - if the top 10% of sellers in a category really do own 100% of the market, what does that say for the other 90% of sellers?

Anecdotally, I've spoken to a seller who is consistently the #1 seller in one of these categories according to their Listing Quality Report and they said there is no way the market share of the top 10% is that high.

I'd be curious if you could tell us if those figures seem at all "normal" given what you may have seen across non-motors categories as well?

tpinsights5

I'm also not sure how "average days to first sale" could be a negative number, like it's showing for brake drums.

Any idea what could be going on here and why this issue appears to be affecting the entire Motors section?

Lucan responded that it definitely looked there are some "inconsistencies" in the data that they'll investigate and prioritize for a fix.

Hi @valueaddedresource ! Thanks for passing this on – based on your screenshots, it definitely looks like there are some inconsistencies, and that’s not something I would expect in relation to an entire category (in this case, Motors). I will definitely ask my team to investigate. Hopefully we can prioritize a fix relatively quickly.

I don't have any specific details on what the issue may be at the moment. Hopefully I can provide some additional information once we have a better understanding of the problem from a technical perspective.

Another seller had a question about how item specifics affect search specifically in stamps categories and how sourcing insights or product research could help specialized sellers.

I am not sure how eBay sourcing insights and product research would be helpful to specialized sellers in collectible categories. Most market insight in the Stamps category comes from publications like Linn’s Stamp News or the Scott Catalog. Past sales on eBay can be helpful for listing and pricing decisions. Unfortunately, three months is not sufficient for pricing less frequently sold items.

The Stamps category market on eBay is segmented by price and condition. Low quality common stamps sell at low prices while high quality unusual or graded stamps generally sell at prices posted in the Scott US stamp values by Grade or at Scott Catalog values adjusted for grade and condition.

While eBay sale prices can be accessed, eBay search is too weak to effectively capture sale prices by catalog number...

...Better, more effective, eBay Item Specifics in the Stamps category would enable better and more efficient searches and potentially more sales in addition to the ability to generate better sales data.

Lucan gave some helpful advice about how Terapeak can go back further than the limited 90 day timeframe of a regular eBay search, but also admitted there may be room for improvement because many of the specifics being used come from seller input which may not always be accurate or reliable.

One thing that stands out to me right away is that it seems like you’ve been limited to searching the past 3 months. That’s a huge pain point that we recognize most collectible sellers experience when using eBay search results to view historic prices.

Terapeak Product Research (available at www.ebay.com/sh/research) allows you to search any date range up-to-and-including the past 365 days. This also allows you to view the actual sold prices of items, which isn’t always transparent on the standard eBay search results in cases where the Seller has accepted a Best Offer.

Sourcing insights also offers a full year of sales trends and can provide insights into item specific combinations that sell well within a category. It’s not always perfect, but it does depend on how frequently certain item specifics are used by other sellers.

When you search in Terapeak, always try to select a specific category to search in...

...There are likely some improvements we can make, but many of the specifics we use in these instances actually come from values that sellers have added to the listings included in the sold results. If we’re mis-identifying what kind of “grades” are used in this case, it would be helpful to connect with you in more detail about what would make sense from a stamp seller’s perspective.


There were a few other follow up posts, but that was pretty much it.

On the up side, at least they avoided another meltdown like last month's chat.

eBay Monthly Chat Meltdown - How To Reach Your Customers?
“How To Reach Your Customers” monthly chat meltdown shows eBay has a lot to learn about customer engagement.

Maybe in the interest of seller feedback and engagement the community crew should open up a poll or suggestion thread for topics once they determine which teams have someone available for a specific monthly chat.

While Lucan is clearly well versed in Terapeak (and we appreciate him taking time to participate in the chat), I'm sure with 4+ years at eBay as a senior product manager leading teams in desktop development, mobile development, and back-end development he has expertise and insight he could have offered on a wider variety of Seller Growth topics - possibly including advice for sellers who say they've seen an unprecedented drop in sales in the last few months.

eBay Summer Sales Slump Or Signs Of A Marketplace In Decline?
Many eBay sellers report sales plummeting - is it normal seasonal slump or signs of serious trouble for the marketplace?

Do you use Terapeak Research or Sourcing Insights? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!

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