3 data tips for buyers at Canton Fair 2018

Make sourcing decisions based on data, not guesswork


If you are an eBay seller sourcing new products to reach new buyers is a popular growth strategy. Sellers get new product ideas from sources such as competitor research, industry news, social media trends and attending trade shows like the China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair). A challenge in purchasing new stock for almost all sellers is the risk they could buy an unpopular product which does not appeal to buyers and leaves them with an expensive clearance problem.

While you’re meeting new suppliers in Guangzhou try adding these 3 simple tips to add data to your sourcing decisions and potentially avoid costly mistakes selling on eBay and other sales channels.

  1. Research if your competitors have already tried it

How many competitors are trying to make money on this product in market right now? If the product you’re sourcing doesn’t add additional value to them in features or price point then you will have slow sell through. If there are already 100 sellers doing it then does the marketplace need another?

Look at the sellers in the data tables and learn how much stock they hold and the price ranges the top sellers are selling for. Consider if the gross margin works for you and deep dive into the sellers listings.


2. Research how fast the product is selling

If the market looks like a low competition niche with good margin it is a good idea to see how fast the same products listed in the last 18 months are selling. This gives you a good data point to figure out how your product sells through. If you are expecting to sell 100 units per week and the fastest selling product sells only 36 units per week, then you should adjust your expectations or try another product


3. Find a niche to add value to buyers

This is difficult as there is no buyer research available to validate your idea. An alternate way to start assessing your product idea is to look at areas of low supply where you might sell a higher priced product at better margin among less competitors

If you were looking at the fitness tracker category you would notice on most inventory is listed at less than $25 and is where most competition is found. In this battleground 3-5 listings dominate with greater than 100 sales per week on average. You would also notice there is a clear lack of supply above $50 and less than $135 where branded (FitBit) products start appealing to buyers.

The question then becomes what type of product and value added features might fit in here?

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Use data to negotiate a better deal

Make your supplier aware what their product offers are achieving on the open marketplace and make sure they are making you a fair offer so you can compete. Discuss ways to create something even better that brings value to the market so you can differentiate yourself from everyone else. Avoiding a race to the bottom on price creates a sustainable product portfolio and is worth investing time in.

Sharing the data is easy and can be done using multiple formats including a csv download. If you are time poor, consider getting virtual staff to help with this process.

Using real data points regularly will make sourcing decisions less stressful and more accurate. So give yourself a competitive intelligence advantage and take that next step in adding data and growing your business!