Here’s another research tool to add to your arsenal also discover why a tongue in cheek article isn’t all it seems…

Back in September 2012, eBay did the unthinkable…they retired eBay Pulse! At the time this was seen as a disaster by many sellers because it was an extremely useful research tool accessed directly from the eBay site and received daily visits by many – including me – who used it to spot important keywords being searched for on eBay that could then be matched up to find in demand products ripe for sourcing and selling.

Not one to hang around, having lost an important research tool, I found an alternative pretty quickly and in fact the alternative, in the form of Watchcount, far exceeded the information that was previously available on eBay Pulse!

Over the past 18 months or so, Watchcount has become a hugely important research tool in the lives of many online sellers and it’s a tool that I always recommend to members of The Source Report and of course my E-Seller Mastery students. It’s detailed, easy to use and importantly it’s kept bang up to date and so before I go on I must stress that you should continue to use the site (or start using it if you aren’t already), because it is invaluable for helping you with your product and keyword research.

But there’s a ‘new kid on the block’!

Yes, eBay Pulse has returned – and me saying it’s ‘new’ might be pushing it a little bit because apparently it actually returned a while ago. I didn’t know this and I’m all over the web on a daily basis so I’ve either had my blinkers firmly on, or it hasn’t been very well publicised! Coincidentally, the same week that I discovered it, one of my eletter subscribers also emailed me about it too!

What’s interesting is that it’s not eBay who have brought it back to life either! It’s been reincarnated by Goofbid – under the exact same name. This could be a good move – after all there are plenty of eBay sellers who will remember the original version, will instantly recognize it and be pleased to see it back – but there are also plenty of eBay sellers who are newer to online selling and may never have heard of eBay Pulse or understand what it does, in which case eBay Pulse will mean nothing to them. So perhaps a new name would have been better!

If you’re not familiar with Goofbid (formerly known as Goofbay), this is an online site which features loads of buyer and seller tools for eBay users including bargain finders and sniper tools – and it’s all completely free.

Goofbid have always had an ‘eBay Most Popular Tool’ on the site, however to use this effectively you do need to know exactly what you’re looking for. For example you would need to enter an item number or a keyword in order for the results of the most popular items to be returned.

Their eBay Pulse tool is different in that you can search within actual complete categories to find the most popular search terms (the searches I did produced up to 90 keywords each time) and you’ll also see the most popular items beneath those results too.

Now, even though the tool is not brand new it is still currently in Beta Testing mode, however the eBay Pulse feature is available to everyone on Goofbid’s site and you can access it here if you want to have a play around with it:

Does it work?

I’ve run a few searches this past week and to be honest, although it’s useful, it’s not completely up to speed in my opinion. With the original eBay Pulse tool you were able to dig down into sub-categories within the main categories. So for example, if you wanted to research popular keywords within the ‘Pet Supplies’ category you would choose ‘Pet Supplies’ and then be able to see the results for the overall category. There was then the option to choose a sub-category within ‘Pet Supplies’ – for example ‘Dog Supplies’ – and narrow down the popular keywords within that sub-category.

Goofbid’s eBay Pulse doesn’t do this. You only get the option to search the top category. So I chose ‘Pet Supplies’ and this returned 93 popular search terms within that category. Of course these search terms can be used in your research, however they represent the whole category so you would need to look at them all to weed out the one’s related to what you really want – in this example ‘Dog Supplies’.

So, whilst it’s definitely one to add to your research tools arsenal, it’s time-consuming to use in it’s current Beta state simply because you can’t narrow your searches down far enough to be helpful. In my opinion an eBay Pulse tool should have been brought back as a ‘better’ version and under a new name.

Who knows, perhaps Goofbid will make adjustments and add sub-category options in the future. I’ll be keeping an eye on it but I certainly won’t be abandoning Watchcount just yet!

You can try Watchcount here – it’s free!

Now just before I sign off I just want to mention an article that appeared in the Mail Online recently…

Anyone need to source a banana slicer?

You’ll understand what I’m talking about when you read the article here!

It’s all about Alibaba.

The article actually quotes: “Inside the weird world of Alibaba, the vast online marketplace that you’ve almost certainly never heard of” but in fact the site is very well known to many – particularly in the online sourcing world!

Alibaba is a huge online marketplace that is aims to connect businesses with wholesalers, suppliers and manufacturers and the article, although firmly tongue in cheek in parts, is absolutely correct in saying that there are many weird and wonderful products available from suppliers on the site – granted, not all of them may appeal to you, particularly the examples the Mail Online gives – an obese Schwarzenegger sculpture, a tin of Unicorn meat, nose straighteners and a handy ‘banana slicer’ – however, what the article glosses over is the fact that Alibaba can be a superb source for other more widely saleable products.

The key is to source only unbranded products from suppliers and manufacturers on Alibaba and never go for branded goods as these may be counterfeit.

In amongst the weird and wonderful are some genuine in demand products that you can source inexpensively and resell online or offline, so why not take a look.

As always I wish you the best of success,