As you may already know, in late September, eBay decided to retire eBay Pulse. They apparently put a note on the site stating that this was going to happen although it must have been so well hidden that no-one – not even one of their estimated 14 million users – saw it, therefore unfortunately no objections were made and it has now ceased to exist.

Believe me, if I had known that it was to be retired prior to it disappearing I would have been straight on the phone to eBay objecting immediately, because Pulse was a valuable tool that I and many others used almost every day. For research purposes it was fantastic, especially when combined with the ‘Most Watched’ data and it’s a resource that I have referred to frequently in all of my home study courses.

As it happened, I did get straight on the phone (even though I was slightly too late!) and was initially told that not enough people used eBay Pulse to warrant it being a resource, which was why it had been shut down. I was pretty shocked by this because I know plenty of people who rely on Pulse for research so I found this a little hard to take in. Anyway, the decision had been made… and one phone call by one person (me) wasn’t going to change their minds!

However, there is good news, because since my initial contact with eBay, I’ve now been advised that if enough people call for eBay Pulse to be reinstated, then the powers that be will definitely look at bringing it back in a new and better format – hurrah!

We need to get eBay Pulse back… and you can help!

Well, you know me, never one to hang around or take things lying down, I’m now involved in a campaign to do just that – ‘Bring Back eBay Pulse.’

So, if you would like to see eBay Pulse reinstated please go here now, tick the box and tell me why you love eBay Pulse so that I can let eBay know. It will take you less than a minute to add your vote. The more names we get, the more chance of getting eBay Pulse back, so please help if you can, as together we can do it!

In the meantime though, eBay Pulse is obviously not available, so whilst we wait for it to return – and I am certain it will – where can you now research hot items?

Well, thankfully, eBay Pulse is just one research method available to you and was always a method I combined with several other strategies! So, here are four alternative sources for you to use instead…

1. eBay Popular Keywords

For product sourcing purposes try using ‘popular keywords.’ It’s not quite as useful as eBay Pulse was because many products are branded and are the obvious products you would expect to be popular such as iPods and so on.

Products like this are not ideal for sourcing to resell due to saturated markets, counterfeit goods and so on, but the data will give you a starting point from which to dig a little deeper as you research similar but unbranded products.

The ‘popular keywords’ tool is very well hidden by eBay and as far as I am aware there is no actual link to this page via any of the eBay pages. What this means is that very few people actually know about it right now which will be to your advantage as you can get in there and start using this new research method before anyone else. To access this tool, use the direct link I’ve given you above.

2. Watchcount

You can also use Watchcount, which you’ll find here.

This site is one that I have mentioned before in a recent article I wrote for The Source Report. It details using Watchcount very effectively to increase the perceived value of your products and you can find that article here.

You will need to be logged in to read the article, but don’t worry, if you are not already a member you can sign up for my special trial offer here.

Using Watchcount is very simple. Go to the homepage and beneath ‘Most Watched eBay Items’ select a category but don’t add in any specific keywords – in other words, leave the keywords box blank. Then click ‘Show me what’s most popular’ and you’ll get some results that you can utilize to work out some of the hot items. You’ll be able to see the number of past sales for an item plus the current number of watchers.

For example, I chose the ‘Sporting Goods’ category but no keywords and discovered that Door/Gym Exercise Bars and Cycling LED lights are popular for sales and watchers. If I wanted to dig further into this I could then choose a related keyword to either of these products to get into the specific products that are hot right now.

3. Google Trends

Google Trends is another valuable tool that has recently seen some changes. It’s been recently updated and merged with Google Insights For Search and is now much easier to use.

Google Trends will help you spot the most searched for products online. So, go to and type in the product or niche that interests you, then select ‘United Kingdom’ and ‘Product Search’ in the ‘Limit To’ section on the left hand side, along with any specific dates. Click search and your data will be updated.

For example, I input ‘cycling’ and I was able to see related popular terms to cycling such as ‘cycling jacket’, ‘cycling gloves’ and so on. You can use this data to determine whether a product in a specific niche is hot and worth researching further with a view to reselling.

4. eBay Best Match

Finally, of course you can always use my simple ‘best match’ strategy as well. Results for searched for keywords on eBay are returned in the default format of ‘Best Match’, which means that products that match your search are shown first. These are likely to have a sales history and have extremely relevant keywords in their titles.

All you need to do is open the category or sub-category you are interested in on eBay using the category list accessible from the home page. From there, don’t enter a keyword search initially, just check out which products listed as Buy It Now’s appear on the first page of the search results (you can filter those at the top of the page).

Those that appear on page 1 will have lots of sales history and are highly likely to be popular products – that’s why they appear on page 1! So these are the products you can look into further with a view to sourcing ‘similar but better’.

Alternatively, if you want to narrow things down a little you can add a keyword of your choice and again let eBay return the ‘best match’ results for you. This is a simple way of working out the most popular products in a category, sub-category or sub-sub-category.

So, there are four alternatives to eBay Pulse for you. You can use all four methods combined or the ones that suit you best it’s up to you, but it’s always best to check a potential product out using more than one research method so that you are sure you are looking at a hot product worth sourcing for yourself!

Here’s hoping that eBay bring back a new, bigger better version of eBay Pulse soon so that we can add that back to our list of tools!