We all know about eBay and its huge selling power. It is a good place to search for bargains if you don’t mind buying used things. It is also a good place to sell the stuff you no longer need. I used to do it a lot in the past and still occasionally come there to sell things that are not quite ready for charity.
Since eBay is so huge, there is one more (lesser known) side of it that may attract bargain hunters, and that is the statistical analysis of what people sell / buy on eBay.
You might remember I mentioned Amazon Movers & Shakers page when I wrote about Amazon Shopping Tips and Hacks. eBay has a similar page but it offers much more bells and whistles. Last November eBay hired the army of gnomes from Mpire to build them the tool. What they got back is eBay Pop, a flash application that displays trends on what is popular on eBay.
You can browse across several categories and see items in two lists. One list shows what had the biggest change is sale volume over the past two weeks, another one shows what had the most sales overall. For example if you look at the cell phones, Motorola RAZR V3 is the leader by sales (we all knew that, didn’t we?) however Motorola KRZR, a phone similar to RAZR but with a built in MP3 player, is an emerging leader in the Movers & Shakers.
Why do you care? The numbers in eBay Pop reflect shopping habits of millions of Americans. My background in Computer Science has taught me to pay more attention to facts rather than to someone’s opinion. I don’t want to rely on second hand sources like magazines or online media when I need to find what is hot. If I were to shop for a cell phone, for example, I would sure have taken a look at the KRZR or other runner ups in the list. Thousands of people voting with their money can’t all be wrong!
Not very good at math? Scroll down the eBay Pop page and you will find a few blog style articles with human interpretation of the trends.
Now, my only wish with these lists is that eBay adds more categories. There is so much more to Tech than just MP3 Players, Digital Cameras, and Wireless Routers, the three categories that eBay Pop currently covers.