But I was curious how many sellers watch items on eBay for research as a regular habit. On an informal poll on my Facebook Group last week, I asked this question, "Do you or have you ever watched another seller's item(s) for research purposes?"
656 sellers responded over a 3-day period. The results:
Total responses 656
Invalid responses 8
Yes 538 (83%)
No 110 (17%)
See the poll here.
This informal poll shows that 83% of sellers watch other seller's items as a form of research. Is this good or bad? Helpful or not? A good use of time or a waste of time?
I am one of the 17% that does not watch other seller's items. I rely on completed listings for pricing information simply because completeds are readily available and I can list the item and move on. I don't have to wait for an item to sell or go unsold to get the data I need.
Personally, I would like to see eBay discontinue the "watcher" feature. I think it is a distraction and it doesn't provide any usable or accurate information sellers can use to make decisions about our listings. Now that we know how many sellers are watching items they never intend to buy, the "watcher" count is irrelevant and useless information. I think page views are a better indicator of traffic and interest. But really, it only takes 1 buyer to make a sale so page views shouldn't be relied on too heavily as an indicator of an impending sale.
Honestly, I think completed listings gives us what we need. If you are a seller and want to do competitor research, Terapeak has a function for that. I tell my clients who ask ask if a research tool is necessary to try Terapeak for a month or two and decide for themselves. Each seller's business is unique and what works for one seller may not work for another. You won't know until you try out the tool for yourself.
What is your opinion on the eBay watcher feature? Helpful, useful, or just a distraction?