How to Research eBay Completed Listings for Pricing Information

eBay completed listings
You have to be a detective when researching completed listings on eBay. Getty Images

 eBay Completed Listings are listings that have run their course and ended either with a sale or as unsold. These listings hold valuable information about how much a buyer will pay for a specific item, what keywords to use in titles, and how to describe items to buyers. Before listing items on eBay, and to get the most money for an item you are selling, it is a good practice to research completed listings and price accordingly.

How to Access Completed Listings

Completed listings can be accessed by the following steps on a computer:

  • Perform a search for a specific item using 3-5 keywords.
  • When the search results appear, look on the left-hand menu.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and choose completed.
  • If you wish to see only sold listings, choose sold.

Completed listings can be accessed by the following steps on the mobile app:

  • Perform a search for a specific item using 3-5 keywords.
  • When the search results appear, choose the filter option on the top right.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the slider menu and choose completed.
  • If you wish to see only sold listings, choose sold.

How to Use Completed Listings for Research

Unfortunately, there isn't a scientific formula for selling items on eBay. Too many variables exist to simply state "do x and y and z will happen." But, with the proper analytical strategy, sellers can examine completed listings to glean valuable information about pricing and other criteria that may affect the sale of their item.

The most important clue on a completed listing is the selling price. How much did the item sell for? If an auction, how many bids did it have? Numerous bids by different bidders mean the item is in demand and could be highly desirable. If the item sold on Best Offer, how much lower was the winning offer than the original asking price?

 

Next, study the keywords in the title. Did the other seller use keywords that you might not have thought of? Are the keywords relevant? Having the right keywords to attract buyers is essential to driving traffic to listings. eBay items come up in searches on both Google and eBay, so make sure the title is optimized correctly for highest search placement. 

Next, take a look at the listing type. Was it an auction, fixed price, or did it sell on Best Offer? Generally speaking, auctions are best for items that are truly limited in number such as collectibles, antiques, vintage items, autographed items, signed art work, or event tickets. Auction listings generally result in lower prices. If it was an auction, how many bids did it have? 

Also Study Completed Unsold Listings

Unsold listings also hold valuable information about what the seller may have done incorrectly, or could have improved. For example, did the unsold listing have international shipping enabled? If not, there could be a buyer in another country who wants to buy the item, but was blocked out of buying because the seller does not ship internationally. This is an opportunity for a seller who offers international shipping. There are 162 million eBay users globally, and only 49% of them are in the United States.

The easiest way to increase sales on eBay is to offer international shipping if you are not currently offering it.

Additionally, what do the seller's return and customer policies look like? Is the return policy generous? Are their policies written in a friendly accommodating tone with superior service as their goal? An unsold item is not always about the price. It could be about many other factors. You must be a detective and search for clues about why another seller's item may not have sold. Then, do a better job listing yours. Outperform the competition on eBay to get the sale.

Finally, were the description and photos up to par? Did the seller do a good job of showing and explaining the product? Poor photos and sloppy descriptions can lead to unsold items. Remember, the only thing between you and the buyer is a computer screen.

Always write a description like there are no photos, and take photos like there is no description.

eBay completed listings are accessible on both a computer and mobile device. Researching pricing this way is free and fast. Make sure to do your due diligence to get the highest price for your eBay items.

Updated on August 6, 2016 by Suzanne A. Wells.