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Can You Still Do eBay Competitor Research with the New Terapeak Rules?

January 25, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments
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Video transcript:

Hello & Welcome!

This is the very first blog video for this year and there are many more to come! I’m planning on creating a video once a month, so I can show you “live”, on screen, how to do various eBay, Amazon & eCommerce related tasks!

Today I want to cover the recent changes in Terapeak’s Competitor Research tool which came as a big surprise to many of us. For people who don’t know what I’m talking about – previously Terapeak showed seller IDs in various places and this was great, especially when doing Competitor Research. We were able to simply enter the seller (user) ID and get various data for that seller, including total sales, their best selling products and much more.

Unfortunately this has been replaced with anonymous seller ids. From what I understand, eBay was concerned about the privacy of their sellers and therefore came to an agreement with Terapeak that this information will no longer be shown.

But what does that mean for us sellers who use Terapeak to do various research tasks? Does this new change make Terapeak pointless?

No, not at all!

First of all, this change has no effect at all on other tools – including our main tool, that we use to do the majority of our Terapeak research, the Product Research tool, as well as the SEO tool, Hot Research and all others.

Secondly, we can still see how much in sales the top sellers make for any product we research. We simply don’t see seller their IDs anymore.

So the only negative is that we can’t see seller IDs and use the Competitor Research tool which allowed us to get further user specific data.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a fan of this change and I would 100% prefer if things stayed as they were before… But from the conversations I had with Terapeak directly I understand that this was out of their control and something eBay simply insisted on. We will most likely never be told the exact reasons for this, but it’s out of our control anyway, we can only accept it and move on.

So how can we use the new Terapeak and still get some competitor data out of it?

One reason why I often used the Competitor Research tool was to see how fragmented the market is for any product I research – to see how many major sellers there are, and how much each one makes every month for that product. This essentially lets me evaluate the product potential and competition… and we can still do this.

All you have to do is go to Product Research, type in the product you want to research, then click on “The Top Sellers who Sell the Item you’re Researching icon”. As you can see – this gives me a list of top sellers for that product, just without seller IDs.

But this function is still very valuable as you can see how many listings the top sellers have for that product, how many items they’ve sold, at what price and at what sell-through rate.

So for considering market size, potential competition level and sales – this tool works just fine.

Now, if you click on the “Listings for the Item you’re Researching” option – it will show you all listings for that product and you can sort these results by end price, total bids and other data. If you sort them by Total Bids (which basically means total sales), you’ll get the top selling listings first.

If you click on that listing, you get re-directed to eBay itself – to the actual listing – where what can you see…? BINGO – the seller ID!

Then you can simply check out that seller’s shop to get a list of other products they’re selling.

And it gets even better. You can actually still get sales data for each product your competitor sells. All you have to do is copy and paste the listing title into the Product Research function in Terapeak.

Why? Well the whole Terapeak system is based on listing titles! If you enter a complete listing title, one that no other sellers are using, you’ll only get data for that one listing, right? Good! This way we can get detailed information for a specific listing from a specific seller.

To make your results even more reliable, in the Filters section set the price to the exact price that seller is selling the product for! Before you do that though, check that item’s sold history to see if the seller has changed the price recently or has different prices for different variations.

You can exclude the pricing part altogether – I do this only to avoid misleading results in case more than one seller uses the exact same listing title.

As you can see – Terapeak shows me General stats for this listing, including total sales, sell-through rate, items sold and much more information. In fact it’s the exact same information we previously got from the Competitor Research tool.

If you want to be 100% sure you’re only getting data for that one seller, you can verify this by clicking on the Listing view. Scroll down the list – it should show only one listing – so the same gallery image for all results.

So we can still get full competitor research done using Terapeak, it just takes a few extra steps! Not ideal, I know, but it’s still a very workable method, especially if you don’t need to research more than 10 or 20 products from that seller.

The main advantage of the Competitor Research tool is to find related items from other sellers – to find those hidden golden products to sell. By following this method you can do exactly that. Just quickly run through all listing titles for the sellers you’re interested in to see what other products they’re selling.

Lastly, for people who are thinking about looking for a Terapeak alternative, don’t bother as there are none. Well none that even come close to what Terapeak offers. Yes, there are some online tools available but they give very basic information and obviously can’t replace the old Terapeak competitor Research tool.

Alright, thanks for watching this video!

Next month I will be doing a video on how to create and format an eBay listing in the post-Turbo Lister era! To ensure you don’t miss out on any of the videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel and click on the Bell icon to receive a notification when new videos are published.

See you soon!

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  1. Mike Moorhead

    I completely understand the constraints that eBay have placed on Terapeak. For me it just appeared with a couple of days warning and the email was a vague and I certainly didn’t comprehend what they were going to do. I can understand the privacy angle, no doubt driven by some large eBay sellers and them not wanting disclosure of the scale of their activities and added competition.

    I think though Terapeak have missed an opportunity to avoid such a huge change by asking eBay if they can display the seller ID for the one registered on the Terapeak account. This wouldn’t break eBay’s privacy as you’d be finding your own data amongst a search, no one else’s. By doing this and enabling sellers to see their position for keyword searches they’d alleviate much of the loss of the recent change and I for one would welcome it as I only use Terapeak for competitor / brand analysis. I completely understand what you’re saying in your article but it doesn’t work for sellers who are analysing brands with multiple sellers and hundreds of sales per keyword. I know the benefits of Terapeak on all levels but for me it’s now redundant and I’m questioning my need to subscribe. A shame as it’s just not their fault.


    1. Andrew Minalto

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Mike!

      Most people who read my blog use mainly Product Research function and SEO tool for creating titles so this change is not as dramatic as for you.

      But I definitely see where you’re coming from and in your case, you lose a lot with this change.


      1. Mike Moorhead

        There is progress on the seller ID front. As you know I’ve been speaking to them about the changes as laid out in my comment and their effects. I got this from Terapeak this morning which is great news.

        “Additionally, we have a feature we’re releasing (hopefully around Feb 13/14) in Product Research 2.0 which would hopefully help you benchmark yourselves in a manner more similar to what you’re used to – it’ll be a seller ranks table with partially obscured seller IDs, except for your seller ID, which will be visible. Unfortunately, I don’t believe this will entirely solve your problem of knowing which sellers are which, but at least you’ll know where you stand within those sellers, and may be able to make some educated guesses, especially if the top few sellers have dissimilar sellerIDs (my understanding is that the IDs should appear like a***b)”

        Positive progress 🙂

      2. Andrew Minalto

        Thanks for letting me know that Mike! 🙂

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