The third party research tool Terapeak has long been a favorite of eBay sellers looking to enhance and improve their online business. After a partnership lasting over a decade, eBay announced the acquisition of Terapeak in late 2017. One of the most high profile purchases by eBay in recent years, the proclamation was both welcomed and feared by eBay sellers.
It was confirmed in the 2019 Early Seller Update that eBay.com users with an eBay Store subscription above Starter will be able to access Terapeak’s services for free. This article aims to break down exactly what Terapeak is, how it can help eBay sellers and what the acquisition means for the future of this tool.
What is Terapeak?
Terapeak describes itself as the “world’s leading provider of eBay analytics.” The core purpose of Terapeak is to provide supply, demand, and pricing data to help online sellers determine what to sell, when to sell it, and at what price.
Terapeak allows eBay sellers to:
- Access real-world sales data for millions of types and variations of items
- Research markets, competition, trends, categories and products to find eBay’s best selling items
- Find high performing and frequently used keywords and search times that result in sales
- Analyze supply and demand of items over time
eBay stated that their main intention following the 2017 acquisition was to integrate some of Terapeak’s functionalities into Seller Hub.
The first major development so far is the introduction of free access to Terapeak for eBay.com sellers with Basic, Premium, Anchor and Enterprise Store subscriptions in March 2019.
How to use Terapeak for eBay research
Terapeak offers detailed marketplace research on millions on online purchases across the web, based on years of global sales data. The Product Research 2.0 Tool offers sellers access to the raw data and analytics, presented in an easy to read and and interactive format.
The best way to start using Terapeak is by searching for an item. This search query can then be narrowed down to a specific date range. The results will show sales metrics for the particular item on eBay, showing sell through rate, number of sellers, average sale price, number of items sold and average shipping costs.
This information demonstrates the value, supply and demand of individual items plus the level of competition. From here, the following features offer further research and analysis of the selected sales metrics:
- The Transactions tab shows more detail about individual listings. Each listing will show the specific eBay item ID, format, number of bids placed, date of most recent sale, total number of items sold, total value of sales, average shipping cost and more.
- The Sellers tab displays the list of sellers who made sales of the item in the selected time frame. Average prices, average shipping costs and overall sales volume are shown for the top-performing sellers.
- The Trends tab presents visual charts showing whether total revenue for the item in question is increasing or decreasing. This is a good way to find out the balance of supply and demand.
- The Unsold Listings tab shows how many listings did not result in completed sales.
- The Inventory Ideas tab displays a list of other products that were sold by the sellers shown in the Sellers tab.
The constraints of Terapeak
When using Terapeak to research item prices and trends, keep in mind that it is not a perfect tool. Sellers still need to carefully analyze the data that is presented to them.
For example, Terapeak may show a specific seller having an exceptionally high sell through rate for a particular item. Unfortunately, Terapeak does not point out that the seller makes a wafer thin margin that is unsustainable for other sellers to replicate.
For this reason, always remember that Terapeak is merely a data tool. It is not a replacement for critical thinking and analysis.
Subscribing to Terapeak as a eBay seller
eBay.com sellers with an active Basic, Premium, Anchor, or Enterprise eBay Store subscription now have access to Terapeak at no additional cost. Emails were sent out to eligible store owners in mid-March 2019, inviting them to sign up to Terapeak.
Starter Store subscribers and non-Store sellers can still use Terapeak, but must subscribe to a paid monthly or annual plan. The month to month plan currently costs $19.99, while the annual plan works out to be $12.00/month.
eBay Sellers can subscribe to Terapeak directly from My eBay via the My Account and Subscriptions tabs. Alternatively, it is also possible to go to the Terapeak website itself and sign in with your eBay username and password.
Sellers who were already paying for Terapeak but have an eligible Store subscription will receive a refund.
The eBay acquisition of Terapeak
The acquisition of Terapeak by eBay was finalised in in late December 2017. The purchase was long planned, to enhance the capabilities of Seller Hub. The Terapeak team soon joined eBay’s B2C Selling and Seller Experience groups.
Terapeak isn’t the only third party data tool that eBay has purchased recently. The acquisition of SalesPredict and Corrigon in 2016 confirms eBay’s focus on building better data tools for sellers. On a basic level, this is a positive move for sellers as better data tools make it possible to list more effectively.
On the other hand, there is the risk that these third party tools will change and no longer offer the same services under the ownership of eBay. This will inevitably distress many long term users of Terapeak.
The future of Terapeak
There is no doubt that eBay has already had influence on Terapeak. After all, their business relationship goes back as far as 2004.
In early 2017, eBay and Terapeak mutually agreed to remove eBay seller IDs in Terapeak search results. This was primarily to protect the privacy of eBay users. This made the process of studying the competition a little more difficult but still possible.
On 12 November 2018, Terapeak announced that the MySales dashboard would be discontinued. So-called legacy research pages (Product Research, Hot Research, Category Research) were also retired, though Terapeak advised that the Research 2.0 tool incorporated all of these features and more.
As time continues, it is probable that more key Terapeak features will be updated or disappear completely.
Experienced eBay sellers, do you already use Terapeak? What do you think about the acquisition of Terapeak by eBay?