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Ebay Science

Author: Judee Shipman

Grade Level: 9th - 12th; Type: Consumer/Marketing Science

Objective:

Perform a series of ebay searches to uncover popular trends.

The goals of this project are:

  1. To learn more about consumer preferences, product availability and pricing.
  2. To develop a new or improved strategy for earning money on ebay.

Research Questions:

  • How many items are listed on ebay?
  • What ebay items are the most popular?
  • How much money does the average buyer spend annually on ebay?
  • How much annual income do sellers generate from ebay sales, on average?

ebay has revolutionized commercial consumerism. Economists regularly use ebay to analyze aspects of buying and selling behavior across various demographic categories. In this project you will perform a statistical analysis of ebay listings.

Materials:

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Color printer
  • Digital camera
  • Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.).
  • An ebay account (it's free to sign up)

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Read overview of relevant topics (see bibliography)
  2. Address all of the terms and research questions mentioned here.
  3. Search and print out interesting images relevant to your topic.
  4. Sign up for ebay if you don't already have an account.
  5. Do a search of ebay listings by typing keywords of your choice onto the search bar.
  6. Study the ebay product categories. Record of the number of listings in each category.
  7. Go to the section called “Completed Listings.” Analyze final sale prices, and note which items sold and which items didn't sell.
  8. Do a statistical analysis of your data.
  9. Interpret your findings in a detailed report. If possible, suggest a new search technique or marketing strategy for ebay users.
  10. Include graphics, diagrams and demonstrations in your science fair display.

Terms/Concepts: Consumer trends; Pricing; Supply vs. Demand

References:

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EBay (An overview of ebay)
  • http://www.ebay.com/ (ebay – the website)
  • Internet searches of your choosing. Search words or terms listed here, or make up your own phrases. Click on any results you find interesting. Have fun surfing the net!
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