Selling on eBay is all about strategy. If you want to make the biggest profit, you'll have to think carefully about a number of things; timing, language and imagery are all important, for example. It's also helpful to know when a particular item is likely to appeal to the millions of people who trawl the site for bargains and collectables. So how do you know what's going to be popular? Paying attention to the following factors can certainly be useful.
A Hollywood blockbuster has just been released
It's amazing how much of an impact major film releases can have on buyers' tastes. When a movie depicts the people and fashions of a certain era, for example, shoppers often use it as inspiration to update their wardrobes or the interiors of their homes. This effect was seen in full force recently when Baz Luhrmann's take on 'The Great Gatsby' was released to cinema-goers across the world last year - the popularity of 1920s fashion, décor and art all rocketed as people looked to emulate the style adopted by the film's all-star cast.
A major sporting event is about to kick off
In an ideal world, we'd all be able to build up the motivation to exercise and be active without any outside help. It is the case, however, that it often takes a major sporting event to get people into the right spirit. Wimbledon is perhaps the best example of this, with the popularity of tennis surging in the months following the event. World Cups are also known to cause spikes in activity, simply because there's so much coverage - expect football boots, shirts and other merchandise to sell particularly well this summer.
The weather is changing
Of course, it's difficult to predict the weather in Britain but when the country's meteorological experts start to talk of a possible heat wave, shoppers tend to go into full-on summer mode with their bargain-hunting strategies. The same goes for colder weather, with even the slightest chance of snow helping sellers to get rid of coats, boot, hats and gloves. Staying ahead of environmental changes with the help of the Meteorological Office can help any seller to get ahead of the competition.
A new games console enters the fray
Gaming is big business these days. The success of Grand Theft Auto V is testament to this fact - since its release last year, the game has made its way into more than 32 million homes across the world. When a major console is released, gaming fever tends to hit a high, but it's not just the new games and machines that become popular - the world of retro gaming can also feel the effects. When Sony's Playstation 4 was released, for example, many gamers also started to rediscover their love for the Japanese firm's older consoles and titles. Nostalgia is a big selling point so be sure to use it to your advantage.
Festival season begins
Festivals are obviously big money-makers for event organisers but the opportunities don't stop there. When people go to big music shows, they usually need more than just a ticket - the list comprises all sorts, including tents, sunglasses, hats and camping stoves. Again, weather can impact the popularity of some items but most festival-goers like to prepare for all eventualities, so even when the weatherman says the sun will be out, wellies and ponchos should still be big sellers. The music and merchandise of the main events' headline acts will also become more popular as the build-up begins.