117: Terapeak: How To Optimize Data to Grow Your eCommerce Biz – Aron Hsiao

Aron Hsiao is head of communications at Terapeak, where he's worked since 2013, supporting eBay sellers with powerful research tools. Before that, he spent nine years as the guide to eBay at About.com. He's been an eBay seller since the year 2000 and has never received a negative feedback rating.

Interesting Notes

  • Aron had known Terapeak for a long time. As a seller himself, he has been using it and liked its services.
  • As the guide to eBay at About.com, he had written positive things about Terapeak.
  • At a time when Terapeak had enough of spelling errors, Aron was working at About.com.
  • Terapeak decided to hire somebody who can talk to the press and came to Aron. Aron found the offer fascinating and fun. And so, he hopped over the fence and join the company.
  • Aron feels lucky to work with Terapeak. He does the press releases, website content, and talking to the media. He makes sure that the way Terapeak communicates inside the application makes sense. He sees to it that there are no spelling errors on buttons.
  • Terapeak is a very involved and technically sophisticated system. It exists because nobody could figure out how to build it.
  • It gives solutions to the recurring set of problems eBay sellers experience such as:
    1. If you feel that you are a step behind in pricing.
    2. If you are struggling to maintain your margins.
    3. If you feel like you cannot keep up with the repricing and people are under-cutting you.
    4. You need to expand your product lines, but you are as lost in finding new things to sell.
  • Terapeak helps with all the every day sore points of sellers.
  • It has an online staff for their products. When sellers subscribe to Terapeak, they log in to Terapeak's online system. The online system would crunch lots of data – eBay data, e-commerce data, search data, and even the seller's data.
  • Based on the data gathered, Terapeak would tell sellers great information like:
    1. What is selling in your niche right now?
    2. What variations of the products that you carry are new and are doing very well?
    3. What are your competitors selling and earning that you have not even discovered yet?
  • Looking at your own inventory, Terapeak would tell you:
    1. Are you unlikely to sell the last 10 things you have listed?
    2. Do you need to go and get a few more of these products because the likelihood of a sale is very high?
  • Terapeak is unique in the industry because it has a long standing relationship with eBay. It enables Terapeak to get all the e-commerce data of the transactions on eBay with a few specific exclusions.
  • In general, everything that happens in 22 eBay marketplaces, Terapeak has access to it. With that plus the feedback from the sellers, Terapeak builds a bunch of tools.
  • These tools provide sellers with real data, solving the seller's pain points. Terapeak delivers the data in the fastest way.
  • The core of the tools that Terapeak offers work a lot with things that sellers are familiar with. This allows Terapeak to serve both non-technical sellers and somebody who has 50,000 SKUs.
  • Product research is the Terapeak's centerpiece tool. It is the one that taps into that big trove of eBay data. It works like Google or Yahoo with a search box.
  • If you are starting out, you can type something in that sounds like what you are selling. This suits to someone who does not want to get overwhelmed with stats and technicalities.
  • Non-technical sellers can type in something descriptive in the search box and start to get the stats right away like:
    1. What is the average price of an item on eBay recently?
    2. What is it selling for?
    3. How many people are selling such item?
  • There is also a bunch of powerful search tools for larger sellers. They can filter their searches like day ranges, product identifiers and can give stats like:
    1. Who are the other top sellers who sell the item?
    2. What percentage of the market do the top 10 sellers control for this item?
    3. What other things are the top sellers selling?
    4. What is the price trend of this item over the last 3 years?
  • The number of e-Commerce keeps getting bigger every year. Computers and the internet are getting better too. Moreso, sellers expect the data to be a little faster too. With that in mind, Terapeak develops their platform on an ongoing basis. Their technical team works continuously to improve.
  • A year ago, Terapeak made one of its biggest jumps ever. It moved into the cloud storage and it becomes 40x faster.
  • Terapeak outsourced companies that specialized in holding lots of data. This way, Terapeak can focus on building the tools that allow sellers to excavate, mine and put data into use in their businesses.
  • The people who have the biggest needs are often sellers who are growing fast. Their businesses are taking off and sellers do not want to lose their position. They want to improve and they need help in executing. They need something that can give them more granular data.
  • There are 2 ways to go mobile with Terapeak that serves a different purpose:
    1. The fast APP that you can download
    The APP is fast, simple and accessible so that users won't get stuck. It is a quick hit on the go kind of thing, whether you are thrifting or at a liquidation auction. You can get quick stats like what is the general pricing on a particular item?
  • 2. The full experience via the mobile browser
    It is the full application that is responsive to mobile browsers. If you have a minute to tap in the corner to do your research, you can go straight to the main app and get all the data you needed.
  • As you do the searching and something is not solved, Terapeak's tools will offer suggestions. There is a drop down or a pop up that will provide examples or display similar products.
  • Terapeak has a global data which is useful to higher volume sellers. Given their inventory, suppliers, and logistics, high volume sellers can do research to determine what markets do each of their products belong in for the best margins and for the best demand.
  • Terapeak helps high-volume sellers figure out the distribution and the marketing they need. With this, high-volume sellers can optimize their inventory for international sales.
  • Terapeak keeps a running list of success stories of its users. This is to give people an insight on how Terapeak works: its process and how it varies.
  • Every business has a different story. Some are fascinating, some are funny. But one thing is common: every successful business has a vision and a strong desire to be successful.
  • Terapeak is proud of the list of the companies that get big using its products.
  • Aron pointed out that seller's needs drive what Terapeak does. Among others, it aims to help sellers:
    1. Make a cross post between channels
    2. Decide where to list their products. Is it on Amazon or Shopify or eBay?
    3. Locate where is the overlap. How is each channel performing for a seller?
    4. Know where to allocate the seller's resources.
  • Nowadays, everybody is selling on multiple channels. Terapeak is working very hard to expand its support to multi channel sellers. Right now, Terapeak's analytic tools support eBay, Amazon, and Shopify. It is also in the phase of beta testing the Walmart.
  • Terapeak is looking to add more platforms over time.
  • For the So You Wanna Sell On eBay listeners, Terapeak gives a 14-day FREE trial. Click here: Terapeak.com/podcast, go in and play around. Find some opportunities and some products to sell. Find inventory and source it from manufacturers overseas and direct. Go in and do the deals. Make some listings. Get the full experience of Terapeak and see if it fits your business.


  • “If you have a product that is easy to talk about, then you are in good shape.”
  • “Even if you have the data, you need something to help you look through it.”
  • “We grow over the years because e-Commerce is growing.”
  • “The people who have the biggest needs are often sellers that are growing fast.”
  • “Terapeak is one of the building blocks involve in starting a business selling online.”
  • “Every business has a different story!”

Contact Information

  • Email: ahsiao@terapeak.com
  • Terapeak Customer Support: support.terapeak.com
  • Website: Terapeak