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On any given day there are more than 28 million items listed for auction at eBay, the world's largest online trading community. Almost $34 billion worth of merchandise, in more than 1.4 billion individual auctions, was traded over eBay during the year 2004; that's $93 million a day, or more than $1,000 every second. At the end of 2004, eBay had more than 135 million registered users - more than double the number of users just two years previous.
The first two editions of this book were best-sellers, so it's only natural we would update this great book to reflect some of eBay's most recent upgrades such as: eBay Stores, Half.com, and Trading Assistants.
How This Book Is Organized
Conventions Used in This Book
Web Page Addresses
Let Me Know What You Think
I. ESSENTIAL EBAY.
1. Introducing eBay, the World's Largest Online Auction.
What Is eBay-And How Did It Come to Be?
The eBay Story
How Big Is eBay?
How Does an eBay Auction Work?
What You Can-And What You Can't-Trade on eBay
What You Can't Trade on eBay
What's What (and What's Where) on eBay
eBay's Home Page-For New Users
eBay's Home Page-For Registered Users
Where to Find Everything Else: eBay's Site Map
2. Joining Up and Getting Started.
Everybody Does It: Filling Out eBay's Registration Form
Checklist: Before You Register
Signing Up for Basic Membership
Creating a Seller's Account
The Costs of Using eBay
Protecting Yourself from Phishing Scams
II. EBAY FOR BIDDERS.
3. Bidding 101: A Tutorial for Beginning Bidders.
Understanding the Bidding Process
Deciding How Much to Bid
Understanding Proxy Bidding
How to Read an Item Listing
Title, Number, and Your Information
Shipping, Payment Details, and Return Policy
Payment Methods Accepted
Ready to Bid?
Before You Bid
Checklist: Before You Bid
Just Do It-Placing a Bid
Bidding in Other Types of Auctions
Reserve Price Auctions
What to Do After You've Bid
Keeping Track of Your Bids
Increasing Your Bid Amount
Oh, No! You've Been Outbid!
Retracting a Bad Bid
Bidding in the Final Moments
Five Common Bidding Mistakes
Mistake #1: Bidding Too Early
Mistake #2: Bidding Too Low
Mistake #3: Bidding Too High
Mistake #4: Getting Caught Up in a Bidding Frenzy
Mistake #5: Not Reading the Fine Print
You Won! Now What?
4. Searching for Items to Buy.
Browsing or Searching-Which One Is for You?
Browsing: The Easy Way to Find Things
Searching: The Powerful Way to Find Things
Using eBay's Basic Search Function
Using the Find It Now Page
Using the Advanced Search Page
Fine-Tuning Your Search Results
Complex Searches-For Simpler Results
Practice Makes Perfect: Some Sample Searches
Saving Your Searches-and Repeating Them
Get Notification of New Items That Match Your Search
5. The Best Ways to Pay.
Different Ways to Pay
Paying by Cash
Paying by Check
Paying by Money Order or Cashier's Check
Paying by Credit Card-Via PayPal
Paying by Credit Card (Without PayPal)
Paying Cash on Delivery
Evaluating Different Methods of Payments
Which Method Is Fastest?
Which Method Is Safest?
Which Method Should You Use?
6. After the Auction: Taking Care of Business.
Using the Post-Auction Checklist
Checklist: After You've Won
Making Contact-And Paying
Calculating the Final Price
Paying via Credit Card
Paying via Check or Money Order
Contacting the Seller Directly
Waiting for Your Doorbell to Ring
Receiving the Goods
Finishing Things Up and Leaving Feedback
7. Dealing with Fraudulent Sellers.
Protecting Yourself Before You Buy
Protecting Yourself After the Auction
Getting Help from eBay
Reporting Inappropriate Behavior
Tips for Protecting Yourself on eBay
8. Other Ways to Buy on eBay.
Get It Quick with Buy It Now
Shopping at eBay Stores
Browsing and Buying from an eBay Store
Searching eBay Stores
Just Like Amazon: Half.com
Express Shopping for Books, CDs, DVDs, and Video Games
Want It Now? Then Ask for It!
9. Secrets of Successful Bidders.
The Guaranteed Way to Win an Auction-Be Sneaky and Snipe
Sniping: Pros and Cons
Successful Sniping, Step-by-Step
Using Software to Snipe
Forty Sure-Fire Tips for Placing a Winning Bid-And Getting the Most for Your Money
Tip #1: Bid in the Off Season
Tip #2: Look for Off-Peak Auctions
Tip #3: Do Your Research
Tip #4: Don't Bid on the First Item You See
Tip #5: Know When to Say No
Tip #6: Don't Let the Proxy Bid Things Up
Tip #7: There Are Other Fish in the Sea
Tip #8: If It Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is
Tip #9: Ask Questions
Tip #10: Check the Feedback
Tip #11: Check the Seller's Past Auctions
Tip #12: Check the Seller's Other Current Auctions
Tip #13: Search; Don't Browse
Tip #14: Search Smart
Tip #15: Search for Misspellings
Tip #16: Search for Last-Minute Bargains
Tip #17: Don't Show Your Hand
Tip #18: Watch, Don't Bid
Tip #19: Use the eBay Toolbar
Tip #20: Watch the Finish
Tip #21: Get in Sync
Tip #22: Put Your Best Foot Forward
Tip #23: Bid in Odd Numbers
Tip #24: Don't Be a Deadbeat
Tip #25: Use My eBay to Track Your Auctions
Tip #26: Read the Fine Print
Tip #27: Don't Forget Shipping Costs
Tip #28: But Don't Overpay for Shipping
Tip #29: Pay Quickly
Tip #30: Pay by Credit Card
Tip #31: Money Orders Cost Money
Tip #32: Provide All the Information Necessary
Tip #33: Use a Middleman for Expensive Items
Tip #34: Insure It
Tip #35: Document Everything
Tip #36: Keep a Log
Tip #37: If You Win It, Inspect It
Tip #38: If You Get Ripped Off, Tell eBay About It
Tip #39: Communicate!
Tip #40: Be Nice
III. EBAY FOR SELLERS.
10. Selling 101: A Tutorial for Beginning Sellers.
Getting Ready to List
Checklist: Before You List an Item for Auction
Getting Started: Creating an Item Listing
Step 1: Get Ready to Sell
Step 2: Choose the Type of Auction
Step 3: Choose Your Category
Step 4: Choose a Listing Option
Step 5: Describe Your Item
Step 6: Fill in the Details
Step 7: Enter Payment and Shipping Info
Step 8: Review and Submit Your Listing
Selling Commonly Sold Items with Pre-Filled Item Information
Dealing with Different Types of Auctions
Set a Higher Minimum with a Reserve Price Auction
Sell Larger Quantities with a Dutch Auction
Keep It Anonymous with a Private Auction
End It Quick with Buy It Now
Managing Your Item Listing
Editing Your Listing
Canceling an Auction
Relisting an Item
Five Common Selling Mistakes
Mistake #1: List in the Wrong Category
Mistake #2: Set Too High a Starting Price
Mistake #3: Don't Adequately Describe the Item
Mistake #4: Don't Include a Picture
Mistake #5: Don't Charge Enough Shipping and Handling
The Auction's Over! Now What?
11. Determining What to Sell-And for How Much.
Finding Items to Sell
Garage Sales and Yard Sales
Vintage and Used Retailers
Discount and Dollar Stores
Going Out of Business Sales
Friends and Family
Liquidators and Wholesalers
Picking the Right Category
Setting the Right Price
Set It Low Enough to Be Attractive
But Don't Set It So Low That It's Not Believable
Make Sure You Recover Your Costs
But Not So High That You Pay Too High a Listing Fee
Make Sure You Can Live with a Single Bid
12. Deciding on Your Payment Methods-And Using PayPal.
Accepting C.O.D. Payments
Accepting Personal Checks
Accepting Money Orders and Cashier's Checks
Accepting Credit Cards-Via PayPal
Signing Up for PayPal
Paying for PayPal
Choosing PayPal in Your New Auction Listing
Collecting PayPal Payments
Withdrawing PayPal Funds
Which Way Is Best?
13. Choosing the Right Listing Options.
Choosing the Right Length
Choosing a Different Start Time
To Reserve, Or Not to Reserve
Sell It Now?
Public or Private?
A Pretty Picture
Grab Attention with Listing Upgrades
Home Page Featured
Count 'em Up
14. Writing a Listing That Sells.
Write a Title That SELLS!
Include Key Information
Make Your Title Stand Out
Write the Right Description
Take All the Space You Need
First Things First
The Bare Necessities
Stress Benefits, Not Features
Break It Up
Don't Forget the Fine Print
Include Alternate Wording
Making the Grade
Making a Mint
Other Ways to Describe Your Item
15. Using Pictures in Your Listings.
Checklist: eBay Pictures
Take a Picture-Or Make a Scan
Tips for Taking Great Product Photos
Scan Instead of Shoot
Use eBay's Stock Photos
Convert a Picture to a Digital Graphics File
Edit the Image File
Things to Edit
Graphics Editing Software
Resizing Your Photos
Resizing Your Files
Upload Your Image File to the Internet-Or Use eBay Picture Services
Using eBay Picture Services
Using Another Web Host
Adding a Picture Within Your Item Description
16. Creating a Great-Looking Listing.
Apply Cool Templates with eBay's Listing Designer
Create Fancy Listings with Listing-Creation Tools
eBay Turbo Lister
Free Listing Templates
Third-Party Listing-Creation Tools
Insert Simple HTML Formatting with eBay's HTML Editor
How HTML Works
Entering HTML Codes
Codes to Format Your Text
Codes for Font Type, Size, and Color
Codes for Paragraphs, Line Breaks, and Rules
Codes for Graphics
Codes for Links
Codes for Lists
17. Automating Item Listing with eBay Turbo Lister.
Downloading and Configuring the Turbo Lister Software
Downloading Turbo Lister
Configuring Turbo Lister
Creating an Item Listing
Creating Listings for Commonly Sold Items
Uploading Your Listings
18. Managing the Auction Process.
Keeping Tabs on Your Current Auctions
Receiving Daily Updates from eBay
Using My eBay
Using Auction Management Software and Services
Editing In-Process Auctions
Updating Your Auction Listing
Deleting Unwelcome Bidders
Canceling an Auction
Answering Bidder Questions
Promoting Your Auctions
Linking to Specific Item Listings
Linking to All Your Auction Listings
19. After the Auction: Concluding Your Business.
The Post-Auction Process
Checklist: After the Auction
Communicating with the Winning Bidder
Packing and Shipping
Finishing Things Up and Leaving Feedback
Handling Buyer Complaints and Problems
What If You Don't Sell Your Item?
What If the Buyer Doesn't Pay?
20. Automating Auction Management with eBay Selling Manager.
Introducing eBay Selling Manager
How Selling Manager Works
For Higher-Volume Sellers: eBay Selling Manager Pro
Sending Buyer Emails
Sending a Standard Email Message
Editing an Email Template
Printing Invoices and Shipping Labels
After the Item Is Shipped
Archiving Completed Listings
21. Shipping It Out-Cheaply and Safely.
Essential Packing Supplies
Checklist: Packing Supplies
Where to Find Boxes and Packing Materials
Picking the Right Shipping Container
How to Pack
Packing for International Customers
How to Seal the Package
Buying the Right Kinds of Labels
How to Create an Idiot-Proof Label
Printing Labels and Postage on Your Own Computer
Examining the Major Shipping Services
How to Reduce Shipping Weight-And Shipping Costs
Shipping Large or Heavy Items
How to Price Shipping and Handling for Your Item Listings
How to Track Your Shipment
When to Recommend Insurance
What to Do When Things Go Wrong
Tips for Less-Painful Shipping
22. Dealing with Deadbeat Bidders.
How to Handle Bum Bidders
Checklist: Dealing with Deadbeat Bidders
Contacting an Unresponsive Bidder
Filing an Unpaid Item Dispute
Asking eBay to Refund Your Fees
Leaving Negative Feedback
Giving Other Bidders a Second Chance
Relisting Your Item
23. Other Ways to Sell on eBay.
Fixed-Price Selling on Half.com
Finding Buyers with Want It Now
Letting Someone Else Sell It for You
Listing Your Real Estate on eBay
24. Secrets of Successful Sellers.
Forty Sure-Fire Tips for Closing More Auctions-And Increasing Your Revenues
Tip #1: Research Your Price
Tip #2: Make Your Listing Stand Out
Tip #3: Use Turbo Lister to Create Your Listings
Tip #4: Get All the Buzzwords in the Title
Tip #5: A Picture Says a Thousand Words
Tip #6: Be Descriptive
Tip #7: Reuse Text That Sells
Tip #8: Include Shipping and Payment Details
Tip #9: Be Honest
Tip #10: Promote Yourself with Your About Me Page
Tip #11: Make the Buyer Pay
Tip #12: Go Long
Tip #13: Or Create a Short-Term Frenzy
Tip #14: There's No Reason to Reserve
Tip #15: Single Items Are Best
Tip #16: Although You Can Unload Some Dogs in a Pack
Tip #17: Don't Compete Against Yourself
Tip #18: Start and End in Prime Time
Tip #19: End on a Sunday
Tip #20: Don't End on a Friday or Saturday Night
Tip #21: Slow Down in the Summer
Tip #22: Promote Your Auctions
Tip #23: Use My eBay to Track Your Auctions
Tip #24: If You Sell a Lot, Use eBay Selling Manager
Tip #25: Avoid Premature Cancellation
Tip #26: Avoid Deadbeats
Tip #27: Include All Your Shipping Costs
Tip #28: Use a Middleman for Expensive Items
Tip #29: Document Everything
Tip #30: Communicate Quickly-And Clearly
Tip #31: Be Nice
Tip #32: Ship Promptly
Tip #33: If Nobody Buys, Relist-With a Different Description
Tip #34: If You Get Stiffed, Ask for a Refund
Tip #35: Don't Forget About Number Two
Tip #36: The Customer Is Always Right
Tip #37: Or All Sales Are Final
Tip #38: Accept Credit Cards-Via PayPal
Tip #39: Wait for the Check to Clear
Tip #40: If It's a Business, You Pay Taxes
One Extra Tip: Join the eBay Community
IV. USING EBAY'S ADVANCED FEATURES.
25. Creating a Home Base with My eBay.
Accessing and Using My eBay
My Summary View
All Buying Page
All Selling Page
My Messages Page
All Favorites Page
My Account Page
Managing and Personalizing My eBay
Sorting and Filtering
Hiding or Displaying Columns
Changing How Many Listings to Display
Leaving Notes to Yourself
Printing Key Information
26. Creating Your Own Personal About Me Page.
Introducing the About Me Page
Creating Your Own About Me Page
Publicizing Your eBay Auctions with About Me
27. Understanding and Using Feedback.
What Do All Those Stars and Numbers Mean?
Reading Feedback Comments-And Contacting Other Users
How to Leave Feedback
Figuring Out What Kind of Feedback to Leave
Dealing with Negative Feedback
V. BECOMING A POWER SELLER.
28. Using Auction Software and Services.
Listing and Auction Management
All My Auctions
Auction Wizard 2000
eBay Seller's Assistant
eBay Selling Manager
eBay Selling Manager Pro
eBay Turbo Lister
Sniping and Bidding Tools
Cricket Power Sniper
29. Going International.
Pros and Cons of Selling Internationally
Selling Outside the United States
Communicating with International Bidders
Accepting Foreign Payments
Shipping Across Borders-And Oceans
eBay's International Marketplaces
30. Making a Living from eBay.
Becoming an eBay PowerSeller
Turning Your Online Auctions into a Real Business
Maintaining Your Sales Inventory
Automating Your Auction Activities
Tracking Revenues and Costs
Promoting Your Online Auctions
Supplementing Your Auctions with an eBay Store
Do You Qualify?
The Costs of Running an eBay Store
Setting Up Your eBay Store