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Absolute Beginner's Guide to eBay, 3rd Edition

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Absolute Beginner's Guide to eBay, 3rd Edition

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  • Copyright 2005
  • Edition: 3rd
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  • ISBN-10: 0-7897-3431-1
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-3431-0

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.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapters

Bidding 101: A Tutorial for Beginning Bidders

Bidding 101: A Tutorial for Beginning eBay Bidders

Table of Contents


    How This Book Is Organized

    Conventions Used in This Book

      Web Page Addresses

      Special Elements

    Further Reading

    Let Me Know What You Think


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

      Major Categories

      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

      Contacting eBay

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

    Getting Started


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

      Auction Details

      Seller 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

      Dutch 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

      Using Escrow

    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

      Resolving Conflicts

      Beyond 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


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

      You're Done!

    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

      Blocking Buyers

      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

      Flea Markets

      Estate Sales

      Live Auctions

      Vintage and Used Retailers

      Thrift Stores

      Discount and Dollar Stores

      Closeout Sales

      Going Out of Business Sales

      Classified Ads

      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 Cash

    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



      Gallery Featured




      Featured Plus!

      Home Page Featured

      Gift Icon

      Listing Designer

    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

      Describe It-Accurately

      Stress Benefits, Not Features

      Break It Up

      Don't Forget the Fine Print

      Include Alternate Wording

    Making the Grade

      Making a Mint

      Getting Graded

    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

    Accepting Payment

    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

    Receiving Payment

    Printing Invoices and Shipping Labels

    After the Item Is Shipped

      Leaving Feedback

      Archiving Completed Listings

21. Shipping It Out-Cheaply and Safely.

    Packing 101

      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

    Labeling 101

      Buying the Right Kinds of Labels

      How to Create an Idiot-Proof Label

    Printing Labels and Postage on Your Own Computer

    Shipping 101

      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


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


28. Using Auction Software and Services.

    Listing and Auction Management

      All My Auctions


      Auction Hawk

      Auction Lizard

      Auction Wizard 2000






      eBay Seller's Assistant

      eBay Selling Manager

      eBay Selling Manager Pro

      eBay Turbo Lister





      Shooting Star



    Sniping and Bidding Tools

      Auction Sentry

      Auction Sniper






      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



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