Become an eBay PowerSeller in 90 Days

The Definitive Guide To Becoming An eBay Power Seller

The Definitive Guide To Becoming An eBay Power Seller is no bullshit guide created for newbies as well as sellers on eBay that want to become Power Seller within a shortest possible time. The ecourse was created by a Power Seller on eBay with over 10 years of experience selling on eBay. The author teaches you the exact method you need to succeed on eBay, how to list your product, how to write descriptions and get tons of sells daily. You will learn how you can become a Power Seller on eBay with little effort. You can get the ecourse at a huge discount and also enjoy 100% money back guarantee if you don't like it. More here...

The Definitive Guide To Becoming An eBay Power Seller Summary

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The Definitive Guide To Becoming An eBay Power Seller

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I started using this book straight away after buying it. This is a guide like no other; it is friendly, direct and full of proven practical tips to develop your skills.

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First Steps to Starting Your eBay Business

One of the first steps to starting your eBay business includes spending some time on the Internet. Get used to doing that Much of what I do as an eBay PowerSeller is done through the Internet and includes hours spent in front of my computer. I spend my time answering e-mails, doing research, and listing items. To get started, you need to choose a user ID, get registered as an eBay buyer, learn the ropes, build up your feedback rating, and upgrade to an eBay seller's account. You also need to know the ins and outs of the ways you can be paid. This is the fun part This chapter gives you the basics.

Next idea Find an eBay powerseller that has the hits but doesnt get it

An eBay powerseller is simply someone that sells a lot on eBay. No need to overcomplicate the definition for now. The right powerseller could make a great business partner for you The ideal candidate has a large positive feedback rating, sells a lot of one particular When contacting powersellers you need to be cautious though. These are busy people that hate spam more than anyone because it's costing them a lot of money. I suggest you earn the right to contact them with your proposal BEFORE you just blast an offer over to them. You can be accused of spamming by eBay if you don't handle it correctly - that can cost you your eBay account Here is a sample of a letter that I might use when I have the email address of a 'powerseller' that fits the above profile. Keep in mind that I have already gotten them interested in my idea and gotten their permission to send them more information. I send them something like this Hi ebay Powerseller User ID here, The idea I have for you will put money...

The eBaycouk Power Seller programme

We're sure you've seen that giant PowerSeller logo on auctions that you browse. eBay.co.uk PowerSellers represent the largest gross sales users at eBay. The following table outlines the requirements for becoming a PowerSeller PowerSeller Keep the following PowerSeller points in mind 1 To advance up the PowerSeller chain, you must reach and maintain the next level of gross sales for an average of three months. If you miss your minimum gross sales for three months, eBay gives you a grace period. After that time, if you don't meet the minimum gross figures for your level, you may be moved down to the prior level or be removed from the PowerSeller programme. 1 You must also average a minimum monthly total of four listings in the past three months, so keep your eBay account current by avoiding overdue payments, delivering responses to successful bidders within three business days, and upholding the eBay.co.uk Community Values, including honesty, timeliness, and mutual respect. PowerSellers...

Becoming a Power Seller

A PowerSeller is a merchant that consistently sells a lot of product through eBay and maintains a good feedback rating. There are various benefits, from being able to use the PowerSeller logo a real credibility builder to health benefits for you and your employees. (If you're a PowerSeller, there's a good chance you're employing someone to help you.) tip To find all the PowerSeller details and sign up, go here http pages.ebay.com services buyandsell welcome.html. To qualify to be a PowerSeller, you must meet certain criteria, both specific and general Dnote PowerSeller feedback ratings are actually calculated differently from normal feedback gives you five good ratings, for instance, only one counts in the feedback calculation. The PowerSeller calculation, however, would include all five good feedbacks.

Ten Tips for Achieving Power Seller Status

The key to becoming a PowerSeller is to increase the number of auctions you close and to increase your final selling prices. To that end, anything you can do to make your auctions more effective will improve your chances of achieving PowerSeller status. What can you do to improve the success of your eBay auctions Here are 10 tips that will benefit any eBay seller, PowerSeller or not 3. Tip 3 List in volume. You won't become a PowerSeller by selling one or two items a week. You need to list in volume to sell in volume. That means running multiple listings simultaneously, having listings close daily, and utilizing the Dutch auction feature when you have multiple quantities to sell.

The Five Power Seller Levels and Their Benefits

There are five different PowerSeller levels, and each comes with different benefits. The levels are based on the monthly sales of each There's no charge for the PowerSeller program, but there are real benefits Priority eSupport provided to all PowerSeller levels. The PowerSeller logo place it everywhere you can, in all listings, SC Seil '1 the About Me page, and so on. It will appear in your Member Profile automatically. Use of the PowerSeller icon next to your User ID on your About Me page. Use of the PowerSeller logo in your item listings and on your About Me pages. PowerSeller logo letterhead and business card templates. PowerSeller-only discussion board, where you can discuss sales strategies with other merchants who really know what they're doing. Health insurance for PowerSellers and employees.

Becoming A Powerseller

So you've been selling a lot of items on eBay and covet that slick PowerSeller icon you see next to some sellers' User IDs. Becoming a big eBay seller is not a trivial matter, however, and eBay only hands out these PowerSeller icons after you've earned your eBay stripes. (You are invited to join when eBay determines you've met their criteria.) To check to see if you qualify to become a PowerSeller i'sUn 2. Under Selling Resources, click PowerSellers. Under Choose A Topic on the sidebar Click Requirements to find out how you will qualify to be a PowerSeller.

The eBay PoWer Seller program

I'm sure you've seen that PowerSeller logo on auctions. eBay PowerSellers represent the largest gross sales users on eBay. The requirements for becoming a PowerSeller follow i You must have a gross monthly dollar volume of 1000 (Bronze level) 3000 (Silver level) 10,000 (Gold level) 25,000 (Platinum level) or 150,000 (Titanium level). To remain a PowerSeller, you must maintain your level's minimum gross sales for the past three months and keep current with all the other requirements. To advance up the PowerSeller chain, you must reach and maintain the next level of gross sales for an average of three months. If you miss your minimum gross sales for three months, eBay gives you a grace period. After that time, if you don't meet the minimum gross figures for your level, you may be moved down to the prior level or be removed from the PowerSeller program. PowerSellers enjoy many benefits The best thing about being a PowerSeller is the awesome level of customer service you receive, called...

What Is a Power Seller

PowerSellers are the most profitable sellers on the eBay site that is, they generate the most profits for eBay. They don't necessarily sell the most merchandise instead, they generate the most revenue, which is how eBay generates its fees. Still, an eBay PowerSeller does a fair amount of business, however you measure it. You can't choose to be a PowerSeller eBay chooses you, based on your past sales performance. If you're chosen, you don't have to pay for the privilege membership in the PowerSellers program is free. When you become a PowerSeller, a special logo (shown in Figure 17.1) is displayed next to your user ID in all your eBay auctions, and you automatically qualify for the rewards appropriate to your level. Just because you qualify as a PowerSeller doesn't mean you have to display the logo in your item listings. Some PowerSellers prefer to forgo the logo in an attempt to seem more like normal folks and less like ruthless business types.

Set Goals for Your eBay Business

The first step in starting up any business, whether it's on eBay, on your own Web site, or in the offline, brick-and-mortar world, is to set your goals and objectives and then develop strategies for attaining them. In the traditional business world, it's called coming up with a business plan. A business plan requires you to ask yourself some basic questions of the sort that can apply to your eBay business, too The first question is deceptively simple. It forces you to focus on your goals for your eBay business. Do you want to sell full-time Do you want to find new customers for a sales business that you already operate, either on the Web or through a storefront Do you need to expand an e-commerce business that's flagging Or do you just want to make some extra money each month to help with expenses The second question is also important Since you're going to be spending many hours per week on your business, you need to make sure you're working with merchandise you know and hopefully...

Chapter Integrating eBay Auctions into an Existing Business

If your eBay business gets big enough, you may be tempted to open a brick-and-mortar storefront, as well. Or, if you're already an established retailer, you may be wondering how you can supplement your existing business with sales from eBay auctions. Either situation gives rise to the same set of challenges. In short, you need to determine just how to integrate eBay auctions into a non-online business.

Becoming an eBay Trading Assistant

What is an eBay Trading Assistant Simply, an eBay Trading Assistant sells merchandise for people on eBay. A more complex definition is that a Trading Assistant sells items on consignment for those who are not familiar with the eBay site or are simply too lazy to learn the ropes. Several chains have opened up across the country with retail locations accepting merchandise from the general public to do just this. By becoming an official Trading Assistant, you can compete with the big boys in your own area. The best part is that if you are running your eBay business out of your home, from a garage, or from a low-rent industrial office, you're a step ahead of the big guys who have to pay high rents in fancy neighborhoods to get their drop in business. They also have to hire people who are familiar with setting up auctions on eBay aren't you already set up for that eBay will help the individual Trading Assistants with many things. Most importantly, you're listed in a searchable directory...

Dolling Up Your eBay Store

Hen eBay Stores were first introduced, they were severely limited in their features. At the time, they provided a simple way for sellers to have all their listings displayed in one place, and that was about it . . . They've come a long way since then Features have burgeoned. These days eBay Store owners can choose quite an array of features to make their eBay Stores into online selling environments. Try these on for size 1 Phone support If you need help with your eBay Store and want to give eBay a phone call, this feature's got you covered. 1 Traffic reports Online visitors are the lifeblood of your eBay business see how many folks have dropped by for a look at your wares, and how they got there. Should you decide to open an eBay Store, you have three different levels you can choose Basic, Featured, or Anchor. The Featured and Anchor levels have all of the same features of a Basic store, along with additional merchandising exposure and traffic reporting. To give you the big picture,...

Opening an eBay Store

1 Setting up your eBay Store Opening an eBay Store can expand your business. The more that savvy buyers learn about eBay Stores, the more popular they become. The more popular they become, the more people buy from them. Simple. An eBay Store provides you with your own little corner of eBay in which you can leverage your good relationships with your customers to promote your auctions and to sell directly to them. But eBay Stores are not a total solution, and having an eBay Store isn't a oneway ticket to easy street. I get emails all the time from people who open an eBay Store and are not successful in moving merchandise. Why Because running an eBay Store takes an extra level of effort. The more energy you invest in your eBay business, the more work you have to do. Simple. No matter how many money-back guarantees you receive from online spammers promising magical success on eBay, the only magic is putting your nose (and shoulder) to the grindstone and exerting the effort necessary to...

Managing Your eBay Business

Managing an eBay business includes the activities that surround your listings after they are created. You will have a listings inventory to track and have to decide the most advantageous timing to submit items you will need to consider selling restrictions to limit your sales to certain buyers you will need assistance to keep track of a listing's life cycle (e-mails, payment, shipping, feedback, relisting, and unpaid items) and you will need to utilize auction-management software to help integrate all these aspects of the eBay business so they operate more automatically and in higher volumes than the beginning eBay seller.

Chapter Opening an eBay Store

What is an eBay Store Benefits of opening your own eBay Store The costs of running an eBay Store How to set up an eBay Store Listing merchandise for sale Cross-selling merchandise The next step in your creation of a successful eBay business is to set up your own online storefront. This is surprisingly easy to do, thanks to a service called eBay Stores. Running an eBay Store (www.stores.ebay.com) is the way for a heavy seller to provide the facsimile of a retail storefront within the eBay environment. If you're thinking of making the move into real honest-to-goodness retailing, an eBay Store is a relatively painless way to start.

Have a professional looking eBay auction to drive traffic to your about me page

On the resource page I have tools that allow you to create professional looking eBay auctions. You need to be using HTML in your listings to get that 'professional look', but you don't have to learn HTML to use it. Many software programs build a nice looking auction description page for you. 5.3 Having more than one eBay account I recommend keeping your scope fairly narrow for each eBay account you have. Consider having a handful of eBay accounts each with a different product and target market focus. Here's an article I wrote from a recent issue of my newsletter Creative eBay Selling about having more than one eBay account I get asked the multiple eBay accounts question all the time. Did you know that eBay allows you to have more than one eBay account For example, many people have an account for buying on eBay and a separate account for selling. I advocate having multiple eBay accounts. Here are some reasons why > You can keep your eBay feedback protected. You protect your feedback...

Your eBay Stores Sales Reports

If you have an eBay Store (if you don't now you will after reading this book ) you get monthly reports from eBay. The previous month's reports arrive by e-mail around the 15th of the following month. You'll find an ever-popular CSV file included as an attachment. This will handily import into a spreadsheet program. These reports differ from the Selling Manager reports considerably. While the Selling Manager reports give you accounting data, your eBay Stores reports give you an idea of sales trends by showing you sales ratios and data.

Why Set Up an eBay Store

Should you set up an eBay store Maybe. Let's consider some of the reasons merchants do just that. eBay Stores is turning into a destination. More people now know about eBay Stores, and eBay is doing more to educate people about it. So having a store provides another way to reach people. Final Value Fees are higher. If the buyer gets to a merchant's site after arriving at either the main eBay or eBay Stores site, the Final Value Fees are higher. Store listings are not found in the main eBay site as easily. Searches through eBay.com mostly find listings in the auctions. eBay Stores listings are only included if there aren't enough matches.

What Is an eBay Store

An eBay Store, like the one shown in Figure 21.1, is a Web page where you can sell fixed-price (Buy It Now) items that are not currently up for auction on eBay, along with your current auction items. The non-auction items in your eBay Store appear only in your eBay Store not in the eBay auction listings. Figure 21.1. A typical eBay Store. Figure 21.1. A typical eBay Store. On the eBay Stores home page (www.stores.ebay.com), merchants are organized by the same categories as the eBay auction site Antiques, Art, Books, and so on. Buyers can also search for a specific store or a store selling a certain type of item, or view an alphabetical list of all stores. The items offered by eBay Stores merchants are a combination of items currently for auction on eBay and additional fixed-price inventory. When buyers access a particular eBay Store retailer, they have access to this entire collection of merchandise if they tried searching on eBay proper, they wouldn't find the non-auction items the...

Linking to your eBay Store

You might want to include a direct link to your eBay Store at several places within your listing. After customers discover an item you have for sale (due to your outstanding marketing techniques, of course), directing them to your eBay Store gives your customers a look at your entire array of merchandise for their shopping pleasure eBay automatically provides several direct links to your eBay Store, but you should also provide your own this is one place where more is better Savvy sellers offer shipping discounts to customers who purchase more than one item at a time in these days of rising energy costs, who isn't looking for a way to reduce expenses Be sure to emphasize multiple-purchase shipping discounts in each of your listing descriptions and give each one a link to your eBay Store to make it easier for your potential buyer to find more items to purchase that convenience might clinch the deal Marsha creates a link to her eBay Store (Marsha Collier's Fabulous Finds) as shown here...

Benefits of Opening Your Own eBay Store

Why would you want to open your own eBay Store Well, it certainly isn't for casual sellers you do have to set up your own Web page and keep the store filled with merchandise. But if you're a high-volume seller who specializes in a single category (or even a handful of categories), there are benefits to opening your own store. These include being able to sell more merchandise (through your store) than you can otherwise list in auctions being able to display a special eBay Stores icon next to all of your auction lists and being able to generate repeat business from future sales to current purchasers. Opening an eBay Store is an especially good idea if you have a lot of fixed-price merchandise to sell. You can put items in your eBay Store before you offer them for auction, and thus have more merchandise for sale than you might otherwise. It's easy to direct your auction buyers to your eBay Store if you do your job right, you can use your eBay Store to sell more merchandise to your...

Checking Out an eBay Store

When you finally arrive at the eBay store of your choice, you'll see a page that looks similar to the one in Figure 15-6. An eBay store not only lists the items that the seller has listed in the store, but also every active auction or Buy It Now item the seller has placed on the eBay site. All eBay stores have four clickable tabs Figure 15-6 The home page of my eBay store. Figure 15-6 The home page of my eBay store. You'll see several things on every eBay store home page 1 eBay Stores logo Instead of the eBay logo in the upper-left corner, you'll see the eBay Stores logo. A click here brings you to the eBay stores home page. 1 eBay Navigation Bar I told you that you can't get rid of this the eBay Navigation Bar also appears at the top of every eBay store page. i The store name The name the store owner has chosen for the store. The store name helps you remember the Web address. Each eBay store has its own address that ends in the eBay store's name, like this www.stores.ebay.com insert...

Check for an eBay Store

When you've decided to buy a Buy It Now item, or bid on a seller's auction, double-check to see if the seller has an eBay store. Look for the small red store tag after the seller's name. If he or she has an eBay store, click on the red tag, and you'll be taken to the seller's store. Sellers often list the very same items in their eBay store for a lower Buy It Now price. Why It costs them considerably less to list items in their store, and they list more items.

Linking to specific items or categories in your eBay Store

If your eBay Store is chock-full of wonderful stuff, you might want to link to only one specific item or category of items. The more merchandise you have in your store, the more important these directional links are. After all, in the brick-and-mortar world, the larger the department store, the more store directories there are to keep shoppers from feeling overwhelmed and leaving in frustration. 1 To link a listing to a single store item, simply view the item in your eBay Store where you can see its unique item number. This number is part of the URL that points to the single item. Copy the URL from the location bar in your Web browser and paste it into the href tag. Your linking command should look something like this one 1 To link a listing to a specific store category, go to your eBay Store and select the appropriate category. The URL displayed is the one that you use in the anchor command's href attribute, which should look something like this W0QQdptZ0QQsclZallQQtZkm> Need...

Setting Up an eBay Store

Beyond your listings, the eBay marketing machine provides a great avenue you can use to supercharge your business's presence on eBay eBay Stores. An eBay Store allows the beginning eBay businessperson a quick, inexpensive, and effective way to sell merchandise online. You can do this without having to commit resources for new technologies or learn new procedures beyond the eBay basics you are already using. eBay Stores are an online storefront, providing a permanent location within eBay to help you sell your Store Inventory and eBay items, and to develop and grow a customer base. eBay Stores allow you a wide range of creativity and flexibility, including adding custom pages, highlighting promotions, and setting up categories. The basics of setting up an eBay store, along with these features, are described in this chapter (marketing tools and cross-promotional options, such as offering sales and sending e-mails to interested buyers, are covered in Chapter 10).

An eBay Store as Your Website

An eBay Store gives you a unique URL (Web address) which, in effect, belongs to you as long as you maintain and pay for your Store on eBay. This is much easier and less expensive than establishing your own independent website. In addition, you have built-in eBay traffic which would take a huge amount of marketing (e.g., getting found by the search engines) on the Web to duplicate. In my opinion, most eBay retail businesses will not find establishing an independent website to be a cost-effective way of doing business on the Web. At least, not as long as they can have an eBay Store instead. An eBay Store gives you most of the good characteristics of a viable ecommerce storefront. It gives you a place, and more importantly, a place where there's traffic. It gives you a storefront look. It gives you a catalog of products. And it gives you a checkout mechanism. The checkout mechanism, of course, includes payment choices. You've got it all on with an eBay Store. Or do you The primary...

Downloading Your eBay Sales Reports

I Reviewing eBay Store sales reports Reports, reports, reports when you're active in the eBay selling community, you're deluged with reports. Reports are grand because they give you an idea of where your business is at any point in time. But the key to getting some value out of all these reports is knowing which reports are important to you, based on your levels of online selling.

How to Set Up an eBay Store

Opening your own eBay store is as easy as clicking through eBay's setup pages. There's nothing overly complex involved you'll need to create your store, customize your pages (otherwise known as your virtual storefront), and list the items you want to sell. Just follow the onscreen instructions, and you'll have your own store up and running in just a few minutes. 1. Go to the eBay Stores main page (www.stores.ebay.com) and click the Open Your Store Now link. 2. When the Welcome to eBay Stores page appears, click the Continue button.

Finding Your Item in eBay Stores

A little known fact about eBay is that when you search the eBay site for an item, your search will not extend to eBay Stores. Many eBay sellers have eBay stores chock-full of merchandise that's often cheaper than the items you'll find on the regular eBay site. (The listing fees are considerably cheaper in the stores.) If you want to search eBay Stores only, you can go to eBay's search page and search on the Stores tab, as shown in Figure 1-4. Shop eBay Stores If you find yourself in an eBay Store you particularly like, look for a Save this Store in Favorites link at the top of the store's home page. Click this link to save the store in your My eBay Favorites area. eBay's My eBay page has a tab called Favorite Searches. This button shows up in the sub-navigation bar when you click Search on any eBay page, as shown in Figure 1-6. You can access your favorites directly from your My eBay page or by clicking the pictured Favorite Searches sub-navigation button.

Discovering Your My eBay Page

M ne of the super tools that eBay gives all its users is the My eBay page. I call it a page, but it's really an area a group of several pages tagged together with tabs. The My eBay page gives you complete control of everything you are doing (or would like to do) at eBay. For example, sellers use this page to keep track of sales. You can find a link to your My eBay pages immediately when you go to the eBay site. It is available from the top of the eBay Web page Navigation Bar, by clicking the link that points to My eBay. If you haven't signed in, you can access your My eBay page by following these steps

My eBay on the eBay Toolbar

The My eBay button located on the eBay Toolbar will transport you right to your personal My eBay page. Even if you're currently surfing on another website, clicking that button will send you right back to the mother site and into your My eBay page. My eBay is explained in great detail in Chapter 10, My eBay Explained. Suffice to say, My eBay is an excellent way of ensuring you are up to speed on all your auction activity. Coupled with the notifications you'll be receiving, nothing should slip by you especially a pesky bidder on the snipe move.

Tracking payments on your My eBay page

Once again, the Items I've Sold area of My eBay comes to the rescue if you're a beginning seller. As if by magic, whenever one of your buyers makes a payment on your item through the PayPal service, your My eBay page indicates that the item has been paid. Take a look at Figure 23-1, and notice that the bottom item shows it's been paid for via PayPal.

Relisting from your My eBay page

Your My eBay page has lots of handy features. Best of all, it has all your sold and unsold items in one convenient area. It's so much easier to see all your sold or unsold items at once Figure 12-2 shows My eBay displaying the Items I've Sold area. The Unsold Items area is further down on the My eBay Selling tab and has similar columns of information. Figure 12-2 shows My eBay displaying the Items I've Sold area. The Unsold Items area is further down on the My eBay Selling tab and has similar columns of information.

Outline Your Ebay Business

So what are you really trying to accomplish by ramping up your current eBay sales or moving your current traditional business to eBay Three common tools that businesses use to help clarify their raison d' tre (reason to be) and where they see themselves in the future can help you focus your ideas for a business plan. In fact, coalescing your ideas into a few categories may be all you need for a business plan that doesn't require external financing. In The One Page Business Plan by Jim Horan, these categories, along with a few others, could comprise your business plan

Other Ways to Use the eBay API

In the previous sections, you looked at five examples to give you an idea of how you can use the eBay API in your applications. Following are some additional examples of ways you might want to use the eBay API. Additional examples of the eBay API are also included in the later chapters and case studies at the end of this book.

Five Creative Ways to Use the eBay API

Now look at five ways to use the eBay API. You see both SOAP and XML code examples. The complete code listing is provided for the SOAP example, as that is probably what you will use from within Visual Studio .NET. The XML examples are also provided for your convenience. However, if you want to run the XML examples from Visual Studio .NET, modify the strXML value in Button1_Click event of Form1 to include the XML code shown in the respective example. You also will need to modify the X-EBAY-API-CALL-NAME parameter to specify the verb (procedure to call) as shown in the respective example, instead of the GetSearchResults procedure.

Using the eBay API Test Tool to Authenticate a User

The Getting a User Token section of Chapter 5 discusses a technique for authenticating a user with a series of Web pages. You can find the code for performing this task in the Modifying the Basic Technique to Perform Authentication section of Chapter 6. However, it's not always convenient for a developer to authenticate a test user with these techniques. Fortunately, you have an alternative available in the eBay API Test Tool. A special call named GetToken() lets you authenticate a user for testing purposes only. To use this call, you must rely on the special authentication keys discussed on the Getting Started with eBay Authentication and Authorization page at authauth.asp. To use this technique, open the eBay API Test Tool at http developer.ebay.com DevZone build-test test-tool.asp. Select Sandbox mode. Input the authentication keys and provide your test user's name and password. Select GetToken as the request template and click Submit. You'll receive a message containing the token...

Your Best Resource Other eBay Sellers

There's another source for advice and help with eBay-related problems other eBay sellers. Having trouble with a deadbeat bidder Ask other members for advice. Not sure how to ship an odd-sized package No need to reinvent the wheel chances are some other member has shipped something similar, and can tell you what to do. Got a gripe with eBay itself You're not alone as you'll soon find out if you voice your complaint on one of the many online forums devoted to online auctions in general and eBay in particular.

EBay Sellers Can Be Sued

Can you be sued for attempting to sell products on eBay that were created by someone else who holds a copyright or trademark on those items The answer is yes, depending on the copyright holder and depending on whether the items were copied illegally. Here are two examples of the sorts of legal morasses in which eBay sellers were embroiled in late 2002 December 2002 A group of Seattle-area knitters who sell yarn and knitting designs online hired a lawyer in order to fight back against legal representatives of Scottish knitting designer Alice Starmore. Starmore's representatives repeatedly had eBay sales canceled because they allegedly infringed on Starmore's copyright. Auctions were canceled that attempted to sell a tag from one of Starmore's skeins of yarn, and a seashell that was included with a shipment of Starmore yarns.

Real World Sourcing Strategies for Your eBay Business

As an eBay seller, you find yourself inundated with e-mail as well as auctions on eBay offering wholesale source lists. These messages guarantee that you'll find items you can sell on eBay very lucratively. Yes, but will they sell More importantly, will they sell at a profit Not everything on eBay sells like hotcakes. When profitable eBay PowerSellers have a good, solid source of merchandise, they're not likely to share the name of that source with anyone nor would any brick-and-mortar retailer. (Think about it a minute.) When I was teaching a class for advanced sellers at eBay Live 2003 in Orlando, Florida, I was asked the question in an auditorium-size room filled with PowerSellers. I answered a question with a question Were there were any PowerSellers in the audience who would like to share their sources with the rest of the group You could have heard a pin drop. So I upped the ante I'll pay anyone 10 for one solid source still silence. Business is business. I once also got an...

Use eBay Sellers Assistant

Go to the eBay Seller's Assistant page (http pages.ebay.com sellers_ assistant index.html) and click Subscribe Now. 3. When the eBay Seller's Assistant Subscription page appears, click Subscribe next to the version of Seller's Assistant that you want. Seller's Assistant Pro does carry a higher monthly fee than Seller's Assistant Basic (which is deducted from your eBay seller's account), but it provides you with some useful features that will make managing multiple auctions a lot easier, including the ability to track your inventory, print shipping labels, and create sales reports. These features are discussed in Chapter 6 along with other software that helps you manage multiple auctions.

Linking from Other Sites to Your eBay Auctions

One of the best ways to promote your eBay auctions is to include links to your auctions on as many other Web sites as you can. For example, if you have a separate Web storefront, you should use that site to promote all the auctions you're running on eBay. You can also promote your auctions on any personal Web pages you or your family might have.

The Finer Points of eBay Selling

All this growth has forced eBay to expand. Aside from the traditional eBay auctions, you'll now find multiple item (Dutch) auctions, private auctions, restricted auctions, and more. Whoa, that's confusing In this chapter, I explain the eBay features by reviewing how you can transact your business. Armed with this knowledge, you can succeed with your listings sooner than later.

Selecting Titles That Sell For Your eBay Auctions

For example, I took a random sampling of my own eBay auction titles and the number of page views I received. The results were interesting Finally look at ** Early Monopoly Game c1930's NR with 405 hits. Purchased for 17.50 at a local auction, I thought it would bring 35- 55 on eBay. To my surprise it went for 625.00. The title broke my rule about being 100 accurate. But it had Monopoly in the title, was informative, c 1930's and a No Reserve (NR) auction. Again, it surprised me how much interest there is in the eBay marketplace for early Monopoly sets and the price it brought.

Conduct Your eBay Business

You can leverage your experience and knowledge of eBay selling by offering to sell items for others. Selling on consignment pays you for your services (which can be anything you and the consignee agree upon) by collecting a fee or a percentage of the selling price or both.

Preparing an eBay Listing

Now that you have the powerful Turbo Lister tool at hand, you can prepare hundreds of eBay listings in advance and, with one click of the mouse, launch them on eBay. You can also select a scheduling format that makes your listings upload and start at a particular time and date. (More on that in the section, Uploading items to eBay, later in this technique). 5. If you have an eBay Store, select a category for the item in your store from a drop-down menu. Open the drop-down menu (shown in Figure 11-8) by clicking the small arrow on the right. Then click the category you want to use and watch it jump into the selection area. This area is automatically populated from your eBay Store when eBay updates your Turbo Lister installation. Figure 11-8 Select your eBay Store Category from the drop-down list.

Minimizing eBay Listing Fees

EBay listing fees are based on your starting bid price, or your amount for a Fixed Price sale. Although eBay listing fees have remained somewhat stable over the years, in February 2004, eBay raised the rates and changed their pricing levels. For a very long time, the most you would pay to list a regular item on the eBay site was 3.30. Now it's 4.80. Table 9-1 eBay Listing Fees Table 9-1 eBay Listing Fees

Watch Interesting Items with My eBay and the eBay Toolbar

When you are hot on the trail of an interesting item, you might want to watch it awhile. Or, you might want to monitor items on which you have placed a bid as the auction end grows near. You can track activity using the eBay Toolbar or My eBay. To use the eBay Toolbar, you first need to set your eBay Toolbar options.

Recognizing the Many Faces of eBay Transactions

EBay has grown into this massive mega-marketplace that even the best of eBay-expert buyers can find daunting from time to time. This section looks at the available types of eBay transactions and gives you the goods on how they work. I Breezing through the different types of eBay transactions In a Dutch auction, bidding progresses just as in normal eBay auctions. You may bid on one or more of the items available, and the highest bidders win (based on the quantity bid for and won). The only trick to this type of auction is that more than one bidder can win so all bidders win their items at the lowest successful bid not the highest Figure 2-5 An eBay auction with the Buy It Now option. Buying on eBay offers yet another timesaving way to get the goods you want. Items can be purchased quickly and easily on the eBay site as Fixed Price sales or directly in eBay Stores. You can easily recognize these sales because they have no Place Bid option. And you can quickly find these sales by using...

Using Your Site to Help eBay Sales

Some merchants do all their selling through eBay. They may maintain a web site, but they use the eBay e-commerce tools to manage actual transactions. eBay provides a tool called the eBay Merchant Kit to help you place information about your current auctions inside your web site (see Figure 29-3). Of course, there are certain rules. For instance, if you want to use the Merchant Kit, you can't display other, non-eBay products on the same page.

Using the eBay API Test Tool

The eBay API Test Tool is an essential aid to understand how eBay works. In fact, you should probably create a link to this particular site and use it as part of your application development process. This tool helps you build the XML documents required to make an eBay Web Services request. Yes, it's also a test tool, but I've begun looking at it less as a tool for testing and more as a tool for designing. You'll find this tool at http developer.ebay.com DevZone build-test test-tool.asp. Figure 4.10 shows how this page looks when you first open it. Use the eBay API Test Tool to build XML requests for your application. When you finish adding arguments, the XML is finished. You can use this display to create the code for your application. If you want to test the XML to ensure it fulfills the minimum requirements, click Submit. The eBay API Test Tool will make the request and open a new window showing the result. Figure 4.12 shows an example of the output you'll see. This output...

EBay Selling Managers Reports

You must subscribe to the Selling Manager product to get these reports. There is a 4.99 per month fee. The benefits of the product are mentioned throughout this book it's an excellent choice for the beginning eBay seller. Your eBay sales reports include important information about your transactions and download in a spreadsheet format. Here is the information you can expect to find in the reports you download Notice that there is no column reflecting the eBay fees you paid for listing and selling the item. If you have plenty of time on your hands, you can create another column and input the fees from your eBay invoice for each individual item. Save time by bulk posting the monthly total in your bookkeeping program. (See Technique 47 for more information.) 1. To get to the download area, go to your My eBay page and enter the Selling Manager. The opening page of Selling Manager is your Summary page shown in Figure 26-1. eBay Selling Manager's Reports It's a good idea to create a...

Walkthrough Example Calling the eBay API Using SOAP from Visual Studio NET

You can extend the prior example to add the functionality to call the eBay API using SOAP. Because you are using SOAP instead of HTTP-POST, the steps to call that same Web service are quite different. 2. Add a reference to the eBay API by selecting Project O Add Web Reference. For the URL field, specify the location of the WSDL file, for example with this URL http developer.ebay. com webservices latest eBaySvc.wsdl. As new versions of the eBay API are released, some of the code in this chapter may no longer function in exactly the same way as it did in prior versions. This is certainly true of the other APIs as well, but eBay seems to release new versions more frequently than some of the others.

Walkthrough Example Calling the eBay API Using Httppost from Visual Studio NET

This section contains a step-by-step example of using HTTP-POST to call the eBay Web service from Visual Studio .NET. In this example, you call the GetSearchResults operation to look up all eBay auction items in the Sandbox environment that have the word computer and are not priced higher than 1,000. You set up this example so that it can be used later in the chapter for the corresponding SOAP example as well. GetSearchResults) 0) 0) 311) text xml) strDevId + + strAppId + + strCertId) strDevId) strAppId) strCertId) 'call the ebay api and pass the byte array containing the XML string Dim res As Byte() _ 8. You should see a window similar to Figure 5-10 that displays the XML results returned from the eBay API. They begin with the first item that matched the search criteria.

Figure Learning more about the eBay Power Seller program

PowerSeller Don't sweat it if you don't qualify for PowerSeller status. The benefits offered aren't all that great, and I've been unable to quantify any sales increases that accrue from displaying the PowerSeller logo. Better to concentrate on improving the profitability of your eBay business than on reaching some artificial PowerSeller level

Power Sellers

The eBay PowerSellers program is for people who do a lot of retail auctions on eBay. It provides certain customer service benefits to you as an eBay customer. For example, as a PowerSeller, you can display the PowerSellers logo, which identifies you, in effect, as a high-volume eBay retailer. The program has monthly minimum sales requirements and several levels of participation based on sales. This program has evolved into something quite valuable for eBay retailers. Check it out at Services, PowerSeller Program. This is not a small program. eBay has over 70,000 PowerSellers. eBay recently increased the benefits for PowerSellers and now provides 500 fraud insurance to the customers of PowerSellers, coop advertising up to 8,000 per quarter, and other marketing programs. It has also arranged health insurance. This program for successful sellers gives some permanent sales structure to eBay and is beginning to resemble a well-oiled selling machine. It's certainly something to aspire to if...

EBay Stores

Don't go to sleep at this crucial point. This whole chapter is one big hot tip for you if you operate an eBay business. Your easy-to-use, low-cost Web storefront is now available. It's a way of selling and marketing you need to consider carefully, because it beats the alternative. It's the old golden opportunity knocking at your door In the prior editions of this book I advocated creating an ecommerce website and using it in conjunction with your eBay auctions. I no longer recommend such a strategy. Three factors have changed the eBay business environment to make this prior recommendation a less desirable alternative. First, eBay no longer permits a link from your auction ad to your ecommerce website. Second, eBay now provides you with a storefront (eBay Store) and does your marketing for you. Three, auction management sevices now provide you with a checkout device for your eBay customers, and the eBay checkout is much improved.

Your eBay Store Name

You've decided to take the plunge and open an eBay store. Do you have an eBay user ID Have you thought of a good name for your store Your store name doesn't have to match your eBay user ID, but they're more recognizable if they relate to each other. You can use your company name, your business name, or a name that describes your business. I recommend that you use the same name for your eBay store that you plan to use in all your online businesses. By doing so, you'll begin to create an identity (or as the pros call it, a brand) that customers will come to recognize and trust. _Chapter 5 Expanding Sales with an eBay Store 113 If you want to use your eBay user ID for your store name, you can unless it contains a hyphen (-) or an underscore (_). Remember how eBay recommends that you break up words in your user ID with a dash or an underscore Uh oh, that's no good for an eBay store name. I'm in that situation. My user ID is marsha_c without the underscore, it translates into a user ID...

Create an eBay Store

In much the same way, you can supplement your eBay auctions with items you put up for sale for a fixed price in an eBay Store. Setting up an eBay Store is much the same as renting space in a shopping mall, but with two big advantages eBay is likely to be cheaper, and likely to attract more shoppers than most other malls due to its sheer popularity. Why, then, would you consider setting up an eBay Store in addition to your eBay auctions I'll give you three reasons If you really want to sell some items at a fixed price, and you find that Buy It Now doesn't attract buyers, you might have better luck with an eBay Store. You need a minimum feedback of 20 and an ID Verify listing to open an eBay Store. See Chapter 16 for more on eBay's ID Verify program.

EBay Business

A key concept of eBay marketing is to help you promote your items across all your eBay content, including listings, Stores, notifications, and even off-eBay locations. The ultimate goal is to drive customers to your eBay presence and keep them in your sphere of auctions, fixed-price listings, and informational pages, such as your About Me page. While all sellers have access to a foundation of promotional tools, it's when you open an eBay Store that eBay really rolls out the red carpet so you can fully take advantage of the concept of cross-promoting your items through sales, flyers, e-mailed newsletters, and more (see Figure 10-1).

EBay store fees

Here are the insertion fees, also called listing fees (see Table 17.1), for all three eBay stores. Consider this example. If I sell something in my eBay store for 49.99, it cost me the listing fee shown in Table 17.1 (2 plus for the gallery per month), plus the selling fee shown in AH the same features offered with eBay auctions are offered in the eBay store. Extra photos (after the first free one) cost 15t each month, and this can add up. For this reason, I only use one photo in my store. If buyers want to see more photos, they can e-mail me. The gallery is only 1t a month, So I use this in all my store listings. (See Chapter 10 for information on photos and the gallery.)

Shopping eBay Stores

EBay stores are the secret weapon for knowledgeable eBay shoppers. First, of course, you can consistently find great deals. But you can also help small businesses make it against larger behemoths. Sellers open eBay stores to make searching merchandise easier for buyers stores also help save sellers money because sellers don't need to set up private e-commerce Web sites. Translation Sellers can list items in their eBay stores for even lower fees, thereby passing their savings on to you, the savvy bargain hunter. Before you buy any item from a sale at eBay, check to see if the seller has the small, red stores icon next to his or her User ID. If so, be sure to click the icon before you bid on the item. Most sellers run auctions for items to draw people into their eBay stores, where you may be able to purchase the exact same item you're about to bid on for a lower amount. You can find the eBay Stores hub from the eBay home page by clicking the eBay Stores link under the Specialty Sites...

Browsing eBay stores

Looking back on Figure 15-1, below the search box, you'll see a category listing that's similar to the one on the eBay home page. The only difference is that when you click these categories, you're browsing eBay stores by category and not the rest of the eBay auction categories. Each category has a home page very similar to the Stores hub page (see Figure 15-4). The main category of the eBay Stores page shown in Figure 15-4 is Clothing & Accessories. When you look at the left side of this page, you can view the store's subcategories. Figure 15-4 The eBay Stores Clothing & Accessories category. Figure 15-4 The eBay Stores Clothing & Accessories category. eBay Stores Figure 15-5 The Women subcategory of eBay Stores Clothing & Accessories.

EBay Selling Manager

EBay Selling Manager (pages.ebay.com selling_manager ) is eBay's official auction management tool. When you subscribe to Selling Manager, the Selling tab of your My eBay page is transformed into a Selling Manager tab, where you can manage all your auction and post-auction activity including sending customer emails and leaving feedback. Cost is 4.99 per month. Figure 12.2. Managing your auction activity with eBay Selling

Using the eBay API

Unless you have been living in a cave, you have heard about eBay, and you probably have used eBay yourself to purchase or sell items. eBay is known for inventing the online global marketplace that brings millions of people all over the world together to sell new and used items. eBay is making it easier than ever before for you to write your own software applications using the eBay API or the eBay SDK to interact with eBay features. You can obtain a free developer account that can be used for individual purposes in a test and production environment for a limited number of calls. You can also purchase commercial accounts if you want to write applications for others that interact with eBay. This chapter covers the following How to set up a developer account and obtain all the necessary identifiers to use the eBay API The syntax of eBay API queries How to call the eBay API using HTTP-POST using Visual Studio .NET How to call the eBay API using SOAP from Visual Studio .NET Five examples of...

EBay Sellers

You can also use the photographs taken by other eBay sellers. You can download or pull them in the same way as you do for manufacturers' photographs. Of course, such sellers are likely to be your competitors, and your pilfering is likely to upset them. It's not a good practice.

EBay Auctions

EBay auctions enable you to sell items one at a time. Assuming you have different items, they will be spread all over eBay auctions into their requisite categories. As Gertrude Stein once said about an Amer ican city she considered boring, There's no there there. Indeed, there is no sense that the eBay auction seller is a retail organization that exists someplace. Because eBay auctions enables you to sell only one item per auction (or multiples of one item at one time), such auctions are not necessarily conducive to selling additional items to new buyers and existing customers. Consequently, it's up to you to do something to make your retail presence felt in eBay auctions. Perhaps the best thing you can do is to run so many repeat auctions in the categories in which you sell products that it seems like you're always there. This gives the illusion of having a presence in eBay auctions. (But read the Volume Management section in Chapter 24 for the downside of such a practice.) Certainly...

EBay University

The eBay traveling tent show goes across the country, hosting thousands of eBay members, spreading the eBay word to the masses. You get a chance to meet some wonderful people who work for eBay and enjoy answering questions. eBay University follows two tracks Beyond the Basics A tutorial on eBay tools for advanced sellers.

EBay Toolbar

As I was writing this chapter, eBay was testing a trial version of eBay toolbar, a nice utility you can add to your browser toolbar. The toolbar's features mostly help you search and track items you're bidding on, not items you're selling. However, you can click Watch Alert to alert you to the progress of any sale on eBay, including one of your own. Since, as a seller, you may very well shop on eBay, the toolbar can be useful for obtaining inventory, too. Once you download and install the toolbar by clicking on the Install Toolbar button on the eBay Toolbar page, a search box and set of options appear. You can find out more about the toolbar and download it at http pages.ebay.com ebay_toolbar. The eBay Toolbar only works with Windows 95 or later systems, not the Mac OS. It also requires you to have Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 or later or Netscape Navigator 4.08 or later installed. You can find out more about the toolbar and download it at http pages.ebay.com ebay_toolbar. The eBay...

Pay Your eBay Fees

When all is said and done, you need to pay your eBay fees and settle up with the purchaser or with your payment or escrow service. Remind your purchaser to send feedback about the sale so you can develop a good feedback rating, which encourages more auto buyers to place bids with you.

Locating Trading Assistants

It helps to see how potential eBay customers will try and search for you so you can better set up your TA profile to match the techniques they'll use. Also, you can provide these steps to anyone who expresses an interest in your services. Figure 7-4 A well thought-out and defined profile, along with PowerSeller status, will help drive customers to you. Figure 7-4 A well thought-out and defined profile, along with PowerSeller status, will help drive customers to you.

Using the seller dashboard

Another aspect of managing your eBay business is to constantly gauge your success as an eBay seller in the eyes of eBay. Your Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs) from buyer feedback (see the Reviewing Your Feedback Profile QuickFacts later in the chapter) and quantity of sales have direct bearing on whether your listings will rise toward the top in Best Match searches by prospective buyers (the eBay default search), as well as determining PowerSeller discounts. Assuming you have at least ten DSRs in the last year, the Seller Dashboard will give you a snapshot of several metrics that will help you see where you stand, as shown in Figure 5-13 (if you're not a PowerSeller, you'll see how close you are to becoming one).

Jumping in with both feet Making eBaycouk a fulltime job

The tasks required for your eBay business can be time consuming. But careful planning and scheduling can turn your business into a money-spinning empire. The best way to go full time on eBay is to first run your business part time for a while to iron out the wrinkles. After you become comfortable with eBay.co. uk as a business, you're ready to make the transition to full-time seller. The minimum gross monthly sales for a Bronze-level PowerSeller is 750. If you plan your time efficiently, you can easily attain this goal. Head to Chapter 3 for more information on the PowerSeller programme.

Assessing Yourself Can You Do It

Being an eBay.co.uk PowerSeller is a high-pressure job. It is demanding on your time and energy -when you're not listing items and sending out parcels, you're answering queries and maintaining your Web site. Be prepared to put in the hours if you're not happy with this commitment, then stop now

Your dedicated office

You must first separate the family from the hub of your business. Many eBay sellers use a spare bedroom As time progresses and your business grows, you may have to move, maybe into your garage. Remember, you'll need electricity and phone lines, lighting and furniture. And don't forget storage space for your saleable items. One PowerSeller that we know moved all the junk out of his cellar and set up shop there. He now has three computers and employs his wife and a part-time lister (who put his auctions up on eBay) to run the show. This guy's cellar office is networked and is as professional as any office.

Jumping in with both feet Making eBay a fulltime job

As you can see in the list in the preceding section, the tasks required for your eBay business can be time consuming. But careful planning and scheduling can turn your business into an online empire. The best way to go full time on eBay is to first run your business part time for a few months to iron out the wrinkles. After you become comfortable with eBay as a business (and decide that you enjoy selling and customer relations), you're ready to make the transition to full-time seller. The minimum gross monthly sales for a Bronze-level PowerSeller is 1000. If you plan your time efficiently, you can easily attain this goal. Head to Chapter 3 for more information on the PowerSeller program.

Researching your statistics

They are usually PowerSellers and do their own research for their listings. They don't have the time to spout off and give you secrets. I'm a regular seller on eBay (a PowerSeller too), and I've noticed distinct variations in my sales through a fantastic online service called ViewTracker from Sellathon. It's really one of a kind. 1 Whether the visitor had chosen to watch this listing in his or her My eBay page

Member since April Feedback Positive Feedback

Aside from being pretty, bright, and talented, Marjie Smith is a heck of an eBay seller. She's not only a PowerSeller, she's the founder of the Disabled Online Users Association (DOUA) - her other full-time job. Marjie runs 50 to 100 auctions a week and keeps her eBay store as stocked as she possibly can. She's an authorized Etienne Aigner representative and has exclusive agreements with several unique gift lines. But she's quick to point out that she'll sell anything She once found a box of old, beat-up books next to a dumpster outside a thrift shop. She waited till no one was looking and snapped them up and sold them on eBay. That box of books netted her a cool 300 profit. Just like many of the sellers we profile here, Marjie spends as many as 70 hours a week on her eBay enterprises. Her biggest sale came from a woman who used Buy It Now to purchase more than 1000 worth of lovely Etienne Aigner accessories from her eBay store in one day. eBay has really changed her life. 'Being a...

Is What You Want to Sell Legal

In the My eBay Views section of the My eBay page, click the eBay Preferences link under My Account. Click the Edit link, next to Notification Preferences. W eBay product surveys Send me email about my favorite categories, coupons, and other special offers such as Free Listing Days. If you are a seller, unchecking this box means you will not receive Seller or PowerSeller newsletters and promotions. (HTML format only.)

Providing Excellent Customer Service

EBay is a person-to-person marketplace. Although many sellers are businesses (like you), the perception is that sellers on eBay are individuals (as opposed to businesses) earning a living. The home-grown personal approach goes a long way to making you a successful eBay seller. One of the reasons many buyers come to eBay is that they want to support the individuals who had the get-up-and-go to start their own small businesses on the site. An excellent example comes from a PowerSeller, John Rickmon of e.vehicles. He always throws in a few special touches to draw in the customer. As you may gather by his user ID, John sells vehicles on eBay - and does very well out of it

Making Your Auctions Run More Smoothly

While others prefer to do things the old-fashioned way. One of my favorite eBay PowerSellers works with file folders, a hand-written ledger book, and hand-written labels. If it makes you happy, do it your way. I'm going to suggest a few options that will ease the pain of paperwork.

Marketworks previously Auction Works

A group of collectors who saw the need for power tools for PowerSellers developed this highly graphical site (www.Marketworks.com). I think they've succeeded. (They were known in the eBay community as AuctionWorks but changed their name in June 2004.) A high percentage of eBay PowerSellers use the site. They launch approximately six million listings on eBay every month. Marketworks offers help links at every turn, a first-rate online tutorial, free toll-free support (that's a free phone call and free support), and free interactive training classes for registered users. The site integration is broad here are just a few of their features eBay replaced the All Selling tab of your My eBay page with Selling Manager, which displays a summary of your current transactions. Many sellers (even some PowerSellers) rely on Selling Manager to handle their eBay management chores. The fee to use Selling Manager is 4.99 a month. (It's free when you have a basic eBay store.) They also offer a Pro...

Launching Your Business on eBay

So you've decided to step up to the plate and start that eBay business. You should first decide how much time you have to devote. I suggest that you don't quit your day job (yet). Instead, start expanding your sales in baby steps. You can sell part time and still be a business and have a nice chunk of extra income. A large portion of sellers, even eBay PowerSellers (those who gross more than 1000 a month in sales), work on eBay only part time. eBay sellers come from all walks of life. A good number of stay-at-home moms are selling on eBay. And so many retirees are finding eBay a great place to supplement their income, that I wouldn't be surprised if the AARP creates a special eBay arm. If you're pulled out of your normal work routine and faced with a new lifestyle, you can easily make the transition to selling on eBay. In this chapter, I talk about planning just how much time you'll be able to devote to your eBay business and how to budget that time. I also talk about figuring out...

Member since May Feedback Positive Feedback

Vinyl Tap started small, listing hard-to-find records here and there, but gradually the business snowballed and in no time at all they became PowerSellers with customers in several countries. (See Figure 18-9.) According to Andrea, the secret of Vinyl Tap's success lies in its first rate customer service, which continues after the sale. It's pretty rare, for example, to see a full money-back guarantee being offered by an eBay seller. She also believes that good communication is of the utmost importance.

Online or Offline Management

When selecting a service, look for a logo or text indicating that the service is an eBay Certified Developer, Preferred Solution Provider, or API licensee. These people have first access to eBay's system changes and can implement them immediately. Others may have a day or so lag time to update their software. ChannelAdvisor's founder Scot Wingo got into the auction business around the turn of the century. His first foray into the eBay world was AuctionRover, a site that had tools to perform an extensive eBay search, list auctions, and check pricing trends. The company's cute Rover logo was fashioned after Wingo's Border Collie, Mack. Fast forward to today. ChannelAdvisor is a highly popular management service for all levels of eBay sellers. They supply listing and management services to everyone from Fortune 1000 companies to the little old lady next door. How They offer three levels of software Enterprise for large businesses who want to outsource their online business, Merchant for...

Processing On The Fast Track

An item's journey through your eBay business follows a typical flow, as shown in Figure 3-1. The main processing centers include Figure 3-1 Items need to travel, virtually if not physically, through a prescribed path in your eBay business. Your eBay Business Machine Figure 3-1 Items need to travel, virtually if not physically, through a prescribed path in your eBay business.

Capture Purchase Data

In the zeal to acquire and purchase merchandise, it's easy (and tempting) to throw all of the receipts and other documentation into a file folder or shoebox and deal with it when the need arises (usually April 14). Though this method might serve casual eBay sellers, as your eBay business volume increases, you will need a more systematic approach to documenting your purchases. The best time to do that is close to the time of purchase, when your memory is fresh and any paper trails are still close at hand. Whether your system is a notebook with lined columns, an Excel spreadsheet, or accounting or auction-management software, you have to dedicate the time to log the captured data.

The Part of Tens

We include a random collection of terms in Appendix A. You're probably already familiar with many of these words, but others will be new to you. Refer to this appendix often as you peruse other parts of the book. In Appendix B, we briefly discuss home networking, a perk you'll want to have when your eBay business grows.

Assign Customer Service and Listing Management Functions

Several potential issues with current or past listings, such as canceling a bid, whether to limit buyers and bidders for a listing, feedback concerns, canceling or ending a listing early, and dealing with unpaid items. Each situation can involve several hours and many e-mails, but to protect your eBay reputation, you need to invest the effort to try and reach equitable resolutions (Chapter 5 describes how to handle several issues you might have with buyers and ways to protect your eBay business). Customer service-related concerns and activities include

Observe Good EMail Manners

Because e-mail is such an important part of your eBay business, it pays to take some simple, yet effective steps to make your e-mail communications more effective. The following sections describe some easy-to implement techniques for maintaining contact with prospective bidders and current customers.

Building an eBay Back Office

7 he more items you sell, the more confusing things can get. As you build your eBay business, the little side table you use for storing eBay merchandise isn't going to work. You must think industrial. Even part-time sellers can benefit by adding a few professional touches to their business areas.

Observe your customers privacy

Everyone on eBay has to play by the rules. If they didn't, auction chaos would result. Sales could end at any time bidders could compete after the ending time people might pay with peanuts rather than dollars. Just as you observe eBay's rules, you need to observe the rules set down by local and federal governments. If you don't keep your eBay business legal, chaos might not result on eBay, but a sort of chaos might hamper your ability to do business at all. You might get sued, you might get negative feedback, or you might be charged with breaking the law.

Inventory Keeping Track of What You Have and Where You Keep It

Savvy eBay sellers have different methods of handling inventory. They use everything from spiral-bound notebooks to sophisticated software programs. Although computerized inventory tracking can simplify this task, starting with a plain ol' handwritten ledger is fine, too. Choose whichever works best for you, but keep in mind that as your eBay business grows, a software program that tracks inventory for you may become necessary. If you use QuickBooks for your bookkeeping, this all-in-one software will also keep track of your inventory (every time you post your purchases and sales). Ledger systems wouldn't work for a company with a warehouse full of stock, but will work nicely in a beginning eBay sales environment. Many sellers tape sheets of paper to their boxes to identify them by number, and use that as a reference to a simple Excel spreadsheet for selling purposes. Excel spreadsheets are perfect for keeping track of your sales as well, but if you're using a management service or...

When Quick Books asks what type of business you want to use choose Retail General

QuickBooks doesn't offer an online sales business choice, so Retail General is the closest to what you need (see Figure 16-4). With the chart of accounts that we feature in the following section, you can make the appropriate changes to your accounts to adapt to your eBay business.

EBaycouks Optional Listing Features

In the eBay University Advanced Selling class, instructors quote auction success rates for the features, but in the real life of your business, success varies from auction to auction and category to category. If you take the boldface option and then your auction appears in a category full of boldface auction titles, the bold just doesn't have the punch you paid for. Your auction would stand out more without the bold option. The same logic applies to highlighting. Certain categories are loaded with sellers that go overboard in the use of this feature - all the auction titles appear in a big lavender blur. Weigh the pros and cons in terms of how these optional listing features affect your eBay business. Does spending a little extra money enhance your item enough to justify the cost Can you make up the extra money in auction profits You need a good understanding of what the options are and when and how you can use them to their fullest advantage.

Choosing eBaycouk as a parttime money maker

A part-time eBay.co.uk business can be very profitable. We stress repeatedly in this book that the more time and energy you spend on your eBay business, the more money you can make, but for now we move on to the lowest possible level of time that you should devote to your business. How much time it takes to perform these tasks varies from person to person and improves according to your level of expertise. Every task in your eBay auction business takes time, however, and you must budget for that time. See the sidebar 'Some handy eBay.co.uk time-saving tips' for pointers. HTML templates In Chapter 11, I give you some tips on finding basic HTML format templates for attractive auctions. These templates cut your auction design time to a few minutes. Most experienced eBay sellers use preset templates to speed up the task of listing auctions, and this should be your goal. 'Software you can use' section in this chapter and see also Chapter 9, which details various programs to integrate into...

Finding the Perfect Shipping Carrier The Big Four

Deciding on your carrier can be the most important decision in your eBay business. You need to decide which one is more convenient for you (close to your home base, provides pickup service, gives better customer service) and which is the most economical (leverages your bottom line). The efficiency of your shipping is only as good as the people who service your account. If the UPS man dumps packages at your door without ringing the bell, perhaps he's not the right person to entrust with the heart and soul of your business. Maybe your letter carrier knows you by name and gives you good service if that's the case, maybe the United States Postal Service (USPS) is the best choice for the bulk of your shipments. Many eBay sellers send packages using ground services rather than airmail or overnight, but a shipper who can give you both options may be offering you a good deal because you don't have to deal with more than one vendor. Once considered the outsider in the shipping arena for eBay...

Postage online through Pay Pal

PayPal shipping services work great when you're just starting out in your eBay business, but once you get rolling, you need a mailing service that includes e-mail and record keeping, such as Endicia or Stamps.com. When you process your shipping (UPS or USPS) through PayPal, the shipping amount is deducted from your PayPal (sales revenue) balance. This is an important issue.

Finding the Perfect Shipping Carrier

Deciding on your carrier can be the most important decision in your eBay business. You need to decide which carrier is more convenient for you (close to your home base, provides pick-up service, gives better customer service) and which is the most economical (leverages your bottom line). Most eBay sellers send packages using ground service rather than airmail or overnight, but a shipper who can give you both options may be offering you a good deal because you don't have to deal with more than one vendor.

More Products

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Ebay Cash Insider

Ebay Cash Insider

I refined my information, added notes as things came up and took out old or outdated information. Each time I discovered a new little tip or trick as I was making money with EBay, I added that information. Today, I bring home anywhere from 500 to 2000 each week with EBay. Thats not too shabby for someone who was just a year ago afraid to even purchase something from the site.

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