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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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...

Opening an eBay Store

After selling through the auction listings for a while, many eBay merchants take the next step setting up an eBay store. In many respects, it's a natural next step. You wet your feet with auction listings, discover your products are selling, start making money, and now want more. So you bring in more products and more inventory, and set up an eBay store. But are you sure it's the right step What are the advantages and disadvantages How will you get people into your store These are the issues we'll cover in this chapter.

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

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

I use Vendio.com or auction-hawk.com to easily *list professional looking eBay auctions. I also have provided many great free eBay resources on the resource page that comes with this book. 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. * List - this is the term that eBay sellers use when referring to putting something up for auction on eBay or any other on-line auction (i.e. I 'list' a few of my comic books on eBay every week also means I put a few of my comic books up for sale on eBay every week.) 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...

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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

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.

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...

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...

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...

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.

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.

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...

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

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.

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...

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.

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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

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.

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...

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.

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.

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...

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,...

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.

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

It is a presence not only on eBay but also on the Web. It provides you with a permanent catalog of the products you sell. Unlike an eBay auction where you have to schedule your products and be careful how they are timed, with an eBay store you just put them in a catalog and they are available 24 hours a day for as long as you're willing to pay to have them there. Perhaps the prime difference between eBay auctions and eBay Stores is that everyone uses eBay auctions. Not so many people use eBay Stores. They are two different systems. When you look for products in eBay auctions you do not find products in eBay Stores (with some exceptions). The reverse is not true. All of your current auctions are listed in your eBay Store. eBay Stores comprise a huge Web mall. Web malls have never been very popular. (Read more about Web malls in Chapter 24). Nonetheless, eBay Stores are becoming a popular Web mall for two reasons. First, they have the eBay brand which is very...

EBay Store Fees

The fees charged for the eBay store are a little more complicated than the regular fees we looked at in Chapter 3. Listing fees are actually much lower, and there are two levels of Final Value Fees the fees you are charged for sales originating within eBay itself, and fees for sales originating from your own online promotional efforts (that is, sales to people who arrive directly at your store rather than through eBay). Let's look at all the fees. The fees charged for listing upgrades are often lower, too, and even when they are comparable to the eBay auction upgrade fees, they're still lower when you consider that the fees are charged for 30 days, not the few days that an auction lasts. For instance, to use the Gallery feature (which bundles several images into an animated slideshow-type picture) it costs just 1 cent every 30 days. To add bold text to the listing description is 1 for 30 days, as opposed to 1 for up to 10 days in the auctions. (a small text file used for tracking)....

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 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 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.

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

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.

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.

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

Making Your Auctions Run More Smoothly

In this section, we discuss a few more niceties you need to round out your eBay.co.uk home base. The following tools are important, but you must decide which ones you'll use. Some people prefer a totally automated office while others like to do things the old-fashioned way. One of our favourite eBay PowerSellers works with file folders, a hand-written ledger book, and hand-written labels. If pen and paper make you happy, do it your way. I'm going to suggest a few options that ease the pain of paperwork.

Researching your statistics

The best experts are those who are selling every day on eBay, day in and day out. These people are usually PowerSellers and do their own research for their listings. They don't have the time to spout off and give you secrets. We're regular sellers on eBay (we're PowerSellers too), and we've noticed distinct variations in our sales through a fantastic online service called ViewTracker from Sellathon. I Whether the visitor has chosen to watch this listing in his or her My eBay page

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...

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.

Protecting Packages with Universal Parcel Insurance Coverage

After you fill out the online form and agree to the policy (Evidence of Insurance), a U-PIC representative will contact you within forty-eight hours. The representative will answer your questions and help you decide which of their programs will work best for your eBay business. (I give you some details about these in just a bit.)

Your very own merchant account

If your eBay business is bringing in more than 20,000 a month, a credit card merchant account may be for you. At that level of sales, discounts kick in and your credit card processing becomes a savings to your business rather than an expense. Before setting up a merchant account, however, I recommend that you look at the costs carefully. I get at least one e-mail each week begging me to set up a merchant account, and each one offers lower fees than the last. But charges buried in the small print make fees hard to calculate and even harder to compare. Even those who advertise low fees often don't deliver. Be sure to look at the entire picture before you sign a contract.

Create a Sales Template

There's nothing wrong with using the Sell Your Item form to create an auction listing, but a successful eBay business is built on volume and efficiency. Suppose you get to the point where like many of the sellers I profile in this book you need to get 20, 30, or even more items online every day. If that's the case, you need to come up with a system or rather, a template. Many eBay sellers create an auction template in the form of a HyperText Markup Language (HTML) Web page. The template contains the name of their business (if they have one), their shipping and payment policies, and any other phrases that apply to all of their auctions. I've taken the liberty of altering one of the auction listings of eBay seller mrmodern, who is profiled in this chapter, and showing it in Figure 5-1. eBay has a service called Seller's Assistant that streamlines the process of creating templates. See Use eBay Seller's Assistant later in this chapter for more information.

Retracting A Bid Or Best Offer

If you have an eBay business, it's almost a certainty you will need a vehicle to acquire merchandise, go to the post office, meet with clients and suppliers, and everything else that goes with running a business. Why not use your knowledge of eBay to help find yourself a great deal on eBay Motors Just be careful in your exuberance in that you realize this is not the same type of transaction as buying a used CD on Half.com. We're talking big money here (at least to us ) and there can be consequences if you get cold feet.

Keep Your Store Well Stocked

When you're selling on eBay occasionally, you can sell whenever you find something at a yard sale or secondhand shop. If you want to create an eBay business that provides you with a steady source of part-time or full-time income, acquiring inventory you can then sell on eBay becomes a major part of your operation. You'll do better if you can do strategic buying buying good items at an economical price that you can then auction off at a profit on eBay. How, exactly, do you do strategic buying The following sections provide some suggestions.

Getting Down to Bidness er Business

Before launching any business, including an eBay business, you need to set your priorities. And to be successful at that business, you must apply some clear level of discipline. When Pierre incorporated eBay AuctionWeb in 1997 with his partner Jeff, they were each drawing a salary of 25,000. Their first office consisted of one room, and they had one part-time employee to handle the payments. They started small and grew. Now eBay is a respected, worldwide corporation, employing thousands of people and trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Getting What It Takes to Sell

I've heard many sellers-to-be say they want to start a business on eBay so that they can relax. Since when is running any business a way to relax Granted, you don't need a whole lot of money to get started on eBay and you won't have a boss breathing down your neck. But to run a successful eBay business, you need drive, determination, and your conscience to guide you, as well as a few solid tools, such as a computer and an Internet connection. In this section, I give you the lowdown on these things and more.

Getting Ready to Sell

We've heard many sellers-to-be say they want to start a business on eBay so that they can relax. Since when is running any business a way to relax Granted, you don't need a whole lot of money to get started on eBay.co.uk and you don't have a boss breathing down your neck. But to run a successful eBay business, you need drive, determination, and your conscience to guide you, as well as a few solid tools, such as a computer and an Internet connection. In this section, we give you the low-down on these things and more.

Reating Super Listings

EBay sellers live and die by their listings. An eBay listing is your all-encompassing sales force, combining several brick-and-mortar parameters, such as advertising, window dressing, warranty and return policies, delivery service, and pricing, into a single, concise Web page. The listing has to attract buyers and, in most cases, tell them and show them what they need to know to bid on or purchase an item. You also need to provide the necessary information to ensure the buyer understands shipping and related costs. Most new and low-volume sellers quickly realize the importance of adding keywords to aid in searches, writing accurate descriptions, and including quality pictures, but an eBay business also looks for ways to gain efficiencies in how listings are created, taking advantage of tools that streamline the listing process. Finally, listings can become a cornerstone of a selling strategy holding listings in your listing program for uploading to eBay when a selling opportunity...

Be Encouraged by Success Stories

As I write this, eBay is one of the few parts of the world e-commerce that are not only doing well but continuing to grow with leaps and bounds. More and more individuals are taking to selling on eBay part-time, to get a little extra money, or have even moved to making eBay their sole source of income. The amazing thing to me is that people figured out on their own that they could make a living selling solely on eBay, or supplementing other sales with eBay auctions. eBay didn't market itself as a place where you could create your own eBay business eBay sellers figured that out by experience. They realized that no matter how offbeat or unusual the item, they could find a buyer for it somewhere around the world. They also discovered that, with a worldwide pool of buyers available, they were likely to get a far higher price online than they could selling through an antique store, flea market, or garage sale. Listen to the stories of the people I interviewed for this book, whose profiles...

Understanding Marketing

Ask most people to define marketing, and you get answers like a fancy word for sales, it's advertising, you know, Madison Avenue and all that, and getting people to buy something they might not necessarily want. Marketing has elements of those definitions, but the main thrust of micro-marketing (those activities performed by a single business, as opposed to macro-marketing, which looks at the entire economy) is to identity the needs of your buyers and then meet those needs. A fledgling eBay business is no different from a Fortune 500 company in this regard. Unlike conventional businesses, most eBay businesses are not committed to selling a particular product (unless you are using eBay as just another sales channel for your product). You have the luxury of scouring the entire marketplace to find the product or products that are in demand and then offer them to the eBay buying population (see Develop Your Product).

Get the Computer Equipment You Need

If you're satisfied with your Internet connection and equipment or if you sell on consignment, you can skip this section. This section is for those of you who are eager to start wheeling and dealing but aren't sure what equipment you need. Keep in mind that I'm examining the ins and outs of running an eBay business. I'm not talking about selling something once a month or a few times a year. For occasional selling, you can use any computer equipment that gets you on the Internet. For regular sales that generate part or all ofyour income, though, it pays to get the best equipment and Internet connection you can afford.

Create Images that Sell

You've got a snazzy new digital camera, you've read the instruction booklet, and you've even taken a few test images. You probably think all you need to do now is point, click, and upload to get your photos on the Web along with your auction descriptions. You can do that, and it's even possible that some of your photos will come out perfectly the first time. Remember, though, that I'm trying to provide you with instructions for running a successful eBay business. An important part of consistently selling at auction is coming up with a system for creating good images that attract attention and help people decide whether what you're offering is a good match for what they need. The fact is, most of the time, the images you take of your auction items are going to need some adjustments before you put them online. If you devote a few minutes to brightening your images, cropping them, they'll show your objects in their best light (and I mean that literally). You'll separate your images from...

Member since July Feedback Positive Feedback

Sean McLane has been selling full-time on eBay.co.uk for less than two years, but he's built up a selling record and reputation that most eBayers would kill for. That got him thinking why work for other people when you can turn your hobby (films and computers in this case) into a business and become your own boss With a young family to support and care for, Sean saw working from home on his eBay business as the best solution (see Figure 18-5). Since then he's gradually stepped up the number and range of products on offer and has focused on getting the customer experience right - hence the perfect feedback score. He reckons McMedia offers a fast and professional service that bigger e-tail players cannot match but also, as a VAT registered business, has credibility that some eBayers lack. A genuine UK seller of new and 100 original Region 2 DVDs. My Ebay store has a wide films at great prices, delivered quickly. McMedia DVD is a legitimate VAT registered busin Horror Science Fiction...

Decision Choosing a category or two

Selecting your category can make or break your listing. For more about savvy category selection and other eBay techniques, check out any of Marsha Collier's eBay books in the For Dummies series. And if you're looking to start an online business, there's also a book for that Starting an eBay Business For Dummies, 2nd Edition.

Consider Getting Some Design Help

The Web was made for do-it-yourselfers. You can publish your own photos, text, and Web pages in no time. But just because you can do something on your own doesn't mean that it's a good idea. When you're just starting out with an eBay business, it pays to spend a little time (and possibly a little money) designing a template. The business name shown in Figure 5-2 is a textual logo. It's difficult to create such a logo without the help of sophisticated graphics software like Adobe Photoshop (http www.adobe.com). It might be difficult to tell from Figure 5-2, but each Silk Road auction listing has a background image that seems to float behind the text and images. Such background images are another feature of HTML that you can use in your eBay auction listings. This particular auction listing uses an HTML table that the page designer has configured to have invisible borders for the layout, but it does include nice designs in each corner that are derived from the Tibetan endless knot...

Member since May Feedback Positive Feedback

The Bubblefast business began with Robin and her husband Alan. Their first transaction at eBay took place in early 1999, when Alan bought a Macintosh computer. When it came to finally selling, Alan figured that all eBay sellers would need shipping supplies. At first, they sold just one product, a 150-foot roll of inches (small size) bubble cushioning. Now they sell more than 65 variations of 8 or 9 products bubble cushioning, antistatic bubble, bubble bags, bubble-lined mailers, rolled shipping foam, boxes, sealing tape, and stretch film. Mark uses Turbo Lister for the Bubblefast auctions. Fashion mavens Jenny and Michelle scrutinise and help write descriptions for consignment listings. Jenny also posts feedback several times a week. Robin still handles order entry and answers the phone and e-mail. Grandma Gloria, her friend Syble, and elf Billy handle the packing and shipping. They ship anywhere from 100 to 200 orders a day - their total shipping bill is 25 to 30K month. The family...

Customzing Your Store Header

The workhorse of the theme for your eBay Store is the header a distinct, consistent, on-screen area that includes the seller's logo, store name, a brief description of the store, and a summary of the merchandise for sale. eBay recently provided the capability to expand the standard header with text, pictures, and links which then appears on-screen below the standard header on every page of the eBay Store. 1. Go to your eBay Store. Expanded eBay Store header. Expanded eBay Store header. - The expanded Store header appears on every page in an eBay Store, including any custom pages you've created.

Making a Holein One Linking to an Image

Sometimes it makes more sense to use an image instead of text for your hyperlink. For example, if you have a logo for your eBay Store (silly comment of course you do ), use it as the link to your store. The bigger the target, the easier it is to click The following code displays a set of images, each of which takes your customer to a different category of your eBay Store. Figure 5-2 shows you how effective this linking technique can be. There are many more exciting items in my eBay Store -Check them out by clicking on one of the departments below< font> Show all the departments in your eBay Store. You've got lots of other wonderful items available for sale, and you want to let your customers know what they are Putting a list of those items in your description would make you guilty of keyword spamming a definite no-no on eBay There is a way just make images of the words describe the other goodies you have. Display those images, making each one a hyperlink to the appropriate...

Choosing a type of promotion box

EBay really started something when it introduced promotion boxes. They were so popular with eBay Store owners that many different formats were designed and made available. Customizing the look of an eBay store became as common as it was easy. The reason is simple Most promotion-box formats are not only predefined, eBay guides you automatically through the setup process as you create them. Using the Custom Links promotion box, you can display from four to ten customized links that take customers to specified pages within your eBay Store (or elsewhere on eBay). This promotion box has a border the seller defines the border color and the words displayed in the title bar. A link to the eBay Stores HTML Builder is ready to hand just above the text-entry box for the Custom Text HTML promotion box. See Chapter 19 for more information about HTML Builder it's way too handy not to. The Graphic promotion box displays an image, whether a custom picture (supplied by the seller) or a predefined...

Dressing Up Your Listings

EBay has more tempting options that you can use to spruce up your store items. These options work exactly like the ones eBay offers for your auctions (see Chapter 10). When choosing whether to use these options, remember that your eBay store items appear only when someone searches in eBay stores. eBay store items don't appear in a regular eBay search, so the Gallery option may be the most beneficial option at this time. Check out Table 5-3 for a rundown of the optional feature and their associated fees.

Understanding Email Messaging Fees

In the vein of membership having its privileges, the more skin you have in your eBay Store subscription, the greater the number of free e-mail messages you can send per month. The number of e-mails is determined by how many subscribers you have in each mailing list that you select to broadcast during a month In early 2008, the eBay Store final value fee was changed 12 percent of the selling price for items up to 25.00 for items 25.00 to 100, 3.00 to cover the first 25.00 plus 8 percent of the selling price for items up to 100 for items 100.01 to 1000, 9.00 to cover the first 100 plus 4 percent of the selling price for items up to 1,000 and for items over 1,000, 45.00 to cover the amount up to 1,000 plus 2 percent of the selling price over 1,000.01

Deciding on Custom Pages

With each eBay Store, the seller can create a specific number of optional custom pages with additional information about the seller, the store, or the merchandise available for sale. A Basic store can have up to five custom pages. These pages provide a virtual blank slate for the seller to provide more information to their customers about their business and items for sale. Follow these steps to create custom pages for your eBay Store 1. Go to your eBay Store. How many custom pages you can create depends on the level of your eBay Store the higher the level, the more custom pages you are allowed. When you've created the maximum number of custom pages, you have to delete an existing page before you can create a new one.

Selling on Your Own Web site

Although your eBay Store can function as your sole online presence, you might at some point consider opening up your own Web site. There are literally hundreds of options available, with a wide, sometimes confusing array of options. The following bullet list highlights some of the things you need to consider when evaluating potential companies to host your Web site eBay now provides a way for you to create your own Web site apart from your regular eBay Store ProStores. Figure 18-5 shows the ProStores home page. If that looks intriguing, you can find more information about ProStores via a link at the bottom-left corner of the eBay home page (in the More eBay Sites block), or you can go directly to www.prostores.com.

Create A Listing Frame

To more readily expose buyers and bidders to your eBay Store, you can apply layout elements to all your listings in a listing frame. The frame situates your Store header above the item description and can apply your Store navigation bar on the left side of the listing. -OrFrom your eBay Store home page, click Seller, Manage Store. On the Manage My Store page, on the Marketing Tools sidebar, click Listing Frame.

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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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