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downloads Views 31MB Size Report. DOWNLOAD EPUB Starting an eBay Business For Dummies (For Dummies (Business & Personal Finance)). items eBay For Dummies is published in special versions for the United Kingdom, Keep in mind that anything you download to your computer will track you. It's free to check your eBay listings on a Webenabled cell phone by going. eBay beginners and her eBay Business All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies You can download a free version of Firefox at

Discover insider tips for finding bargains Start a business and earn extra money Use social media to build your business Learn the strategies that build profits Millions of people around the globe are shopping on eBay! It's easy to get in on the action with Marsha Collier's expert advice. This book shows you how to set up an account, find the best bargains, and win auctions. You'll also get expert insight on how to pick up extra cash by selling items on eBay or even build a new income stream with your own eBay business. Learn the latest techniques from the pro who knows eBay like none other! Inside… A road map of eBay Save money on shipping How to track purchases and sales Proven auction strategies All about eBay fees Making listings irresistible Packing and shipping tips Find items to sell Online marketing tips. Would you like to tell us about a lower price?

To bid on adult items, you first need to agree to a terms of use page after entering your user ID and password. This page pops up automatically when you attempt to access this category. Getting a Feel for eBay Charity auctions: All for a good cause A charity auction is a high-profile fund-raising auction run by eBay Giving Works where the proceeds go to a selected charity. In fact, someone did want those shoes badly enough to buy them for a lot of money on eBay.

Many famous celebrities use eBay to help out their favorite charities. I suggest that you visit these auctions and bid whenever you can. Charity auctions are a win-win situation for everyone.

You can read more about celebrity auctions in Chapter If you seek this kind of instant gratification on eBay, visit eBay Stores.

Or you can isolate these items by clicking the Buy It Now tab when browsing categories or performing searches. Thousands of eBay sellers have set up stores with merchandise meant for you to Buy It Now. Buy It Now and fixed-price sales More and more sellers are selling items with a Buy It Now option or at a fixed price.

These features enable you to buy an item as soon as you see one at a price that suits you. For more on how these sales work, check out Chapter 6. When you list your item, millions of people eBay has over million registered users from all over the world can take a gander at it and place bids. With a little luck, a bidding war may break out and drive the bids up high enough for you to turn a nice profit. After the auction, you deal directly with the buyer, who sends you the payment either through a payment service or through the mail.

Then you ship the item. Abracadabra — you just turned your item everyday clutter, perhaps into cash. You can run as many auctions as you want, all at the same time. To get info on deciding what to sell, leaf through Chapter 9; to find out how to set up an auction, jump to Chapter 10; and to get the scoop on advanced selling techniques, visit Chapter I even bought some parts for my pool cleaner!

Take a look at Chapter 5 for info on searching for items to bid on. When you see an item you like, you can set up a bidding strategy and let the games begin. Chapter 6 gives you bidding strategies that can make you the winner.

After you win your first auction, look for expert advice about completing the transaction in Chapter 8. You can bid as many times as you want on an item, and you can bid on as many auctions as you want.

Just keep in mind that each bid is a binding contract that you are required to pay should you win. That way, you can set a competitive price.

To find out more about using search options and categories, check out Chapters 3 and 5. The search engine also lets you find out what other people are bidding on. When the auction or sale is over, eBay takes a small percentage of the final selling price and instructs the seller and buyer to contact each other through e-mail.

The grand plan is that the community polices itself. But the people who keep eBay most safe are the community members, the buyers and sellers who have a common stake in conducting business honestly and fairly. Every time you sell something or win an auction, eBay members have a chance to leave a comment about you. You should do the same for them. Either way, your feedback sticks to you like glue. Building a great reputation with positive feedback ensures a long and profitable eBay career.

Negative feedback, like multiple convictions for grand-theft auto, is a real turnoff to most folks and can make it hard to do future business on eBay. If your feedback rating becomes a —4 negative 4 , eBay suspends your buying and selling privileges. You can find out more about how eBay protects you as a buyer or a seller in Chapter Features and Fun Stuff So eBay is all about making money, right?

Not exactly. Yes, people have married after meeting on eBay. Take a guess how friends bought them wedding gifts! Somewhere out there is an expert with an answer for you.

Your biggest problem is deciding whether to keep the sign or put it up for auction. Those are good problems to have! For more about posting messages and chat rooms, visit Chapters 5 and In a small percentage of cases, unscrupulous louts invade the site and try to pull scams. Sometimes even honest members get into disputes.

At that time, you may be ready to invest in a few extra devices that can make your eBay experiences even better. Digital cameras and scanners can help make your time on eBay a more lucrative and fun adventure. You find out how to use digital technology in your auctions in more detail in Chapter Chapter 2 Ready, Set, Go: Compared to finding a parking space at a shopping center during the holidays, signing up for eBay is a snap.

In this chapter, you find out everything you need to know about registering on eBay. You get tips on what information you have to disclose and what you should keep to yourself. So, keeping that in mind, sign in, please! The only hard-and-fast rule on eBay is that you must be 18 years of age or older.

Credit cards do more than satisfy account charges. Head to the eBay home page and register. The entire process takes only a few minutes. This is the time to fire up your computer and connect to the Internet. Just type www. Your next stop is the eBay home page. Click the button and let the sign-up process begin. See Chapter 3 for details. The eBay home page changes all the time.

Enter the basic required info. Read and accept the User Agreement. Confirm your e-mail address. Breeze through or past the optional information. The following sections fill you in on all the details. SSL Secure Sockets Layer enables you to have an encrypted connection to eBay because a bunch of really smart techie types made it that way.

It does work, so trust me and use it.

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The more precautions eBay and you take, the harder it is for some hypercaffeinated high-school kid to get into your files. Chapter 2: You may register as a business or as an individual; I registered as an individual even though I run a business on eBay. To get started, follow these steps: At the top of the first registration page, after eBay shows the steps of the registration process, fill in some required information.

Getting a Feel for eBay If you register with an anonymous e-mail service such as Yahoo! This is for your safety. You must provide valid credit card information for identification purposes.

Scroll down the page to select your new eBay user ID. I found a pretty good one in Figure If your chosen name is taken, try again. Lather, rinse, repeat. Choose a password, enter it in the Create Your Password box, and then type it a second time in the Re-enter Your Password box to confirm it. Create your unique secret question and input the answer.

The secret question you select here is used by eBay to identify you if you ever have problems signing in. Signing Up on eBay 5. Type your date of birth and fill in the Verification code. Make sure all the info you entered is correct. Review your answers. You can find more information on this agreement later in the chapter. Click the Register button to move on to the next screen. If eBay finds a glitch in your registration, such as an incorrect area or zip code, you see a warning message.

If you registered with an anonymous e-mail service, such as Yahoo! Mail or Hotmail, you must enter your credit card information, as I mentioned earlier, before you see the license agreement, which I cover in the next section.

If, when you look at it, your eyes start glazing over at all the legalese, the next section can help you make sense of it. Do you solemnly swear to. At this point, you take an oath to keep eBay safe for democracy and commerce. You promise to play well with others, not to cheat, and to follow the Golden Rule. You can be kicked off eBay or worse.


Be sure to read the User Agreement thoroughly when you register. Chapter 8 fills you in on how eBay takes its cut of the auction action. When everything goes well, the eBay Web site is like a school gym that opens for Saturday swap meets. The User Agreement is vital to your success on eBay. Before you can proceed, you must click the two check boxes, indicating that you really, really understand what it means to be an eBay user.

Because I know that you, as a law-abiding eBay member, will have no problem following the rules, go ahead and click the I Agree to These Terms button at the bottom of the page.

The next step is confirming your e-mail address, which I cover in the next section. It must be true if you have it in writing After you accept the User Agreement and Privacy Policy, eBay takes less than a minute to e-mail you an activation notice.

Signing Up on eBay With your confirmation number in hand, head back to the eBay Registration page by clicking the link supplied in your e-mail. At this point, the customer-support folks can help you complete the registration process. Try visiting the Contact Us link on the eBay home page. They are always happy to help.

If for some reason even a late night watching the 24 marathon is a perfectly acceptable excuse you incorrectly type the wrong e-mail address, you have to start the registration process all over again with a different user ID eBay holds the previous ID for 30 days. If you run into a snag, you can click the Contact Us button to reach Live Help. See Figure for one of my previous Live Help discussions. Within minutes of clicking Live Help, I was online with a real person.

Getting to know you: These optional questions allow you to fill in your self-portrait for your new pals from eBay.

The following points show you the optional questions eBay asks. You decide what you feel comfortable divulging and what you want to keep personal. In marketing mumbo-jumbo, this stuff is called demographics — statistics that characterize a group of people who make up a community. Here is the optional information you can provide: This first choice gets right down to the basics; some people find it a good test of whether the requests for information seem too personal.

Fill this in if you want to eBay states that this info is kept anonymous , but I think this information is too personal. Again if this is too personal, leave this area blank. After selecting your responses from the drop-down box, you can click Submit.

This pop-up box reappears for your response later in your eBay dealings. Keep your information up-to-date. See Chapter 15 for details. A Quick Word about Passwords Choosing a good password is not as easy but is twice as important as it may seem. Basically, such an impostor can ruin your eBay career and possibly cause you serious financial grief. Signing Up on eBay As with any online password, you should follow these rules to protect your privacy: Making up a user ID is my favorite part.

Have fun. Consider choosing an ID that tells a little about you. Of course, if your interests change, you may regret having too narrow a user ID. You can call yourself just about anything; you can be silly or creative or boring. But remember, this ID is how other eBay users will know you. So here are some commonsense rules: If you sign in to 27 28 Part I: People come to know you by your user ID. If you change your ID, your past does play tagalong and attaches itself to the new ID.

You now have a new eBay identity. It makes you look like you work for eBay, and eBay takes a dim view of that. There were some great deals even in those days! You can go home again. At least on eBay! The eBay home page is the front door to the most popular auction site on the Internet. Everything you need to know about navigating eBay begins right here.

In this chapter, I give you the grand tour of the areas you can reach right from the home page with the help of links. What Is the Home Page? The eBay home page is shown in Figure and includes the following key areas: The home page, your jumping-off point for fun, profit, and values. Do not adjust your computer monitor. Today you may notice that a link that was on the eBay home page a minute ago is gone.

Chapter 3: Sign In, Please Sign In is possibly the most powerful of all the links on the eBay pages, and it should be your first stop if you plan on doing any business on the site see Figure The eBay Sign In page. See Chapter 4 for info on My eBay.

You can search for items on eBay without signing in, but what fun is that? The Sign In process places a cookie a technical thingy — see Chapter 15 for details on your computer that remains a part of your computer for the rest of the day. After you close your browser the cookie expires, and you have to sign in again. Click the Sign In link at the top of any eBay page. At the bottom of the new page that appears is a Secure Sign In page.

The logo indicates that your personal information is even more secure than usual. See Chapter 2 for details about SSL. Enter your user ID and password. You can enter your My eBay page by clicking the My eBay link that appears in the navigation bar. See Chapter 4 for more on My eBay. This Bar Never Closes As mentioned, the navigation bar is at the top of the eBay home page and lists five eBay links that take you directly to different eBay areas.

Using the navigation bar is kind of like doing one-stop clicking. You can find this bar at the top of every page you visit on eBay. No matter where you are on the site, when you click one of the five links you go straight to a related page. This link, which toggles between Sign In and Sign Out depending on your sign-in status, is important, and I remind you about it throughout this book.

Think of links as expressways to specific destinations. Here, without further ado, are the five navigation-bar boxes and where they take you: Takes you to the page that lists Featured Items see Chapter 6 , all the main eBay categories, as well as links to popular stores and eBay promotions that vary from time to time. From this page, you can link to any one of the millions of items up for auction on eBay.

On the Buy page, you find links to browse by categories, keywords, or stores. If you scroll to the very bottom of the page, you find the Artist Pages. When you click a link to browse a category for example, Books: These tabs offer you ways to search, and each tab gives you a different viewing option to browse: This option delivers on its promise — you see all items, including those up for auction and Buy It Now items.

Getting a Feel for eBay Note that not all sellers list their items in the Auctions area at this moment only 55, of the , items in this category are auctions , so by not browsing All Items, you may be missing out on some special items or deals. Browse Categories. Clicking takes you to a list of all categories and the first level subcategories. Just jump over to Chapter 6 for the lowdown.

Keep in mind that anything you download to your computer will track you. Get it? You want eBay to call you on your cell phone?

They will do it for a fee. Keep in mind that all informational links provided to you by eBay in these drop-down menus are just that: They may be influenced by advertising deals, alliances with providers.

Do not ever consider the information you get as unbiased. This book is unbiased — I have no sponsors or advertisers to please. The drop-down menus are often more helpful in getting you where you want to go. The drop-down menu that appears as you mouse over the Buy button gives you these offerings: Takes you to the start of the Sell Your Item form, which you must fill out to start your sale. I explain how to navigate this form in Chapter 9.

The links at the bottom of the page direct you to various Seller Guides. The Sell drop-down menu also gives you these options through convenient links: Try to remember to click here directly when you want to list an item for sale — one step is easier than two, especially when the first step has promotional information.

This connects you to eBay Pulse pulse. One caveat: I know a high-level eBay seller who sells brake pads, which are not my cup of tea. Use this information as a market gauge rather than the gospel. They will just drain your wallet. See the chapter on shipping to get the full picture of who you should ship with. Getting a Feel for eBay Figure A drop-down menu takes you to the various areas on your My eBay page. Chapter 4 gives you information on all these links.

Takes you to a page where you can find the latest news and announcements, chat with fellow traders in the eBay community, find charity auctions, and find out more about eBay. Chapters 17 and 18 tell you how to use these resources. Takes you to one of the most valuable areas of the eBay site. The eBay Help Center overview page consists of a search box, where you can type your query, links for help topics, an A—Z index, and a list of the top five questions on eBay.

At the top of the eBay home page, below the navigation bar, you find several powerful links that are just as important as the links on the navigation bar: Click the eBay logo and it takes you right back to the home page. Use this link from any other page when you need to get back to the home page right away. Click there. You will then be taken to the Contact Us page. For more on contacting eBay, see Chapter Click here to become a member of the eBay community. Every top-level that is, main link available on eBay is listed here.

You can start a search from the home page in one of two ways: These links take you to the Advanced Search page, where you can do all kinds of specialized searches. Both options can give you the same results. The instructions I offer in the next two sections about using these search methods are just the tip of the eBay iceberg.

Getting a Feel for eBay Peering through the home page search box To launch a title search from the home page, follow these steps: Refer to Figure to see the search box. Click the Search button. The results of your search appear on-screen in a matter of seconds. You can type just about anything in this box and get some information. The television show premiered on September 8, , and even though it was canceled in because of low ratings, Star Trek became one of the most successful science-fiction franchises in history.

A new Star Trek film came out this year! If you like Star Trek as much as I do, you can use the search box on the eBay home page to find all sorts of Star Trek stuff.

I just ran a search and found 18, items — in hundreds of categories — with Star Trek in their titles your results will probably vary.

Try the Advanced Search link next to the search box to narrow your search. This link takes you to the Advanced Search: Find Items page, which is explained in the following section. When you search for popular items on eBay and a classic example is Star Trek memorabilia , you may get inundated with thousands of listings that match your search criteria.

Turn to Chapter 5 for insider techniques that can help you slim those searches and beef up those results. Going where the Advanced Search link takes you One of the most important buttons on the eBay page is the Advanced Search link. Each option enables you to search for information in a different way.

Search by keywords, item number, in eBay Motors, or by an individual seller or bidder. Type the keywords that describe an item for example, Superman lunchbox or antique pocket watch and click Search, and you can see how many are available on eBay. The site gives you the option to search by one of the main categories — but to get the largest number of items, use All Categories and narrow your search from the results.

Another handy way to search is by item number. To find an item by number, just type the number in the box, click Search, and away you go. To find out more about how individual sales pages work on eBay, spin through Chapter 6. You can also find items by number if you type the item number into any of the small search boxes that appear on eBay pages. Here you can sort your searches in three ways.

By clicking this link, you can define your search without using a bunch of code. It works pretty much the same as the basic Search method, but you can exclude more features from your search.

Figure shows the Advanced Search options. The Advanced Search page and its options. Getting a Feel for eBay The search by category filter is a snappy search function that helps you figure out which subcategories have the item you want — or, if you want to sell, helps you decide where to list your item for sale.

To find an item that sold on eBay in the past, indicate that you want to use the Completed Listings search. Then type the keywords of an item, and you get a list of items of this type that have been sold in the last 14 or so days, as well as what they sold for.

Although Chapter 5 tells you all you need to know about searching eBay, the following list explains some other searches you can perform from the Search page. Every person on eBay has a personal user ID the name you use to conduct transactions. For the sake of practicality and convenience, user IDs help eBay keep track of every move a user makes on eBay. If you want to see what a particular user say, a fellow Star Trek fan is bidding on, use the Items By Bidder search.

Type a user ID in the Items By Bidder search box, and you get a list of everything the user is currently bidding on, as well as how much he or she is bidding. I show you how to use this search option as a strategic buying tool in Chapter 6.

Home Links, the Next Generation If you look carefully, you can see that the home page has several other links that give you express service to key parts of the site. Here are the highlights: I told you your travels on the site are tracked. Visit the featured items. Sellers paid more to have them featured in this section.

This box is full of links that take you to more eBayowned sites, such as Half. More on these sites throughout the book. A quick and easy way to shop the world. You may notice that the graphic links on the home page change from day to day — even hour to hour.

Maneuvering through Categories So how does eBay keep track of the millions of items that are up for sale at any given moment? The brilliant minds at eBay decided to group items into a nice, neat little storage system called categories. The home page lists most of the main categories, but currently eBay lists tens of thousands of subcategories — ranging from Antiques to Writing Instruments.

You see categories and subcategories listed next to each heading. Happy hunting. Not only do you get a pretty impressive page of main categories and subcategories, but you also get a short list of featured auctions and a link to them all.

If you really and truly want to see a list of all the categories and subcategories, click the Categories on the Home page rather than using the drop-down menu. Alternatively you can go to listings. After the category page appears, find a subcategory below the main category title that interests you. Click the subcategory, and keep digging through the subsubcategories until you find what you want.

The page that comes up includes the subcategories of the category. At the bottom of that page, below the links, you also find a link to See all featured items. Click any link to see the listings in the categories. You can also click the tabs to isolate Auctions only or Buy It Now items. By the way, I have lots more to say about featured items in Chapter When you find an item that interests you, click the item, and the full Auction page pops up on your screen.

You can instantly return to the home page by clicking its link at the top of the page or return to the Listings page by repeatedly clicking the Back button at the top of your browser. Near the bottom of every subcategory page, you can see a link list of numbers. The numbers are page numbers, and you can use them to fast-forward through all the items in that subcategory.

Happy browsing. Chapters 6 and 7 offer more information on savvy bidding. Click one of these links and you jet off virtually to eBay sites in these countries. It might be a good place to practice your third-year French — or maybe not!

In the center of the home page, you see a list of the auctions eBay is featuring at the moment. Home Page Featured Items are not for mere mortals with small wallets. See Chapter 10 if you have an item that all eyes must see. Getting a Feel for eBay Note that bidding on these items works the same way as bidding on regular items. The Home Page Featured Items page contains many expensive items.

Sellers who put up high-priced items have been around the block a few times and make it clear that they will verify each bid on the item. The seller may ask you to prove that you can actually pay for the motorcycle. Winning bids contribute to programs that help charities. Charity auctions are a great way for memorabilia collectors to find one-of-a-kind and authentic items. Chapter 18 tells you more about what charity items you can bid on — and the good you can do with your checkbook.

Promotion du Jour The eBay community is constantly changing. To help you get into the swing of things right away, eBay provides a special box with links that take you right to the current word on the latest eBay special events.

Bottoming Out At the very bottom of the home page is an unassuming group of links that provide more ways to get to some seriously handy pages. This link takes you to one of the most important spots on eBay. You can also place feedback and respond to feedback left for you — all in one friendly location.

See Chapter 20 for more on these programs. Send someone an eBay gift certificate for any special occasion. You can print it yourself, or eBay will send it to any e-mail address you provide. The gift certificate is good for any item on the site for the value you specify, and you can pay for it immediately with PayPal. If the person you give the gift certificate to bids higher than the value of the gift certificate, he or she can make up the difference using another payment option.

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Click here if you want to work for eBay instead of through eBay. If you have your own Web site and want to make a few bucks, click this link. If you sign up for the program and put a link to eBay on your Web page, eBay pays you money for any new user who signs up directly from your Web site plus other bonuses.

So are you a geek too? This link enables you to browse and buy eBay merchandise from the eBay company store. Trust me. A computer works a lot better. Click this link to find out about eBay the company and to get its press releases, company overview, and stock information.

You can also find out about eBay community activities and charities — and even apply for a job at eBay. Visit the General Announcements Board when you want to know about any late-breaking news. This link takes you to a page where concerns about fraud and safety are addressed. When you have an issue with another person on the site, click here to get some action.

If you sign up, you will receive important updates. On other eBay pages, the bottom navigation bar looks a little different. It often includes even more links so you can cruise the site quickly without necessarily having to use the top navigation bar. Long preceding Facebook. I do want to preface this chapter by warning you that the My eBay page has become the hub for the zillions of features that eBay offers. Ease into the extras slowly. And getting there is easy enough.

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After you enter eBay, sign in through the Sign In link described in Chapter 3. After you sign in to eBay, you can access your My eBay page by clicking the My eBay link in the navigation bar see Figure at the top of almost every eBay page. The My eBay link in the navigation bar. For your user ID, you can then type your e-mail address, and eBay will send you an e-mail with your user ID.

Your user ID appears in any search results, posts, or pages. For the password, you have to answer your secret question the one you filled in when you registered. As you can see by my absolutely busy Summary page in Figure , you can access just about anything you need right here.

You find some handy reminders on the center of this page. Bottom line? These reminders help keep your business under control. The My eBay drop-down menu in the navigation bar takes you to the main areas of My eBay. Also, look at the left side of the main My eBay page in Figure Under the Summary heading are many handy links that take you to different areas of your eBay business.

Table gives you the scoop on the major links on the page. Chapter 4: Your My eBay summary page, the hub for your eBay activities. My Messages is the best and safest way to communicate with other eBay members. You also have the option to change your personal information on eBay. You can see what you currently owe eBay. The tab also links to your PayPal and Half. In recent years, Armstrong, the first human on the moon, has been reclusive, and his autographs are difficult to obtain in any form.

Many forgeries and reproductions are being offered, so buyer beware. This portrait came with a lifetime COA. Just think about it. He was the first human to step onto another celestial body. This feat may never happen again, and certainly not in our lifetimes. At the bottom of left side section, under the Shortcuts heading, are important links to activities and information.

The About Me page is a personal Web page that you can create to let the world know about you and your eBay dealings. I tell you how to get your own About Me page in Chapter Activity, Messages, and Account. If you mouse over the Account tab, you see a drop-down menu like the one in Figure Clicking Account brings you to a summary page that has snippets of each topic in the My Account section. Access individual areas of your account in this menu.

Checking your account information The Account drop-down menu has options to take you to two very important areas of My eBay: Personal Information and Addresses.

This is where you update your contact information. Initially, all this data comes from your registration. Also, your instant messenger name can be inserted here so that you can get IM alerts at Yahoo! Messenger, AIM, or whatever messenger program you use; add wireless numbers for auctions about which you want to be notified. You can also change your password and all your other registered information here. On eBay you can change your user ID at any time every 30 days , and your feedback rating will follow.

For the first 30 days after you register or change your user ID which you can do anytime, as Chapter 2 explains — eBay gives you an icon that stays next to your user ID every time it appears on eBay when you bid, run an auction, or post a message on any of the chat boards.

So why the icon? The icons are nothing personal, just business as usual. Choosing your notification preferences Because we live in a world where everyone has his or her own way of doing things, eBay allows you to set all kinds of preferences for your eBay account.

One of the links leads to the Preferences page. The Preferences settings are all important to your eBay tasks. You have to decide which activities you want activated for your eBay account you can always change these later. The most convenient thing is to select all the options that make sense to you.

You can set many Notification preferences: This is where you let eBay know which method of notification works best for you. You can also indicate whether you want HTML or text-based e-mails. Be careful here. If you indicate that you want all this e-mail and you plan to be active on the site, prepare to be deluged. Select wisely! But remember, you can always make changes. You can get real-time notifications on your shopping for the following: They will send you e-mails for even more than I mention here.

You can indicate you want to receive the following e-mails: When you become more active as a seller, you might want to whittle these down a bit — but not too much! Information is power. Again, up to you. These can be overwhelming. These are settings for the more advanced seller. You can make most of these decisions on the Sell Item Page.

If you have time, though, click through each of the individual links to show the options and be sure the default settings work for you. When you finally get your My eBay page set up the way you like it, save yourself a lot of work and time by using your browser to bookmark your My eBay page as a favorite. Doing so saves you a lot of keystrokes later. This way, you can open your browser directly onto your My eBay page.

Some eBay members make their My eBay page their browser home page so that their My eBay page appears the minute they log on. In the Feedback area, you see all the items that need your feedback attention, and you can see the recent feedback that has been left for you.

Save yourself a trip; you can more conveniently leave feedback from the item page, your Sell page, or your Buy page.

After you start selling, your Accounts pages become powerful. Figure shows you the Seller Accounts summary section of my My eBay page. You can look up every detail of your account history, as well as make changes to your personal preferences such as how and when you want to pay fees.

The Seller Accounts section of my My eBay page. Before you jump into the money game, you may want to review the links that eBay gives you to manage your money: Click here to get a complete explanation of your eBay account — charges, credits, and your current balance since your last invoice.

Click the drop-down menu to see your most recent invoice and details of the transactions. Check out Chapter 6 for more on the PayPal payment service. When you give eBay your credit card information, eBay attempts to authorize your card immediately. Although you need to post a credit card for ID purposes to sell on eBay, you can pay your eBay bill in one of three ways. They like to deduct it directly from your registered checking account, but I prefer the ways listed next.

You can change your method of payment at any time. See Table to find out when the different payments are charged to your account. You can place your credit card on file with eBay so that each month eBay can place your selling charges on your credit card. You can make single payments directly through your PayPal account. Getting a Feel for eBay Understanding Your Seller Dashboard If you look at the links in the box on the left of your Account Summary page, you see a group of links to quickly zip to specific areas as well as navigating by using the tab with its drop-down menu.

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One of the most important is the link to the Seller Dashboard, which is the place where eBay calculates your ratings on the site. Figure shows you a shot of my Seller Dashboard. Viewing my current Seller Dashboard. This is an important place to go on a regular basis because eBay evaluates your status on the site daily.

Using the Resolution Center If you sell an item and the buyer backs out a rare but disheartening situation , you can at least get a refund on some of the fees that eBay charges you as a seller. In the Resolution Center you can keep track of the disputes in progress and send or receive messages from the other party regarding payment. My Very Own, Private eBay Before you can collect a final value fee refund, the following conditions must apply: After you file this notice, eBay sends you a copy and the bidder gets an ominous e-mail with a reminder to complete the transaction or to respond with a reason.

You may try to give the bidder a call or send an e-mail through the Dispute Console to resolve the situation during this time.

Buyers with too many of these warnings can be suspended from using the eBay site. You can automatically file to have this alert removed through the Dispute Console. Wacky stuff aside, most eBay users spend their time hunting for specific items — say, Barbie dolls, designer dresses, plumbing supplies, or U.

Whenever you view your My eBay Organize links, you see a list of your favorite searches and sellers. The My eBay Organize area allows you to make note of your favorite searches and sellers. You can perform these searches and visit these stores with a click of your mouse. Getting a Feel for eBay Saved searches You have the opportunity to list a maximum of searches here.

When you want to repeat one of these searches, just click the Search name to search for the item. For more on that advanced function, check out Chapter To add a search to your favorites, first perform the search. For details on how to perform a search, see Chapter 5. When the search appears on your screen, click the Save This Search link, shown at the top of the search results in Figure The search is now transported to your My eBay Favorite Searches area for that particular search, as shown in Figure If you want to be notified by e-mail when new items are listed, select the check box and the time frame in the drop-down menu.

The Adding a Favorite Search details page. You see a search page listing all the items for sale by that seller. Scroll down the page, and on the left side, click the Add to saved sellers link.

The seller is saved to your Saved sellers favorites page. Getting a Feel for eBay Got the time? Click the eBay Official Time link, which is at the bottom of virtually every eBay page. The eBay clock is so accurate that you can set your watch by it. And you may want to, especially if you want to place a last-second bid before an auction closes. Shopping on eBay is exciting, and I can find a zillion great bargains. Fortunately, eBay gives us a place to keep all our shopping information together: You can watch the progress of the auction from here and see the number of bids on the item, the high bid, and how much time is left until the end of the auction.

All this information can help you decide whether you want to jump back in and make a bid. Buying Total box — which I hope helps you stay within your spending limits. From this area, you can visit the auction to print the auction page or double-check it. This is the place for you to work on your strategy for getting bargains without showing your hand by bidding.

In this area, you can watch the auction evolve and decide if you want to bid on it. You can list several auctions for the same item and watch them develop and then bid on the one that can give you the best deal. The Watch area of the My eBay page. At the bottom, you have a dollar total of the current bids on your auctions.

You can observe the auction action in real time or at least every time you refresh the page. You can see how many bids have been placed, when the auction closes, and the time left in the auction. Your Sold page When the sale is final, the items go into the Sold area shown in Figure You can check whether the buyer has paid with PayPal as well as the transaction status.

Very handy!

eBay For Dummies: Marsha Collier: Books

See Chapter 12 for more information on post-sale correspondence. After the transaction is complete which means the item has arrived and the buyer is happy with his or her purchase , you can click the handy Leave Feedback link to leave feedback about the buyer.

You can also relist the item from a quick link or place a Second Chance offer to an underbidder if you have more than one of the item. See the nearby sidebar for more on the Second Chance feature.

Those cagey minds at eBay have come up with another great selling implement. Second Chance offer gives you the opportunity to offer the item to one of the underbidders okay, the losers at their high bid price.

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The Second Chance opportunity is available for up to 60 days after the sale ends. The Sold area and all its options. You can offer the item to as many of the underbidders as you have merchandise to cover at a time and make this personal offer good for one to seven days. The bidder receives an e-mail regarding the offer and can access it on the site through a special link. It is visible to only you and the other bidder for the duration of the offer.

These tools make your Selling area look completely different and give you the opportunity to handle more sales in a compact and convenient design.

See Chapter 20 for detailed information. The eBay transaction process can be daunting, and beginners can easily lose track. The best way to protect yourself is to keep good records on your own. But this is your money, so keep a close eye on it. For more information about EOAs and correspondence etiquette after the auction is over, see Chapters 8 and Why should you save all this stuff?

Here are some reasons: If you put your dates in writing — and follow up — you have a nice, neat paper trail. Scary, but true. For more on where you can get tax information, take a look at Chapter 9. If you get negative feedback how could you? Use your discretion, but generally you can toss the paperwork from a bad transaction after it has reached some sort of resolution. Make Offer: A seller can place a Best Offer button on a Fixed Price listing. Auction Buy It Now: You may have the option of purchasing an auction item when this option appears on the item page.

That way the Buy It Now option disappears and you may just win the item at the lower price. Proxy bid: Second Chance Offer: A seller whose reserve price has not been met, or who has more than one of an item after a successful auction, can offer the item s still in stock to runner-up bidders.

You are not required to purchase the item. Follow these tips to become a successful seller on eBay:. Answer all eBay messages like questions from prospective bidders and buyers within 24 hours, and when running auctions, check your email hourly before the close.

Doing so can pay off in higher last-minute bidding. Good customer service goes a long way in promoting and building your eBay business. When listing a new item, research it online not just on eBay and be sure that you know its current value and the going price. Before listing, weigh your item and estimate the shipping cost.

Refer to the book for money-saving tips. Double-check to see how many other sellers are selling your item and for how much. When too many people are selling the same item, the price may go down. To encourage bidding in the case of auctions, set the lowest possible starting bid for your item.

You can find some great stuff on eBay. Research the item before you bid by searching sold listings to see what price similar items have sold for in the past. If the item is new and can be bought in a store, do some online research to find out what the stores are selling the item for. Beware of overbidding! Make a mental note of the cost of shipping before bidding on an item should the seller charge for it. Bid in odd increments.

Leaving feedback on a seller helps future buyers to know who they plan to buy from. If someone gives you positive feedback, do reciprocate by giving him or her positive feedback, too.