Absolute Beginner's Guide to EBay
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Absolute Beginner's Guide to EBay

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by Michael Miller

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Absolute Beginner’s Guide to eBay®

Fifth Edition

Michael Miller

No prior eBay experience necessary!

Absolute Beginner’s Guide to eBay will show you how to successfully bid and sell on eBay, the world’s largest online auction site. eBay expert Michael Miller walks you through the process of buying and selling any


Absolute Beginner’s Guide to eBay®

Fifth Edition

Michael Miller

No prior eBay experience necessary!

Absolute Beginner’s Guide to eBay will show you how to successfully bid and sell on eBay, the world’s largest online auction site. eBay expert Michael Miller walks you through the process of buying and selling any type of item on eBay. You’ll learn how to safely place bids, win auctions with last-minute snipes, buy fixed-priced items in eBay Stores and Half.com, and use My eBay to track all your auction activity. His eBay tips and tricks will also show you how to create great-looking item listings and safely collect credit card payments via PayPal. Absolute Beginner’s Guide to eBay reveals all the secrets necessary to become a thriving eBay user–whether you bid or auction one item a month or a thousand!

Who knew how simple eBay can be?

Absolute Beginner’s Guide to eBay will have you bidding and selling in online auctions in no time! Here’s a small sample of what you’ll find inside:

  • Learn how to place a last-second “snipe” bid–and win the auction without paying too much
  • Discover how to buy fixed-price items on eBay without bidding
  • Find out how to create eye-catching auction listings, complete with pictures
  • Learn how to use PayPal to accept credit card payments
  • Discover how to pack different types of items–and ship them out cheaply and safely
  • Learn how to design cool-looking listings with eBayTurbo Lister–and track all your auctions with
  • eBay Selling Manager
  • Find out how to find a Trading Assistant to sell your items for you
  • Uncover the secrets of successful eBay buyers and sellers

Michael Miller is a top eBay seller and a successful and prolific author. He has a reputation for practical, real-world advice and an unerring empathy for the needs of his readers. Miller has written more than 75 nonfiction books over the past two decades, including Easy eBay, eBay Auction Templates Starter Kit, Tricks of the eBay Masters, and Making a Living from Your eBay Business. He has been interviewed about eBay by Family Circle magazine, Black Enterprise magazine, and numerous radio stations across the country. Miller’s eBay user ID is trapperjohn2000.

Category: Collectibles

Covers: eBay

User Level: Beginning

Product Details

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Absolute Beginner's Guide Series
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Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt


eBay is a true phenomenon.

In 2007, eBay transactions defined a new economy worth more than $59 billion. Read that number again; it's not a misprint. Fifty-nine billion dollars. That's $59 billion in sales that didn't exist before eBay. Fifty-nine billion dollars of transactions that appeared seemingly out of thin air. Fifty-nine billion dollars in merchandise that wouldn't have been sold otherwise.

Where did that $59 billion come from? It came from you and from me and from 248 million other people around the world who log on to the eBay site to buy and to sell all manner of merchandise. Before eBay, there was no global marketplace for the 248 million of us; there was no way to buy and to sell that $59 billion of merchandise, except for small local garage sales and flea markets.

eBay made that $59 billion happen. eBay brought 248 million of us together.

In doing so, eBay became one of the first—and maybe the only—of the online businesses to make a profit from day one of its existence. eBay kept its costs low by not actually handling any of the merchandise traded on its site, and generated revenue by charging listing fees and sales commissions on every transaction.

Smart people, with a smart concept.

And here's somebody else who's smart about eBay:


You're smart because you bought this book to help you learn how to buy and sell merchandise on the eBay site. You know that you need to learn how eBay works before you can start buying and selling, and you also know that a little extra knowledge can give you the edge you need to be a real auction winner.

Absolute Beginner's Guide to eBay, 5th Edition, will help you get started with eBay auctions—even if you've never bought anything online in your life. Read this book and you'll learn how to bid and how to sell, and what to do when the auction ends.

More important, you'll learn how to maximize your chances of winning important eBay auctions—without paying through the nose. And if you're a seller, you'll learn how to stand out from the crowd and generate more bids—and higher selling prices.

You'll also learn that buying and selling on eBay isn't that hard, and that it can be a lot of fun. You'll even discover that you can actually make a living from your eBay activities, if you don't mind a little hard work.


How This Book Is Organized

This book is organized into five main parts:

  • Part I, "Welcome to eBay," shows you how the eBay marketplace works, how to sign up for eBay membership, how to find your way around the eBay site, and how to protect yourself against eBay frauds and scammers.

  • Part II, "Buying on eBay," tells you everything you need to know about bidding for items in eBay auctions, as well as buying fixed-price items in the eBay marketplace. You'll learn how to search for items to buy; how to bid in online auctions; how to find and purchase fixed-priced items from eBay Stores, eBay Express, and Half.com; how to pay for your purchases; how to place last-second "snipes" to win eBay auctions; and how to avoid getting ripped off by unscrupulous sellers.

  • Part III, "Selling on eBay," is the flip side of the coin. This section tells you everything you need to know about selling on eBay. You'll learn how to create auction listings, sell items for a fixed price, determine what payment methods to accept, create great-looking product photos, and pack and ship your merchandise.

  • Part IV, "Becoming an eBay Power Seller," is for the really ambitious eBay user. You'll learn how to research eBay sales, manage your auctions with various auction management tools, sell and ship internationally, open a Trading Assistant business and how to turn your hobby into a full-time profession—and make a real living from your eBay auctions.

  • Part V, "Participating in the eBay Community," is all about interacting with other buyers and sellers. You'll learn how to manage your eBay activity with My eBay, create your own About Me and My World pages, read and write reviews and guides, and mix it up with other users in eBay's discussion boards, groups, neighborhoods, and blogs.

Taken together, the 30 chapters in this book will help you get the most from your eBay experience. By the time you get to the end of the final chapter, you'll be buying and selling online just like a pro!

Conventions Used in This Book

I hope that this book is easy enough to figure out on its own, without requiring its own instruction manual. As you read through the pages, however, it helps to know precisely how I've presented specific types of information.

Web Page Addresses

There are a lot of web page addresses in this book—including addresses for specific pages on the eBay site. They're noted as such:


Technically, a web page address is supposed to start with http:// (as in http://www.molehillgroup.com). Because Internet Explorer and other web browsers automatically insert this piece of the address, however, you don't have to type it—and I haven't included it in any of the addresses in this book.

Special Elements

This book also includes a few special elements that provide additional information not included in the basic text. These elements supplement the text to make your learning faster, easier, and more efficient.

Caution - A caution tells you to beware of a potentially dangerous act or situation. In some cases, ignoring a caution could cause you significant problems—so pay attention to it!

Note - A note provides information that is generally useful but not specifically necessary for what you're doing at the moment. Some notes are like extended tips—interesting, but not essential.

Tip - A tip is a piece of advice—a little trick, actually—that helps you use your computer more effectively or maneuver around problems or limitations.

Mike Sez - This element is my personal opinion or recommendation regarding the topic at hand. Remember—I might not always be right, but I'll always have an opinion!

Finally, in various parts of this book you'll find big checklists. Use these checklists to prepare for the upcoming task—just check off the items on the list, and you'll be ready to go.

Further Reading

I'd be somewhat remiss if I didn't point you to further reading on the subject of eBay—in particular, books you can read after this one to help you be even more successful with your eBay auctions. To this end, I draw your attention to several other books I've written that you might find useful:

  • Easy eBay (Que, 2005), a four-color, step-by-step guide for easily intimidated eBay newbies.

  • eBay Auction Templates Starter Kit (Que, 2006), a book-and-CD combo that shows you how to create eye-popping auction listings, by using either ready-to-use auction templates or by creating your own templates with HTML.

  • Tricks of the eBay Masters, 2nd Edition (Que, 2006), which assembles 600 tricks and tips from almost two hundred successful eBay buyers and sellers—great advice that any eBayer can use.

  • Tricks of the eBay Business Masters (Que, 2007), which includes the best tricks and tips from successful eBay businesses of all types and sizes—just the thing you need to ramp up your eBay business to the next level.

  • Making a Living from Your eBay Business, 2nd Edition (Que, 2006), which shows you how to turn your eBay hobby into a profitable business. (This one's more of a business book than an eBay book—just what you need to turn pro!)

And if you're interested in turning your eBay sales into a real business, check out Starting a Successful eBay Business, a LiveLessons DVD video tutorial for all budding eBay businesspeople!

Let Me Know What You Think

I always love to hear from readers. If you want to contact me, feel free to email me at abg-ebay@molehillgroup.com. I can't promise that I'll answer every message, but I will promise that I'll read each one!

If you want to learn more about me and any new books I have cooking, check out my Molehill Group website at http://www.molehillgroup.com. Who knows—you might find some other books there that you'd like to read.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Meet the Author

Michael Mill er is a successful and prolific author and a top eBay seller. He has a reputation for practical, real-world advice and an unerring empathy for the needs of his readers. Mr. Miller has written more than 80 nonfiction books over the past two decades, for Que and other major publishers. His books for Que include Easy eBay, eBay Auction Templates Starter Kit, Tricks of the eBay Masters, Making a Living from Your eBay Business, Tricks of the eBay Business Masters, and Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Computer Basics. He is known for his casual, easy-to-read writing style and his ability to explain a wide variety of complex topics to an everyday audience. You can email Mr. Miller directly at abg-ebay@molehillgroup.com. His website is

located at www.molehillgroup.com, and his eBay user ID is trapperjohn2000.

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Absolute Beginner's Guide to EBay 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are looking into reducing your clutter by selling stuff from eBay, but don't know where to begin, then go out and get this book immediately. I'm not kidding, this book taught me all the basics on what I need to know to sell stuff on eBay. Is the actual selling process so easy that a five-year-old can do it? In short, yes. But, if I hadn't bought this book I would have probably made a lot of mistakes along the way and I probably wouldn't have sold as much as I have. Out of my first 15 auctions, I sold all but two items at much higher prices than I estimated I would. This is because this book gives you all the little tips the top eBay sellers use. Here's the kicker...the tips actually work! So you don't end up frustrated and disappointed in unsold items, get this book and read it cover to cover before you list your first item. I guarantee you'll be happy you invested the time and you'll definitely get your money's worth out of the book because you'll refer to it so often. Plus, once you don't need the book anymore, I'm sure you could recover half your investment by selling it on...you guessed it...eBay.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Pretty good for the first time user. Better for ther the seller than the buyer butstill not awful. The explanation on the pictures was not as great as I would have liked. Once again I recomed the book to the buyer more than to the seller.