Tricks of the eBay Masters [NOOK Book]

Overview

Take the mystery out of eBay and the enviable PowerSellers. Tricks of the eBay Masters, Second Edition is full of advice and over 600 tricks from expert eBay users. They learned by doing and are now going to pass on their wisdom to you. Find out how to jazz up your auction listings with HTML, how to increase buyer traffic through key words and how to use photos to increase your selling potential. You'll even get tips on where to find items to sell, how to pack your items better and how to ship cheaply. Also find ...
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Tricks of the eBay Masters

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Overview

Take the mystery out of eBay and the enviable PowerSellers. Tricks of the eBay Masters, Second Edition is full of advice and over 600 tricks from expert eBay users. They learned by doing and are now going to pass on their wisdom to you. Find out how to jazz up your auction listings with HTML, how to increase buyer traffic through key words and how to use photos to increase your selling potential. You'll even get tips on where to find items to sell, how to pack your items better and how to ship cheaply. Also find out what not to do as the experts give you examples of mistakes they made early in their eBay careers and how not to repeat them. Increase your auction income and successful bidding through Tricks of the eBay Masters, Second Edition.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132714709
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 3/6/2006
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 432
  • File size: 7 MB

Meet the Author

Michael Miller is an active and successful eBay buyer and seller, with more than six years of online auction experience dating to the early days of the eBay site. He has authored more than 50 how-to books over the past fifteen years, including Que's Absolute Beginner's Guide to eBay, Absolute Beginner's Guide to Launching an eBay Business, and Making a Living from Your eBay Business. More information can be found at the author's Web site, located at molehillgroup.com. He can be contacted via e-mail at mmiller@molehillgroup.com.
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Read an Excerpt

Tricks of the eBay® Masters, 2nd EditionTricks of the eBay® Masters, 2nd EditionIntroduction

  • Who Are the eBay Masters?
  • Where Can You Find the eBay Masters?
  • How the Tricks Are Organized
  • What's New in the Second Edition
  • Tricks Credits
  • One Last Word About the eBay Masters
  • Let Me Know What You Think

This is the most unusual book I've ever written. And I've written a lot, somewhere north of 75 books in the past 17 years or so—including a half-dozen other books on eBay and online shopping. But this one takes the cake; it's unlike anything else I've ever done.

What makes Tricks of the eBay Masters such an unusual book—and why should you care?

The book you hold in your hands is unusual in that while I wrote the words, most of the ideas inside came from other people—from close to 200 other people, to be precise. These people just happen to be eBay buyers and sellers, successful ones, who were willing to share some of the secrets of their success. Those secrets are the "tricks" in this book, tips and advice you can use to become more successful at your eBay transactions.

And that's where this book is different from any other eBay book on the market, and what makes it especially valuable to you. Yeah, I can tell you everything I know about eBay, but that's just one person's opinion—based on one person's experience. How much better to learn from the experience of 200 people, all of them Masters at eBay buying and selling. These are tricks learned from hard experience, and they're presented here in one place, the betterfor you to benefit.

Of course, the nature of these 600 tricks means that this isn't a traditional how-to or tutorial book. In fact, it kind of jumps around in spots, depending on what tricks the eBay Masters submitted. So if you're expecting a beginner's-level introduction to eBay, I recommend you look elsewhere. (A good book of this ilk is my own Absolute Beginner's Guide to eBay, no doubt available at the same place you purchased this book.)

Where Tricks of the eBay Masters excels is imparting very specific bits of wisdom and information, about particular types of eBay activities. Want to learn the best day of the week to list an item? Or how to avoid waiting in line at the post office? Or how to pack a china plate? Or promote your eBay Store? Or find closeout items to sell? All those tricks—and 595 more—are here, courtesy of the eBay Masters. You might not find all the tricks here useful or applicable, but I know you'll find a lot of them so, and that's why you're reading this book, isn't it?Who Are the eBay Masters?

Okay, so this book includes a ton of advice from eBay's most successful buyers and sellers. But who are these people? Who are the eBay Masters?

Here's the neat thing. eBay's most successful members are just regular folks, like you and me. They've learned all they know by doing; their tricks come from experience. When they do something right, they remember it. When they do something wrong, they remember that, too, and learn from it. Just normal folks, with a penchant for success—and a willingness to share their wisdom with others.

Don't believe me? Then read about some of the eBay Masters who contributed tricks to this book, in their own words:

april0403

Member since 1998, Feedback: Turquoise star

I retired after 35 years working in a major electronics firm in Dallas. I had bought a few items on eBay. I registered on eBay as a buyer in 1998, I believe. I had a friend who signed on as a seller, and figured I could try it as a hobby, something to keep me off the streets and out of pool halls, LOL. I had a designer handbag that was about fifteen years old, and always wanted to sell it... so I did, and there was no looking back after that. My oldest daughter got interested in selling, I coached her a bit, and now we have a lot of fun with this. She's actually done more business than me with eBay. I love it here.

bobbibopstuff

stores.ebay.com/BobbiBopStuff

http://www.bobbibopstuff.com

PowerSeller

Member since 1998, Feedback: Red star

I'm John, 57, and semi-retired, LOL. Sandi, my wife of 35 years, will be semi-retired in a couple of months, and then we can devote more time to our four grandchildren and traveling with our financial counseling ministry. In the meantime, we are testing the eBay waters and have been pleased and amused with our efforts. This is a great business to learn and supplement our time and income. We are trying our hand at many categories, and are learning which ones to leave to others and which ones we can find room and business in.

clact

stores.ebay.com/Once-Upon-A-Bid

PowerSeller

Member since 2002, Feedback: Red star

My wife and I have been selling since late January 2003, and made PowerSeller in just three months. It is a lot of work, of course. I'm an accountant (CPA) in my day job.

dfrazier18

stores.ebay.com/Fraziers-Finds

Member since 2000, Feedback: Red star

I'm Debra. I began on eBay back in October 2000. My now 15-year-old son was a big-time LEGO fan and I bought dozens and dozens of retired sets (some never made available in the U.S.) from many different sellers in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Italy, and the U.K. And I paid cash (USD and DM) for all of them. I started selling in September 2002, to fund all the LEGO I was buying—first selling Clinique Gift With Purchase samples, and eventually expanding into "home decor" items. Candle accessories are my specialty. I opened my eBay Store September 2003, with the intention of closing it down in January. But like so many others, I became addicted.

going1nceamc

stores.ebay.com/GOing1nceAMC

http://www.going1nce.com

PowerSeller

Member since 1999, Feedback: Red star

GOing1nceAMC is me, Sally, with my partner, Kyle. A few years back, I launched my eBay career when my friend, Wayne, called upon my computer/web-savvy and graphic designer skills to help run his eBay auctions. I bought a Coke can bank to learn a bit about eBay, and then started listing coins for Wayne's company. Today I manage both Wayne's eBay business and my own, with the help of an assistant on each. I have learned a lot in my short, brilliant career on eBay. I am also a registered eBay Trading Assistant.

hortonsbks

stores.ebay.com/Hortonsbks

PowerSeller

Member since 2000, Feedback: Red star

I am not a volume seller, usually averaging about 40-50 books at a time. My sell-through rate is fairly low. I'm never going to make a fortune hawking my used books, but it's what I know best, so I'll stick with it.

ilene

stores.ebay.com/Ilenes-Discount-Collectibles

PowerSeller

Member since 1997, Feedback: Green star

I am somewhat unusual for an eBay PowerSeller. I work full-time at a professional job which includes commuting between two cities. I maintain Gold PowerSeller status about 50% of the year, but I spend very little time doing it. I have a partner who puts up half the cash and does the pictures and the packing. I do all the buying, selling, and dealing with buyers. I have been doing this for about seven years and I have lots of ways of simplifying everything. Time is my biggest problem.

jimrick1

Member since 2001, Feedback: Turquoise star

A friend and I have been serious music listeners and LP collectors for many years. Vintage stereo equipment has become another passion for us these last few years. We are having a lot of fun buying locally and selling on eBay. We get to hear "new to us" equipment in our homes regularly—we each keep what works best for us, and sell the rest.

makeabuckstore

stores.ebay.com/Make-A-Buck-Store-LLC

http://www.makeabuckstore.com

PowerSeller

Member since 1999, Feedback: Green star

Our names are Kay and Dean. We joined eBay in 1999 but had absolutely no intentions of turning this venue into a full-time venture. When Kay's company downsized their IT staff, she tried to make a few bucks by selling items on eBay. Talk about tons of mistakes on those first few sales—we sure could have used one of your books back then! What started out with one meager sale from home has swelled into a thriving clicks & mortar business with five full-time employees. Our business is now an eBay drop-off center with over 900 consignment customers (and growing). We churn out 400–500 auctions a week and are Titanium PowerSellers.

raeosenbaugh

stores.ebay.com/OLD-BOOKS-NEW-BOOKS

Member since 2001, Feedback: Red star

I am Rae from central Nebraska. I started on eBay when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2001. I spent much of my time at home and started selling some of my own books. I enjoy buying interesting items, so my sales help pay for all the special things I bought. My "hobby" has mushroomed since then and as I have regained my strength I go to sales and thrift stores to find unique items to resell to feed my habit. My brush with breast cancer has given me a different outlook on life—and that of my family. We have always been close, but now more than ever.

slfcollectibles2

stores.ebay.com/A-Collectible-Diecast-N-More-Store

stores.ebay.com/A-Gift-for-Her

PowerSeller

Member since 2001, Feedback: Red star

My name is Shana and I began selling on eBay January 1, 2004. I first started selling my fiancé's Hot Wheels collection. We did this to make some quick money so that I could "open a business" on eBay. Well, it worked! I started selling SpecCast diecast models toward the end of February, and have now branched out to sell Liberty Classics, as well. I am proud of the fact that I earned Bronze PowerSeller status mid-April with only 157 feedback at the time, and then three weeks later earned Silver. It will take a bit longer to reach the Gold level, but I will get there! After all, who wouldn't want over $10,000 a month in sales?

As you can see, the eBay Masters represent a wide range of buyers and sellers. Some are relatively small, some run their own eBay stores, some have even achieved PowerSeller status. But even with all their differences, they share one thing in common—they love buying and selling on eBay, and they're good at it!Where Can You Find the eBay Masters?

The eBay Masters spend a lot of time on eBay, as you might suspect. Not only do they have a lot of auctions running at any given time, they're also a vital part of the eBay community.

What is this eBay community, you ask? Well, eBay has a vibrant set of discussion forums (located at pages.ebay.com/community/boards/), where the most interested—and most interesting—buyers and sellers hang out and discuss the issues of the day. These discussion forums are where I found most of the eBay Masters, all of whom gladly offered to contribute their words of wisdom for this book.

And here's the interesting thing. The eBay community is actually a number of different small communities. The folks you meet on the Auction Listings board are different folks from those you meet on the Packaging & Shipping board, who are different from the folks you meet on the Collectibles board. Since each board is organized around a particular topic or type of merchandise, members tend to pick one or two forums and make their contributions there. The result is that the Clothing, Shoes, & Accessories board has a completely different personality than the Booksellers board, and you'll meet different users on each board. The common factor is that they're all friendly, and they're all incredibly helpful. Spend some time on the boards with the eBay Masters, and don't be shy about asking questions—or offering your own unique contribution. How the Tricks Are Organized

This book contains 600 individual tricks, organized by topic into 20 chapters. The 20 chapters themselves are divided into three main parts, as follows:

  • Part I, "Tricks That Any eBay Member Can Use," presents some solid advice for all eBay members, specifically focusing on choosing a user ID, avoiding scams, and dealing with eBay's feedback system.

  • Part II, "Tricks for More Successful Bidding," presents a bevy of tricks that can help you win more auctions, pay less for what you win, and bid—and buy—more safely.

  • Part III, "Tricks for More Successful Selling," is the heart of the book, with hundreds of tricks that can make your life as a seller that much easier. You'll learn how to create more attractive auction listings, how to automate the auction process, how to get higher bids, how to pack and ship more effectively, and even how to run your own eBay Store or Trading Assistant business. Best of all, this section ends with a completely new chapter for this second edition, "How to Become an eBay PowerSeller," which contains advice about PowerSellers by PowerSellers—eBay's most successful sellers!

From Trick #1 ("Register Without Providing Financial Information") to Trick #600 ("PowerSellers Never Stop Learning") you'll find a lot of terrific advice, as offered by the eBay Masters. Sometimes the advice is contradictory (even the most experienced users don't agree on everything!), and some of it is extremely specific, but that's okay. Read all the tricks, and use the ones that make sense to you.What's New in the Second Edition

Those of you who already own the first edition of this book will find a lot that's new—although all the new stuff isn't in one place. What I did was keep about 480 of the best tricks from the first edition (updating them as necessary), and then add 120 or so new tricks from the eBay Masters. The new tricks are fairly evenly scattered throughout the book; they're identified by a "new" icon, like the one here.

I've also rearranged things a bit, to try to provide more tricks for high-volume sellers and sellers who are trying to run their own eBay businesses. This resulted in two new chapters for this edition: Chapter 17, "Turning Your eBay Sales into a Real Business," and Chapter 20, "How to Become an eBay PowerSeller." Lots of new tricks in those chapters, of course.Tricks Credits

Each trick in this book is attributed to a specific eBay Master. While the description—and any elaboration—of the trick is mine, the basic idea of the trick comes from the eBay user credited. The information beside the trick identifies the eBay Master by his or her eBay user ID, and includes their eBay Store address (if they have a store, that is), how long they've been an eBay member, and their feedback "star" rating. If they're a PowerSeller, that's noted, too.

When a trick is too general to be attributed to any specific member, or if it's one I've thought of on my own, I've credited that trick to me. My credit looks like this:

trapperjohn2000

stores.ebay.com/Molehill-Group-Store

Member since 1998, Feedback: Purple star

To translate, my user ID (trapperjohn2000) is on the first line; the URL for my eBay Store is stores.ebay.com/Molehill-Group-Store; I've been an eBay member since 1998; and my feedback rating is at the purple star level.

By the way, if you don't know how the feedback star ratings work, here's a quick guide:

Star Color

Feedback Rating

Yellow

10–49 points

Blue

50–99 points

Turquoise

100–499 points

Purple

500–999 points

Red

1,000–4,999 points

Green

5,000–9,999 points


In many cases I've found it useful and interesting to present specific advice in the words of the Masters themselves. So when you see a quote, like this, you know you're getting a great tip, right from the horse's mouth:

This is a direct quote from an eBay Master. Notice how it's set apart from the regular text?One Last Word About the eBay Masters

Close to 200 eBay Masters contributed their wisdom to this book. They did so freely, without any thought of compensation. For this, I am extremely grateful. So do me a favor. When you see an eBay auction from one of these terrific users, buy something. You know they're good folks, and you'll have a great transaction!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 ebay-tricks@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.

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Table of Contents

Tricks of the eBay® Masters, 2nd EditionTable of Contents

Introduction

Part I - Tricks That Any eBay Member Can Use

Chapter 1 - How to Get Smarter About Buying and Selling on eBay

Chapter 2 - How to Deal with Feedback

Part II - Tricks for More Successful Bidding

Chapter 3 - How to Find What You Want to Buy

Chapter 4 - How to Be a Smarter–and Safer–Buyer

Chapter 5 - How to Win More Auctions

Part III - Tricks for More Successful Selling

Chapter 6 - How to Find Merchandise to Sell

Chapter 7 - How to Maximize Your Sales

Chapter 8 - How to Write Better Titles and Descriptions

Chapter 9 - How to Enhance Your Product Listings with HTML

Chapter 10 - How to Display Better Product Photos

Chapter 11 - How to Better Manage Your Auctions

Chapter 12 - How to Handle Customer Payments

Chapter 13 - How to Pack and Ship More Efficiently

Chapter 14 - How to Sell and Ship Internationally

Chapter 15 - How to Deal with Customer Problems–and Problem Customers

Chapter 16 - How to Sell Specific Types of Items

Chapter 17 - Turning Your eBay Sales Into a Real Business

Chapter 18 - How to Sell More Products in an eBay Store

Chapter 19 - How to Make Money as a Trading Assistant

Chapter 20 - How to Become an eBay PowerSeller

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Preface

Tricks of the eBay® Masters, 2nd Edition

Introduction

  • Who Are the eBay Masters?
  • Where Can You Find the eBay Masters?
  • How the Tricks Are Organized
  • What's New in the Second Edition
  • Tricks Credits
  • One Last Word About the eBay Masters
  • Let Me Know What You Think

This is the most unusual book I've ever written. And I've written a lot, somewhere north of 75 books in the past 17 years or so—including a half-dozen other books on eBay and online shopping. But this one takes the cake; it's unlike anything else I've ever done.

What makes Tricks of the eBay Masters such an unusual book—and why should you care?

The book you hold in your hands is unusual in that while I wrote the words, most of the ideas inside came from other people—from close to 200 other people, to be precise. These people just happen to be eBay buyers and sellers, successful ones, who were willing to share some of the secrets of their success. Those secrets are the "tricks" in this book, tips and advice you can use to become more successful at your eBay transactions.

And that's where this book is different from any other eBay book on the market, and what makes it especially valuable to you. Yeah, I can tell you everything I know about eBay, but that's just one person's opinion—based on one person's experience. How much better to learn from the experience of 200 people, all of them Masters at eBay buying and selling. These are tricks learned from hard experience, and they're presented here in one place, the better for you to benefit.

Of course, the nature of these 600 tricks means that this isn't a traditional how-to or tutorial book. In fact, it kind of jumps around in spots, depending on what tricks the eBay Masters submitted. So if you're expecting a beginner's-level introduction to eBay, I recommend you look elsewhere. (A good book of this ilk is my own Absolute Beginner's Guide to eBay, no doubt available at the same place you purchased this book.)

Where Tricks of the eBay Masters excels is imparting very specific bits of wisdom and information, about particular types of eBay activities. Want to learn the best day of the week to list an item? Or how to avoid waiting in line at the post office? Or how to pack a china plate? Or promote your eBay Store? Or find closeout items to sell? All those tricks—and 595 more—are here, courtesy of the eBay Masters. You might not find all the tricks here useful or applicable, but I know you'll find a lot of them so, and that's why you're reading this book, isn't it?

Who Are the eBay Masters?

Okay, so this book includes a ton of advice from eBay's most successful buyers and sellers. But who are these people? Who are the eBay Masters?

Here's the neat thing. eBay's most successful members are just regular folks, like you and me. They've learned all they know by doing; their tricks come from experience. When they do something right, they remember it. When they do something wrong, they remember that, too, and learn from it. Just normal folks, with a penchant for success—and a willingness to share their wisdom with others.

Don't believe me? Then read about some of the eBay Masters who contributed tricks to this book, in their own words:

april0403

Member since 1998, Feedback: Turquoise star

I retired after 35 years working in a major electronics firm in Dallas. I had bought a few items on eBay. I registered on eBay as a buyer in 1998, I believe. I had a friend who signed on as a seller, and figured I could try it as a hobby, something to keep me off the streets and out of pool halls, LOL. I had a designer handbag that was about fifteen years old, and always wanted to sell it... so I did, and there was no looking back after that. My oldest daughter got interested in selling, I coached her a bit, and now we have a lot of fun with this. She's actually done more business than me with eBay. I love it here.

bobbibopstuff

stores.ebay.com/BobbiBopStuff

http://www.bobbibopstuff.com

PowerSeller

Member since 1998, Feedback: Red star

I'm John, 57, and semi-retired, LOL. Sandi, my wife of 35 years, will be semi-retired in a couple of months, and then we can devote more time to our four grandchildren and traveling with our financial counseling ministry. In the meantime, we are testing the eBay waters and have been pleased and amused with our efforts. This is a great business to learn and supplement our time and income. We are trying our hand at many categories, and are learning which ones to leave to others and which ones we can find room and business in.

clact

stores.ebay.com/Once-Upon-A-Bid

PowerSeller

Member since 2002, Feedback: Red star

My wife and I have been selling since late January 2003, and made PowerSeller in just three months. It is a lot of work, of course. I'm an accountant (CPA) in my day job.

dfrazier18

stores.ebay.com/Fraziers-Finds

Member since 2000, Feedback: Red star

I'm Debra. I began on eBay back in October 2000. My now 15-year-old son was a big-time LEGO fan and I bought dozens and dozens of retired sets (some never made available in the U.S.) from many different sellers in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Italy, and the U.K. And I paid cash (USD and DM) for all of them. I started selling in September 2002, to fund all the LEGO I was buying—first selling Clinique Gift With Purchase samples, and eventually expanding into "home decor" items. Candle accessories are my specialty. I opened my eBay Store September 2003, with the intention of closing it down in January. But like so many others, I became addicted.

going1nceamc

stores.ebay.com/GOing1nceAMC

http://www.going1nce.com

PowerSeller

Member since 1999, Feedback: Red star

GOing1nceAMC is me, Sally, with my partner, Kyle. A few years back, I launched my eBay career when my friend, Wayne, called upon my computer/web-savvy and graphic designer skills to help run his eBay auctions. I bought a Coke can bank to learn a bit about eBay, and then started listing coins for Wayne's company. Today I manage both Wayne's eBay business and my own, with the help of an assistant on each. I have learned a lot in my short, brilliant career on eBay. I am also a registered eBay Trading Assistant.

hortonsbks

stores.ebay.com/Hortonsbks

PowerSeller

Member since 2000, Feedback: Red star

I am not a volume seller, usually averaging about 40-50 books at a time. My sell-through rate is fairly low. I'm never going to make a fortune hawking my used books, but it's what I know best, so I'll stick with it.

ilene

stores.ebay.com/Ilenes-Discount-Collectibles

PowerSeller

Member since 1997, Feedback: Green star

I am somewhat unusual for an eBay PowerSeller. I work full-time at a professional job which includes commuting between two cities. I maintain Gold PowerSeller status about 50% of the year, but I spend very little time doing it. I have a partner who puts up half the cash and does the pictures and the packing. I do all the buying, selling, and dealing with buyers. I have been doing this for about seven years and I have lots of ways of simplifying everything. Time is my biggest problem.

jimrick1

Member since 2001, Feedback: Turquoise star

A friend and I have been serious music listeners and LP collectors for many years. Vintage stereo equipment has become another passion for us these last few years. We are having a lot of fun buying locally and selling on eBay. We get to hear "new to us" equipment in our homes regularly—we each keep what works best for us, and sell the rest.

makeabuckstore

stores.ebay.com/Make-A-Buck-Store-LLC

http://www.makeabuckstore.com

PowerSeller

Member since 1999, Feedback: Green star

Our names are Kay and Dean. We joined eBay in 1999 but had absolutely no intentions of turning this venue into a full-time venture. When Kay's company downsized their IT staff, she tried to make a few bucks by selling items on eBay. Talk about tons of mistakes on those first few sales—we sure could have used one of your books back then! What started out with one meager sale from home has swelled into a thriving clicks & mortar business with five full-time employees. Our business is now an eBay drop-off center with over 900 consignment customers (and growing). We churn out 400–500 auctions a week and are Titanium PowerSellers.

raeosenbaugh

stores.ebay.com/OLD-BOOKS-NEW-BOOKS

Member since 2001, Feedback: Red star

I am Rae from central Nebraska. I started on eBay when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2001. I spent much of my time at home and started selling some of my own books. I enjoy buying interesting items, so my sales help pay for all the special things I bought. My "hobby" has mushroomed since then and as I have regained my strength I go to sales and thrift stores to find unique items to resell to feed my habit. My brush with breast cancer has given me a different outlook on life—and that of my family. We have always been close, but now more than ever.

slfcollectibles2

stores.ebay.com/A-Collectible-Diecast-N-More-Store

stores.ebay.com/A-Gift-for-Her

PowerSeller

Member since 2001, Feedback: Red star

My name is Shana and I began selling on eBay January 1, 2004. I first started selling my fiancé's Hot Wheels collection. We did this to make some quick money so that I could "open a business" on eBay. Well, it worked! I started selling SpecCast diecast models toward the end of February, and have now branched out to sell Liberty Classics, as well. I am proud of the fact that I earned Bronze PowerSeller status mid-April with only 157 feedback at the time, and then three weeks later earned Silver. It will take a bit longer to reach the Gold level, but I will get there! After all, who wouldn't want over $10,000 a month in sales?

As you can see, the eBay Masters represent a wide range of buyers and sellers. Some are relatively small, some run their own eBay stores, some have even achieved PowerSeller status. But even with all their differences, they share one thing in common—they love buying and selling on eBay, and they're good at it!

Where Can You Find the eBay Masters?

The eBay Masters spend a lot of time on eBay, as you might suspect. Not only do they have a lot of auctions running at any given time, they're also a vital part of the eBay community.

What is this eBay community, you ask? Well, eBay has a vibrant set of discussion forums (located at pages.ebay.com/community/boards/), where the most interested—and most interesting—buyers and sellers hang out and discuss the issues of the day. These discussion forums are where I found most of the eBay Masters, all of whom gladly offered to contribute their words of wisdom for this book.

And here's the interesting thing. The eBay community is actually a number of different small communities. The folks you meet on the Auction Listings board are different folks from those you meet on the Packaging & Shipping board, who are different from the folks you meet on the Collectibles board. Since each board is organized around a particular topic or type of merchandise, members tend to pick one or two forums and make their contributions there. The result is that the Clothing, Shoes, & Accessories board has a completely different personality than the Booksellers board, and you'll meet different users on each board. The common factor is that they're all friendly, and they're all incredibly helpful. Spend some time on the boards with the eBay Masters, and don't be shy about asking questions—or offering your own unique contribution.

How the Tricks Are Organized

This book contains 600 individual tricks, organized by topic into 20 chapters. The 20 chapters themselves are divided into three main parts, as follows:

  • Part I, "Tricks That Any eBay Member Can Use," presents some solid advice for all eBay members, specifically focusing on choosing a user ID, avoiding scams, and dealing with eBay's feedback system.
  • Part II, "Tricks for More Successful Bidding," presents a bevy of tricks that can help you win more auctions, pay less for what you win, and bid—and buy—more safely.
  • Part III, "Tricks for More Successful Selling," is the heart of the book, with hundreds of tricks that can make your life as a seller that much easier. You'll learn how to create more attractive auction listings, how to automate the auction process, how to get higher bids, how to pack and ship more effectively, and even how to run your own eBay Store or Trading Assistant business. Best of all, this section ends with a completely new chapter for this second edition, "How to Become an eBay PowerSeller," which contains advice about PowerSellers by PowerSellers—eBay's most successful sellers!

From Trick #1 ("Register Without Providing Financial Information") to Trick #600 ("PowerSellers Never Stop Learning") you'll find a lot of terrific advice, as offered by the eBay Masters. Sometimes the advice is contradictory (even the most experienced users don't agree on everything!), and some of it is extremely specific, but that's okay. Read all the tricks, and use the ones that make sense to you.

What's New in the Second Edition

Those of you who already own the first edition of this book will find a lot that's new—although all the new stuff isn't in one place. What I did was keep about 480 of the best tricks from the first edition (updating them as necessary), and then add 120 or so new tricks from the eBay Masters. The new tricks are fairly evenly scattered throughout the book; they're identified by a "new" icon, like the one here.

I've also rearranged things a bit, to try to provide more tricks for high-volume sellers and sellers who are trying to run their own eBay businesses. This resulted in two new chapters for this edition: Chapter 17, "Turning Your eBay Sales into a Real Business," and Chapter 20, "How to Become an eBay PowerSeller." Lots of new tricks in those chapters, of course.

Tricks Credits

Each trick in this book is attributed to a specific eBay Master. While the description—and any elaboration—of the trick is mine, the basic idea of the trick comes from the eBay user credited. The information beside the trick identifies the eBay Master by his or her eBay user ID, and includes their eBay Store address (if they have a store, that is), how long they've been an eBay member, and their feedback "star" rating. If they're a PowerSeller, that's noted, too.

When a trick is too general to be attributed to any specific member, or if it's one I've thought of on my own, I've credited that trick to me. My credit looks like this:

trapperjohn2000

stores.ebay.com/Molehill-Group-Store

Member since 1998, Feedback: Purple star

To translate, my user ID (trapperjohn2000) is on the first line; the URL for my eBay Store is stores.ebay.com/Molehill-Group-Store; I've been an eBay member since 1998; and my feedback rating is at the purple star level.

By the way, if you don't know how the feedback star ratings work, here's a quick guide:

Star Color

Feedback Rating

Yellow

10–49 points

Blue

50–99 points

Turquoise

100–499 points

Purple

500–999 points

Red

1,000–4,999 points

Green

5,000–9,999 points

In many cases I've found it useful and interesting to present specific advice in the words of the Masters themselves. So when you see a quote, like this, you know you're getting a great tip, right from the horse's mouth:

This is a direct quote from an eBay Master. Notice how it's set apart from the regular text?

One Last Word About the eBay Masters

Close to 200 eBay Masters contributed their wisdom to this book. They did so freely, without any thought of compensation. For this, I am extremely grateful. So do me a favor. When you see an eBay auction from one of these terrific users, buy something. You know they're good folks, and you'll have a great transaction!

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 ebay-tricks@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.

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