Everyone should learn how to buy and sell on eBay. It can be very profitable to do business on eBay whether it be a full time business or merely to sell an object from around the house. Having some experience will save you money and keep you from making some bad mistakes while on eBay. If you go to the eBay site, you should check out their education center before you attempt to buy or sell anything. Then as a starter, you should present for sale a moderate object from around the house as a learning process. Expect mistakes while you are learning, but always make sure that you do not get trapped into just giving something away for peanuts without taking some security precautions which can easily be learned. For example, it may be advisable to set a minimum bid offer just to protect yourself. You will learn most of the important things from some of our ebooks in the Profit Garden which is reserved for our paid membership. Check it out, because our low one-time membership cost could save you hundreds of dollars.
eBay: The First 10 Years.
Yes, you read that correctly: ten years. eBay was created in September 1995, by a man called Pierre Omidyar, who was living in San Jose. He wanted his site - then called 'AuctionWeb' - to be an online marketplace, and wrote the first code for it in one weekend. It was one of the first websites of its kind in the world. The name 'eBay' comes from the domain Omidyar used for his site. His company's name was Echo Bay, and the 'eBay AuctionWeb' was originally just one part of Echo Bay's website at ebay.com. The first thing ever sold on the site was Omidyar's broken laser pointer, which he got $14 for.
The site quickly became massively popular, as sellers came to list all sorts of odd things and buyers actually bought them. Relying on trust seemed to work remarkably well, and meant that the site could almost be left alone to run itself. The site had been designed from the start to collect a small fee on each sale, and it was this money that Omidyar used to pay for AuctionWeb's expansion. The fees quickly added up to more than his current salary, and so he decided to quit his job and work on the site full-time. It was at this point, in 1996, that he added the feedback facilities, to let buyers and sellers rate each other and make buying and selling safer.
In 1997, Omidyar changed AuctionWeb's - and his company's - name to 'eBay', which is what people had been calling the site for a long time. He began to spend a lot of money on advertising, and had the eBay logo designed. It was in this year that the one-millionth item was sold (it was a toy version of Big Bird from Sesame Street).
Then, in 1998 - the peak of the dotcom boom - eBay became big business, and the investment in Internet businesses at the time allowed it to bring in senior managers and business strategists, who took in public on the stock market. It started to encourage people to sell more than just collectibles, and quickly became a massive site where you could sell anything, large or small. Unlike other sites, though, eBay survived the end of the boom, and is still going strong today.
1999 saw eBay go worldwide, launching sites in the UK, Australia and Germany. eBay bought half.com, an Amazon-like online retailer, in the year 2000 - the same year it introduced Buy it Now - and bought PayPal, an online payment service, in 2002.
Pierre Omidyar has now earned an estimated $3 billion from eBay, and still serves as Chairman of the Board. Oddly enough, he keeps a personal weblog at http://pierre.typepad.com. There are now literally millions of items bought and sold every day on eBay, all over the world. For every $100 spent online worldwide, it is estimated that $14 is spent on eBay - that's a lot of laser pointers.
Now that you know the history of eBay, perhaps you'd like to know how it could work for you?
You Can Sell Anything on eBay – Or Can You?
Over 100 million people are members of eBay.
Through eBay, you can buy items in almost any
category that you can imagine – at great prices.
You can also sell almost anything you can
imagine on eBay – people often sell items that have
absolutely no real value for very high prices. There
are limits, however, to what can be bought and sold.
eBay does not allow certain items to be auctioned
through their website. Services are one type of ‘item’
that cannot be auctioned – simply because it is not
an item. Some seller’s blatantly ignore this however.
The sell of other items is illegal, even if it isn’t being
sold through eBay. eBay restricts the sale of any
type of item that is considered ‘illegal for sale’ in any
other selling format. Illegal items such as satellite
descramblers are forbidden as well.
Anything that is copyrighted - such as copies of
DVDs, CDs, or software - may not be sold through
eBay auctions. You can, however, sell a DVD, CD,
or any software that you bought legitimately…as
long as you are not just selling a copy that you
made of these types of items. eBay does not allow
the sale of ‘replicas.’ A replica is a knockoff version
of designer items, such as purses, dresses, shoes,
or sunglasses that look identical to those that have
Items that are regulated by the state or federal
government are forbidden on eBay. These items
include alcoholic beverages, weapons and firearms,
all tobacco products, and both prescription and
illegal drugs. There are small exceptions to this rule,
however. If you have a collectable, such as a tin that
contains tobacco, you may sell that item if the
package has never been opened, and if you state the
contents of the package are not meant for
consumption. There are other conditions that must be
met as well when selling these types of collectables.
Any type or breed of animal or reptile may not be
sold through an eBay auction. This includes animals
that were once living, and are now stuffed and
mounted. This rule may also apply to items that are
taken from endangered species, such as Ivory. When
it comes to these types of items, when in doubt,
Tickets may be sold, but it is illegal to sell tickets
for a higher price than you originally paid for them.
This is called ticket scalping, and it is illegal.
Lottery tickets are also banned from eBay
auctions, as well as raffle tickets. Again, if you are
not sure if your item is eligible for an eBay auction,
either don’t put it up for auction, or contact eBay to
get an answer one way or the other. Don’t risk
breaking the law!
eBay and Customer Service
If you are running an eBay business, you may not
realize that the need for great customer service still
exists – even for online auctions. When a buyer
receives quality customer service from you, they
will potentially do one of two things – or both. They
will give you great feedback, and they may look for
more of your auctions in the future. If you hope to
make a living from eBay, you have to stop thinking
of it as an ‘auction’ and start running it like a
If you owned a brick and mortar business, how
would you treat your customer while they were
standing at your counter, waiting for you to finish
ringing up their order? You would be helpful and
respectful of course! You would do everything that
you could to guarantee that customers return to
your establishment in the future. You would bend
over backwards to make sure that their buying
experience with you was both satisfactory and
enjoyable. Why would you do any less at the
close of one of your eBay auctions?
First, act quickly at the close of your auctions.
Contact the winner, and congratulate them. Describe
the item they have won and how the item will be
shipped – even if this information is already part of
the description for the auction. Remind them of their
winning bid amount, and give them payment options
and instructions. Let them know when the item will
Close your email by thanking them for participating
in your auction. You might even take this opportunity
to tell them about other open auctions that you have
as well. Think of this contact with the winner as a
conversation that you are having with a customer
who is standing at your counter in that imaginary
brick and mortar store.
Once the payment and shipping details have been
taken care of, contact your buyer again. Let them
know when the item was shipped – the exact date
and time – and when it is expected to arrive on their
end. During this contact, let them know that if they
have any problems or questions, that they should
contact you through the eBay site. If they do
contact you in the future, make sure that you
answer promptly, and that you do all that you can
to make them happy with their purchase – even if
it means issuing a refund.
Yes. You should be open to issuing refunds,
depending on what the item is. Furthermore, you
should issue refunds promptly. Of course, it is
reasonable to expect the buyer to return the item to
you, at your expense, before the refund is issued –
but once you receive the item, issue the refund
promptly. This is just good business!
eBay and Drop shipping – Getting the Product to
If you hope to own an eBay business, and make a
full time living at it, you can easily make that dream
come true – even if you don’t have a product of your
own to sell. eBay provides many people who want to
quit their corporate nine-to-five jobs with a way to
make a good living, without having to put up a lot of
start up capital. This is made possible with the help
of drop shippers. Drop shippers send merchandise to
the customers of business owners. If you have an
eBay business, you are a business owner. This will
allow you to offer a wide variety of stock in your
eBay store, without having the need to warehouse
all of those products!
All you have to do is set up your auction, and sell
the product. You then pass the customer’s
information on to the drop shipping company. The
drop shipper does the rest, and they will even use
your company information, as well as your company
logo if you have provided it to them. When the product
arrives at your customer’s home, they will have no idea
that your company didn’t send it. The drop shipper
will package, label, and ship the products that you
sell, allowing you more time to set up even more
auctions, for greater profits.
You must establish a relationship with several drop
shipping companies in order to become successful.
In the beginning, most companies will require you to
pay for the items that your customers order before
they are shipped. You need to fill orders in a
timely manner, so you should pay for the items with
a credit card for speedy service. Eventually, you will
be able to have the drop shipper fill your orders, and
then bill you for them later.
When you set up your eBay auctions, make sure
that your reserve price is set higher than the price
that the drop shipper will be charging you for the
item. The idea, of course, is to earn a profit!
Depending on the item you are selling, a markup
of about 10% should be about right, but you should
do some research to see if the item is selling for a
lower price in another eBay auction, or through
other online sources.
By starting an eBay business using the drop
shipping method, there is essentially no financial risk
involved. The product will be sold before you pay the
drop shipper for the item. This is one of the few
businesses where you can actually turn a profit
before you have expenditures!
eBay Business Solutions
If starting an eBay business is your goal, as
opposed to just auctioning a few items off for some
extra cash, you need to use the eBay business
solutions that are available to you. Because eBay’s
success depends on the success of its sellers,
they strive to help you at every turn. eBay Business
Solutions is the key to starting an eBay business.
eBay Stores is one of the better solutions for eBay
business owners. An eBay store will allow you to
list multiple quantities of the same item, and allow
you to keep them listed for longer time periods.
eBay Store owners also enjoy lower auction fees,
and have access to advanced merchandising tools.
Eventually, you should consider upgrading to an
eBay Pro Store, which will allow you to customize
your storefront with your own brand and web
There are many other eBay Business Solutions,
such as seller tools, the eBay solutions directory,
and the merchant solution center, but you should
definitely start with your very own eBay store,
followed by an eBay Pro Store.
eBay Courses – Are They Worth It?
There are numerous eBay courses that are available
on the Internet today. These books and courses are
designed to help you become more successful on
eBay. Unfortunately, not all of these courses are
worth the money that you will pay for them. Some of
them are full of what used to be good information –
when it was relevant – and others are simply junk
information, written by someone trying to make a
Before you purchase any eBay course, find out when
the course was written. If it was written in 2004, for
instance, you don’t want it. Even though that hasn’t
been very long ago, eBay changes so fast that much
of the information will not be relevant. However, if the
original issue of the course was written several years
ago, but the course is updated each year, this will
probably be a good course for you.
Again, use care when purchasing eBay courses.
They can be quite helpful and enlightening, but only
if the information in them is still good. Talk to other
eBay sellers – preferably successful ones – to find
out what courses are recommended.
The real scams being perpetrated are usually in the form of TV infomercials. These courses are not very accurate nor are they any different in scope as compared with the course given by eBay itself. The problem with these TV infomercials is that the agents will call you and try to get you to spend several hundred dollars on a coaching program. The idea is that you will be able to consult with an operator over the phone and get personal service. However, you will only find yourself getting more solicitations to buy even more services. Stay away from these scams.
eBay Data and Research – How Important Is It?
eBay is a business anyway you look at it. Sure, it is
a great deal of fun for both the buyers and sellers,
but when you look at it from another view point, you
will see that it is a business from the seller’s point
of view, the buyer’s point of view, and eBay’s point
of view. 40 million dollars a day travels through eBay.
Selling items on eBay successfully is an art, and
eBay offers many different forms of Data and
Research to ensure that you are selling the right
items, to the right people, in the right way.
Some of the data and research is not free, but much
of it is. The available resources include hot items by
category, eBay Pulse, merchandising calendar,
sales reports, marketplace research, buyer
behavioral report, and the eBay solutions directory.
These tools are quite easy to use, and the
information that can be gleaned from them is
The Data and Research tools are all accessible
through your seller’s account, by clicking on the
‘Advance Selling’ link. Learn to use those tools, and
get your piece of that $40 million eBay revenue each
eBay Gift Certificates – The Gift Solution Suitable for
We all know one. There is at least one in every
family, and one in every circle of friends. There is
even one in every office! There is always that one
person that you know who is absolutely impossible
to buy a gift for! These people either have everything,
or want nothing. They don’t drop hints at all, and
when asked, they simply say that they don’t know,
they don’t care, or they don’t want anything.
Well, now you can buy a gift for that person. The
solution lies in an eBay gift certificate! This will allow
your loved one to essentially buy anything that they
want, in a very exciting way. eBay gift certificates
can easily be purchased through paypal, in varying
There are things that you should point out to the gift
recipient, however. For instance, eBay gift
certificates do expire. eBay gift certificates will not
be accepted for all auctions either – they can only
be redeemed for those auctions that accept Paypal
as a form of payment. Other than that, your loved
one should not have any problems redeeming their
eBay gift certificate!
eBay Scams – Steps to Take if You Have Been
eBay is a relatively safe marketplace. Unfortunately,
like most online marketplaces, it is vulnerable to
scams. eBay tries to keep instances of scams
occurring, but with more than 100 million members,
and approximately $40 million moving through the
site on a daily basis, this can be a little difficult.
Sometimes, scams occur.
If you have been scammed, there are certain steps
you need to follow to report the incident, and to try
to come to a resolution. If you paid for the item
through Paypal, the first step is to login to your
Paypal account and open up a dispute for the
payment. If you did not pay through Paypal, contact
your credit card company. In most cases, if you have
used one of these two cases, you will recover your
The next step is to use eBay’s dispute process to
report the seller. This is specifically for items that
were not received, or items that were significantly
different than what was described in the auction.
eBay also has a purchase protection program to
further protect buyers. If a settlement cannot be
reached with the buyer, the next step is to make
an eBay buyer purchase protection claim.
eBay Success - How to Price Your Items
Many new sellers don’t realize how important pricing
is when it comes to eBay auctions. Many don’t even
realize that ‘pricing’ needs to be done. eBay is an
auction site after all! But eBay auctions are not quite
the same as the auctions you attend in the offline
world. In fact, quite a bit of work goes into
determining and setting prices.
Essentially, there are only three prices that can be
set for an eBay auction: the ‘buy it now’ price, the
reserve price, and the starting bid price. Of these
three, the starting bid price is the only one that is
required for an eBay auction. The reserve price and
the ‘buy it now’ price are optional. The starting bid
price is fairly simple – never set it higher than $50 or
so – no matter what your item is really worth. This
low opening price will get bidders to your auction.
Setting low starting bid prices creates the need for a
reserve price. A reserve price is the absolute lowest
price that you want to get for your item. You may sell
the item below the reserve price, but you will not be
required to. In other words, if you set your reserve
price at $100, and your highest bid is only $50, you
do not have to sell the item to the highest bidder.
You can close the auction without any negative
feedback or repercussions. Set your reserve price
at the absolute lowest price you are willing to sell
your item for. Keep what the item is worth, as well
as what it cost you in mind.
The ‘buy it now’ option will allow you to set a price,
and buyers can buy the item immediately, without
bidding, for that set price. This option can be used
for any type of item, and it should be set to match
your reserve, give or take a few dollars. This option
is great if you have multiple identical items to sell.
Shipping has a price, and potential buyers take this
into consideration when they are looking at an
auction. If you can see your way clear to offer free
shipping, you will find that people are placing more
bids. Make sure that your potential buyers realize
that you are offering free shipping!
Before setting any prices, you need to determine
what the item is really worth. The value of the item in
different markets might be quite high. However, you
are selling on eBay, and it is a different world
altogether! Find out the price that similar items sold
for on eBay before setting any prices. If it is a
collectable, or a high ticket item, have the item
evaluated to ensure that you aren’t going to lose
eBay University – What Is It All About?
eBay University is the learning program that eBay
established to help people become successful eBay
merchants. For convenience, eBay classes are held
in many locations throughout the United States, and
classes may also be completed from home, using
You should note that all of the information you will
learn through eBay University can be found on the
website – for free. However, understanding that free
information isn’t always easy. eBay University will
teach you how to open a seller’s account, how to
conduct research and create listings, how to improve
listings for greater success, how to integrate Paypal
with eBay, how to monitor your auctions, and how to
Once you’ve finished the Selling Basics course, you
are ready for the ‘Beyond the Basics’ course. This
advanced course will teach you how to start and
grow an eBay business, how to choose and create
listing formats that sell, how to use all of the eBay
resources, how to market your business, how to
pack and ship your items, and much more. Both
courses are reasonably priced, and well worth the
short amount of time that it takes to complete
Getting Started on eBay
You’ve probably heard about how much money can
be made on eBay. With dreams of quick riches and
easy money, you are probably ready to jump in with
both feet – right now! The best thing you can do if
you are serious about making money with eBay,
however, is to slow down. In fact, just stop for a
minute. Don’t rush straight in. Take your time, and
do it right.
eBay has over 100 million members. Think about
that number for just a minute or two. When you get
your eBay business set up, that is how big your
customer base will be – instantly. 100 million people
- 100 million people who are just waiting for you to
get set up and running so that they can throw money
at you! Well, not quite. It is true that there are over
100 million members, but at this point, they don’t
know that you exist. In fact, no matter how well you
do on eBay, most of them will never know that you
exist. 100 million is a very large number.
The most successful eBay sellers started out as
buyers – and you should too. This will give you a
sense of how everything works. It will also show you
how things are from the buyer’s side of the fence.
Let’s call this period of time ‘consumer research.’
You are literally studying how eBay works, from a
customer’s point of view. You may not realize this,
but this eBay buyer experience will
actually make you a much better seller – right from
the very start.
Really pay attention to the customer service you
receive from the buyer. Think about how you want to
be treated as a buyer, and take notes. Take your
time during this process. Interact with the sellers.
Get involved in hot auctions to see what they are
like. In your spare time, start making notes about
the hot items that you see. These notes will come
in handy later.
eBay works just like any other business. You have
to determine what people want to buy before you can
hope to be successful. There are very specific items
that sell really well on eBay – you just have to figure
out what those items are. There are many
resources for finding out this information. Start with
the lessons that eBay offers to their sellers.
Strongly consider attending the eBay University as
well. This is the next step in the process. After you
have had the eBay buyer experience, it is time to
learn how to be an eBay seller.
Read all of the information eBay provides for you at
the site. The information is free and you will learn a
great deal from it. Take full advantage of this – before
you start setting up your first auction or your eBay
store! By reading through all of the resources, you
will avoid making numerous mistakes that so many
before you have made. This is another step towards
building a successful eBay business. Once you’ve
made it through the learning process, you should
know everything you need to know to get started
with a money making eBay business of your very
Hot Selling Items for eBay Auctions
Many people who are trying to start an eBay
business spend a great deal of time trying to figure
out which items sell the best on eBay. Many of these
people have elaborate systems for determining this
information, and many others purchase expensive
courses that teach them how to find this information
as well. None of that is necessary. Everything you
need to know is right in front of you – on the eBay
Take a look at any category, and you will see the
word ‘hot’ beside some items. These items are not
marked as hot sellers randomly – there is a method
to the madness! Items only get marked as hot when
there have been more than thirty bids placed on
the item. All you have to do is wonder around the eBay
website for a while to find an item that will do well.
However, most power sellers will agree that there is
more to figuring out which items sell best than this.
In fact, they claim that it is a science. A great way
to start your search for items that will result in a
successful auction in the future is to do research on
the auctions that were successful in the past. You
can view old listings that have completed at:
A new way to determine what items sell best on
eBay is ‘eBay Marketplace Research.’ Marketplace
Research will allow you to view important statistical
information on the buying trends at eBay. This
product contains all of the data one could possibly
ever need to determine how well – or how poorly –
an item will do in an eBay auction. There is a small
fee for using the eBay Marketplace Research tools,
Another tool that will be very useful in your quest for
finding hot selling items for your eBay auctions is the
listing of popular eBay search terms that is found on
the site. This list can be found at:
http://popular.ebay.com/ . This list is divided into
categories, which will make it easier to determine
how popular your potential item may be.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that an item will
do poorly, or that it will do well without doing your
homework on the item first. Some of the strangest
things sell for the highest prices, while items that
would sell quickly in any other environment just sit
there. Almost any eBay Power Seller will tell you
that the key to a successful auction rests in the
amount of research you put into the items you
hope to sell.
How to Avoid eBay Scams and Fraud
Countless people have been scammed and
defrauded on eBay. eBay is a fun place to bid on
items and to sell items – but you must know how to
recognize a scam, and how to avoid them, them or
you quickly join the ranks of those who have lost
their money to eBay scams. Of course, if you are
scammed, there are some actions you can take the
correct the situation – but in many cases, the
scammer does indeed get away! The best option is
to avoid being scammed.
You can easily avoid many scams with the payment
method that you use – whether you are a buyer or a
seller. eBay owns Paypal, and in most cases,
Paypal is the payment method you should use. First,
as a buyer, if you are scammed or less than
satisfied with the item when it arrives, you can
dispute the charge easily, and demand a refund. The
seller must reply and show proof that the item was
shipped, and that it arrived in the condition that you
expected, or Paypal will return your funds to your
As a seller, you can protect yourself by only
accepting Paypal. This will eliminate the chances of
receiving a bad check or having the buyer dispute a
credit card charge. Instead, they must dispute the
charge through paypal, and you of course will be able
to prove that you shipped the product. You cannot,
however, prove that the product arrived in the
condition that was expected. In this case, you should
demand that the product be returned to you before the
refund is issued.
Another common scam that buyers use is the
bidding scam. This type of scam is run either with
two separate eBay accounts – with one person in
control of both of them, or with two friends with
separate eBay accounts. A very small bid is placed
on your item, using one account. This is followed by
a very high bid, from the other eBay account. Right
before the bidding ends, the high bid is cancelled or
withdrawn, leaving the low bid as the winning bid.
This bid can only be avoided by setting a reserve price
– the lowest bid that can be placed is the same as the
reserve price that you set.
If you are an eBay seller, you can further protect
your auctions by placing a notice on your auctions
page, declaring that you have the right to back out
of the sale if you suspect potential fraud. As both a
buyer and a seller, also beware of spoofed emails.
These emails appear to be from eBay. The email
may claim that you need to verify your information,
and ask you to login to your eBay account, using
the link provided. If you follow that link, the site looks
exactly like eBay, but it is actually a scam to get
your eBay login details, as well as your credit card
details! eBay will never ask you to do this. If you
suspect a spoofed email, report it to eBay
Don’t let scammers ruin your eBay fun! Just use
good common sense, and a reasonable amount of
caution, and everything should run smoothly. Report
suspicious activity to eBay, and if a deal doesn’t feel
right, simply back away from it and move on to the
How to Avoid Failure on Your eBay Auctions
Many first time sellers have one thing in common –
they fail. Many of them fail time and time again,
never understanding what is going wrong. They do
hours of research looking for the perfect item to sell,
get the auction set up, and wait for the bidding to
begin. Hours go by and no bids are placed. Days go
by, and there are still no bids – or there are very low
bids. Finally the auction ends, and it turns out to be
a total failure. Considering the huge number of sellers
who run eBay auctions, there are specific things you
must do, and specific things you must not do if you
are to be successful.
There are many reasons why auctions fail. The most
common reason is that the item is not in high
demand. This problem can be avoided by doing the
necessary research to determine which items sell
well, and which items should be avoided. This
research takes a great deal of time – but in the end,
you will find that it is time well spent.
Another reason for eBay failure is pricing. No matter
what your reserve price is, your opening bid price
should never be more than $50 or so. This is how you
will attract potential bidders to your auction. If you
set that opening bid too high, most people won’t
even click the link to read the description for your
item. Another pricing problem is lack of research.
Before you set your reserve price, you must
determine what the item is really worth, and the price
similar items have sold for in past eBay auctions.
Poorly written descriptions are another cause of
failed auctions. Poor grammar and misspelled words
drive people away. Failing to post a picture of the
item will also keep people from visiting your auction
page. Make sure that your description is well written.
This is essentially your ‘sales copy.’
Shipping prices scare people away from auctions if
they are too high. Find the lowest shipping prices
that you can find, and consider paying for the
shipping yourself if it won’t cut into your profits too
much. Do not charge handling fees.
Offer great ‘customer service’ for all of your auctions,
and ask your buyers to give you feedback. If the
items that you sell are everything that you said they
would be, and you offer great customer service, you
can expect wonderful feedback – and this
feedback will help a great deal in your future auctions.
How to Avoid Losing to eBay Snipers
Sniping occurs when a bid is about to end. Some
yahoo rushes in and bids a little higher than the
highest bid as the clock runs out of time – winning
the bid. Sniping is against the rules at eBay, but it
doesn’t slow the snipers down! In most cases, even
if you report it, the sniper will get away with it, and
you will have lost the item that you wanted to win
so badly. Unfortunately, in order to avoid losing the
items you want to snipers at eBay, you have to
take on the sniper mentality. You also need to
snipe in a way that will not violate eBay’s rules.
Snipping can be done in one of two ways. The first
way is the safest, but not necessarily the easiest.
Simply keep up with the item you are bidding on.
Make a note of the date and time that the auction
will end, and make sure that you are in front of your
computer and logged into the auction well before that
specific time. The objective is to either bid higher than
the highest bid during the last few seconds – which is
what snipers do - or to simply make sure that you are
not outbid by a sniper.
Remember that sniping is against the rules, so you
should log in about thirty or forty five minutes before
the bidding ends, and get your bid up until it is the
highest bid. At that point, all you need to do is to
keep an eye out to make sure that nobody else
raises the bid. If you’ve been logged in for a while,
this cannot be considered sniping.
Using this method, you must be aware of automatic
bidders. It is very hard to bid against people who use
bidding software. That software has been designed for
the purpose of snipping, and your chances of
outbidding the software manually are very slim –
which leads us to the second method of snipping
– Snipping services.
Snipping services are very easy to find online, and
they are relatively inexpensive. You can also
purchase your own snipping software. If you want to
become a sniper, purchasing your own software is
usually the best way to go if you bid on a lot of items.
You just set up the software, tell it which auction to
watch and what the highest price you are willing to
bid is, and let it do the work - just remember that it
is against the rules, and while eBay seldom enforces
this rule, you will be running the risk of getting
banned from eBay.
Sniping is bad if someone does it to you, but if you
use it yourself to win bids, it can be a wonderful thing.
On the other hand, it may not be very ethical.
Outbidding someone is one thing, sniping is
something altogether different!
How to Find Great Deals at eBay
Everyone loves a great deal! Many people spend
quite a bit of time searching for good deals on the
items that they want and need – and when they find
those deals, they experience a certain amount of
satisfaction. These people typically haunt garage
sales, stores that are holding sales, wholesale
warehouses, flea markets, and especially online
and offline auctions. With the incredible number of
auctions that are constantly going on at eBay, it
can be difficult to find the items you want, at the
price you want to pay. But it isn’t impossible to find
There are steps you can take to ensure that you are
getting a great deal on the items you purchase
through eBay. In fact, these same steps will also
help to protect you against fraud. Participating in
online auctions is a great deal of fun, but you must
use caution as well. This caution entails doing your
research before you place any bids.
Start with the auction in question. Make sure that
you read every word of the description and the
auction details. You can never have too much
information – especially if that information is
about an individual that you may be doing business
with. Pay special attention to what the description
and auction details do not say. For instance, is a
guarantee mentioned? Is the item new? Is it
authentic? Is there proof of authenticity? Look for
auctions that provide the right information – and
the right amount of information. Avoid those that
Who will pay the shipping and handling costs? Often,
the buyer pays these costs, and sometimes, the
seller tries to charge more than the actual shipping
and handling costs are. Beware of high shipping
costs, especially for items that will be auctioned
off at a very low price. Also note when the item is
supposed to ship after the bidding has ended.
Depending on what you are trying to purchase the
item for, it may not arrive in time.
Don’t make the mistake of bidding on an item simply
because it is a ‘good deal.’ It is only a good deal for
you if the item is something that you really want or
need. Many people simply bid for the sake of
bidding – or winning – without having any real need
or desire for the item in question. Before bidding on
items that you do want or need, check prices
around the Internet and the prices available from
offline sources as well. Just because it is on eBay
does not guarantee that it is the cheapest price
Finally, learn more about the seller. Can you trust
them? What is their rating? Read their feedback
page! Failure to learn more about the seller can be
costly. Not everyone is as honest as you are – and
the seller may be trying to take advantage of people
that simply don’t know enough to find out more
about them. Sometimes scammers make their
auctions sound like really great deals. Beware of
prices that seem extremely low!
How to Sell Expensive Items on eBay
Selling expensive items on eBay is really no different
than selling low cost items. Essentially, no matter
what you are selling, it all comes down to how you
market the item. This doesn’t mean you have to
surf around the Internet placing ads here and there –
when it comes to eBay auctions, the marketing is
all done at the eBay website. Basically, when you
set up your auction, you are setting up an
automated marketing campaign.
First, you must determine what the value of your
item is, in three different ways. This will help you
determine what your reserve price is. On eBay, the
reserve price is the lowest price that you are willing
to accept for your item. First, have your high priced
item evaluated to determine what the actual market
value is. Next, research similar items from past
auctions at eBay to see what price those items sold
for. Finally, determine what the value of the item is to
you. With this information, you should be able to
determine the lowest amount you are willing to sell
the item for.
Set your reserve price, and then set your opening bid
price lower than $50 – no matter how high your
reserve price is. This is a marketing tactic. It will be
hard to attract potential buyers to an auction for an
item selling for hundreds or thousands of dollars –
but getting them to an auction where the opening
bid is only $50 is quite simple. Remember, you don’t
have to sell the item to anyone who bids less than
your reserve price – unless you choose to do so at
the close of the auction. This method of price setting
resembles marketing gimmicks used by offline
businesses that are simply designed to ‘get customers
in the door.’
Work hard on the description for your listing. Use
words that really describe your item well. Provide as
many details as possible, including details that prove
the authenticity of collectible items. Include pictures
of the item as well. Do not try to deceive potential
buyers! If the item has marks or scratches, simply
be honest about it, and make sure that the pictures
convey this as well. State how the item will be
packed and shipped. Also let potential buyers know
that shipping insurance must be purchased as well
– in case the item is damaged once it leaves your
For higher priced items, most eBay buyers feel more
comfortable using an escrow service. Offer this as
an option in your auction, with the understanding that
the buyer must pay for the service. This protects both
parties from fraud, and it makes many buyers more
open to spending the money to obtain the item.
eBay has partnered with an escrow service that is
commonly used for high ticket items.
How to Use eBay Escrow Services
If you buy or sell big ticket items on eBay, you need
to know about the available escrow services. An
escrow service is designed to protect buyers and
sellers from being ripped off. The funds for the sale
go to the escrow service, and then the seller ships
the item to the buyer. Once the item has been
received, the funds are released from the escrow
service to the seller.
In some instances, both the item and the funds go
through the escrow service, and the service makes
sure that the buyer gets the item, and the seller
gets the money. There is a small fee for the service,
and it is usually a fixed percentage of the sale price.
It is up to the buyer and seller to decide who will
pay the fees. Often, the fees are split between the
buyer and seller.
If you want to use an escrow service, there is only
one service that eBay recommends, and they back
that service up. This service is Escrow.com. Over
the years, there have been many ‘look-alike’
escrow services, using variations of the escrow.com
domain name, but they have shown to be less than
reputable companies. Make sure you use the
services of escrow.com for the greatest protection.
How to Use the Promotional Tools on eBay
eBay wants you to be successful. Essentially, if
their sellers are not making any money, eBay is
not making any money – or not enough money.
eBay does have one other very small source of
revenue, which comes from the sellers. This revenue
is realized from the promotional tools that actually
help you, as a seller, have more successful auctions.
The promotional tools on eBay are very inexpensive.
For instance, you can have a bold listing for just a
few cents. Highlighted listings are equally inexpensive.
These two tools could easily raise your final price by
as much as 25%! Not all promotional tools cost money.
Many of them are free. The available promotional tools
found on eBay are product finder, gallery, bold,
highlight, border, gift services listings, subtitles, featured
home page, featured plus, featured gallery, keywords,
co-op advertising, and optimized listings.
If you are serious about making money from your eBay
auctions, or if you are selling just one high ticket item,
you should definitely take advantage of the eBay
promotional tools that are available to you. These can
easily be found through your sellers account.
Increase Your eBay Profits Without Relying on
While it is possible to earn a full time living on eBay,
it is a mistake to depend solely on eBay for your
income. You could be using your eBay auctions to
generate a huge amount of business for other
products and services! Many people, however,
fail to fully utilize eBay’s resources to this end.
eBay has over 100 million members, and they
gained those members by continually running major
marketing campaigns. Essentially, they do your
marketing for you. But you have to help yourself as
well. The key is to drive people to your auction page,
which in turn can be used to drive traffic to your
You can sell many different items on your website,
including items that are up for auction at eBay! This
is a fabulous way to earn income that does not rely
on eBay auctions. You can easily accept website
payments with a Paypal account, so there is no
need for an expensive merchant account!
You are not allowed to include the website address
of an outside website on your auctions – you are,
however, perfectly welcome to place a link to your
website on your eBay ‘About Me’ page. Invite your
bidders and potential bidders to view your about me
page, and watch the website traffic roll in!
Shipping eBay Items to Customers
If you stock the products that you sell on eBay, as
opposed to drop shipping, you probably spend a
great deal of time and money shipping items to your
customers. If you are a big success on eBay, this
could quickly become a problem. Organize your
shipping practices before they get out of control!
Keep stamps, packing materials, and boxes on
hand. You can have these items delivered to you,
which will save you a lot of time. Use large padded
envelopes instead of boxes whenever possible. These
envelopes are easier to handle, and usually cheaper to
purchase. Furthermore, they often weigh just a little
less than cardboard boxes do, which will save a bit of
money on the postage. Purchase stamps and packing
materials online. Not only will you save time, you will
save money as well.
If you ship a lot of packages, purchasing your own
set of postage scales will increase your efficiency –
the expense will more than pay for itself. Other items
you should invest in include a rubber stamp, label
printing software, a good printer, and labels. Either
use a stamp for the return label, or keep a large
stock of pre-printed return labels. All you need is a
plan and a little bit of organization to successfully
ship your eBay items.
The eBay Item Listing Rules
Because eBay is such a huge marketplace, with
members from all walks of life, in almost every single
country around the world, it is no wonder that there
are many scammers lurking about. In order to better
protect the buyers, eBay has specific rules
concerning the items that can be auctioned off on
the site. These rules must be followed, or the
person posting the item for auction can be banned
from the site.
Even though there are numerous categories, items
that are put up for auction really only fall into one of
four categories at eBay: Prohibited, Questionable,
Potentially Infringing, and Approved. Approved is the
simplest category to define and understand. An
approved item is any item that does not fall into one
of the other three categories. That is fairly simple,
After the ‘approved’ category, however, it starts to
get a little harder to understand – with the exception
of prohibited items. A prohibited item may not be
auctioned on eBay for any reason, under any
circumstances. Prohibited items include alcohol,
drugs, animals, tobacco, human remains or body
parts of any type, lottery tickets, and
governmental property. There is quite a bit more
on the list, and that list can be viewed at the
Questionable items are those that are not prohibited,
but are not necessarily infringing. Adult material falls
under the ‘questionable’ category. Tickets of any
type may also be questionable. Law enforcement
related equipment, as well as guns, knives, and
other weapons are questionable items. Artifacts,
food items, batteries, all hazardous chemicals
and materials are also on the list of
questionable items. You can auction questionable
items at eBay, as long as those items meet certain
Potentially Infringing items are those that violate
copyrights, trademarks, and other legal rights. These
items are almost always some type of media, such
as software, DVDs, and CDs, but the list contains
other items as well, such as counterfeit items and
illegal recordings. You can find out more about
‘potentially infringing’ items at the eBay website
If you are unsure as to which category your item falls
into, you should contact eBay with this question
before setting up the auction. As a buyer, you
should carefully consider the consequences of
purchasing items that fall under one of the three
categories above. In some cases, it may be very
illegal to have some of those items in your
possession – no matter how they were obtained.
Before making such a purchase, or bidding on such
an item, you should find out more details about the
item in question, and then get some legal advice.
The eBay Shipping Center
eBay wants to help sellers with every aspect of their
eBay business. The eBay shipping center was
created to help ensure that you get your items to
your customers in a timely manner, in the most
efficient and economical way possible.
The eBay shipping center will help you print shipping
labels, help you figure shipping costs, and even help
you with International shipping. Shipping information
for all of the major shipping companies, including the
USPS can be found through the shipping center. You
can even purchase insurance for packages that will
be shipped by the USPS directly through the shipping
One of the greatest features of the eBay Shipping
Center is the ability to order free co-branded shipping
boxes for USPS shipments. These boxes are
delivered to you, at no cost! This will cut a great deal
of your shipping expenses because you won’t have to
purchase your own boxes! There is also a great video
that will teach you how to save time and money on
your shipping, and whether you are a buyer or a
seller, you can easily track your packages through
the eBay shipping center as well.
The eBay Trading Assistants Program
If you excel at eBay auctions, you might want to
consider an additional source of revenue as well. The
eBay Trading Assistant Program will allow you to
sell items for other eBay members on consignment.
Being successful at your own auctions is the key
to becoming a successful trading assistant for other
Often, newcomers simply don’t know how to make
their items sell. Many people who are auctioning off
a one time big ticket item, such as cars or real
estate, will often employ the services of an eBay
Trading Assistant. Items such as these can add
up to very big commissions for serious trading
assistants! Usually, trading assistants are
responsible for every aspect of the auction,
including shipping the product to the customer and
collecting payment. For high ticket items, the person
Trading Assistants get access to trading assistant
marketing materials which are quite helpful. In order
to become an approved trading assistant, you must
have sold at least ten items in the last ninety days,
have a feedback score of at least 100 with 97%
positive feedback or higher, and your eBay account
must be in good standing.
Using the eBay Security and Resolution Center
Whether you are an eBay buyer or a seller, problems
may arise at some point. That is why the eBay
Security and Resolution Center was created. Even
if you have never had a problem on eBay, and you
don’t expect to, a visit to this eBay resource can be
very enlightening, and it may even help you to
protect yourself in all of your online activities.
If you do not receive an item that you bought from
eBay, this is where it is reported. The same is true
if you sold and shipped an item and did not receive
payment for it. But there are many other ways to
use the security center as well. You can learn how
to protect yourself from identity theft, how to protect
your eBay account and the eBay guidelines that
are designed to make everyone’s buying and selling
experience safe and enjoyable.
If you are an eBay seller, you will learn how to
become a trusted seller, which will ultimately bring
you more profits. There is something for everyone at
the eBay Security and Resolution Center – even if
you have never had a security problem at eBay.