You are previewing eBay® for Dummies®, 6th Edition.
O'Reilly logo
eBay® for Dummies®, 6th Edition

Book Description

The bestsellng guide to successfully buying and selling on eBay, fully revised and updated

eBay is the world's #1 shopping and selling site, where millions find bargains and make money with their own sales. Marsha Collier is the #1 eBay expert and bestselling author, with more than a million copies of her books in print. And eBay For Dummies has been the bestselling book on eBay since the original edition in 1999.

Thoroughly updated to cover all the changes in the eBay site, eBay For Dummies, 6th Edition gets you started with information about signing up and navigating the site. It shows you how to find the best bargains, bid to win, and complete your purchase securely. Then it guides you into become a successful eBay seller, showing you how you can pick up extra money in a tight economy with eBay sales.

  • Covers how to find bargains on eBay, bid successfully, and pay for your purchases safely

  • Helps new users become comfortable with the site and shop with confidence

  • Shows you how to set up a seller account, list items, offer customer service, ship merchandise, and receive payment securely

  • Prepares you for other issues that may arise

  • Explores eBay's special features, showing you how to work within the rules, use the community, and even set up a charity auction

  • Includes insider tips on becoming a better buyer and seller

  • eBay For Dummies, 6th Edition prepares you to save money on your purchases and make money on your sales, all from the comfort of your home.

    Table of Contents

    1. Copyright
    2. About the Author
    3. Author's Acknowledgments
    4. Publisher's Acknowledgments
    5. Introduction
      1. About This Book
      2. Foolish Assumptions
      3. How This Book Is Organized
        1. Part I: Getting a Feel for eBay
        2. Part II: Buying Like an Expert
        3. Part III: Making Money the eBay Way
        4. Part IV Even More of eBay's Special Features
        5. Part V: The Part of Tens
      4. Icons Used in This Book
      5. What Now?
      6. Feedback, Please
    6. I. Getting a Feel for eBay
    7. 1. Why You're Going to Love Your Time on eBay
      1. 1.1. What Is eBay, and How Does It Work?
      2. 1.2. All about Auctions
        1. 1.2.1. eBay auctions
        2. 1.2.2. Reserve-price auctions
        3. 1.2.3. Restricted-access auctions
        4. 1.2.4. Private (shhh-it's-a-secret) listings
      3. 1.3. Buying It Now on eBay
        1. 1.3.1. eBay Stores
        2. 1.3.2. Buy It Now and fixed-price sales
      4. 1.4. So You Wanna Sell Stuff
      5. 1.5. So You Wanna Buy Stuff
      6. 1.6. Research for Fun and Profit
      7. 1.7. eBay's Role in the Action
      8. 1.8. Features and Fun Stuff
        1. 1.8.1. Chatting it up
        2. 1.8.2. Trust & Safety
      9. 1.9. Extra Gizmos You're Gonna Want
    8. 2. Ready, Set, Go: Signing Up on eBay
      1. 2.1. Registering on eBay
      2. 2.2. Registering Is Free, Fun, and Fast
        1. 2.2.1. Like, what's your sign? Filling in required information
        2. 2.2.2. Do you solemnly swear to...?
        3. 2.2.3. It must be true if you have it in writing
        4. 2.2.4. Getting to know you: Optional information
      3. 2.3. A Quick Word about Passwords
      4. 2.4. A Not-So-Quick Word about Choosing a User ID
      5. 2.5. Your License to Deal (Almost)
    9. 3. You Can Go Home — Again and Again!
      1. 3.1. What Is the Home Page?
      2. 3.2. Sign In, Please
      3. 3.3. This Bar Never Closes
      4. 3.4. Exploring Your Home Page Search Options
        1. 3.4.1. Peering through the home page search box
        2. 3.4.2. Going where the Advanced Search link takes you
      5. 3.5. Home Links, the Next Generation
      6. 3.6. Maneuvering through Categories
      7. 3.7. Going Global
      8. 3.8. Using the Seller's Items Links
      9. 3.9. Charities
      10. 3.10. Promotion du Jour
      11. 3.11. Bottoming Out
    10. 4. My Very Own, Private eBay
      1. 4.1. Getting to Your My eBay Page
      2. 4.2. Keeping Track of Your Personal Business
        1. 4.2.1. Checking your account information
        2. 4.2.2. Choosing your notification preferences
        3. 4.2.3. Your Feedback link
        4. 4.2.4. Account links
      3. 4.3. Understanding Your Seller Dashboard
      4. 4.4. Using the Resolution Center
      5. 4.5. Organizing in the Organize Area
        1. 4.5.1. Saved searches
        2. 4.5.2. Saved sellers
      6. 4.6. Following the Action on Your Buying and Watching Pages
        1. 4.6.1. Seeing the Items I'm Buying
        2. 4.6.2. Keeping track of Items I've Won
        3. 4.6.3. Sleuthing with Items I'm Watching
      7. 4.7. Surveying Your Sales on Your My eBay Selling Page
        1. 4.7.1. Your Sell page
        2. 4.7.2. Your Sold page
        3. 4.7.3. eBay's Selling Manager/Selling Manager Pro
      8. 4.8. Keeping Track of Your Transactions
      9. 4.9. Getting and Giving Feedback
        1. 4.9.1. How to get positive feedback
        2. 4.9.2. How to get negative feedback
        3. 4.9.3. The Feedback page
        4. 4.9.4. Reading your feedback
        5. 4.9.5. You have the last word — responding to feedback
        6. 4.9.6. Leaving feedback with finesse
        7. 4.9.7. Safety tips for giving feedback
        8. 4.9.8. The ways to leave feedback
    11. II. Buying Like an Expert
    12. 5. Seek and You Shall Find: Research
      1. 5.1. General Online Tips for Collectors
        1. 5.1.1. The experts speak out
        2. 5.1.2. Go, Joe: Following an expert on the hunt
        3. 5.1.3. Making the grade
      2. 5.2. Finding More Research Information
        1. 5.2.1. Searching sites online
        2. 5.2.2. Finding other sources of information
      3. 5.3. Looking to Find an Item? Start Your eBay Search Engine
        1. 5.3.1. Using the Search page
        2. 5.3.2. Using the Advanced Search page
          1. 5.3.2.1. A Completed Items search
          2. 5.3.2.2. An international search
        3. 5.3.3. A seller search
          1. 5.3.3.1. View all items by a single seller
          2. 5.3.3.2. Finding items by keywords for multiple sellers
        4. 5.3.4. A bidder search
        5. 5.3.5. Shortcuts for a Quick eBay search
      4. 5.4. Finding eBay Members: The Gang's All Here
    13. 6. Shopping eBay: The Basics
      1. 6.1. The Item Listing Page
      2. 6.2. Beating the Devil in the Details
        1. 6.2.1. Read the item description carefully
        2. 6.2.2. Get the scoop on the seller
          1. 6.2.2.1. View the seller's other items
          2. 6.2.2.2. Ask seller a question
      3. 6.3. Factoring in the Extras
        1. 6.3.1. Payment methods
        2. 6.3.2. Using an escrow service
        3. 6.3.3. Shipping and insurance costs
      4. 6.4. Placing Your Bid on an Auction
      5. 6.5. Bidding to the Max: Proxy Bidding
      6. 6.6. Specialized Auction Categories
        1. 6.6.1. eBay Motors
        2. 6.6.2. eBay Stores
      7. 6.7. The Agony (?) of Buyer's Remorse
        1. 6.7.1. Retracting your bid
        2. 6.7.2. Avoiding deadbeat (non-paying bidder) status
    14. 7. Power-Buying Strategies
      1. 7.1. Make an Offer!
      2. 7.2. Find Out an Item's Bidding History
      3. 7.3. Get to Know the Other Bidders
      4. 7.4. Strategies to Help You Outsmart the Competition
      5. 7.5. Time Is Money: Auction Strategy by the Clock
        1. 7.5.1. Using a laid-back strategy
        2. 7.5.2. Using the beat-the-clock strategy
          1. 7.5.2.1. In the last half hour
          2. 7.5.2.2. Sniping to the finish: The final minutes
    15. 8. After You Win the Item
      1. 8.1. eBay Calling: You're a Winner
      2. 8.2. Getting Your Paperwork Together
      3. 8.3. Getting Contact Information
      4. 8.4. So, What's Your Number?
      5. 8.5. Checking Out
      6. 8.6. Communicating with the Seller
      7. 8.7. Sending the Payment Promptly and Securely
      8. 8.8. Using PayPal, a person-to-person payment service
      9. 8.9. Keeping in Touch: Dealing with an AWOL Seller
      10. 8.10. You Get the Item ... Uh-Oh What's This?
      11. 8.11. Filing to Get a Refund through PayPal
      12. 8.12. Don't Forget to Leave Feedback
      13. 8.13. Properly Giving the Seller's Detailed Star Rating (DSRs)
    16. III. Making Money the eBay Way
    17. 9. Selling in Your Bunny Slippers for Fun and Profit
      1. 9.1. Why Should You Sell Stuff on eBay?
      2. 9.2. Finding Stuff to Sell
      3. 9.3. Know When to Sell
      4. 9.4. Know Thy Stuff
        1. 9.4.1. Getting the goods on your goods
        2. 9.4.2. Spy versus spy: Comparison selling
      5. 9.5. Know What You Can (and Can't) Sell
        1. 9.5.1. Prohibited items
        2. 9.5.2. Infringing items
        3. 9.5.3. Questionable items: Know the laws
        4. 9.5.4. Forbidden items
      6. 9.6. Reporting a Problem Listing
      7. 9.7. VeRO to the Rescue
      8. 9.8. eBay Fees? What eBay Fees? Oops ...
        1. 9.8.1. Insertion fees
        2. 9.8.2. Final value fees
        3. 9.8.3. Optional fees
        4. 9.8.4. Keep current on your profits
      9. 9.9. Uncle Sam Wants You — to Pay Your Taxes
        1. 9.9.1. Two wild rumors about federal taxes
          1. 9.9.1.1. Rumor #1: E-commerce isn't taxed
          2. 9.9.1.2. Rumor #2: Profits from garage sales are tax-exempt
        2. 9.9.2. State sales tax
        3. 9.9.3. State income taxes
    18. 10. Time to Sell: Completing the Cyber Paperwork
      1. 10.1. Getting Ready to List Your Item
      2. 10.2. Examining the Sell an Item Page
      3. 10.3. Filling in the Required Blanks
        1. 10.3.1. Selecting a category
        2. 10.3.2. Creating the perfect item title
          1. 10.3.2.1. Look for a phrase that pays
          2. 10.3.2.2. eBay lingo at a glance
          3. 10.3.2.3. Don't let your title ruin your auction
          4. 10.3.2.4. Giving the title punch with a subtitle
        3. 10.3.3. Writing your description
        4. 10.3.4. Listing the number of items for sale
        5. 10.3.5. Setting a starting price — how low can you go?
        6. 10.3.6. Buy It Now
        7. 10.3.7. Setting your auction time
        8. 10.3.8. Your secret safety net — reserve price
        9. 10.3.9. I want to be alone: the private auction
        10. 10.3.10. Put me in the Gallery
        11. 10.3.11. Filling out the item location
        12. 10.3.12. A picture is worth a thousand words
        13. 10.3.13. Listing Designer
        14. 10.3.14. Listing the payment methods you'll accept
        15. 10.3.15. Setting shipping terms
        16. 10.3.16. eBay Options: Getting Eyes on Your Item
      4. 10.4. Checking Your Work and Starting the Auction
      5. 10.5. Midcourse Corrections: Fixing Current Listings
        1. 10.5.1. Making changes before bidding begins
        2. 10.5.2. Making changes after bidding begins
    19. 11. Save Gas — Drive Your Mouse to an eBay Store
      1. 11.1. Unlimited Shopping from the Stores Page
        1. 11.1.1. Conducting an eBay Stores search
        2. 11.1.2. Browsing the store categories
      2. 11.2. Selling from Your Own Virtual Storefront
        1. 11.2.1. Paying the landlord
        2. 11.2.2. Opening your eBay store
    20. 12. Closing the Deal and Shipping It Out
      1. 12.1. Bookkeeping and Staying Organized
      2. 12.2. Talking to Buyers: The ABCs of Good Communication
        1. 12.2.1. Thank you — I mean it
        2. 12.2.2. Let's keep e-mailing
      3. 12.3. Shipping without Going Postal
        1. 12.3.1. Shopping for a shipper
          1. 12.3.1.1. U.S. Postal Service
          2. 12.3.1.2. UPS
          3. 12.3.1.3. FedEx
        2. 12.3.2. Getting the right (packing) stuff
          1. 12.3.2.1. Packing material: What to use
          2. 12.3.2.2. Packing material: Where to find it
      4. 12.4. Buying Postage Online
      5. 12.5. Preparing Postage with Endicia
      6. 12.6. Shipping Directly from PayPal
    21. 13. Troubleshooting Transactions
      1. 13.1. Dealing with a Buyer Who Doesn't Respond
        1. 13.1.1. Going into nudge mode
        2. 13.1.2. Do a little sleuthing
        3. 13.1.3. Stepping things up a notch
      2. 13.2. Other Possible Auction Problems
        1. 13.2.1. The buyer backs out of the transaction
          1. 13.2.1.1. Keeping your cool
          2. 13.2.1.2. When Plan A fails, try Plan B, or even C — Second Chance Offer
        2. 13.2.2. The item you send is busted — and so are you
          1. 13.2.2.1. Picking up the pieces
          2. 13.2.2.2. Boxed out of a claim
        3. 13.2.3. You have regrets — seller's remorse
      3. 13.3. Auction Going Badly? Cut Your Losses
        1. 13.3.1. Try canceling bids first
        2. 13.3.2. Blocking bidders
        3. 13.3.3. If all else fails, end your listing early
        4. 13.3.4. Filing for a final value fee credit
        5. 13.3.5. Déjà vu — relisting your item
    22. 14. Increase Your Profits with Pictures and Other Strategies
      1. 14.1. Using Images in Your Auctions
        1. 14.1.1. Choosing a digital camera
        2. 14.1.2. Choosing a scanner
      2. 14.2. Making Your Picture a Thing of Beauty
        1. 14.2.1. Get it on camera
        2. 14.2.2. Use traditional photos? Yes, I scan
        3. 14.2.3. Software that adds the artist's touch
      3. 14.3. Making Your Images Web-Friendly
      4. 14.4. The Image Is Perfect — Now What?
        1. 14.4.1. Using an ISP to store your images
        2. 14.4.2. Using image-hosting Web sites to store images
        3. 14.4.3. Using eBay's Picture Services
        4. 14.4.4. eBay's Gallery
      5. 14.5. Putting on the Hits
      6. 14.6. Blog on Your My World Page
    23. IV. Even More of eBay's Special Features
    24. 15. Privacy: To Protect and to Serve
      1. 15.1. What eBay Knows about You
        1. 15.1.1. What you tell eBay
        2. 15.1.2. What cookies gather
        3. 15.1.3. Your eBay sign-in cookie
        4. 15.1.4. Web beacons
        5. 15.1.5. What Web servers collect
        6. 15.1.6. Cookie removal-ware
        7. 15.1.7. eBay's privacy policy
      2. 15.2. What Does eBay Do with Information about Me, Anyway?
      3. 15.3. What Do Other eBay Members Know about Me?
      4. 15.4. Spam — Not Just a Hawaiian Delicacy
        1. 15.4.1. Sending spam versus eating it
        2. 15.4.2. Trashing your junk mail
        3. 15.4.3. E-mail spoofing
      5. 15.5. I Vant to Be Alone — and Vat You Can Do to Stay That Vay
    25. 16. Staying Safe and Sane
      1. 16.1. Keeping eBay Safe with Trust & Safety
      2. 16.2. Abuses You Should Report to Trust & Safety
        1. 16.2.1. Selling abuses
        2. 16.2.2. Bidding abuses
        3. 16.2.3. Feedback abuses
      3. 16.3. Identity abuses
        1. 16.3.1. Operational abuses
        2. 16.3.2. Miscellaneous abuses
      4. 16.4. Reporting Abuses to Trust & Safety
      5. 16.5. Stuff eBay Won't Do Anything About
      6. 16.6. Knowing the Deeds That Can Get You Suspended
      7. 16.7. Getting Buyer Protection
        1. 16.7.1. eBay Motors Vehicle Protection Program
        2. 16.7.2. PayPal Buyer Protection
        3. 16.7.3. BuySAFE bond
        4. 16.7.4. SquareTrade warranties
      8. 16.8. Launching a Fraud Report
      9. 16.9. Getting the Real Deal? Authentication and Appraising
      10. 16.10. ID Verify
      11. 16.11. If It's Clearly Fraud
    26. 17. The eBay Community: Joining In with Other eBay Members
      1. 17.1. News and Chat, This and That
      2. 17.2. Making eBay Your World
      3. 17.3. Hear Ye, Hear Ye! eBay's Announcements Boards
      4. 17.4. Help! I Need Somebody
      5. 17.5. Community Chat Rooms
      6. 17.6. User-to-User Discussion Boards
      7. 17.7. Other Chat Rooms (Message Boards)
        1. 17.7.1. Café society
        2. 17.7.2. Holiday Chat Room
        3. 17.7.3. Giving Works Board
        4. 17.7.4. The eBay Friends from All Over discussion Board
      8. 17.8. Category-Specific Chat Boards
      9. 17.9. eBay Groups
      10. 17.10. Blog It on eBay
    27. 18. eBay's Fun Features
      1. 18.1. Truly Righteous Stuff for Charity
        1. 18.1.1. eBay Giving Works
      2. 18.2. Creative charity auctions
      3. 18.3. And Now for Our Feature Presentation
      4. 18.4. Member specials
        1. 18.4.1. Who's minding The eBay Shop?
        2. 18.4.2. eBay's Saved Searches e-mail service
      5. 18.5. Getting Free Calls over the Internet with Skype
    28. V. The Part of Tens
    29. 19. Ten (or So) Golden Rules for eBay Buyers and Sellers
      1. 19.1. Buyer: Investigate Your Treasure Before You Buy
      2. 19.2. Buyer: Check the Seller's Feedback
      3. 19.3. Buyer: Understand Post-Auction Charges and Payment Methods
      4. 19.4. Buyer: Check the Price Tag and Bid Wisely
      5. 19.5. Buyer: Be a Good Buyer Bee
      6. 19.6. Buyer: Cover Your Assets
      7. 19.7. Seller: Know Your Stuff
      8. 19.8. Seller: Polish and Shine
      9. 19.9. Seller: Picture-Perfect Facts
      10. 19.10. Seller: Communication Is Key
      11. 19.11. Seller: Be a Buyer's Dream
      12. 19.12. Seller: Listen to the Music
      13. 19.13. Buyers and Sellers: Keep Current, Keep Cool
    30. 20. Ten (or So) Programs and Services to Ease Your Way on eB
      1. 20.1. Online Services
        1. 20.1.1. Auctiva
        2. 20.1.2. InkFrog
        3. 20.1.3. Vendio and Vendio Stores
        4. 20.1.4. Buyitsellit Stores
        5. 20.1.5. Fast Photos
        6. 20.1.6. BidRobot
      2. 20.2. Software for Offline Use
        1. 20.2.1. Auction Wizard 2000
        2. 20.2.2. Shooting Star
      3. 20.3. eBay's Software and Services
        1. 20.3.1. eBay's Free Turbo Lister
        2. 20.3.2. Selling Manager and Selling Manager Pro
        3. 20.3.3. eBay PowerSellers program
        4. 20.3.4. Trading Assistant Program
    31. A. Finding Stuff to Sell
      1. A.1. Knowing the Market
      2. A.2. Do You Have a Talent?
      3. A.3. Catching Trends in the Media
        1. A.3.1. In newspapers
        2. A.3.2. On television
        3. A.3.3. Catch up with youth culture ...
        4. A.3.4. Check out eBay
        5. A.3.5. Check out magazines
      4. A.4. The Hunt for eBay Inventory
        1. A.4.1. The goods are out there
        2. A.4.2. Tips for the modest investor