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eBay Hacks

Book Description

Want to know how best to use eBay? Whether you're a newcomer or longtime user, eBay Hacks will teach you to become efficient as both a buyer and seller. You'll find a wide range of topics, from monitoring the bidding process, getting refunds, and fixing photos so that sale items look their best, to in-depth tips for running a business on eBay and writing scripts that automate some of the most tedious tasks. That's just the nuts and bolts. The book also gives you an inside look into the unique eBay community, where millions of people gather online to buy and sell. Author David Karp--an eBay user himself, with years of experience--teaches you how to work within this community to maximize your success. eBay Hacks includes four powerful sections:

  • "Hacks for All" covers eBay's diplomacy and feedback system, describing how you can maintain a good feedback profile and use it to inspire trust in others.

  • "Hacks for Buyers" shows you how to focus your searches to find auctions before anyone else--including ways to create an automated search robot. Then, learn how bidding works in the real world, using eBay's proxy bidding system to improve your win rate while spending less money.

  • "Hacks for Sellers" teaches strategies for competitive selling, like promoting your items without spending extra money and protecting yourself from deadbeat buyers. Learn how to run a fulltime business on eBay by streamlining the listing process, communications and checkout.

  • "Hacks for Developers" delves into eBay's API, an interface for writing programs that do the work that most users have to do by hand through a web browser.

  • With eBay Hacks, you'll be more than a buyer or seller. You will become a savvy power user who knows the smart way to save time, save money, and dramatically improve auction success.

    Table of Contents

    1. eBay Hacks
      1. Credits
        1. About the Author
        2. Contributors
        3. Best eBay Pop-Culture References
        4. Acknowledgments
      2. Foreword: This Magic Marketplace
      3. Preface
        1. Origins
        2. What This Book Is . . . and Isn’t
        3. Hacking a Dynamic System
        4. Practical Matters
        5. How This Book Is Organized
          1. Hacks for All
          2. Hacks for Buyers
          3. Hacks for Sellers
          4. Hacks for Developers
        6. How to Use This Book
        7. Conventions Used in This Book
        8. How to Contact Us
        9. Got a Hack?
      4. 1. Diplomacy and Feedback
        1. Hacks #1-8
          1. Leaving Feedback
          2. Deciphering Feedback
        2. Searching Feedback
        3. Using Prefabricated Feedback
          1. Feedback for Multiple Auctions
          2. Right-Click-O-Rama
          3. Feedback for International Users
          4. See Also
        4. How to Avoid Negative Feedback
          1. Etiquette and Netiquette
          2. See Also
        5. Replies and Followups to Feedback
          1. First Reply to Feedback
          2. Follow Up to Feedback
        6. Withholding Feedback
          1. Who Goes First
          2. If There’s Doubt
        7. Remove Unwanted Feedback
          1. SquareTrade
        8. Improve Your Trustworthiness Quickly
          1. Newbie Buyers
          2. Newbie Sellers
          3. ID Verify
          4. Negative Feedback
        9. What to Do When Your Email Doesn’t Get Through
      5. 2. Searching
        1. Hacks #9-19
        2. Focus Your Searches with eBay’s Advanced Search Syntax
          1. Excluding Unwanted Results
          2. Save Time and Typing with Wildcards
          3. Performing OR Searches
          4. Looking for Phrases
        3. Controlling Fuzzy Searches
          1. Punctuation
        4. Jumping In and Out of Categories While Searching
          1. Search Within a Category
          2. Categorize Your Search
        5. Tweaking Search URLs
          1. Auction Pages
          2. Search Pages
          3. Searching in Categories
          4. View a Seller’s Other Items
          5. See Also
        6. Find Similar Items
          1. How It Works
          2. Hacking the Hack
        7. Search by Seller
          1. View Seller’s Other Items
          2. A Real Search by Seller
          3. eBay Stores
          4. The Obvious
        8. Search Internationally
          1. Expanding Your Search
          2. Making Sure the Seller Will Ship to You
          3. Viewing Foreign Categories
        9. Save Your Searches
          1. Favorite Searches
          2. Quick and Dirty
          3. A Little Spit and Polish
          4. See Also
        10. Create a Search Robot
          1. Constructing the Robot
          2. How It Works
          3. Running the Hack
          4. Hacking the Hack
        11. Find Items by Shadowing
          1. Prevent Bidders from Shadowing You
        12. The eBay Toolbar
      6. 3. Bidding
        1. Hacks #20-32
          1. Proxy Bidding
        2. Sniffing Out Dishonest Sellers
          1. If It Sounds Too Good to Be True . . .
          2. The Shipping-Cost Scam
          3. There’s Less Than Meets the Eye
          4. Quick to Unload?
          5. Hostile Takeover
        3. Snipe It Manually
          1. With Seconds to Spare . . .
          2. Contingency Plans
          3. See Also
        4. Automatic Sniping
          1. The Catch
          2. Put eSnipe on Your Toolbar
          3. See Also
        5. Conditional Sniping with Bid Groups
        6. Keep Track of Auctions Outside of eBay
          1. Using eBay’s Tracking Tools
          2. If You Want It Done Right . . .
          3. The Link
          4. The Script
          5. Running the Hack
          6. Hacking the Hack
        7. Take Advantage of Bid Increments
          1. Outbidding the High Bidder
          2. Take It One Step Further
        8. Manipulating Buy-It-Now Auctions
          1. Start with the Obvious
          2. Undercut the Buy-It-Now Feature
          3. Let’s Make a Deal
        9. Retract Your Bid Without Retracting Your Bid
          1. By the Book
          2. Getting Help from the Seller
          3. Getting Out of Your Obligation
        10. Tools for Dealing with Fraud
          1. Sleuthing Tools at Your Disposal
        11. Send Payment Quickly and Safely
          1. PayPal: The eBay Way
          2. Alternative Online Payments
          3. Convince a Seller to Play by Your Rules
        12. International Transactions Made Easier
          1. View Auctions on Your Native eBay
          2. Enter the Babel Fish
          3. Paying and Shipping Over Great Distances
        13. Save Money on Shipping
          1. A Little Knowledge Can Be Dangerous
          2. Excuse Me While I Take Over
        14. Dealing with Disappointment: Getting Refunds
          1. Diplomacy Tactics
          2. Sending Things Back
          3. If All Else Fails . . .
      7. 4. Selling
        1. Hacks #33-54
        2. What’s It Worth?
          1. Investigate the Market
          2. The Empty Restaurant
        3. To Bundle or Not to Bundle
          1. Leveraging Dutch Auctions
        4. Reserve Judgment
        5. The Strategy of Listing Upgrades
          1. Statistics and Research
          2. Upgrade Analysis
        6. Putting Keywords in Your Auction
          1. Title Don’ts
          2. The Description
        7. Track Your Exposure
          1. Where Is an Item?
          2. Counters
        8. Expectation Management
        9. Formatting the Description with HTML
          1. Rapid HTML Primer
          2. HTML Quick Reference
          3. Images and Links
          4. Tables
          5. Using a WYSIWYG Editor
        10. Customize Auction Page Backgrounds
        11. Framing Your Auctions
          1. The Table
          2. The Images
          3. Putting It Together
        12. Overriding eBay’s Fonts and Styles
          1. Override Other Sellers’ Hacks
          2. See Also
        13. Annoy Them with Sound
          1. Some Call It Elevator Music
          2. When to Use Sound
          3. Hacking the Controller
          4. Quick-and-Dirty Links
        14. Put a Shipping Cost Calculator in Your Auction
          1. eBay’s Calculated Shipping
          2. A Custom Front-end
          3. The Zonalyzer Calculator
          4. Hacking Zonalyzer
          5. FreightQuote
        15. Allow Visitors to Search Through Your Auctions
          1. Hacking the Hack
        16. List Your Other Auctions in the Description
          1. Specific Product Links
          2. Java-Based Galleries
          3. Create a Custom “Gallery”
        17. Make Good Use of the About Me Page
          1. Just Say No to Templates
          2. Referencing the About Me Page
        18. Opting Out of Checkout
          1. Disabling Checkout
          2. Disabling PayPal
          3. Payment Instructions
          4. See Also
        19. Make Changes to Running Auctions
        20. Dynamic Text in Auction Descriptions
        21. Let’s Make a Deal
        22. Diplomacy 101: Answering Dumb Questions
          1. Check Out Your Bidders
        23. Keeping Out Deadbeat Bidders
          1. An Ounce of Prevention . . .
          2. Being Proactive Behind the Scenes
          3. Canceling Bids and Blocking Bidders
      8. 5. Working with Photos
        1. Hacks #55-64
          1. Getting Photos into Your Computer
          2. Image Editors
          3. Image Formats
          4. Preparing Images for eBay
        2. How to Keep Your Item from Looking Pathetic
          1. Composition
          2. Photographing Collections
          3. Lighting
        3. Mastering Close-Up Photography
        4. Doctoring Photos
        5. Protect Your Copyright
          1. Protecting Your Image
          2. Disable Right-Click
          3. Other Ways to Protect Your Copyright
          4. Reporting Image Thieves
        6. Host Your Own Photos
          1. Sending Photos to the Server
          2. Placing Photos in Your Auctions
        7. Make Clickable Thumbnails
          1. Preparing the Images
          2. Putting Thumbnails in your Auctions
        8. Construct an Interactive Photo Album
          1. The Hack
          2. Hacking the Hack
        9. Show a 360-Degree View of Your Item
          1. Taking the Photos
          2. Preparing the Images
          3. The Hack
          4. Hacking the Hack
        10. Create a Photo Collage
          1. Photoshop Shortcuts
        11. Create a Good Gallery Photo
      9. 6. Completing Transactions
        1. Hacks #65-71
        2. Keep Track of Items You’ve Sold
          1. The Fields
          2. How to Use It
          3. Automation
        3. Sending Payment Instructions
          1. The Email
          2. Automatic Payment Instructions
        4. Protect Yourself While Accepting Payments
        5. Cheap, Fast Shipping Without Waiting in Line
          1. Courier Notes
          2. Shipping on the Cheap
        6. Selling and Shipping Internationally
          1. Accepting International Payments
          2. Shipping to Other Countries
          3. Denied Parties
          4. Expectation Management
        7. Damage Control Before and After You Ship
          1. After the Fact
        8. Dealing with Stragglers, Deadbeats, and Returns
          1. Non-Paying Bidder Alert
          2. Final Value Fee Credit Request Form
          3. Relisting and Other Options
      10. 7. Running a Business on eBay
        1. Hacks #72-81
          1. A Word About PowerSellers
        2. eBay Stores
          1. How Customers Will Find You
          2. Alternatives
        3. Streamlining Listings
          1. Setting Up Turbo Lister
          2. Creating Listings
          3. Uploading Listings
          4. Using Folders
          5. Seller’s Assistant Pro
          6. See Also
        4. Streamlining Communications
          1. The Simple Approach
          2. The Hacker’s Approach
          3. The Business Approach
        5. Streamlining Checkout and Payment
          1. Accepting Credit Card Payments
          2. How to Use It
          3. Checkout Providers
        6. Obtaining Sales Records
          1. Step Up to Selling Manager
          2. Alternatives
        7. Make Money by Linking to eBay
          1. Creating Links with Commission Junction
          2. Hacking the Links
          3. A Simplified Search Box
        8. List Your Auctions on Another Site
          1. The Editor Kit
          2. The Merchant Kit
        9. Accept PayPal Payments from Your Own Site
          1. Just a Link
          2. The Form
          3. Shopping Cart
          4. See Also
        10. Process PayPal Payments Automatically
          1. Setting Up IPN
          2. The Script
          3. Hacking the Script
          4. See Also
        11. Keep Tabs on the eBay Community
      11. 8. The eBay API
        1. Hacks #82-100
          1. How the eBay API Works
          2. Getting Started
          3. Using the Scripts in This Chapter
        2. Climbing Out of the Sandbox
          1. Certification
          2. Certification Requirements
        3. API Searches
          1. A Simple Search
          2. Performing a Search
          3. Revising the Robot
        4. Retrieve Details About an Auction
          1. Using the Script
          2. DetailLevel
        5. Automatically Keep Track of Auctions You’ve Won
        6. Track Items in Your Watching List
        7. Automatically Keep Track of Auctions You’ve Sold
        8. Submit an Auction Listing
          1. Hacking the Hack
          2. See Also
        9. Automate Auction Revisions
          1. ReviseItem
          2. AddToItemDescription
          3. Let’s Automate
        10. Spellcheck All Your Auctions
          1. The Script
          2. Hacking the Hack
        11. Negative Feedback Bidder Alert
        12. Automatically Relist Unsuccessful Auctions
          1. Hacking the Hack
        13. Send Automatic Emails to High Bidders
          1. AuctionEndOfAuction Notifications
        14. Generate a Custom Gallery
        15. Leaving Feedback
          1. See Also
        16. Negative Feedback Notification
        17. Automatic Reciprocal Feedback
        18. Queue API Calls
        19. Cache Auction Data to Improve API Efficiency
          1. Caching Input
          2. Caching Output
        20. Working Without the eBay API
      12. Index
      13. Colophon