Contents at a Glance
Introduction .................................................................1
Part I: Getting Serio...
Table of Contents
Introduction ..................................................................1
           About This B...
xii   Starting an eBay Business For Dummies, 2nd Edition

                      Fixed-Price Sales on eBay ...................
Table of Contents                xiii
    Chapter 5: Your Very Own eBay Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...
xiv   Starting an eBay Business For Dummies, 2nd Edition

                      Online Sources of Information ...............
Table of Contents                xv
           Highlight option .............................................................
xvi   Starting an eBay Business For Dummies, 2nd Edition

                              Credit card payment services ........
Table of Contents                 xvii
           Inventory: Keeping Track of What You Have and Where You Keep It ....311
...
xviii   Starting an eBay Business For Dummies, 2nd Edition


            Part VI: Appendixes ................................
Contents at a Glance
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Contents at a Glance

  1. 1. Contents at a Glance Introduction .................................................................1 Part I: Getting Serious about eBay ................................7 AL Chapter 1: Using eBay to Launch Your Business ..........................................................9 Chapter 2: The Finer Points of eBay Selling .................................................................29 RI Chapter 3: Cool eBay Tools ............................................................................................57 Chapter 4: Practicing Safe Selling ..................................................................................83 TE Chapter 5: Your Very Own eBay Store ........................................................................107 Part II: Setting Up Shop ...........................................123 MA Chapter 6: Stocking the Store ......................................................................................125 Chapter 7: Knowing the Value of What You’re Selling ..............................................145 Chapter 8: Establishing a Base of Operations: Your Web Site .................................157 D Part III: Business Is Business — No Foolin’ Around! ....175 TE Chapter 9: Software Built for Online Auctions ...........................................................177 Chapter 10: Dollars and Sense: Budgeting and Marketing Your Auctions .............199 GH Chapter 11: Jazzing Up Your Auctions ........................................................................213 Chapter 12: Providing Excellent Customer Service ..................................................231 Chapter 13: When the Money Comes Rolling In ........................................................239 RI Chapter 14: Getting It from Your Place to Theirs ......................................................263 PY Part IV: Your eBay Back Office ................................277 Chapter 15: Going Legit ................................................................................................279 CO Chapter 16: Practicing Safe and Smart Record-Keeping ...........................................289 Chapter 17: Building an eBay Back Office ..................................................................309 Part V: The Part of Tens ...........................................325 Chapter 18: Ten Successful eBay Sellers and Their Stories .....................................327 Chapter 19: Ten Other Places to Move Merchandise ...............................................341 Part VI: Appendixes .................................................349 Appendix A: Glossary ...................................................................................................351 Appendix B: The Hows and Whys of a Home Network .............................................357 Index .......................................................................367
  2. 2. Table of Contents Introduction ..................................................................1 About This Book ..............................................................................................1 What You’re Not to Read ................................................................................2 Foolish Assumptions ......................................................................................3 How This Book Is Organized ..........................................................................3 Part I: Getting Serious about eBay ......................................................3 Part II: Setting Up Shop .........................................................................4 Part III: Business Is Business — No Foolin’ Around! .........................4 Part IV: Your eBay Back Office .............................................................4 Part V: The Part of Tens ........................................................................4 Part VI: Appendixes ...............................................................................5 Icons Used in This Book .................................................................................5 Where to Go from Here ...................................................................................5 Part I: Getting Serious about eBay ................................7 Chapter 1: Using eBay to Launch Your Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Getting Down to Bidness (er, Business) .....................................................10 Budgeting your time: eBay as a part-time money maker ...............10 Jumping in with both feet: Making eBay a full-time job ..................12 Deciding What to Sell ....................................................................................13 Turning your hobby into a business .................................................14 Including the whole family in the business ......................................17 Bringing your existing business to eBay ..........................................18 Getting What It Takes to Sell ........................................................................19 Computer hardware ............................................................................20 Connecting to the Internet .................................................................20 Choosing your eBay user ID ...............................................................22 Finding your eBay feedback ...............................................................24 Making Your Auctions Run More Smoothly ...............................................24 Software you can use ..........................................................................25 Collecting the cash ..............................................................................26 Home base: your Web site ..................................................................27 Setting up your shop ...........................................................................27 Chapter 2: The Finer Points of eBay Selling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Finding Where to Sell Your Stuff ..................................................................29 Automotive? Go eBay Motors ............................................................31 Live auctions ........................................................................................34 Real estate: Not quite an auction ......................................................35
  3. 3. xii Starting an eBay Business For Dummies, 2nd Edition Fixed-Price Sales on eBay .............................................................................37 Types of eBay Auctions ................................................................................38 Traditional auctions ............................................................................38 Dutch auctions .....................................................................................39 Reserve price auctions .......................................................................40 Restricted access auctions ................................................................42 Private auctions ...................................................................................43 Running Your Auction ...................................................................................43 Starting the bidding ............................................................................44 Auction timing .....................................................................................45 Marketing your auctions ....................................................................47 A second chance .................................................................................50 Listing Violations ...........................................................................................50 Listing policies .....................................................................................51 Linking from your auctions ................................................................53 Linking from your About Me page .....................................................55 Chapter 3: Cool eBay Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57 My eBay ..........................................................................................................58 All Buying .............................................................................................60 Selling ....................................................................................................64 All Favorites .........................................................................................67 My Account ..........................................................................................69 The About Me Page .......................................................................................71 eBay Seller Services ......................................................................................73 Bidder-management tools ..................................................................73 ID Verify ................................................................................................76 Feedback: Your permanent record ....................................................76 The eBay PowerSeller program .........................................................79 eBay auction software ........................................................................80 eBay Fraud Protection ........................................................................80 eBay education ....................................................................................81 Chapter 4: Practicing Safe Selling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83 Is What You Want to Sell Legal? ...................................................................84 Prohibited items ..................................................................................86 Questionable items .............................................................................87 Potentially infringing items ................................................................89 Trading Violations .........................................................................................91 When the competition doesn’t play fair ...........................................91 Baaad bidders ......................................................................................94 Not knowing who’s who ......................................................................98 Taking Action: What to Do When Someone Breaks the Rules .................99 SquareTrade to the rescue ...............................................................100 eBay’s Security Center ......................................................................104
  4. 4. Table of Contents xiii Chapter 5: Your Very Own eBay Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .107 Online Stores Galore ...................................................................................108 Your eBay Store Name ................................................................................109 Setting up Shop ...........................................................................................110 Running Your Store .....................................................................................115 Store design and marketing .............................................................115 Manage your items ............................................................................118 Promotions .........................................................................................120 Marketing Your Wares ................................................................................121 Making a Sale ...............................................................................................121 Part II: Setting Up Shop ...........................................123 Chapter 6: Stocking the Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .125 Dollar Stores ................................................................................................126 99¢ Only Stores ..................................................................................126 Big Lots ...............................................................................................126 Tuesday Morning ...............................................................................127 Discount Club Stores ..................................................................................127 Sam’s Club ..........................................................................................127 Costco .................................................................................................128 Garage Sales .................................................................................................128 Going-Out-of-Business Sales ......................................................................129 Auctions .......................................................................................................129 Liquidation auctions .........................................................................130 Estate auctions ..................................................................................130 Charity silent auctions ......................................................................130 Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Resale Shops ..........................................132 Freebies ........................................................................................................133 Salvage: Liquidation Items, Unclaimed Freight, and Returns ................134 Items by the pallet .............................................................................136 Job lots ................................................................................................138 Wholesale Merchandise by the Case ........................................................138 Resale Items on eBay ..................................................................................139 Consignment Selling ...................................................................................141 Chapter 7: Knowing the Value of What You’re Selling . . . . . . . . . . .145 The Easy Way: eBay Search .......................................................................146 Advanced searching methods .........................................................148 Using eBay Advanced Search ...........................................................148 Useful Publications .....................................................................................152
  5. 5. xiv Starting an eBay Business For Dummies, 2nd Edition Online Sources of Information ...................................................................153 Web sites ............................................................................................153 Online appraisals ...............................................................................154 Authentication Services .............................................................................154 Chapter 8: Establishing a Base of Operations: Your Web Site . . . . .157 Free Web Space — a Good Place to Start .................................................158 Paying for Your Web Space ........................................................................161 ReadyHosting.com ............................................................................163 Interland.com .....................................................................................164 Microsoft Small Business Center .....................................................165 Yahoo! Web site services ..................................................................166 What’s in a Web Site Name: Naming Your Baby ......................................167 Registering Your Domain Name (Before Someone Else Takes It) .........168 Marketing Your Web Site (More Visitors = More Business) ...................170 Banner ad exchanges ........................................................................171 Getting your URL into a search engine ...........................................172 Part III: Business Is Business — No Foolin’ Around! ....175 Chapter 9: Software Built for Online Auctions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .177 Considering Tasks for Automation ...........................................................177 Setting up images for automatic FTP upload .................................178 Setting up an auction photo gallery ................................................179 Sorting auction e-mail .......................................................................181 Automating end-of-auction e-mail ...................................................181 Keeping inventory .............................................................................182 Generating HTML ..............................................................................182 One-click relisting and selling similar items ..................................183 Scheduling your listings for bulk upload .......................................184 Researching your statistics ..............................................................184 Photo hosting .....................................................................................186 Automating other tasks ....................................................................186 Managing Your Business with Online Resources and Software ............188 Online auction management sites ...................................................189 Auction management software ........................................................193 Chapter 10: Dollars and Sense: Budgeting and Marketing Your Auctions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .199 Listing Your Items .......................................................................................200 eBay’s Optional Listing Features ...............................................................201 Home-page featured auctions ..........................................................202 Featured Plus .....................................................................................203 Subtitle ................................................................................................204
  6. 6. Table of Contents xv Highlight option .................................................................................205 Listing Designer .................................................................................205 Boldface option .................................................................................206 View counter ......................................................................................206 The gallery .........................................................................................207 Buy It Now ..........................................................................................208 eBay’s Cut of the Action .............................................................................210 Insertion (listing) fees .......................................................................210 eBay Final Value Fees ........................................................................212 Chapter 11: Jazzing Up Your Auctions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .213 Writing Winning Text ..................................................................................213 Your eBay Photo Studio .............................................................................214 Digital camera ....................................................................................215 Other studio equipment ...................................................................217 Props ...................................................................................................219 Taking Good Pictures ..................................................................................223 Using a Scanner ...........................................................................................224 Image-Editing Software ...............................................................................224 A Home for Your Images .............................................................................225 Free ISP space ....................................................................................226 Auction management sites ...............................................................226 eBay Picture Services .......................................................................226 HTML and You .............................................................................................229 Chapter 12: Providing Excellent Customer Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . .231 Meeting Your Customers ............................................................................231 Communicating with Your Customers ......................................................233 The initial inquiry ..............................................................................234 The winner’s notification letter .......................................................235 The payment reminder .....................................................................236 The payment received and shipping notice ..................................237 The “Your item is on the way” e-mail ..............................................238 Chapter 13: When the Money Comes Rolling In . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .239 It Doesn’t Get Any Simpler: Money Orders ..............................................239 7-Eleven (and other convenience stores) ......................................240 United States Postal Service ............................................................240 Western Union ..................................................................................241 Pay Me When You Get This: Cash On Delivery .......................................242 The Check’s in the Mail: Personal Checks ...............................................243 Paper checks ......................................................................................243 Bank debits (e-checks and instant transfers) ................................244 Hold This for Me: Escrow Service .............................................................245 I Take Plastic: Credit Cards ........................................................................247
  7. 7. xvi Starting an eBay Business For Dummies, 2nd Edition Credit card payment services ..........................................................248 Your very own merchant account ...................................................256 Costco member’s credit card processing .......................................258 The VeriSign Payflow link service ...................................................260 Chapter 14: Getting It from Your Place to Theirs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .263 Finding the Perfect Shipping Carrier: The Big Three ..............................263 Federal Express .................................................................................265 United Parcel Service ........................................................................268 United States Postal Service ............................................................270 Protecting Packages with Universal Parcel Insurance Coverage ..........274 Occasional shipper program ...........................................................276 Offline standard program .................................................................276 Part IV: Your eBay Back Office .................................277 Chapter 15: Going Legit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .279 Types of Businesses ....................................................................................280 Sole proprietorship ...........................................................................280 Partnership ........................................................................................281 LLC (Limited Liability Company) ....................................................282 Corporation ........................................................................................282 Taking Care of Regulatory Details .............................................................284 Fictitious business name statement ...............................................284 Business license or city tax certificate ...........................................284 Sales tax number ...............................................................................287 Don’t withhold the withholding forms ...........................................288 Chapter 16: Practicing Safe and Smart Record-Keeping . . . . . . . . .289 Keeping the Books: Basics That Get You Started ....................................290 Records Uncle Sam May Want to See .......................................................292 Supporting information ....................................................................293 How long should you keep your records? ......................................294 Bookkeeping Software ................................................................................295 QuickBooks: Making Bookkeeping Uncomplicated ................................296 QuickBooks Pro ................................................................................297 QuickBooks EasyStep Interview ......................................................298 QuickBooks chart of accounts .........................................................301 QuickBooks on the Web ....................................................................307 Chapter 17: Building an eBay Back Office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .309 The Warehouse: Organizing Your Space ..................................................309 Shelving your profits .........................................................................310 Box ’em or bag ’em? ..........................................................................310
  8. 8. Table of Contents xvii Inventory: Keeping Track of What You Have and Where You Keep It ....311 The Shipping Department: Packin’ It Up ..................................................312 Packaging clean up ............................................................................312 Packing materials ..............................................................................313 Packaging — the heart of the matter ..............................................316 The Mail Room: Sendin’ It Out ...................................................................317 ClickStamp Internet Postage from Pitney Bowes ..........................318 Endicia.com ........................................................................................319 PayPal Shipping Services .................................................................321 Stamps.com ........................................................................................323 Part V: The Part of Tens ............................................325 Chapter 18: Ten Successful eBay Sellers and Their Stories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .327 Abovethemall ...............................................................................................327 BobMill .........................................................................................................329 Bubblefast ....................................................................................................330 Cardking4 .....................................................................................................332 ListingRover .................................................................................................333 Magic-By-Mail ...............................................................................................334 Melrose_Stamp ............................................................................................336 Noblespirit ...................................................................................................337 PreservationPublishing ..............................................................................338 SallyJo ...........................................................................................................339 Chapter 19: Ten Other Places to Move Merchandise . . . . . . . . . . . .341 Donate to Charitable Organizations .........................................................341 Classy gifting ......................................................................................342 Online charities .................................................................................342 Have a Garage Sale ......................................................................................343 Rent a Table at the Local Swap Meet ........................................................344 Consign Merchandise to the Local Antique Mall ....................................345 Take a Booth at a Community Event ........................................................345 Resell to Sellers on eBay ............................................................................345 Visit a Local Auctioneer .............................................................................346 Find Specialty Auction Sites ......................................................................347 Run a Classified Liquidation Ad ................................................................348 Sell Everything on eBay for a $.99 Opening Bid . . . ................................348
  9. 9. xviii Starting an eBay Business For Dummies, 2nd Edition Part VI: Appendixes ..................................................349 Appendix A: Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .351 Appendix B: The Hows and Whys of a Home Network . . . . . . . . . . .357 Variations of a Home Network ..................................................................358 Powerline network ............................................................................359 Home phoneline ................................................................................360 Hooking up with wireless .................................................................363 Internet Security and Your Home Network ..............................................365 Firewall software ...............................................................................365 Antivirus software .............................................................................366 Index........................................................................367

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