Monday, December 29, 2008


Last time we covered:

A. Fill an Unmet Need, Provide Perceived Value

B. Why use eBay?

C. Steps to getting started on eBay. Here’s what we wrote for this section.


2. Fill out form, click activate now

3. CREATE PERSONAL PAGE: when set up a/c set up personal page immediately with picture and background to give comfort/trust/credibility. MUCH DEPENDS ON YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE. There’s a place to link to your website to your personal page.

4. BUY A WEBSITE ADDRESS. If you don’t already have one, then at least reserve a website address (URL – Universal Resource Locator) at or similar site. It costs about $10 just to reserve the URL. While website setup is a later topic, but for now just know that creating a URL for a future website and matching/similar email will be useful. Here are a few basic tips for now:

5. IDEALLY, YOUR EBAY USERNAME, WEBSITE ADDRESS (URL), AND EMAIL SHOULD MATCH. They should be the same or as close as possible to each other or convey the same meaning. This usually means setting up all three at about the same time. All three should remind your buyers of the other two, and reinforce and clarify what you do.

For example, if you’re selling camping gear, you’d want something like:

EBay username: campinggear, or mycampinggear, or outdoorstuff, etc

URL:,,, etc

Email:,, etc.

You can always change your eBay username at a later time if needed (go to ) to get a closer match to the URL and email addresses.

Note: Unless you’re selling in a very unusual niche, all the best usernames, URLs, and emails related to your niche are usually either long taken or being sold for hundreds to thousands of dollars. Avoid those until you’re already successful. When you begin searching for a URL on the site will automatically provide you with close alternatives at the basic $10 price if the site name you want is already taken. Stick to these for now. When you’re successful in a given niche you can consider spending for these or seeking out expired URLs that are better.

6. CHOOSE A URL WITH “.COM” SUFFIX. This is reputed to be an advantage since those searching the web will often just enter what they want with a “.com” suffix.

We continue from here.

7. Sign up for PayPal. PayPal is a topic unto itself, but suffice with the following for now. Before you even start doing business on eBay, sign up for PayPal. Go to This is a service that allows buyers and sellers to transfer and receive payments by almost any means without sharing financial information. It also offers various buyer and seller protection features.

Why bother with PayPal? Three reasons. It provides lots of security to buyers and sellers, it is owned by eBay, and thus it has a virtual monopoly on handling payments on eBay. Many buyers and sellers will only work via PayPal. EBay encourages this attitude (surprise!).

Like any monopoly, its customer service is at times less than ideal.

Nonetheless, don’t even bother trying to bid or purchase before you’ve set up an account and means of payment with them.


A good way to learn selling is by buying. You also get feedback from seller and thus begin building your eBay track record.

Begin buying a small item, just to get a feel for the process.

For example, let’s say I wanted to buy a DVD of the movie Being There. On the Home page, in the “Find” box, I typed in the title. In the “in” box drop-down menu, I chose “DVDs & Movies”.


Here’s a partial view of the long list of search results.


By clicking on a search result, I come to the seller’s page for this auction.


Note in particular the Meet the seller and Buy safely sections on the right. Here you can

· Check the seller’s feedback, experience, and ratings for various criteria

· Ask the seller a question even without knowing their email

· Designate sellers as favorites and get automatic notification of new items they’re offering

· View the seller’s other items. NB: The option for buyers to visit the seller’s online store makes these auctions a very cheap means of advertising that online store or website. More about that later on, but remember that eBay sales and auctions can be a powerful marketing tool for your other ebusiness.

· Get details on how eBay, and PayPal, offer buyers and sellers protection from identity theft and other possible hazards of dealing with strangers online.

Scroll further down the page to see product details about the product, shipping options, return policy, payment methods, and more.


Enter your bid in the indicated field box. It’s that simple. Of course, there can be a lot more to it if you want to learn how to find deals fast and efficiently.

Buying well on eBay is its own topic, or book. Because our focus is on earning with eBay by selling, we’ll restrict ourselves to just a few points and move on.

· Go to eBay University Online and study the tutorial “First time bidding and buying”. Rather than reinvent the wheel here, this gives you a brief overview of the basic steps, and thus give you a starting point for further research as needed. More on this below.

· In particular, one topic to focus on will be the “My eBay” slide for managing your searches and buying.

· Sophisticated Bidding: there are special software packages like auction sniper and bid sniper that will automatically bid for you at last minute (up to your limit), so that you don’t pay more than a minimal amount than the next highest bidder. Worth checking if you do a lot of auction bidding.

· When bidding, note the time remaining in the auction. Duration can vary from 1-10 days.


C. Learn More about Bidding and Buying

To get to the eBay University Online’s tutorial on bidding and buying:

On the home page, under the Buy tab, select Help with bidding & buying.


You’ll come to the following screen.


To save you time, here’s the link:

D. Learn More about Everything Else You Need to Know for EBay Success with the Tabs at the Upper Right of Every Page

These allow you to fast access the most important info you need. No reason for me to repeat it – just go straight to the source yourself. The following tabs are in the upper right corner of the eBay homepage (see two screenshots up from here).

The Buy Tab


The Sell Tab


The My eBay Tab


The Help Tab – Especially Important for Beginners



In this section we covered the steps for getting started on eBay. Next time we begin how to profit by selling on eBay.

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