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eBay Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools: 100 Industrial Strength Tips and Tools Paperback – 4 Sep 2003

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (4 Sept. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596005644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596005641
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,443,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"If you're one of the millions who dabble on eBay, then this book is essential reading. It'll be especially useful to those that want to learn how to run a full-time or part-time business using eBay. You'll not only learn how to make the most of what you already know about eBay, you'll be able to learn how to manipulate the system to save time and money as well as improving auction success." Internet Advisor, January 2004 "If, you are after a comprehensive handbook to every aspect of eBay, written in a style that treats it as the powerful tool it is (rather than something to sell bric-a-brac on), then this is the book you be buying." - Calum Marsland, PC How to: eBay

About the Author

David A. Karp is the author of O'Reilly's PC Annoyances and several other computer books. An avid collector, David has used eBay since it first launched and he's applied all that he knows about computers to making eBay work for him. He not only understands how eBay works, but how its culture works.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
O'Reilly's "hacks" series continues to impress. I've been buying and selling on eBay for nearly two years now, and have already learned a lot. In the few days it took me to read this book I learned as much again and more. Although split into 100 separate "hacks", this book is surprisingly enjoyable to read from cover to cover, and gives a real sense that the author knows what he is writing about.
The book is 1/3 buying advice and 2/3 selling advice. It's way more than just a user manual. As well as eBay itself, it covers a selection of third party tools and web sites which can help you get the best from your eBay transactions. Learning from the sections on "dealing with disappointment" and "keeping out deadbeats", could mean you can avoid those problems yourself. The tips on how and when to use the eBay "feedback" system are golden. There's even some detailed advice (with perl code) about how to use the "eBay API" from your own software.
The only slight downside for UK buyers is the relatively light coverage of ebay UK. It gets a mention, but several of the tips (for example "put a shipping calculator in your description") only apply to US to US transactions. That said, it's still at least 95% meat for us over this side of the pond.
If you buy or sell more than one or two things on things on eBay in the next year you really should get this book. It will easily pay for itself in saved time, shipping costs, and stress; it will help you win the items you really want, and it can probably get you better prices too. Go out and buy it
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Format: Paperback
I was disappointed by this book. Newbies will love it. If you have been using eBay for a while and have a feedback score, you won't need it: spend your money dialled up to the internet and read the eBay policies. The book tries to cover too many ranges of ability in one go. One minute you can be reading about leaving feedback (no brainer in my opinion), next you can be typing Perl script. Too US focussed, not enough UK insight. Buy another book in my opinion.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa1974024) out of 5 stars 22 reviews
110 of 118 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa189abac) out of 5 stars Not Bad, But Omits Important Tips 3 Oct. 2003
By W Boudville - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Tired of facile books on eBay? (You know, something like 'Moron's Guide to eBay'.) Are you wavering on going to buy or sell on it, never having done so? Or you are already on eBay. But you are wondering if there are ways to get better prices, where 'better' of course depends on whether you are buying or selling. Well, here is an excellent how-to manual that still keeps some objective distance from its subject. That separation lets the author offer some disinterested advice. You can best see this when Karp evaluates the various listing options available to a seller. His suggestions, especially on one option, which he considers a total waste of money, are excellent.
There are some omissions that would have made this a stronger book. He offers 100 tips. But...
He discusses Phishing. Which has been used against eBay and Paypal users. But, as far as I can tell, he never uses this term. He REALLY should. We can imagine new users hearing about it, wanting to know more and not finding it in this book's index and hence passing on the book. And phishing is actually more dangerous than just one bad auction.
Also, he omits three important tips. Firstly, once you have sold to a satisfied buyer, you should add that buyer to an email list. Next time you offer a similar item, very politely email her about it. (Of course, drop her if she opts out.) You can also add unsuccessful bidders in your auctions to this list, though you may have to go thru eBay's mailer to contact them. He mentions keeping a spreadsheet of your auctions, including the email addresses of your buyers. But he doesn't take the next simple step.
Secondly, consider first offering future items directly to previous buyers, instead of listing on eBay. If no takers, then put on eBay. This does NOT violate any eBay rules because the buyer and seller now know each other and can talk about nonlisted items. There have been reports in the media about businesses selling on eBay partly to get just such a list of customers. Of course, there is now no eBay protection for buyer or seller. But if you are a business with a website and a good eBay rating, this reassures buyers. And you, as a seller, have a defacto credit check on buyers, by looking at their ratings.
Thirdly, what would have been good is a tip on when it is NOT economic to list an item on eBay. Note that I did not say 'sell'. Amongst some power sellers, there has been increasing dissatisfaction. Prices are falling, eBay raises its fees and more auctions end without any bids. If you have an item for which there is little demand, then what is the chance that within 7 or 10 days of an auction, potential buyers will go to eBay and look for it? Remember, eBay always charges a listing fee. Of course, you can lower your price, to spur demand. But that costs you. At some point, things become uneconomic. In fact, if you have specialised books with a limited audience, Amazon is a viable alternative as it levies no listing fee, albeit with a higher commission if the book actually sells.
Karp is a very experienced eBay user and a good programmer. But I really do not think the greatest readership for this book is people who want to or are able to program, and they will not be enamoured by the code examples. I suspect he could have expanded greatly on the points I raised, to the benefit of that readership.
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1b8b324) out of 5 stars Interesting tip guide and essential eBay companion 22 Jan. 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I bought this book to pick up some of the finer points of selling on eBay, but what impressed me the most was what I didn't expect. Sure, this book has tons of selling strategy, but it's intermixed with keen insights into the physchology of buyers and sellers alike. I never expected that from a book like this.
Another thing I never anticipated was the rich coverage of auction photographs, including tips like jpeg compression and depth of field for closeup photography. And if you are into programming (as I am), your eyes will be opened to the ebay api and the prospect of replacing hours of tedious work with a few lines of code.
Did you know you could spellcheck your auctions or set it up so that you'll be notified whenever someone with zero or negative feedback bids on one of your auctions? It's in there, and more.
Overall, Ebay Hacks is well written and a great ebay book with tons of tricks you never knew existed. Nothing else touches it. Highly recommended!
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1a1cbf4) out of 5 stars The perfect eBay book 29 Oct. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was admittedly skeptical, given the abysmal selection of eBay books out there, but I was pleasantly surprised at the level of detail and professionalism in eBay Hacks. With topics like sniping and negotiating with sellers, this is not just another eBay-sanctioned user's guide; it's a meaty, thorough, entertaining, and well-written handbook, and a must-have for any buyer or seller on eBay. No eBay user should be without this book!
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa193084c) out of 5 stars Indispensable if you buy or sell on eBay 13 Nov. 2003
By Frank Carver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
O'Reilly's "hacks" series continues to impress. I've been buying and selling on eBay for nearly two years now, and have already learned a lot. In the few days it took me to read this book I learned as much again and more. Although split into 100 separate "hacks", this book is surprisingly enjoyable to read from cover to cover, and gives a real sense that the author knows what he is writing about.
The book is 1/3 buying advice and 2/3 selling advice. It's way more than just a user manual. As well as eBay itself, it covers a selection of third party tools and web sites which can help you get the best from your eBay transactions. Learning from the sections on "dealing with disappointment" and "keeping out deadbeats", could mean you can avoid those problems yourself. The tips on how and when to use the eBay "feedback" system are golden. There's even some detailed advice (with perl code) about how to use the "eBay API" from your own software.
If you buy or sell more than one or two things on things on eBay in the next year you really should get this book. It will easily pay for itself in saved time, shipping costs, and stress; it will help you win the items you really want, and it can probably get you better prices too. Go out and buy it.
44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa19ce1bc) out of 5 stars For serious buyers and sellers only 7 Mar. 2004
By Jack D. Herrington - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Like Amazon Hacks, this book is for serious users of the EBay Web Application only. Those would be people who buy and sell on EBay for a living, or are likely to do that in the near future. For those this book has 330 pages of in-depth material about how to buy and sell, and, at some level, about how to automate that process. This book is less like the other Hacks book in that it has more expository detail about the human side of the story, and less about writing small Perl programs to do stuff. That's fine though, since no Perl program will help you get positive reviews from your buyer's and sellers, but the tips in this book just may help you do that.
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