The eBay Survival Guide: How to Make Money and Avoid Losing Your Shirt Paperback – 29 Sep 2005
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A no-holds-barred guide to safe and successful buying and selling on the popular online auction site. Reveals the strategies of winning bidders and offers tips for beating competitors to get the items you want--without overpaying or becoming the victim of scams. Filled with practical advice for avoiding frauds, what to do if an item doesn't sell, how to list items effectively, choosing an auction type, how to get the best price and much more. An excellent resource for anyone looking to steer clear of scammers, execute successful transactions, and win good stuff!
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Part 1 - How eBay Works: What You'll Find on eBay; How eBay Auctions Work; Finding Stuff on eBay - The Basics; Finding Stuff on eBay - High-Power Searches; What Is It Worth?
Part 2 - eBay For Sellers: Seller Do's and Don'ts; Figuring Out What to Sell; Sources of Items to Sell; Listing Items - When and How; How to Create Listings That Sell; It Didn't Sell
Part 3 - eBay For Buyers: Buyer Do's and Don'ts; Bid to Win!; How to Turn a Loss into a Win; Paying for and Getting Your Items
Part 4 - How Not To Get Ripped Off And What To Do If You Do: Shills, Sleazes, and Seller Scams; Bogus Products and Moneymaking Scams; How to Investigate Other eBay Members; eBay-Speak - Abbreviations and Acronyms; Index
This is probably one of the most complete books on using eBay that I've had the chance to review. It's not overly large, so it's not intimidating when you first pick it up. The progression of information follows a very nice logical flow. Learn about eBay, learn what to do in both the buyer and seller role, and then learn what to do in the "exception" situations. Regardless of whether you approach eBay from the buyer or seller role, the necessary information you need to fully utilize eBay is in here. The author even goes into third-party services that can help you get the most for your money. Some services track bid pricing and trends so you can figure out the best combination of pricing options for your item. Other services watch a bid for you in order to place last-second bids to try and win an item you're coveting. Whether you think stuff like that is fair or not, it's being used and you have to know how it will affect you as a buyer.
Armed with this book, there's no reason why you shouldn't be successful with eBay... Good stuff.
'The eBay Survival Guide' starts out, not surprisingly, with an overview and history of online auctions and of eBay itself. It then moves on to how the site works and also provides some great tips and techniques for finding items you want. Even though I've been using eBay since 1999 I found it interesting to go back to the beginning and get an overall sense of what's really happening on one of the biggest sites on the internet.
The next major section of the book is geared toward those people who are using the site to sell things. That brings up a point worth mentioning. This book is for both sellers and buyers on eBay. It's a 'survival guide' for all users, not just a "how to make lots of money on eBay" book. I'll look at the section for buyers in a minute. The section for sellers includes suggestions for creating better listings, when to relist items, how to deal with problems that may arise and so on. It's loaded with screenshots, so you're not just reading about eBay you're seeing what things will look like when you use the real site. I think a great many sellers would benefit from reading Chapter 10 called, "How To Create Listings That Sell". Banks points out the many pluses that come with writing effective descriptions and titles for your auction items.
Next comes the section for buyers. Again there are lots of screenshots that really help bring the examples to life. And there are more than just a few examples. The book is obviously written from a great deal of personal experience not just clinical research. Banks' anecdote about the historic airplane photograph and negative (page 186) is proof of this. In presenting it he helps illustrate best practices for bidding, outbidding and sniping. Here's an area where I had some experience but again felt that the book either reinforced some of the things I already knew (making me feel more confident in bidding) or suggested things I should be doing but wasn't (like spending more time researching other bidders).
Near the end of the book he discusses how not to get ripped off using eBay and in doing so exposes some of the uglier sides of the site. This is important information though and helps buyers and sellers better understand what can go wrong and how to avoid it.
Throughout the book Banks writes in a clear easy-to-understand style that feels like a friend sitting down to explain eBay to you. Despite the fact that the guide is about an internet website it feels not at all like a computer textbook. Its short concise sections make finding the information easy and learning from it even easier. You should find it easy to pick up the book and skip to whatever section is currently most relevant to your eBay activities. The well-written index also helps you to find the help you need quickly.
Whether you're new to eBay or not and no matter whether you're buying or selling it's a sure bet that "The eBay Survival Guide: How to Make Money and Avoid Losing Your Shirt" will help you get the most out of online auctions. Highly recommended.