WHAT IS IT?
If you haven’t heard of it, you’re really living under a rock. EBay is the world’s largest on-line auction. It may even be the world’s largest auction. It is listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange as EBAY.
Over 24 billion dollars were generated by this site last year and you can buy over 22 million items at any given time. EBay has over 41 million active users and over 100 million registered users.
With that many users and items, just about any thing is for sale. If you can’t find what you are looking for today, check back every few days. You are bound to find it eventually.
HOW DO I USE EBAY?
EBay is free — free to browse, free to sign up and free to buy. To buy or sell you must register. The only thing you need is a valid e-mail address. You can find the Canadian site at http://www.ebay.ca
Only people who sell are charged. Charges are based on the starting list price and the final selling price. They also have additional charges for extras that you can add on to your listings. Each item is allowed one free picture. Some basic listing fees are below.
BASIC ITEM FEES:
Opening Value or ———- Insertion Fee
0.01 – 0.99 —————- 0.30
1.00 – 9.99 —————- 0.35
10.00 – 24.99 ————– 0.60
25.00 – 49.99 ————– 1.20
50.00 – 199.99 ————- 2.40
200.00 – 499.99 ———— 3.60
500.00 + ——————- 4.80
ADDITIONAL RESERVE PRICE AUCTION FEE (FULLY REFUNDED IF ITEM SELLS):
Reserve Price ————- Reserve Price Auction Fee
0.01 – 49.99 ————– 1.00
50.00 – 199.99 ———— 2.00
200.00 + —————— 1% of reserve up to 100.00
Extra charges include: extra pictures, 10 day auctions (3, 5 and 7 days auctions are included in the listing fee), listing in 2 categories, bold and buy now. You can find a complete list of fees at http://pages.eBay.com/help/sell/fees.html
To start selling on EBay you first need to create a seller’s account. To do that, just click the SELL link at to top of the page and follow the prompts. Once you have registered it’s time to sell your item. Two of the most important things when selling are the description and the picture. Putting in as much information as possible will give the buyer a good idea of what you are selling and leave fewer questions. The more confident the buyer is that you are totally up front with them the more willing they will be to bid.
A great picture also helps. Adding a clear uncluttered picture of your items shows the buyers exactly what they are getting. A great picture can showcase your item and answer more questions. Before trying to sell an item, look at lots of auctions to see how they are described. I know someone who sold an old ratty box of expired Tetley Tea coupons for over $20.00 USD (I think it even might have been over $40.00!). They were 20 years old!
The shipping costs can handled in two ways: One is to include the shipping cost in the selling price (I would get the shipping rate to the farthest distance in Canada and the US and post both Canadian and US shipping in my description). The other way is to determine the shipping after the auction to an exact cost. Some sellers mark up the shipping and make extra cash.
Most auctions are 7 days and the best days to start or end an auction is on a Friday or weekend as those days more people are available for bidding.
Buying is pretty simple. Register and find an item you want. Select it and press the BID button.
When bidding you enter the maximum you would like to bid. EBay then increases the current bid amount until only one bidder is left. An example is: a CD has a starting bid of $0.99. Person A bids $8.00, so the first bid is $0.99, the opening bid. Person B bids $5.00, EBay increases the bid to the next highest bid unit the amount above person B, eliminating him from the bidding. The bid now stands at $5.25. Person C bids $8.56, so the bid increases to $8.25, eliminating person A. Person C wins at $8.25.
Some people, the really experienced bidders, wait until the last few seconds to bid and end up “stealing” it from you. I haven’t lost like that but have done it to others.
SENDING OR RECEIVING MONEY
Almost all auctions accept Money Orders or Paypal. Money orders can, of course, be obtained through your bank or post office. You can also send money through Western Union (http://www.auctionpayments.com). To send money through Paypal I suggest setting up your account before you think of doing any serious bidding.
Paypal will bill your credit card about $3.00 Canadian, which is credited to your new account for your first payment. On your credit card is a 4-digit number in the description, which you need to activate your account. So, unless you have access to your credit card on-line, starting the setup way in advance is smart.
An account is not required to accept payments from Paypal. Just give the buyer a valid e-mail address and you will get a message when payment is made. Paypal can transfer cash to Canadian banks. There is a fee for removing cash from your Paypal account to your bank account, and they also take a percentage for accepting each payment.
WHERE CAN EBAY GO?
I have recently heard of an eBay reseller drop off store. What is that you ask? Well, with today’s busy world not everyone has time to sell on eBay but they still want to get rid of stuff. You can take your stuff to an eBay reseller and they will sell the item for you and keep 20-40% of the profit. Ebay expects this to be a 10 billion dollar business in the near future.
*note: sellers are eBay are often private citizens, and not stores. It is possible that you may send money, but not receive the items you have purchased. eBay offers some options to reduce the risk of fraud. Please investigate these options. The Voice does not accept responsibility for any difficulties you may encounter. Read this page for more information on getting the most our of eBay: http://pages.ebay.ca/help/welcome/questions/trade-safely.html
WINDOWS TIPS – Keyboard Shortcuts
Win+D = Toggles between minimizing/restoring all windows
Win = Open the start menu
Win+F1 = Display the pop-up menu for the selected object
Win+E = Start Explorer
Win+F = Find Files or Folders
Cntl+Win+F = Find computer
Win+M = Minimizes all windows
Shift+Win+M = Maximizes all windows
Win+R = Displays Run Dialog Box
Win+Tab = Cycles through taskbar buttons
Win+Break = Displays System Properties
COOL SITE OF THE WEEK
http://www.fish-byte.com – The best fish screen saver out there! It has been on many TV shows in the background. It’s so good I bought a license for 19.99 USD.
If you have any questions or suggestions for topics you want discussed please email me c/o The Voice.
The Voice accepts no responsibility for loss of data or any other computer related problem you might encounter as a result of following computer advice in this or any other column. The tip of the week is intended to help you personalize your computer system. Novice users should ensure they understand the directions, and make backups of any files changed.