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The Benefits of Learning on eBay

When it comes to eBay, the more you learn, the more you can earn. Waste no time in wising up with these tools.

On eBay's level playing field, it doesn't matter if you have a high school diploma or an MBA from Harvard--anyone can be a successful entrepreneur. But you can gain a competitive advantage by educating yourself about the intricacies of eBay.

It's no longer enough to just throw your items up on eBay. If you treat the site like a garage sale, you'll get garage-sale prices. To stay ahead of your competition, you need to not only learn the basics of selling in an ever-changing marketplace, but you must also understand and excel at advanced online marketing techniques. Whether you are new to creating a business on eBay or are already a seasoned seller, eBay offers plenty of education solutions:

  • eBay Merchant ecommerce Solutions: This informative page is your first stop to optimizing your eBay business. It's a jumping-off point to many valuable educational tools, including eBay resources, information about PayPal, global trading tips, e-commerce advice and business articles from Entrepreneur magazine.

  • eBay Learning Center: New community members as well as eBay pros can take audio and video tours on topics including registering, buying, photography tips, tools for selling, eBay Stores and ProStores here. The Learning Center also includes links to numerous other programs that can help jump-start your business.

  • eBay University: Spend the day with eBay experts as they tour the country teaching best eBay practices. Daylong tracks include "eBay Basics" and "Beyond the Basics." You can also take both classes online.

    Donovan Card, 37, and Chris Lightfoot, 23, founders of Pure Positive Online Sales, a Gresham, Oregon-based seller of books, CDs and DVDs, feel they benefited from their eBay University educations. "We learned many tricks to set our auctions apart from the casual seller, the right way to optimize our Store and more," says Lightfoot. "We drove 75 percent more traffic to our Store and greatly improved our overall sales."

  • eBay Education Specialists: If eBay University isn't making a stop in your area this year, then visit this page to find an eBay Education Specialist near you. These local instructors have been trained by eBay to educate you about the site.

  • eBay Workshops: Participate in a live online eBay workshop. The wealth of topics on setting up your eBay business from start to finish range from selecting a tax structure to finding products that sell.

  • eBay Live!: Join eBay employees, over 10,000 community members, hundreds of exhibitors and Rieva Lesonsky, Entrepreneur's editorial director, at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas for the 5th annual eBay Live! event, June 13 to 15. This yearly convention is a must to help you reach your education goals. Highlights include the keynote address by eBay CEO Meg Whitman, over 180 classes at all levels, extensive networking opportunities and a closing-night gala.

Janelle Elms, eBay University instructor and online business consultant, specializes in coaching individuals and companies to build successful eBay businesses. She is the bestselling author of eBay Your Business.

Janelle Elms eBay University instructor and dean of Online Business for LA College International, is creator of the eBay Stores Video Series.

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This article was originally published in the May 2006 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Higher Learning.

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