Ready to start or grow your eBay business? These tips and tools from eBay Certified Providers will help you reach your business goals.
EBay Certified Providers
EBay Certified Providers are eBay-qualified experts able to help sellers with proven tools and techniques. Certified Providers have highly sophisticated offerings for expert sellers--and easy-to-use services and solutions for people just starting their businesses on eBay.
There are two types. Certified Service Providers give nontechnical help with listing strategy, template design and similar matters. Certified Solution Providers can help with software and technical services, including listing management software, custom software development and integrating your business with the eBay platform. Between the two, you can get assistance with marketplace strategy, merchandising design, financing, customer support, sourcing, fulfillment, managing inventory or transactions, sales reporting and more.
For an example of a Certified Service Provider, consider As Was. This service, provided by an experienced eBay seller, can help you launch your business on eBay with custom templates, logo design, strategies for sales and marketing, vendor recommendations, operations management, training, copywriting and more. To learn more about the company's services and costs, visit www.aswas.com.
Receller is one Certified Solution Provider that makes listing an item for sale on eBay as simple as snapping a picture with your camera phone. You photograph an item, send it to Receller using your phone, and a listing coach calls you back to take the information for your listing. This service is a boon to new eBay sellers because their coaches apply eBay selling best practices to help you get the best results from your listing. Learn more about Receller's range of services at www.receller.com.
There are many more Certified Providers (see "Helping Hands" on page 75), and more expert solution and service providers are being certified all the time. To find the right Certified Provider for you, visit http://solutions.ebay.com, and look for the Certified Provider logo.
Education Specialists are another type of eBay-qualified expert specializing in training. There are more than 1,000 Education Specialists in communities all across the United States. All are trained by eBay and teach using the official eBay University curriculum. You can learn more about the Education Specialists program or find one in your area at www. ebay.com/esp.
Digital Photo Tips
Pictures are vital to creating effective listings--the better your pictures, the better your listings will work. Start with the right camera. You don't need large prints. The large files created by many high-resolution digital cameras are too bulky to upload easily and use in listings; small 72 dpi images are fine.
One solution is to use one of the Casio cameras with the "eBay Best Shot" mode; these cameras cost between $250 and $400 (all prices street). This feature automatically reduces the size of the picture and overall file size. If your camera does not do this, you will often need to resize your photo and perhaps change the quality to me-dium or so to make it easier to load in your listing. If you're listing small items, you'll need the ability to use a macro lens for tight close-ups. It's also a good idea to choose a camera that lets you use external flashes for better lighting. Control over white balance helps if you photograph in light other than daylight. Finally, you'll want a camera that's easy to connect to your computer for uploading images.
When you're shooting an item, try to use natural light. If you can't, consider an external flash rather than one built into the camera. Focus carefully--soft-focus pictures look fuzzy and unappealing. Also think about the scale of the item. Consider putting an item of known size, such as a penny for small items, next to your item in the picture. A ruler helps give more precise size indications.
Don't neglect the background. The best is white seamless paper, available from professional camera shops.