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Stretch Your Dollars on eBay

Companies turn to eBay to find smart buys for their businesses.

While you're reading this article, more than $70,000 in business merchandise will be purchased on eBay--everything from fax machines to construction equipment to display cases. Rebecca Shapiro, 43, owner of the arts and crafts store Pig and Panda in Portland, Oregon, has been able to leverage the power of buying on eBay to quickly grow her $85,000-plus-a-year online business. "[Reducing] our startup costs by purchasing most of our equipment on eBay allowed us to use our money for additional employees and inventory instead," she says.

Danny Leffel, manager of eBay Business, couldn't agree more. "Buying on eBay levels the playing field for smaller businesses," Leffel says. "They can reach outside their local area in seeking deals without having to buy in volume."

Ready to buy? Go to www.ebaybusiness.com/catalog to register your business on eBay, which will allow you to start buying on eBay immediately. You will also receive an eBay User's Guide and free customized business consulting. The Business & Industrial discussion boards will also be of great help. The discussion board includes up-to-the-minute information from eBay and advanced notification of free business workshops.

Remember, you can also sell those unused assets lying around your business. Go to http://pages.ebay.com/sellercentral/resources.html to learn more about turning those assets into cash.

Janelle Elms, eBay University instructor and dean of Online Business at LA College International, is creator of the eBay Stores Video Series. Contact her at www.janelleelms.com/ebay.

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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