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In the Know

From eBay newbie to veteran seller, here's all you need to do it right.

eBay Certified Providers
eBay Certified Providers are eBay-qualified experts with proven tools and techniques to help sellers. Certified Providers have highly sophisticated offerings for expert sellers--and easy-to-use services and solutions for people just starting their businesses on eBay.

Service providers give nontechnical help with listing strategies, template design and similar matters. Solution providers can help with software and technical services, such as custom software development, listing management software and integrating your business with the eBay platform. These experts provide assistance with marketplace strategy, merchandising design, customer support, managing inventory or transactions, and more.

As Was is an example of a Certified Provider. 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 and more. For details, visit www.aswas.com.

Receller is also a Certified Provider, and it makes listing an item on eBay as simple as snapping a picture with your camera phone. You photograph an item, send it to Receller, 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 at www.receller.com.

For more on Certified Providers and to find the right one 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 teaching others to use eBay. The more than 1,000 Education Specialists across the country are all trained by eBay and use the official eBay University curriculum to teach you how to sell. Learn more about the Education Specialist Program or find a class 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. 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 two Casio cameras (priced at $300 and $400) with the "eBay Best Shot Mode." This feature automatically reduces the size of the picture and overall file size. If your camera doesn't do this, you will often need to resize your photo and perhaps change the quality to medium 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 close-ups; consider placing a small object or ruler next to the item to indicate size. Focus carefully--soft-focus pictures look fuzzy and unappealing. If you don't have natural lighting, choose a camera that has an external flash for better lighting. Control over white balance also helps you photograph in light other than daylight. The best background is white seamless paper, available from professional camera shops. Finally, you'll want a camera that's easy to connect to your computer for uploading images.

Sell Your Item
The "Sell Your Item" form is the eBay seller's gateway to the 222 million registered eBay members. The newest version of the form features a simplified listing process with fewer pages and fields, cutting down on the time it takes to create a listing. You enter all your details on one page, and you can review it before completing the listing. You can also customize the form to hide options you don't use, showing only the ones you do use.

You can create colorful, attractive item descriptions with twice as many fonts as the form's previous version and more than 120 different colors. The new form also supports the Firefox browser. There is a "category suggestions" feature that gives you advice on listing your item in the best category for maximum exposure. Other additions are dynamic help and personalized tips, which automatically provide guidance and best practices as you make your way through the form. The new form also offers a listing preview section that lets you see in advance what your listing will look like when potential buyers see it. Finally, there are reusable listing templates to make it easier to list additional items. Learn more about the new "Sell Your Item" form at http://pages.ebay.com/syi/newform.

What Would You Sell?
Before you can sell on eBay, you need to have something to sell. The good news is, you probably already do. What Would You Sell? is an eBay feature that helps you identify items you own that you could sell on eBay. It also helps you see how similar items have fared, decide whether to sell yours and get help listing them.

Here's how it works: What Would You Sell? displays mock-ups of rooms in a typical house, such as bedrooms, a living room, etc. Clicking on one of these rooms takes you to the appropriate mock-up. When you click on one of the items in the picture--a painting on the living room wall, for example--a window will pop up with information about similar items on eBay; for instance, art sells on eBay every 14 seconds. Clicking a link in the window takes you to recently completed listings in that category.

A link on the "What Would You Sell?" page takes you directly to a "Sell Your Item" form so you can instantly begin the process of turning your unwanted items into cash. If you need selling tips, another link takes you to Seller Central. Learn more about What Would You Sell? at http://pages.ebay.com/sellercentral/whatwouldyousell/what_to_sell_house.html.

Shipping Center
Fulfillment is a vital part of eBay selling, and the Shipping Center is your eBay tool for handling logistics cost- and time-effectively. The shipping tools available here let you do things such as include a flat shipping rate in your listings or use the eBay Shipping Calculator so buyers can use their own ZIP codes to figure out their shipping cost.

When it comes time to ship a customer's purchase, the Shipping Center helps you buy and print labels for both domestic and international UPS and U.S. Postal Service shipments. You can also use the Shipping Center to request a pickup from UPS or USPS, saving you time and gas money on a trip to either drop-off location. Finally, you can track shipments using My eBay or PayPal's "Account Overview" feature.

Links from the Shipping Center take you to sources for shipping supplies on eBay, a helpful video to save you time on shipping and eBay's Freight Resource Center, where you will find tools to calculate shipping rates and arrange shipment for items over 150 pounds.

eBay charges no fees for Shipping Center services, and you can pay carriers for the cost of shipping and insurance through PayPal. Learn more about the Shipping Center at www.ebay.com/shipping.
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