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Getting Schooled

Boost your sales by learning from experienced eBay sellers.

Thinking of starting your own business on eBay? Before you do, it may be a good idea to head back to school; eBay school, that is. On eBay, you'll find a group of trained and experienced sellers--known as Education Specialists--who can teach you the ins and outs of running a business on eBay and give you the tools you'll need to create a successful venture.

Because of incredible demand for its services, the Education Specialist program has grown from just one course--"The Basics of Selling on eBay"--to a suite of classes on subjects that include buying, opening an eBay Store and fundraising. eBay education is popular even in the brick-and-mortar world, where Education Specialists are training companies to use eBay as a new selling channel. "We have found that new sellers gain confidence and knowledge about selling on eBay after taking a course from an Education Specialist," says Sharon Guldner, senior manager of eBay Education Programs.

Education Specialists are trained, tested and provided with "the same course materials developed by eBay University, so students can be confident they are learning tried-and-true selling techniques from [experienced sellers]," says Guldner.

The highest classification an Education Specialist can achieve is Business Consultant certification. Cindy Shebley, 49, founder of eBay consulting company CloverCity, was one of the first 10 eBay sellers to reach this elite level. She uses her advanced training to help her eBay clients succeed. "One of my first clients went from $0 a month to $4,000 a month in 90 days," she says. Shebley also uses her experience selling photography equipment as an eBay PowerSeller to advise her students. "On eBay, if you're willing to do the work, you're not only your own boss, but you're also in charge of your own destiny," she says.

To locate an eBay Education Specialist in your area, go to the eBay Education Specialist Program homepage at ebay.com/esp, and type in your city, state or ZIP code. Education Specialists teach their classes at a variety of locations, including homes, community colleges, libraries and hotels.

You can also use the Advanced Search function to locate someone who teaches courses on specific topics. You'll then be shown a list of qualified teachers along with their contact information, student feedback and a schedule of upcoming classes. You can contact them for more details or sign up for their group and individual classes.

If you're interested in learning how to become an Education Specialist yourself, you can find more information and register for the training program at the Education Specialist Program homepage.

Janelle Elms, eBay University instructor, is creator of the eBay Stores Video Series. Contact her at onlinesuccessinstitute.com.

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 September 2007 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Getting Schooled.

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