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Sharpest Tools In The Shed

Take your business on ebay to the next level with these advanced selling tools.
August 1, 2008
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/196524

There is a whole universe of tools available to eBay sellers when they look beyond the "Sell Your Item" form. The "Sell Your Item" form is where most eBay sellers start, and it still has a place in the toolbox for those who need to post unique items. But as businesses grow and eBay entrepreneurs look for ways to streamline their work, more advanced seller tools become an important part of an eBay seller's operations. "We recognize that some of the more professional selling tools offer some significant efficiency advantages," says Nathan Etter, director of product management-eBay Seller Experience. "They're really appropriate for people to migrate to as they consider scaling their business."

Terry Gibbs, the founder of Mesa, Arizona-based Iwantcollectibles.com (eBay User ID: train99), has been selling collectible trains on eBay since the late '90s and spends a lot of time advising other eBay sellers on how to improve their businesses. "Just get in there and start doing it, and then identify the areas you're having problems with," says Gibbs, 45. "If your problem is image hosting, go out and find the tools to do that. Go to forums and ask for advice and gather information. If you go out to solve a problem, you're always going to be better off."

Here's a rundown of eBay's seller tools, with a look at what they are designed to do and what sort of eBay sellers they are helpful for:

Seller tools offer services and applications that can help you go from being a beginning seller to a business seller and then help that business grow. These tools will also help you improve and expand on the services you provide to your customers. And choosing the right tools will educate you, streamline your operations and save you time. "Run [your business on eBay] like a system," says Gibbs. "If you don't have a system, you're going to be chaotic and things won't get done."

Integrating a new tool into your business can seem like a big step, but the payoff is well worth the effort. "There are resources available that can get [eBay sellers] through challenges," says Etter. "We encourage sellers to keep an open mind and explore the options that are out there."