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"eBay Hacks": The Savvy User's Guide to eBay

September 4, 2003

Sebastopol, CA--Call it what you like--an online auction house, the world's largest flea market, or a vast, ever-changing bazaar--but no metaphor exactly describes the huge community that is eBay. Here, buyers and sellers come together by the millions to trade goods of every imaginable description. Experienced eBay users, with hopes of finding treasures or making fortunes or both, act out the drama of human dealings: the give and take of negotiation, the schemes, desires, joys, disappointments, and unexpected acts of kindness. But eBay is friendly and straightforward enough for newcomers, too, who can easily navigate and complete transactions with no help beyond the simple instructions on its pages. Underneath it all, eBay is also a complex computer system--one that requires experience and the right tools to master.

In eBay Hacks (O'Reilly, US $24.95) author David A. Karp provides tools and strategies to master eBay, whether you're a buyer trying to win an auction without paying too much, or a seller dealing with anxious customers and possibly deadbeat bidders. You'll find a wide range of topics, from monitoring the bidding process, getting refunds, and fixing photos so that sale items look their best, to in-depth tips for running a business on eBay and writing scripts that automate some of the most tedious tasks.

That's just the nuts and bolts. "eBay Hacks" also gives you an inside look into the unique eBay community. Author David Karp--an eBay user from the very beginning--teaches you how to work within this community to maximize your success.

"eBay Hacks" is not a hand-holding guide, Karp explains. It won't walk readers through the process of bidding on their first auction or creating their first auction listing. "The fact is that just about anybody can figure those things out for themselves in a few minutes," Karp says. "The hacks in this book address the technological and diplomatic challenges faced by all eBay members, written from the perspective of an experienced eBayer who loves challenges as much as solutions. Essentially, you'll find in this book the tools to help you trade smarter and safer, make more money, and have fun doing it."

"eBay Hacks" will show you how to:

  • Learn better ways to monitor auctions, more effective ways to bid, and safer ways to pay

  • Use advanced search tools to find auction items before anyone else and determine the value of an item before you bid

  • Protect yourself before--and after--you bid, and never lose another penny to dishonest sellers

  • Use automatic sniping tools to win more auctions and spend less money

  • Get more money for your items with effective descriptions and killer photos

  • Maintain your reputation on eBay by knowing when to leave feedback, how to set reasonable expectations, and how to deal with other eBay members when things don't go smoothly

  • Utilize tools to streamline the listing process, communications, and checkout

  • Dive into eBay's API to develop custom software that can be integrated with your business or distributed to others

With "eBay Hacks," you'll be more than a buyer or seller. You'll become a savvy power user who knows the smart way to save time, save money, and dramatically improve auction success.

Additional Resources:

eBay Hacks
David A. Karp
ISBN 0-596-00564-4, 331pages, $24.95 US, $38.95 CA, 17.50 UK
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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