Tuesday, April 22, 2008

eBay Redux

eBay has been around since before the heady dot.com days. With Yahoo, it is probably one of the more well-known survivors of the dot-com boom days. eBay has grown leaps and bounds over the years, facilitating ordinary people like you and me in selling off some of our not-so-prized collections and also in buying hard-to-come-by stuff that is either out of production/print or has found its end-of-life with someone else. Indeed, eBay has grown from just a place to auction stuff to a place to set up an online store selling brand new first-hand products. Much has been written about the portal, about how to use it, about how to make more money through it, about it, and all. So I was intrigue to find the brand new book, "Tricks of the eBay Business Masters" on a library shelf. What has Michael Miller, the author, to tell us that we do not already know from the many books already written on the subject?

Well, the title does give an indication. This book collates the wisdom of people (the masters) who have made use of the eBay portal to run successful businesses. Michael doesn't so much preach as he shows how actual businesses have thrived on certain best-eBay-practices. In several 'eBay Business Profiles' (Case Studies), he describes how actual businesses evolved to an online eBay store that complemented their brick-and-mortar operations to businesses that exist solely on the eBay. Words of wisdom from these successes are concisely documented, which will be of much interest to people who already have an eBay business going, but would like to do better, or for aspiring e-Bayers looking to start selling instead of merely trading.

The part I find most interesting is the discussion of various free tools, such as eBay Marketplace Research, eBay Pulse, etc, provided by eBay and others that will help analyse search trends and understand past auction patterns and behaviour. These tools probably can make a difference between dead stores and profitable stores.

While this book has a 'recipe look' about it, it is recipe worth reading. As this book is quite new (published in 2008), the formula in the recipe has been updated to give the reader something new to learn out of the 101 tips and tricks listed.

I recommend this book highly.

By the way, if you haven't heard the eBay song, you simply must. Its so infectious. It should be nominated for an Emmy. And there are several incarnations of it. Enjoy!

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