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eBay Hacks: Tips & Tools for Bidding, Buying, and Selling Paperback – Jun 12 2005
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About the Author
David A. Karp, the author of the first edition of eBay Hacks, is also the author of eight other O Reilly books, including the Windows Annoyances series, Windows XP in a Nutshell, and Windows XP Pocket Reference. He also served as the editor for PayPal Hacks. He frequently writes for PC Magazine, in which he never forgets to plug his latest O Reilly book.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
eBay Hacks by David A. Karp
Published by O'Reilly ISBN 059610068X
Reviewed by Jim Lauria-HuNTUG member
From the introduction: "Essentially, you'll find in this book the tools to help you trade smarter and safer, make more money, and have fun doing it."
This second edition-revised and updated to June 2005-provides the eBayer with tips and tools (aka hacks) for successful bidding, buying and selling on the premier online auction web site.
I found the hacks provided by the author to be extremely helpful and informative, easy to use and understand. As a long time eBay seller I had become complacent with the tools and techniques which I had been using for months or even years. This book has given me new ideas and approaches to make my eBay business better.
Karp provides clever shortcuts and powerful tools to do all sorts of neat things like create better titles, listings and descriptions to fancier photographs (Hack 74) and even how to cultivate a good reputation and protect yourself and your $ (Hacks 25 & 85). He also provides warnings about your safety, privacy and money matters.
Included is a chapter on eBay's Application Programming Interface, XML, Perl, PHP and RSS and development of custom software apps that can be worked in to one's own business apps and can also be passed along to others-hey maybe even for a small fee!
The book is well written with plenty of photos, screen shots and lots of code to get you up and buying/selling in quick fashion. 438 pages that read through really quickly and are packed with plenty of good stuff.
I would recommend this title for anyone-novice or pro-who is or would like to make or save some money using eBay or just to have some fun while selling your wares. The book lists for $24.95-less online.
I give this one 5 stars.
The book itself is packed with 125 "hacks" for eBay, which can range from the basics (leaving feedback) to the more complex (setting up your own online check-out). A lot of the hacks give you tweaks and twists on the normal way of doing things, or take a task and show you a different, sometimes a little more dynamic, way of doing it.
Some of the more advanced topics will only be feasible if you are a powerseller. The author covers a lot of third-party tools as well, which can quickly run into the big dollars if you are just selling a few things each week. However, there is a fair amount of material devoted to the mom and pop sellers, like many of us are. One of the shining points of this book is that it does show you how to do a lot of tricks yourself if you are willing to roll up your sleeves and play around with Perl.
However, the book is for more than just sellers. A lot of tips are there for buyers as well. Such things as how to snipe effectively, and how to take advantage of bid increments in the auction to get the item for the lowest price. Even though the author is writing for both parties, the buyer and seller, he does a good job of not taking advantage of one over.
A few of the topics he covers can be a bit controversial, depending on how you look at it. Things such as withholding feedback and sniping can be frowned upon by some -- but it is all perfectly legal in the world of eBay and the author tells you how to take advantage of it.
Overall, a good book for those who want to get more out of eBay than just the casual buyer/seller. If you want to kick-start your eBay selling career, this is one of the books you will want to have to help guide you; Whereas if you want to learn the tricks of the buying game, you couldn't have picked a better reference manual.
Contents: Diplomacy and Feedback; Searching; Bidding; Selling; Working with Photos; Completing Transactions; Running a Business on eBay; The eBay API; Index
Most Hacks titles consist of 100 tips and tricks related to the subject matter being discussed. In eBay Hacks, you get an extra 25 for your money. What a deal! :-) Regardless of whether you're a complete newbie to eBay or you actually run an eBay storefront, you'll find things in here that will save you time and money on a regular basis. Reading the chapter and hacks on feedback, I learned that there are ways to prevent negative feedback even after it's been given. Since so much of who you are on eBay relates directly back to your feedback rating, this can be a critical factor in getting buyers to trust you (or others to sell to you). The chapter on bidding went into the act of "sniping", or bidding at the last second, so that you can stand a much better chance of not being overbid at the last second. I didn't realize there are third-party services that will do this for you automatically. No wonder I've lost some things I really thought I had nailed. Karp even goes into how best to compose photos that will draw people to your auction rather than send them away for something that looks more appealing.
Obviously, you can use eBay without this book and information. I'm sure you'll do fine. But the first time you find an auction miscategorized (because you were looking for that condition) and you launch a bidding strategy that gets you the deal of a lifetime for next to nothing, you'll wonder why you waited so long. Good stuff here...
The only minor complain I have is that the book references other chapters, but you have to go back to the Table of Contents to find the page number for the chapter. I think each page should have the current chapter number on it.
Each page does have the hack number on it so it makes it easy to find a hack without going back to the table of contents.
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