This book goes beyond the instruction page to the idea of "hacks"?tips, tricks, and techniques you can use to make your experience with eBay more profitable, more fun, less exasperating, and (if you enjoy such things) more challenging.
On a daily basis, eBay users assume many different roles: consumer, seller, technical support specialist, diplomat, teacher, nuisance, application developer, nuclear safety inspector, web designer, and, of course, hacker. With that in mind, the hacks (and chapters) in this book are divided into four main sections.
Feedback in the eBay world is like credit in the real world: you use it to buy and sell things, you build it up over a long time, and you protect it like a first-born child. This chapter introduces eBay's feedback system and describes the many different ways to maintain a good feedback profile and use it to inspire trust in others.
The only way to find anything on eBay is by searching, either by typing keywords into search boxes or by browsing through category listings. The hacks in this chapter describe how to find auctions before anyone else does, focus your searches with a variety of tools, and even create an automated search robot.
This chapter explains both how bidding is supposed to work, and how it actually works in the real world. It also discusses how you can use eBay's proxy bidding system to improve your win rate while spending less money.
Photos can make or break an auction. This chapter shows you not only how to take good pictures and put them in your auctions, but also includes specific code you can use for cool presentations.
The hacks in this chapter will give you the selling tools to help receive payments, ship your packages, and protect yourself while doing it.
If selling on eBay is your full-time job (or if you just wish it were), the tools in this chapter will help you sell more in less time and with less effort. Streamline listing creation, communications, and checkout, and make more money while you're at it.
To the delight of anyone interested in hacking, eBay's API lets developers write applications to communicate directly with the eBay servers. But it's not just for developers?anyone with a computer or web server and a little time to learn Perl can write (and use) quick-and-dirty scripts to search, retrieve auction information, leave feedback, and much more.