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Getting Ready to List

Before you list your first item, you need to get all your ducks in a row. That means determining what you're going to sell and for how much, as well as how you're going to describe and promote the item. If you try to list an item “cold,” you'll find yourself stopping and starting as you move through the listing process; you'll be constantly running around trying to gather more information or make important listing decisions on-the-fly. Better to prepare for these decisions up front, as described in the following checklist.

Checklist: Before You List an Item for Auction

  • Make sure that the item exists and is at hand, and has been cleaned up and spruced up as much as possible. (This includes putting the item in the original box, if you have it.)

  • Determine what you think the final selling price will be, and then choose an appropriate minimum bid price.

  • Take a picture or a scan of the item and prepare a JPG-format file for uploading.

  • If you're selling a commonly sold item, such as a book, CD, or DVD, write down the item's UPC number or ISBN number—this is the product code typically found on the back or bottom of the packaging.

  • Determine what listing options you might want to purchase—such as boldfacing the title or placing the item in the Gallery.

  • Think up a catchy yet descriptive headline for the item.

  • Write out a detailed description of the item.

  • Determine what payment options you'll accept. (If you haven't yet signed up with PayPal, now is the time.)

  • Determine how you want to ship the item.

  • Weigh the item, and then try to determine the actual shipping costs. Use that information to set an up-front shipping and handling charge, if you want.

  • If you haven't yet registered as an eBay user and entered your credit card information, do that now.

  • Determine what day of the week—and what time of the day—you want your auction to end.



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