Auctions are one of humankind's oldest business pursuits, probably dating back to the earliest sales of food and animal hides. Auctions also represent one of the world's simplest business models: an item or service is offered for sale to the highest bidder. Despite the historical vintage and simplicity of auctions, only small numbers of people actually take part in them. A conventional auction typically requires travel to a central site where you can sell goods or examine the items that will be put up for bid. Sellers have no guarantee that interested buyers will show up for the auction, and buyers have no guarantee that they will find something they want or need.
In 1995, the Internet and one man's hobby turned the ancient auction process totally on its head. Now, online auction Web sites make it easy for almost anyone on the planet who has a computer and Net access to buy from, or sell to, almost anyone else who can log on to the same auction site. In the online auction world, corporations and sole-proprietor home businesses can compete for the same buyers. No special training, certifications, franchises, or storefronts are required to become an online auction seller. Indeed, all you really need are a few items to sell, a camera, and a credit card or debit card (necessary to open a seller account or buyer account at online auction sites such as eBay or Amazon). Many people have launched part-time and full-time sales businesses simply by grabbing a few unneeded things from their households and selling them online. Later, they have branched out to items purchased at yard sales, garage sales, estate sales, and other auctions. Then they have learned how to buy certain merchandise at one online auction site and resell it at others. From there, they have opened online stores and built even bigger businesses that use online auctions to help them sell merchandise and buy more things to sell.
In this book, you will discover how easy and fun it can be to bid and win at online auction sites, and how simple and profitable it can be to sell items online. You will learn how online auctions work and why you should always make a few small purchases first at any auction site before you sign up to be one of its sellers. You will also learn how to open buyer and seller accounts at some of the leading online auction venues, such as eBay, Yahoo!, Amazon, and uBid. This book will guide you through the process of creating your first listing, making your first sale, getting paid quickly, and picking the best way to ship the sold item, whether the buyer is in the next county or halfway around the world. These experiences and the tips in this book will give you the insights you need to master the online auction business.
Online auction sites can be fun places to buy useful items for your home, business, or hobby at bargain prices. Online auctions can be a pleasant, convenient, and profitable means of paring down the overabundance of stuff in your life. Online auctions can also be catalysts for a new career that takes you out of a corporate cubicle, puts a stop to commuting, and lets you work at home during the hours you choose.
Reading this book will not ensure success. In the world of business, there are no guaranteed paths to high achievement. Still, in the pages that follow, you can learn the techniques and skills necessary to succeed as an online auction seller. With the right efforts and determination and a willingness to keep learning, you may be able to create an online auction sales business that will grow far beyond your expectations.
The world of online auctions awaits you. Are you ready to start buying and selling?