Kimbo's completely unofficial eBid FAQ
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If you have upgraded to "seller lifetime plus" while their special promotion is running, you are entitled to an eBid t-shirt. However, this will not be sent automatically for the simple reason that the shirts come in various sizes and eBid don't know how many pies you've eaten. Send an email to the usual ebid support email address (I won't repeat it here, I'm sure they get enough spam already, but it involves the word support and an at sign, as you might expect, then the site name and either tv or net, as you prefer). Write with your ID, your request, and the size you would like. Occasionally they go out of stock and you have a longer wait, but usually they arrive in just a few days.
If you are finding regular weekly or monthly charges on your ebid account, and you're not selling or listing anything, don't scream... you've almost certainly not understood the subscription concept. When you sign up to sell and choose the weekly or monthly subscription, you are told this is a recurring payment. That means you've agreed to keep paying until you tell it to stop. It doesn't just end when your listings expire. It's simple to stop, just go to your subscriptions area in "my ebid" and downgrade your subscription to "buyer", which is free - no more charges.
You can check what sort of account you currently have, as well as compare account types and upgrade your subscription, by looking at "my eBid" then "my subscriptions". This link should take you there. If you want to know what fees are paid for different listing types, per account, this is documented in eBid's own help pages at this link.
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If you haven't been able to get an answer for your problem in the forums, or your issue is the sort of thing that only eBid themselves can fix, there is a contact form on the help pages that will put you in touch with the support team. Go to the "help" tab and click on the "contact us" grey tab under the search box. Click on the " click here to open a support ticket" link. Check that the answer is not already supplied on that page, and if you still need to go ahead fill in the form. Don't be put off by the dire warnings, they're just trying to keep the numbers down!
When you place a support call in this way, you will receive an automatic response first. This contains your "ticket number" and simply confirms that your request has been received. If you don't get a ticket number - check your spam traps! You will then receive a an answer from a real human at some later time - how much later depends on the complexity of the problem, obviously. In most cases I receive answers the same day.
I do have some advice for anybody sending support emails that you might find helpful.
Help desks are frequently under-manned and over-worked (like so many of us!) and the easier you make it for them to help you, they more likely you are to get that help promptly.
If you'd like a little more help on how best to frame your request, take a look at my Squidoo lens How to Request Technial Support
* I do have one help desk I have to use occasionally that drives me to spitting madness, hence the proviso. :o)
On 7th April 2010 Gazza posted this explanation of the times at which cheap upgrades are available:
The offer is available 24 hours after joining. The offer is also available 24 hours after a new (not repeat) upgrade type is taken out. examples. Newly joined today = 24hrs offer available Upgraded to SELLER today for the first time = 24hrs offer available Upgraded to SELLER+ 7 DAY today for the first time = 24hrs offer available Upgraded to SELLER+ 7 DAY today after previously being SELLER+ 7 DAY a few months ago but stopped it = 24hrs offer not available Upgraded to SELLER+ 30 DAY today after previously being SELLER+ 7 DAY a few months ago but stopped it = 24hrs offer available Hope this helps. Gazza
To view any active auctions with bids go to the front page for your site, scroll down to "popular auctions" and click on the heading. That will show you all auctions with bids. The categories are shown on the left as usual, so you can see numbers per cat', or drill down to lower levels.
There are two things you need to pay for. One is your membership. The other is your listings/sales. The type of membership you have affects the type of listings you use and, therefore, the listing fees and FVFs you pay.
The full details of eBid's seller membership fees are given here: http://uk.ebid.net/help_money.php. The essential detail to remember is that subscriptions are recurring payments. This means that for any membership period less than "lifetime" the payment will be repeated each time the period goes around. So a weekly subscription, for example, will be charged every week until you manually go into your subscription area and tell it to stop.
If you buy a week's membership at $1.99 you get membership at seller+ level for one week. During that week you may make as many listings as you wish, but how much you pay for them will depend on what sort of listing you choose. If, for example, you choose Gallery (which gives a thumbnail picture in the search results) you will pay 2% FVF if your item sells. The full schedule of selling fees is given here: http://uk.ebid.net/help_selling.php#2 - make sure you scroll down to see the extras too. This information is repeated on the listing form when you create your auction, and the total fees to be charged is given when you preview the listing and before you agree to submit the listing.
Your listings will continue to run for as long as you have selected, while your membership continues.
There are a number of elements to this answer. Firstly, if your widget sells anywhere else, there's no reason why it shouldn't sell on eBid too - but if you've never sold one yet, there's no way of knowing how it will go! Secondly, selling on eBid is generally accepted to take more thought and effort than selling on more popular sites - the buyers won't necessarily just flood in, so you might want to think about upping your marketing efforts and letting people know where you are trading. Thirdly, eBid is a younger market than some other sites and doesn't necessarily have the same level of built-in trust as, for example, Amazon commands. So you might need to do a bit of groundwork to make yourself look like a trustworthy and reliable seller.
There's nothing much anyone can do to help with the first point - it's up to you as a seller to know your product, know your market, work out your margins etc and get pricing, packaging, and posting right.
There is, however, some help I can offer with the second and third points - these are merely suggestions, but if you want some ideas
If you're using Buy Now, you know that one yourself. If you're creating an auction and want a start price... it's best to use the
minimum you are happy to accept. A low start price to "tempt people in" will probably produce a low finish price, as most items
only get one bid, due to the low "footfall" at eBid.
eBid is a younger, less established market with fewer buyers, lower market share, and a tiny marketing budget in comparison to other well-known auction and sales sites. So it is generally accepted that doing a bit of marketing yourself will help boost customer awareness and bring in those all-important sales.
When a new buyer visits eBid, they're not going to start out with the same level of trust that they have for sites they've been using successfully for years. So in order to get them to part with their money, you're going to have to show them that you are a reliable, honest, trust-worthy soul who will not run off with the cash as soon as you have it!
First of all, make sure you make good use of your "all about me" page. http://uk.nine.ebid.net/perl/account.cgi?mo=account-all-about-user. It's there to let you provide a bit of background information, and any standard terms and conditions, along with anything you think will prove interesting or useful to your potential buyers. A decent "all about me" page shows that you're here to do the job properly, haven't just dumped some old stock and run, and care about the face you show to the eBid customer base. You can use it to mention any established accounts elsewhere (no links to ecommerce sites though!) with an indication of feedback you've gathered, for example. Here's what mine looks like to give you an idea of the sort of thing - but don't just check mine, ideas vary and you might see some good suggestions elsewhere.
Another widely accepted "fact" (read "opinion" :o)) is that zero feedback can be a turn off for nervous buyers. If you've got a little bit of feedback it shows that you're really here and trading, have completed a few deals successfully (from either side of the table) and know how to use the site properly. It means you've experienced the processes, dealt with any issues, and come out the other side with a successful sale or purchase... exactly what your buyer wants to achieve. There are a few ways of trying to get that elusive first few feedback points, but the two simplest and most popular are: 1. buy something! and 2. join in the YDC charity auction. Number one is obvious - find something useful and inexpensive being sold by an experienced ebidder (or it'll be the newbie leading the newbie!) and buy a few bits here and there - your feedback will get a kick start, you'll learn how the process works from the buyer's perspective and that will be invaluable when you're selling, and you'll probably get a bargain into the deal. Number two is less obvious - YDC is a monthly charity fund-raiser that involves ebidders buying and selling inexpensive items to raise funds for nominated charities. Those taking part are extremely reluctant to let any item go unsold and unloved, and will nearly always put in a bid of a few pence at least on something that's offered in the right spirit. So while no sale is ever guaranteed, a YDC auction stands a better chance than most. I'll be adding more about YDC here sometime or other, but for now check the forums - there's lots of useful information and helpful threads explaining all aspects of the concept.
There is a lot of excellent advice scattered about both on the eBid forums, and around the web. You really need to paddle about in the forums to find everything, but here's a useful place to start picking up ideas: Ideas thread.
For a place to start on the web, there's always my eBid Widgets page on Facebook. That has hints & tips, as well as news updates and general observations.
There is a way to see closed auctions, but not sold items only. So you'll need to view closed listings and then scan down the page(s) for green ticks to indicate a sale. To see closed items do your search as normal, then click on "more search options". There you will find a box to tick to select closed items only.
The little picture that shows next to your listing on search results or shop inventory lists is called a "thumbnail", and it is a paid for extra. How you choose the extra depends on the sort of account you have. For Seller + accounts choose Gallery, and for Seller accounts pick Platinum. This will then use the first image you choose in the picture section as your gallery thumbnail. If you do not choose the upgrade and your listing has pictures, a small camera icon wills show instead. Check eBid's help pages or listing forms for the latest fee structure, but at time of writing you can expect to pay around 2% or 3% in final value fees for any such listings that sell.
eBid provides a selection of logos on the forums. It has offered the following guidelines for how these can be used:
"We appreciate the courtesy of your email requesting the use of the eBid logo and/or trademark name in the production of merchandise.
One of the strong selling points of eBid is it's almost instantaneous upload of items to Google shopping. eBid says that as long as your item qualifies, it will be uploaded soon after listing, thus making it visible to a massive customer base outside eBid. "Qualifies" is generally given as "has a Buy Now price, has at least a day left to run"... but you do need to be aware that Google rules make it a little more fussy than that. Google only has a Shopping base for the US, UK and Germany. So only those eBid items are uploaded. If you're in France or Australia, for example, eBid cannot upload your items to Google. Google won't take them. If your items are of an adult nature they won't be uploaded either. And Google also appears to have a selection of trigger words that cause them to refuse items, for example anything smoking-related. So if you sell collectible cigarette packs, don't expect them to show on Google Shopping.
How many characters is 250? What does that look like? eBidís instructions for getting Google visibility is to avoid putting anything in the first two-hundred and fifty characters that does not relate directly to your item. Thatís exactly this much.
Note that references to Google Shopping, Google Products and Google Base are all talking about the same thing - the name changes from time to time, and depending on whether your looking at it as a seller or a buyer. They like to keep us confused!
An excellent guide to setting up Google Checkout and using it on eBid has been written by jeweleffects. So rather than reinvent a wheel that's already been brilliantly done, here is a link to take you to that guide.
Yes, and then no... ;o) If you are only going for a few days, eBid's usual advice
is to put a "seller's note" at the top of your listings (see "my ebid" right menu). You can use any wording in these notes - so use it
to advise your customers that you will be away, and when you will return.
You can import eBay listings into eBid using the Ninja Lister. Bear in mind that this is currently only in "Beta Test" release - that means it's
still being tested and developed and you might need to be a little techy to use it successfully. If you decide to go ahead, you'll need to
export from Turbo Lister (in TL CSV format) and then import to Ninja, then upload to eBid.
"Showroom" is a way of displaying found items such as when you've produced a list by searching. When you search for an item, or when you browse a section or shop, you have three ways of viewing the items returned. These options are chosen from a drop-down list that's at top right of the list. It's labelled "view" and offers you List, Gallery or Showroom. Experiment with all three to see which you prefer.
If you display items using showroom, any with more than one photograph in the ebid hosted section will show a little camera under the gallery picture. If you slide this along to the right, the additional pictures will be displayed.
Yes, you can, but unsurprisingly there are a few things you need to be aware of. Adult items roughly fall into two types: sexy, and controlled. The sexy stuff is items such as sex-toys, barely-there undies etc. The controlled stuff is things like computer games with minimum buyer age limits.
The first class of adult items must be listed in the adult categories. If it's not, it can be reported and will then be removed without warning. Even things that are themselves not particularly risque can be considered adult if the picture is too explicit or racy. You might not think that pair of knickers is very adult, but if the picture's looking straight up the crutch of some pouty bimbo... list it in adult and safe yourself the hassle. :o)
Games with age-limits fall into a different class. They can be listed normally but it is up to the seller to comply with legal requirements about checking the buyer's age. In the UK if Trading Standards think that you have insufficient checks to ensure you're selling to the right audience, it's you they contact, not eBid.
There are some Adult items that simply can't be listed - generally because they're actually illegal! The eBid statement on this as at 23 June 2009 is: # Adult listings must be placed in the WHATEVERS LEFT > ADULT section # Various legal statutes exist regulating the sale and distribution of pornography and adult material, and by listing any such item at eBid you indicate your intent and ability to abide by all applicable laws # In the UK any material which is in breach of the criminal law, including material judged to be obscene under the current interpretation of the Obscene Publications Act 1959 cannot be listed under any circumstances # R18ís or unclassified titles cannot be listed under any circumstances. See http://www.bbfc.co.uk/ for further information if in any doubt. R18ís can only be sold in specially licensed cinemas, or supplied in licensed sex shops, and to persons of not less than 18 years in the UK But this can change at any time, so remember to check the help pages on eBid, or contact support, for the latest word.
In the normal use of the Question and Answer system for auctions, once you've answered a question you can't get back to your potential bidder. So if you reply the first time saying "I'll get back to you about that..." you'll find out that you can't! eBidder Salus Labrorum has come up with the following clever solution: If you go to ask a question on your own auction, you get an error message which sends you to answering the last question you answered on that auction. It's really cack handed and a seriously stupid way of doing things, but it seems to work.
Buyers on ebid can be a little slow to pay on rare occasions - often because they're new too and haven't yet worked out the technicalities. First of all, make sure you've invoiced your buyer and given them every chance to pay. If you don't have integrated payment methods on your listing, they'll need you to send a separate invoice from their/your chosen method of payment.
If you haven't received payment, consider trying an alternative method of communication - again, newness can make immdediate comms go a little awry, so don't think the worst too quickly. If you've used direct email, try the Q&A message system. If you've tried Q&A, use email. Give them every chance to make contact, and payment.
If you've given them every opportunity to pay, and regretfully been forced to assume no payment is coming, you'll want to kick-off the non-payment routine. To do this:
Once you've been through that process you are free to relist your item.
You may wish to add your failed buyer to your "blackball" list. This is found on your "my eBid" menu (far right) and you can use it to prevent the same buyer returning to bother you again.
If you have followed the correct procedure, you should have no worries about retaliatory negative feedback. If your NPB does leave an unwarranted feedback strike you can contact support again and they will deal with it.
When things close without selling they go to your "unsold" list. They will stay in there, regardless of whether or not you relist them, until you take positive steps to remove them or many, many weeks pass and they expire.
When you relist something from unsold you might prefer to also delete it. This is how I do it - then I know that everything in unsold needs relisting. I let the list build up for a few days, then I click "all repost" and "all delete" so that everything is ticked in both columns. Then use the "delete/repost" button at the bottom and everything will be reposted and removed from your unsold list, emptying it ready to start collecting the next set.
Each shop is allowed to have up to 30 parent categories. There is a single level of sub-category (i.e. it only goes one deep) and each parent category is allowed up to 15 sub-categories. Thus:
There seems to be an infrequent problem with either listing, edit or reposts setting auctions as featured when the seller didn't mean to choose it, and isn't aware it's been set. Since this is a chargeable feature you might want to check your items from time to time to make sure you haven't got any accidental Featured listings racking up costs on your account.
Go to your own "All About Me" page, or anywhere else that offers you the "Their Auctions" link for your own stuff. In the default non-shop list returned any featured items will be at the top of that list. "Featured" and "Non-Featured" is shown top right of the first item of that sort. If you only see "Non-Featured" then you do not have any featured items.
You ask for a new category or sub-category to be added to eBid's structure via the appropriate forum: New Category Suggestions. Instructions for how to make your requested are posted at the top of the forum - it's recommended that you read those first.
Addition isn't guaranteed, but your chances of success are improved if you use the correct
format for your request. The instructions are at the top of the forum, but basically the idea
is to not just say what category you want, but show where it would fit in the existing format.
For example, if asking for new category XYZ in books, non-fiction say so and indicate:
Additions that get eBid's approval are added in little batches at infrequent and irregular intervals, whenever Gazza has time and the inclination to page through the forum. He will post a brief "done" message to any he chooses to add.
The forum is also a discussion forum, so don't be surprised if other ebidders comment on your request (either for or against). With major additions Gazza appears to prefer that discussion takes place so that a consensus can be reached.
This isn't just a joke - although some funny versions certainly do get used! - it's all about preventing ebay google ad's being displayed on eBid's site, and preventing the references from being counted as "popularity" ratings for eBay. It's a matter of personal preference, but you will probably irritate some regulars if you don't avoid using the real name. I sell in both places, so feel less strongly than some, but do follow the convention for the sake of politeness... your choice! :o)
Quoting in the forums
The simplest way to quote a message to which you wish to reply is, obviously, to tick the "quote" box at the bottom of the message. However, this will quote the entire post, and might be rather excessive. If you just want to quote a small portion, but would like it to appear in the standard format that shows you are quoting another message, you can do either of the following:
No, you can't, sorry. Email addresses are not permitted on the site, I've checked. Ebid support replied to my question with: We do not allow the posting of your email address in your auctions, All about me information or forum postings.
YDC originally stands for "Yorkie's Daft Charity" and is now a regular (monthly) charity effort to raise money by running auctions. eBidders list a selection of items at auction, running for a week. Each month the previous "winner" (person to raise the most cash) chooses a charity. This is suggested as the charity to benefit this month, but you may choose your own. The rules are posted each month in the annoucement thread in the forums. In brief, these are:
As of February 2009 there will be a US run YDC also (currently everybody mucks into the UK version) to target US charities.
A little known type of PayPal account is "micropayments", which has a lower range of fees for lower value transactions. You can change any existing account to micropayments using this link: https://micropayments.paypal-labs.com/, where you can also check the fees for your country.
If you decide that, after all, you do not wish to keep your PayPal account as micropayments, PayPal provides the following information on sign-up, explaining how you can change back. If you would like, you may have your account returned to the standard payment processing rates. To opt out of micropayment pricing, you can contact customer service by taking the following steps: 1. Log into your PayPal account by accessing the PayPal website 2. Click on the 'Contact Us' link located at the bottom of the page 3. Next, click on the 'Contact Customer Service' link on the Help Center homepage 4. Select 'Sending/Receiving Money' as a topic, then 'PayPal Fees' as a subtopic 5. Summarize your request and click 'Continue' 6. Use the 'Additional Information' text box to submit your request and click 'Continue' Once your request has been processed, weíll email you to confirm that your account was returned to the standard payment processing rates.
The rules about promoting your items within eBid's forums are quite strict, in order to stop them from being swamped in hundreds of adverts. You may promote your items in two ways: