Cheat Sheet

eBay Business All-In-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From EBay Business All-in-One For Dummies, 4th Edition

By Marsha Collier

When you’re working on your eBay business, learn some basic codes for typing special characters that you will need, and keep a list of tax deadlines on hand so you’re not late in filing. To present the best image of your eBay items, follow some basic photo tips; when purchasing merchandise for your eBay business, stock the right sizes and look for unique items in a variety of places. To sell your eBay items with ease and get the most bang for your buck, use some eBay selling pointers.

Typing Special Characters for eBay Business

When you’re working on your eBay business, you may sometimes wonder why certain keys don’t exist on your keyboard for a specific character. Windows has taken care of it by creating special codes for these characters. To get them to appear, press the Alt key on your keyboard while typing the numbers on the number pad. Take a look at the more important codes and how to create them:

Cents ¢ Alt+0162
Euro Alt+0128
Pound sterling £ Alt+0163
Yen ¥ Alt+0165
Copyright © Alt+0169
Registered trademark ® Alt+0174
Trademark Alt+0153

United States Tax Deadlines for Your eBay Business

No one likes to deal with taxes, especially if you’re late in filing. So keep track of your eBay business transactions and know when the deadlines are to file your taxes. Note: Please check with your state government offices for due dates on sales taxes and license fees.

  • 15th of every month: Prior month payroll tax deposit date (if you’re on the monthly deposit system)
  • January 15: Estimated taxes due
  • January 31: Last day to distribute 1099s and W2s to people you paid during the prior year
  • January 31: Payroll reports due for quarterly period ending 12/31
  • February 1: Last day to send the government copies of your 1099s and W2s
  • February 28: 1099-MISC (nonemployee compensation needs to be sent out)
  • March 15: Calendar-year corporation tax due
  • April 15: Deadline for Individual or Partnership Annual Tax return or deadline to file an extension
  • April 15: Estimated taxes due
  • April 30: Payroll reports for period ending 3/31 due
  • June 15: Estimated taxes due
  • July 31: Payroll reports for quarterly period ending 6/30 due
  • September 15: Estimated taxes due
  • October 31: Payroll reports for quarterly period ending 9/30 due

If the due date falls on a weekend or a federal holiday, the due date is the first business day after that date.

eBay Auction Photo Tips

To get the most for your eBay auction items (and your time!) make sure the photo, or image, you post on your eBay auction page looks great. Use these tips for photo help to boost your eBay business:

  • Be sure that the item is clean, unwrinkled, and lint-free.

  • Turn off the flash; use diffused light instead.
  • Take the photo against a solid, undecorated (preferably white) background.

  • Make sure that the picture is in focus.

  • Be sure that you have enough lighting to show the details of your item.

  • Take as many images as necessary to show specific details, such as a signature or a detail that better identifies your item. eBay gives you room for up to 12 photos for free.

  • Don’t use huge images. eBay will allow uploads of 7MB, but also consider loading time.

  • The minimum size eBay will accept is 500 pixels on the longest side (although 1600 is recommended).

Shopping Apparel Sizes for your eBay Business

When buying clothing to sell on eBay, be sure you have the right sizes in your business inventory. The average American woman’s dress size is 14 (the beginning of plus-size clothing), not an 8; the average American man is a 40 regular. When buying apparel for your eBay business in lots for resale, ignore the standard “1 small, 3 medium, and 2 large” lot, and instead buy 1 small, 2 medium, 1 large, and 1 extra-large.

When selling apparel, be sure to add measurements. A site like Size.ly can help you tailor the measurements to your garment.

Tips for eBay Sellers

To easily sell your merchandise on your eBay business and for the most amount of money possible, use these successful selling tips for your eBay items:

  • Answer all e-mail questions from prospective bidders and buyers within 24 hours, and check your eBay Messages frequently before the close of your auctions: Good customer service goes a long way in promoting and building your eBay business.

  • When listing a new item for sale, research your item and be sure that you know its current value and the going price on eBay.

  • Before listing, weigh your item and estimate the shipping cost. Be sure to list shipping (and handling) costs in your ad whether you use a flat rate or the shipping calculator.

  • In the case of an auction, see how many other sellers are selling your item; try not to have yours close within a few hours of theirs.

  • To encourage auction bidding, set the lowest possible starting bid for your item.

  • Check the eBay guidelines to be sure that your item is permitted and that your listing doesn’t violate any listing policies.

Purchasing Merchandise to Sell for Your eBay Business

To find one-of-a-kind items (remember these are not always new things) at a great price and make a profit selling them for your eBay business, follow these helpful purchasing guidelines:

  • Try to pay the lowest possible price for your item — buy at wholesale (or in bulk) whenever possible.

  • If you’re the handy fix-it-all type, find items in need of minor repair and repair them. Then put them up for sale “like new.”

  • Search for unique items that may be common in your geographic area but hard to find in other places across the country.

  • Attend estate sales — many a salable gem is hiding in someone’s home or garage.

  • Visit closeout stores, liquidators, and live auctions regularly.