One might think that everything you need to know is covered by eBay and some of the buyer-specific services, but there are a few other platforms that make your life easier on the site as a buyer . . . and as a seller.


Sniping with BidRobot

When it comes to buying fixed price items on eBay, there's really no magic formula other than knowing how to use eBay's search.

But what about auctions? There is very little more frustrating than losing an auction by a dollar or so. The word "snipe" is loosely (and generally) defined as "to shoot at individuals as opportunity offers from a concealed or distant position." So to snipe at an auction (metaphorically speaking), you lie in wait and catch the competition off-guard.

Sniping makes the entire auction experience even more entertaining. There are quite a few auction sniping services on the web. quickly provides responses to questions and queries.

When you find an auction that you're serious about, go to the BidRobot website, log in, and place future snipe bids. All you have to do is type the item number and your high bid, and that's it. You can shut off my computer knowing that BidRobot will do your bidding for you.

Nobody on eBay will know what item you're desperate to have, because the magical BidRobot doesn't place your bid until a few seconds before the auction closes. If you're the high bidder, no one will have the chance to bid against you! Mua-ha-haaa!

It's easy to use BidRobot to snipe single auctions. For single auctions, just type the item number and bid by using only the yellow top section under the BidForm title. You can ignore the entry forms in all other sections.

But what happens when you find that a bunch of sellers have auctions for the same item at low bid amounts? You'd like to take a chance on each item — and only win one? That's where the BidGroups feature comes into play. It will allow you to bid on multiple eBay auctions for the same type of item.

When you win any one auction that you've put into a BidGroup, BidRobot cancels the remaining bids in that specific group automatically.

BidRobot's services are reasonably priced, based on the amount of time that you want to use the service. You pay a flat rate for all the snipes you can handle. You don't pay any extra charges for the service. For a free trial, visit BidRobot's website.


eBay fee calculators

Although eBay has a calculator buried deep in the site, there are a couple of sites that will do the calculations for you (for eBay sales and other online venues) with a few clicks of your mouse.

One of the original third-party eBay calculators was developed by Ryan Olbe. Ryan was a programming whiz who keeps his site up to date and had calculators for eBay Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, and Australia.

Ryan has since passed away, and his family is maintaining all the varied calculators: "All of Ryan's calculators can be found on this site and we will try to keep them up to date as fees change from time to time. We believe this is what Ryan would've wanted and will forever be grateful for the work that he did."


Kabbage: working capital

Do you need cash to grow your online business? After you're up and rolling, you might come across a great deal on hot-selling widgets, but find yourself short of cash because they are sold in lots of 50. All businesses need capital to grow. Kabbage provides working capital to online merchants through a short application process that takes under ten minutes.

Kabbage provides funding only to online sellers. Online sellers are generally misunderstood by banks and financial services because traditional underwriting and funding criteria do not account for a virtual commerce business model or the value of recently sold inventory. When you apply, they look at many factors (other than your credit score) to determine how much they can advance, including your seller rating, time in business, transaction volume, and other feedback measurements.