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eBay for Dummies: Teaching Through Stories
20 Jun 2016

eBay for Dummies: Teaching Through Stories

Screen shot 2016-06-19 at 10.24.45 AMThis week we’re going to be talking about storytelling, and I thought, what better way to start than with a book where you might not expect a lot of stories, but where you actually, in fact, get quite a few.

My friend Marsha Collier is a prolific author, but perhaps what she is best known for is her knowledge about eBay. Now, if you’re like me, eBay makes tons of sense till you sit down and try to sell something. A couple of years ago I thought I would try my hand at selling. How hard could it be? You post a picture, post kind of like you do on any social media platform, people bid or whatever, and then suddenly you’re rich. Yay! Yeah, well, it turns out it’s a little more complicated than that. You’re immediately confronted with questions ranging from “what do you want your seller’s username to be?” to “what kind of shipping charges do you want to incorporate?” Shipping charges? I have no idea about shipping charges. I even find the USPS flat rate boxes confusing.

What you really want when you are trying to work with eBay, either on the buying side or on the selling side, is for someone experienced to hold your hand and walk you through it. Marsha’s release of the NINTH edition of eBay for Dummies (not an affiliate link) serves just that purpose.

Right, but where’s this storytelling you were talking about?

Oh, right. So you might think that a book offering the intent of walking you step-by-step through a process might be kind of bland. First you do this. Then you do this. Here is a screen shot. Now you do this. The truth is there would really be nothing wrong with a book like that. You’re using it to get information and guidance, after all. As long as it performs that function, you can’t really complain much.

The amazing thing about Marsha, though, is that she takes a completely different approach. She infuses her very expert and helpful recommendations with both humor and storytelling. For example, towards the beginning of the book Marsha is talking about how she peppers warnings throughout the book, and she notes that you probably should follow those tips unless you’re a fan of masochism. Not the usual way to say things, right? It made me chuckle.

Marsha also uses memorable stories to emphasize her points, which in my opinion is the best way to teach. How important is spelling words correctly in your eBay listings? Marsha tells the story of a “Swede” Star Trek jacket that was purchased at a very discounted price because people didn’t check to see that it was actually SUEDE. How can you explain buyer’s remorse on eBay? Marsha tells the story of how she didn’t buy an autographed Neil Armstrong photo when she had the chance.

What you will learn

The book is divided into five sections, so you can get Marsha’s helpful and humorous tips matched completely to where you are in your eBay process. The five sections are:

Getting a Feel for eBay

Buying Like an Expert

Making Money the eBay Way

Even More of eBay’s Special Features

The Parts of Tens

The advice covers the gamut from “not very comfortable with computers, might be a technophobe” to “OMG of course I know how to do everything…except that.”

There are screen shots, cross references to other parts of the book, and tips you can scan for in case you are a little lost.

If you are thinking of getting started on eBay either as a buyer or a seller, this book is a must in my opinion. Check it out!

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