Since being introduced to eBay's guide section, I have been astounded at the information afforded me by generous sellers willing to share their knowledge about a variety of topics.
When my youngest son was born in 2004, I had to close my candle business. I operated this predominantly eBay business from my home and, being that my son was born two months premature, the fragrances were just too much for his immature lungs to handle.
Since that time I have often browsed eBay looking for items that I needed; or, in all honesty, just wanted. Many times I would come across an auction that was handcrafted by a mom working from home and there was a twinge of sadness that I too was no longer actively involved with customers, providing items to buyers around the world that they loved. And many times I have browsed various craft sites searching for an idea that would allow me to pick up where I had left off.
My searches had been fruitless until the last couple of weeks. It was then that I began in earnest to read the guides submitted by eBay users. I was impressed with the multitude of topics offered, the creativity of projects and the thoroughness of which users provided step-by-step instructions on how readers could complete these projects themselves.
It was from these guides that I established the idea for my next business. Many sellers had written their guides in anticipation of driving more traffic to their auction or store listings. Their efforts were successful. Simply because they took the time to provide me with an at-home business idea, I have the supplier of the products I will need to create the items about which they so generously provided information. We both reaped rewards!
But I did not stop with just the product idea. Although I have been an eBay seller since the latter part of 1996, I still was not above taking a few suggestions from other sellers on other business matters. For example, I searched out guides in regards to shipping supplies, using my About Me page to promote my sales, networking in the community forums, and a variety of other topics. Sure, many of these guides listed information I was already aware of, others listed information that would not necessarily apply to my type of business; but many others provided insight in to a customers thoughts on how a potential sale and a lifetime customers could be made. Surprisingly, the information did not always come from a veteran seller; many of the guides were submitted by new buyers who had overcome newbie frustrations or still-green sellers.
I also used the guides to seek out opinions and suggestions about the layout of listings (i.e., size of font, use of templates); learning what attracts buyers to certain auctions and what discourages them from bidding. The information found didn't pertain only to layouts, but also to payment options, methods of shipping, means of shipping, shipping and/or handling charges, and terms of service.
I'm now well on my way to establishing a new business and I fell confident that I will succeed with my future endeavor.
eBay guides don't have to be just a way of learning a quick tip or two, nor do they have to be just for recreational reading. Taking the time to read the guides submitted can lead to a profitable new venture too!