BEFORE YOU BEGIN
124 About Selling on eBay
If you do a good deal of selling and buying on eBay, keeping track of all your auctions can be tough. The My eBay page offers some help, but there's a lot it can't do, such as automatically place bids for you or keep track of how much money you've made on your auctions.
If you're serious about selling and buying, your best bet is to use software to help. A great deal of software is available to do this for you, but an excellent package is Auction Sentry, which offers features for both sellers and buyers . Auction Sentry is shareware, which means you can try it for free but you'll have to pay for it if you want to continue to use it for more than 10 days (it costs $14.95). To pay for it, after you install the program, click Help and then click Register Auction Sentry .
Auction Sentry offers many features for buyers and sellers, and I can't cover them all here. Instead, you'll just see how to get started and use the basics.
Download, Install, and Launch Auction Sentry
Go to www.auctionsentry.com and click Download Your Free Trial Now . Note where on your computer's hard disk the file downloads. After it downloads, double-click the file and follow the installation instructions. After it's installed, double-click the program's desktop icon to run it.
To track your auctions and to bid for you, Auction Sentry needs to know your eBay user ID and password. Select Tools, Options to open the Options dialog box; then click the Identification tab and fill in your ID and password. Enable the Remember This Information check box so you don't have to type your ID and password every time you use the program.
To get the most out of Auction Sentry, you should synchronize your PC's clock with eBay's. To do so, select Tools, Options and click the Time Synchronization tab in the Options dialog box. Enable the Synchronize PC's Clock with eBay's check box and click OK .
166. Manage Your Auctions with Auction Sentry
Add All Your Auctions to Auction Sentry
You need to tell Auction Sentry to start tracking your auctions for you. You can add your auctions one at a time to the program by typing the auction number at the lower left of the Auction Sentry screen and clicking Add eBay Auction , but this can be exceedingly time-consuming and tedious , and you might forget to add auctions.
A better option is to have the program track all your auctions automatically. Select Mass Add eBay Auctions from the Action menu, type your eBay user ID into the text box, select Load Auctions That the Following eBay User Has Bid On , and click OK . If you want to track only those auctions in which you're the seller , select Load Auctions Where the Following eBay User Is the Seller .
After several minutes, the program loads all the auctions in which you're participating, or in which you have participatedincluding those in which you've been outbid.
View Auction Details
Auction Sentry shows you the most important details about each auction in which you're participating, including the item's description, the number of items for sale, the high bid, your bid, whether you've made a profit (if you're the seller), and how much time is left in the auction (or whether it has already ended).
Bid on an Item
You can use the program not for auctions you create, but ones you bid on. To bid on any item, right-click it in the main list and select Bid on This Auction! from the context menu. A Place eBay Bid dialog box appears. Fill in your bid. You can either place the bid immediately or use the software to snipe at the last minute.
View the Auction Page
To go to any eBay auction in which you're participating, double-click the auction in the main list. Your web browser launches, and you are sent to the auction page. You should go to the auction page at some point after you've asked Auction Sentry to place your bid, just to ensure that it's done what you've asked it to do.
Track Your Profits If You're Selling
If you're a seller, you can use Auction Sentry to track your profits. Right-click an auction in the main list and select Update Profit Tracking on Selected Row from the context menu. Then fill out information about the auction, including what type of auction it is, whether you've paid extra for features such as giving it boldfaced lettering, what your minimum bid is, and so on. Then, when the auction closes and you get paid, the software automatically tracks your profits for each auction as well as your total profits.
When you use Auction Sentry to track your profits, you have to enter the selling price information in the screen when you select Update Profit Tracking on Selected Row from the context menu. Based on that information, and the fees you pay for eBay, the software calculates your profits. The profit calculation is shown on the same screen on which you enter your pricing and other information when you select Update Profit Tracking on Selected Row from the context menu.