How to Join eBay's Community - dummies (2024)

On the bottom of almost every eBay page is a group of links: Click Community to connect to other eBay members, or click the Announcements link to check proposed changes to the site on the Announcements page. Keep in mind, when you see the tips and suggestions on these pages, they may come right from corporate spokespersons in disguise. Take a little time to explore this area for yourself and separate the important messages from the PR spin.

News and chat, this and that

It’s not quite The New York Times, but you can find announcements, groups, and discussion board links from the Community Overview page. The following figure shows you the important links on the page. (eBay is continually making changes to the community, so note that this page will change with regularity.) Although thousands of people used to discuss everything (including events of the day) on eBay’s boards, the online buzz is now a shadow of its former self, as most people have moved to social media for discussions.

How to Join eBay's Community - dummies (1) The main Community page features links to places to get information on eBay.

The most important place for you to visit in the community are the Seller Updates. eBay sends out information on all the important changes for the site here.

Join in the social media conversation

There are many places to connect with other eBay community members. Many are active on social media networks. You can find me (the author of eBay For Dummies) on Twitter (@MarshaCollier), http://twitter.com/MarshaCollier, or through Facebook. If you have a quick question, ping me, and I will try to answer ASAP.

I also maintain a Twitter list of experienced eBay sellers who have a presence on Twitter. They are interested in helping others and are a valuable reference. More on them further on.

Fill in your eBay profile

Did you know that if you click your User ID on any eBay page, you arrive at your very own profile page? (You also have a link on your Feedback profile page.) Unlike the old About Me page, which you had to choose to set up yourself, every eBay member has an automatically generated profile page. Yours is ready and waiting for you to embellish. The following figure shows you aunt*patti’s simple profile.

How to Join eBay's Community - dummies (2) aunt*patti’s bio says she started on eBay in 1996. She’s the real deal.

You can also add custom features to this page to share your other community moments.

Your profile page can reflect your many varied interests. From here, eBay gives you other ways to express yourself:

  • Items for sale: A few of your items you are selling will appear on the page.
  • Reviews: Wondering what other eBay members think of a particular product, book, or movie? Selected items on eBay are reviewed by users, and you can contribute one of your own. Reviews you have posted show up when someone lands on an item for which eBay users have posted reviews. The following figure shows the review page for a previous edition of eBay For Dummies, written by eBay members. To add your own review, click the Write a review button.
  • Following: A sample of which sellers and searches (Interests) you follow. Also, when you save a seller to follow, it shows up on that person’s profile page.

How to Join eBay's Community - dummies (3) eBay members review everything including books. There are seven reviews for the book.

Hear ye, hear ye! eBay’s Announcements Board

If you were living in the 1700s, you’d see a strangely dressed guy in a funny hat ringing a bell and yelling, “Hear ye, hear ye!” every time you opened eBay’s Announcements Board. (Then again, if you were living in the 1700s, you’d have no electricity, Internet, fast food, or anything else you probably consider fun.) In any case, eBay’s Announcements Board is an important place to find out what’s going on (directly from the home office) on the website. And no one even needs to ring a bell.

The Announcements Board is where eBay lists any news that affects buyers and sellers, new features, and policy changes. Visiting this page is like reading a morning eBay newspaper because eBay adds comments to this page almost every week. You find out about upcoming changes in categories, new promotions, and eBay goings-on. eBay also uses it to help users become aware of critical changes in policies and procedures.

The following figure shows you eBay’s Announcements Board with information that could affect your sales.

How to Join eBay's Community - dummies (4) Keep up to date on what’s new at eBay by visiting the Announcements Board.

Help! I need somebody

If you ever have specific eBay questions to which you need answers, click the Knowledge Base link in the Community.

These boards work differently from eBay’s old chat rooms. Chat rooms are full of people who are hanging out and talking to each other all at the same time, whereas users of discussion boards tend to go in, leave a message or ask a question, and pop out again. Also, in a discussion board, you need to start a thread by asking a question. Title your thread with your question, and you’ll hopefully get a swift reply to your query.

These boards cover almost any topic regarding selling and buying on eBay. Just post your question, and some kind eBay member will probably suggest an answer (but remember to double-check your answer, just as you would any advice from someone with unknown credentials). Keep in mind that the Knowledge Base is to answer questions; if someone tries to sell you something there, I’d say turn the other way.

One of the best solutions is to find one of the eBay Social Media sellers on Twitter; many are very active on the site, and you’ll probably get an answer tout suite.

User-to-user discussion boards

eBay has some other boards that take a different tack on things. They’re discussion boards as opposed to chat boards, which basically means that the topics are deliberately open-ended — just as the topics of discussion in coffeehouses tend to vary depending on who happens to be in them at any given time. Check out these areas and read ongoing discussions about eBay’s latest buzz. Post your opinions to the category that suits you. You can find quite a few discussion boards on various topics relating to doing business on eBay.

There’s one cardinal rule for eBay boards: Conduct no business. No advertising items for sale! Not now. Not ever. eBay bans any repeat offenders who break this rule from participating on these boards.

Remember that you’re visiting eBay and that you’re a member. It’s not Speakers’ Corner — that spot in London’s Hyde Park where protesters are free to stand on a soapbox and scream about the rats in government. If you feel the need to viciously complain about eBay, take it outside, as the bar bouncers say.

Category-specific groups

Want to talk about Elvis, Louis XV, Justin Turner, or Mickey Mouse? Currently a bunch of category-specific discussion boards enable you to tell eBay members what’s on your mind about merchandise and auctions. You reach these boards going to the Community and then mousing over the word Groups. A drop-down menu appears where you can click Special Interest Groups.

Of course, you can buy and sell without ever going on a discussion board or group, but you can certainly benefit from one. Discussions mainly focus on merchandise and the nuts and bolts of transactions.

On eBay, you get all kinds of responses from all kinds of people. Take a portion of the help you get with a grain of salt; some of the folks who help you may be buyers, competitors, or have something to sell you down the line.

Don’t be shy. As your second-grade teacher said, “No questions are dumb.” Most eBay members love to share their experiences.

How to Join eBay's Community  - dummies (2024)
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