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EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 23 - October 07, 2000 - ISSN 1528-6703     4 of 0

Christmas Shopping for the Online Auction User


By Ina & David Steiner
EcommerceBytes.com

October 07, 2000
 



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October is upon us, and the holiday season is peeking over the horizon. If you are reading this, you might want to print this article out and give it to your loved ones. Highlight the parts that are especially interesting to you.

So what does an online auction user want to find under the tree this year? Here's a run-down of some gifts that are sure to be appreciated.

A Digital Camera or Scanner is on the high-end of the shopping list. Yes they can be a bit pricey, but they are a MUST if you're serious about online auctions. A decent scanner can be purchased for well under $100, and digital cameras can range from $250 to over $1,000. Go to http://www.cnet.com and find out how to get the best bang for your buck. Not only can you read user reviews, but after you've decided on the item you're going to buy, you can get a list of online stores that will give you a great price and overnight delivery!

Collectors always appreciate books, and sellers can benefit as well. We go to a lot of yard sales and auctions and are always looking in books to identify pottery, china, glass, toys, etc. Books make a thoughtful present, too. It may require some sleuthing on your part if you're not sure what books your friend already owns. If in doubt, a gift certificate to an online or neighborhood bookstore may do the trick.

If you want to draw a friend into the online auction world, a beginner's book may be the way to go. eBay for Dummies is one of many books about online auctions. Here's a link to the search results page for the search term "online auction" on the Amazon site: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/external-search?tag=auctionbytesc om&keyword=online%20auction&mode=books Check the reviews posted on Amazon, and check the year the books were published - things change fast on the Internet!

Magazine subscriptions are also useful, and the recipient of this gift will think of you twelve times a year! There are magazines on every topic of collecting, and don't forget "eBay Magazine."

There are antiques newspapers that list auctions and discuss antiques and collectibles, like "Maine Antique Digest," "Antiques and the Arts Weekly," and many more. Be creative.

If your friend has a business or is thinking of starting one, you might consider a subscription to a business-related magazine. Or consider purchasing a domain name. It's only $75. Check out this About.com article that we mentioned last week about registering your own domain name: http://webdesign.about.com/library/weekly/aa082800a.htm?PM=n10091 3g.

Postage scales are a wonderful gift because they can save a lot of time and aggravation at the post office. We wrote about postage scales in February 19th issue, so take a look if this appeals to you:http://www.auctionbytes.com/Email_Newsletter/8/8.html#scales.

Auction-management software is a bit tricky as a gift, unless you know which one your friend wants! Everyone has preferences about what features they like and how much time they are willing to put into learning a new software program.

Bubble-wrap, while not romantic, is a practical present that will be GREATLY appreciated by auction sellers. Packing Tape dispensers are INVALUABLE! Notice what kind of envelopes and boxes your seller uses and purchase some at your local office store or via mail order. If you are on a very tight budget, you could get some Priority Mail boxes from the USPS (free), wrap them in a ribbon, and top off with a $3.20-stamp. (Just make sure your friend has room to store the boxes!) You can go to http://supplies.usps.gov and order them online.

Finally, look around the online auction sites for things you can't find in stores. If your mother-in-law has broken one piece from a set of china, chances are that you can locate it on eBay or Yahoo! or any one of the multitude of auction sites. She'll be THRILLED when she opens her present and finds something she thought she would never see again!

Happy shopping!
***
If you have any shopping ideas, please visit the AuctionBytes.com forum and share them with the rest of us!

About the author:

Ina and David Steiner are publishers of EcommerceBytes.com and have been writing about ecommerce since 1999.


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