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Personal eBay "About Me" Page
When I had previously written the article below, eBay was letting you send traffic to your web site from links within the auctions. Things have changed. You can't provide direct links to your web site unless it's to provide more information needed to sell a particular item you have up for auction. But you can create a personal "about me" page that lists your web site. Here's an example of mine:
http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/bermanart

Read about our Auction Support Services

My current auctions are of my photographs

I use these auctions for two purposes

To sell something I don't use anymore
To drive traffic to my web site
I put links within each auction as a way to bring interested people back to my web site. Using html, I have the link open a new browser window so they won't be leaving the auction. I also create a new page on my web site as an entry point from the auction so I can track the number of people coming from eBay.
I've handled each auction differently. Currently I'm using my three frame animated "I Love You" gif as a link back to my web site. You can see it on the bottom of my most recent auctions. Last year I used the animated gif of the teddy bear couple on the swing within my auctions ( you can see it on our custom graphics page).
In the past, I've also used the actual product pictures as links also, specifying that in the alt tag (text that pops up when you hover over the picture).

Click here to visit my web site

How I create the Auction

First I create the page for the particular auction on my web site.
Using my digital camera, I take clear, descriptive photographs of the item.
I then complete the page so it looks just like I want the auction page to look with pictures and text.

eBay does not host pictures. All pictures seen in auctions are being pulled from other web sites.

Going to the html view (right click and view source in your browser), I copy everything between the open and close body tags <body> and </body>.
I then paste it into notepad (or any plain text editor), naming it for that particular auction.
I then edit it in notepad making sure that the image links are fully resolved url's. As an example, where it says src="images/picturename.jpg", I change it to read src= "http://bermangraphics.com/images/picturename.jpg"
Then I copy and paste the edited html into the eBay auction form.
I have a 1 pixel gif that I use for the picture location link in the eBay form (fully resolved url). By using it, my auction will show up in eBay's listing as having a picture (icon of the little camera next to the listing) because there are people who only view auctions where there are pictures. This way I have total control where my pictures are showing up within my eBay auction page.

Tips for maximizing your auction traffic (and bids)

Open your account with eBay in advance, so you don't scramble around at the last minute.
pick a user name instead of an e-mail address. I use the user name "bermanart" instead of "larry@bermanart.com". It's easier to type in.
Plan your auction timing in advance
I found that I have the best results if I start the auction between 10:00 and 11:00 PM (eastern time zone) on a Wednesday evening and let it run for five days (or start on a Monday evening and let it run for seven days). That way it ends on a weekday evening and gives people on the west coast time to get home from work. It also runs over a weekend which maximizes the number of bids you can get. Set your auction template up in advance and plan on at least a half hour to actually place the auction. 
Immediately after placing the auction, put a counter on the page so you can keep track of the number of page views your auction gets. Changes in your auction can only take place before the first bid is placed.
http://www.honesty.com/counters/ will put a free counter on your auctions. 
Make sure you have something in the picture location entry on the ebay form (as I specified before with my one pixel gif) so your auction gets listed as having a picture (icon of the little camera next to the listing) because there are people who only view auctions where there are pictures.
Make sure you are home within 24 hours of the end of your auction to communicate with the winning bidder
Good communication is essential to getting a positive feedback for your auction. The eBay rating system is user generated. That's what keeps everyone honest. Feedback is given on every auction from both a sellers and buyers point of view. That's what the number next to each username stands for. eBay has extensive help files to explain this (and all other aspects of eBay) for you.

Tips for using the auction to increase your sales when selling your art or craft

When I sell my photographs on eBay, I offer the winning bidder the opportunity to come back to my web site and buy any other same size photograph for the same winning price. That way I might sell three pictures instead of one.

Tip for people who don't have merchant credit card accounts We've tried this and it works

First set up an account with PayPal (which is now known as x.com). It's secure, easy to use, and adds no additional charges.

Advertise within your auction that you take credit cards and insert the PayPal (x.com) logo
PayPal logo PayPal takes Mastercard and Visa

Your customers will go to PayPal to open their own account so they can transfer the amount of the sale to you.

When you receive an e-mail notifying you of the transfer, you ship the item.

Then you either have the money transferred to your bank account or wait for them to mail you a check 

Please e-mail me if you have anything to contribute to this page or have a question

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contact Larry Berman for more information

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email Larry Berman - larry@bermanart.com

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