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of Contents for this issue.....
About Google Site Maps
End of Front Page
3. Setting up an eBay Store
issue I told you that it was our 40th wedding
anniversary and our
children had planned a surprise for us.
that was an understatement.
over six months, our clever children worked on a surprise party for us.
It was amazing that no one slipped, because we were
Several of our friends told us that they had to make
certain that they
took the invitation off the refrigerator before we came over for dinner.
have included a few pictures on John
and Linda 40th Anniversary if you care
to share it with us.
Since we are a few years ahead of most of our
friends on making the
“big 40”, they want to borrow our children to throw a party for them.
is a wonderful thing when your children grow up and become your adult
Life is good!
About Google Site Maps
We discussed Google
sitemaps last week. Here
additional information about site maps.
Let’s take a look at
what the site map looks like for www.retirement-jobs-online.com
(RJO). Click on the
to see what is in the site map. It
is basically a list of the pages in the website.
Here is an example of an
entry in the RJO site map.
The site map is written
in XML. The
<url> tag starts
the entry. The
specify the URL for the page. The
<lastmod> tags tell the date of the last change to the
The <priority> tags specify the priority
of this page relative to other pages on the same site. The value is a
between 0.0 and 1.0, where 0.0 is the lowest priority and 1.0 is the
priority. The priority can affect the order that search engines select
explore on your site. Since the priority is relative, it is only used
between URLs within your own site; the priority of your pages will not
compared to the priority of pages on other sites. The
</url> ends the
entry for this page.
Google has a free utility
to help create site maps at http://www.google.com/webmasters/sitemaps/docs/en/sitemap-generator.html.
will not spend anymore time on site maps right now, but be aware of
them and how
they assist the search engines in crawling your site.
to Google for more information on how to submit your site.
End of Front Page
This is information that
I am quoting directly from a Microsoft website about FrontPage:
happened to FrontPage?
years of being an award-winning Web authoring tool, FrontPage will be
discontinued in late 2006. We will continue to serve the diverse needs
existing FrontPage customers with the introduction of these three
application building and Web authoring tools using the latest
Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Designer 2007 for the enterprise
workers, Microsoft® Expression™ Web Designer for the professional Web
designer and Microsoft® Visual Studio 2005 for the Web developer.”
I have used FrontPage to
design and maintain our web sites for almost as many years as FrontPage
in existence. I
will now have to
start planning to change to something else.
However, I doubt if I will have to change too
quickly since I am sure
that FrontPage will be around for a long time to come.
It just will not be supported by Microsoft.
If you are using
FrontPage, be aware of a change in the future.
If you are not on the cutting edge of new web
technology, don’t get in
a big hurry to find another web development tool since FrontPage will
well for a while yet.
For more information
about the tools that Microsoft has developed to replace FrontPage, go
Setting Up an eBay Store
Back in Volume 1 Issue
13, I discussed the eBay Boomer Retirement Store and said that the
empty, but I would post items for sale soon.
Well, “soon” was longer than anticipated.
I expect that everyone
has heard of Murphy’s Law. “If
anything can go wrong, it will and at the most inopportune time”.
Another corollary of the Law is “everything takes
longer than you
expect” and that is the one that got me.
We thought that posting
books in the store would be easy, but when we started our research and we
realized that we were making policy decisions for the future of the
needed research and thought. We
probably made this into a larger project than was necessary, but those
us, know that we are not prone to charge into battle without being
The store has five books
listed in it now and we invite you to go look at it prior to reading
the rest of
this article. http://stores.ebay.com/BOOMER-RETIREMENT-STORE.
Open one of the items and scan through it from top
Then come back here to continue the article.
I must warn you that this
is a marathon article, but I want you to understand that listing an
item in a
store or in an auction requires research of the market and research of
competition to see what the competition is offering.
This needs to be done ahead of sitting down in front
of the computer and
bringing up the “Sell Your Item” screen.
I will go through the
steps in posting a book on an eBay store and the thinking that goes
step. Bear with me
since this takes
a lot of steps. There
is one thing
to remember as we are wading through the detail, once you go though
exercise the first time, the next time is much easier since your inputs
retained in eBay and most of them become your default options going
The first decision to
make is to choose your selling format.
is easy since one of the formats is “Sell In Store Inventory”.
The next page asks for
the eBay Category. This
from the master list. “Books”
a no brainer choice.
The next page asks for
the book subcategory which in our case is Non-Fiction.
Again, not too difficult.
The next page has a time
saving feature that is really helpful.
enter the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) for your book into
box and eBay will access a database and give you a picture of the book
summary of the content of the book.
your do not want to use this, you can elect to enter your own
I had trouble with this
and some other eBay features due to our security software not allowing
scripts to run properly. Ultimately,
I had to shut down the security software (Zone Alarm) to post the eBay
When you enter the ISBN,
the next page will show the eBay supplied information about the book.
Verify that you have the correct information.
Here is where you enter if the book is new or used
so don’t miss that
You can enter a subtitle
on this page which is recommended since this give additional search
for the buyer. It
costs a whopping
$.02 extra per 30 day listing period.
Next, you enter your own
is where you can
get creative. I use
create the description and then copy and paste the HTML generated by
into the description box on eBay.
can enter the information directly into the box, but I recommend that
you use an
HTML editor to create the description off of eBay and then copy and
into eBay. There
are many HTML
editors from which to choose. Many
of them are free software. Use
Google to research this.
Our intent for the store
is not to become rich from the selling of books, but rather to use the
visiting the store to grow the subscriber list of Boomer eZine.
The description section is where you can put links
encouraging the reader
to visit your “About Me” page. Our
“About Me” page has an audio message promoting a subscription to Boomer
eZine. You cannot
be too blatant
about this promotion, but eBay will allow this link.
There is another link to
the “About Me” page at the end of the description and a link to the
Retirement Store in the middle of the description.
The rest of the
description section is tailored to the specific book and it ends with
policy information. This
policy information is what took some time to formulate.
Here is the policy statement that we finally
We Guarantee 100% Satisfaction
Book Availability: All books may be sold elsewhere before the eBay listing ends. If you bought an out of stock item, we will cancel your order and promptly issue a refund. Please do not leave negative feedback for cancelled orders.
Book Condition: Please check the individual book information above for condition, attributes and special notes.
Combined shipping: Email us about combined shipping and we will try to accommodate your needs.
Payment Method: We only accept Immediate Payment through PayPal. Sorry, we cannot accept other payment methods.
We only ship to the
The next page of the
selling form deals with “Enter Pictured and Item Details”.
First, you enter the store categories for the item.
You are permitted to have your own categories for
your store to help your
readers more easily find items in the store.
These are set up ahead of time in the “Manage My
Store” page of eBay.
On the selling form, specify the category and
subcategory for the item.
You may have to go back to the Manage My Store and
add a category.
Next, enter the pricing
and duration of the listing. What
the market price for the book? I
spent time on eBay researching the postings of the same book of the
condition (new or used, used with markings, amount of wear, etc.).
For the duration, we used “Good ‘Til Cancelled”
which renews every
The next input is the
quantity if you are offering multiples of the same item.
We are selling single books so this is easy – one.
The next is the item
location. This is
set up once with
your zip code so you do not have to enter it multiple times.
The next step is to add
eBay “how to
book” that you read says that pictures make the difference in the
bids for an item. With
listing in eBay, a picture of the front cover is standard, and we did
to use additional pictures.
Next is the Layout
Designer. Here you
can dress up the
listing, but eBay will include your store heading in the listing
so we did not use any other design options. (additional fee for this).
The next section is
“Increase Your Items Visibility”.
you are offered options (for an additional fee) to promote your listing.
The only option we selected is the “Gallery Picture”
which puts a
small picture of the book in the store listing for the book ($.01 extra
The next section is
“Promote Your Listing on eBay”. This
costs $19.95 for 30 days. We
declined this option.
The last (yes, we finally
reached the last option on this page) is if you want a hit counter.
We opted for the one that is visible only to us when
we look at the item
in “Manage My Store”.
The next and final page
in the selling form is the “Payment and Shipping” page.
This page is not too difficult, but you do have to
make the decisions
about your payment and shipping policies to complete this page.
First, in “Payment
Methods”, you specify how you will accept payment.
We decided to only accept payment through PayPal.
This will allow the customer to use PayPal direct or
use a credit card
through PayPal. There
options, but I will leave them for you to explore at your leisure.
PayPal is the easiest and cleanest method.
Next, you specify your
“Ship-to Locations”. Again,
keep it simple, we specified the
In the “Shipping and
Sales Tax” section, specify how you will ship.
There are all kinds of options using the United
States Postal Service and
UPS. We chose the
USPS Standard Flat
Rate Shipping Service for $3.50 and the Standard Expedited Flat Rate
Service for $5.50. If
charge sales tax for any sale within your state as we must in
We stated that we would
ship within two days of receiving a cleared payment.
We will not offer shipping insurance and we will not
We actually say in the description terms and
conditions that we will
consider combining if the buyer emails us and requests it so we will do
The next decision is if
you want to enter a formal return policy.
about a return policy? eBay
that 70% of all buyers prefer to buy from a seller that has a stated
policy. I did not
see one in the
book stores that I studied. I
up one that basically said that if you return the book at your expense
with the receipt and the book was returned in the same shape as which
sold, I would refund the cost of the book, but not the postage.
After thinking about this
for a while, we decided against it since the cost of a book is so
are probably not going to pay to ship it back.
Probably they will just resell it on eBay themselves.
We finally settled on an
idea that I saw on a site that covered the subject in the “Seller’s
Instructions” section of the auction format.
We rewrote it to say, “Thank you very much for your
order. PayPal is
the only payment method that is accepted. If you are not satisfied with
book, promptly return it along with the receipt at your own expense,
and we will
refund your payment.”
You might think that this
allows people to take advantage of you and I agree, but feedback on
eBay is a
“life and death” issue for future success.
This policy will allow a buyer to return the book
and hopefully not leave
negative feedback. As
earlier, I do not think that the cheap price of the book is going to
This completes the input
for the sale of one book. The
news is that most of this information is saved for you for the next
Once you slog through the first listing and make the
tough decisions, the
second listing requires you to select the category, select the book
your description information, and specify the selling price.
Click to the “Review
and Submit” page and you will be given a complete summary of all your
and options. There
is a link on this
page, “Preview How Your Listing Will Look to Buyers”.
Click this and you will see exactly how the listing
will appear live on
the Net. I do not
want to tell you
how many times I viewed the first book we listed to find mistakes and
and correct them.
When you are satisfied
with your work, click the “Submit Listing” button at the bottom of the
and pat yourself on the back for listing an item in an eBay store.
I will discuss some
additional eBay tools in a future article, but I expect that is all the
can stand for today.
That wraps up our issue
for this week. Until
next week, stay
John and Linda Howe
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