Generalization No. 1: People, on the whole, tend to fall into one of two distinct categories:
- Those who are organized, and
- Those who are not
Generalization No. 2: Members of Category 2 tend to believe that organizational tools are only useful for those who already reside in Category 1.
Whichever group you fall intowhether you subscribe to either of these generalities or notthere is one organizational tool that all eBay users have at their disposal, and should absolutely take advantage of: the My eBay page.
One of the many free features of eBay, My eBay is like having a virtual personal secretaryone who doesn't call in sick or take long lunches. Instead, this virtual secretary follows you from auction to auction, keeping thorough notes on all of your bidding and selling activities, and providing updates on what you need to do next in order to keep your business on track.
Probably the best part about My eBay is that it works automatically. Organizationally challenged? Take note. The instant you register on eBay, your My eBay page is created for you, and all you have to do is click the My eBay tab to access your information. No need to make separate data entries in a calendar. No spreadsheets. No need to sync with other programs or plug in external gadgets or gizmos. It's all done for you.
Why is this so important? Whether you're a buyer, a seller, a curious bystander, or some combination of these, having a central repository for information about items you've bid on, items you're watching, items you're selling, and your other eBay-related activities saves you time and helps you go about your eBay dealings in a more orderly and professional manner.
The My eBay page is actually a group of pages that sorts and organizes your information into several categories. There is a summary page, which you can customize to provide as little or as much information as you like. Additional pages allow you to view information specific to your buying or selling activities. Another page view allows you to keep track of your eBay favorites, including searches, categories and sellers/stores. A message center keeps track of your member-to-member communications. And the Account view allows you to manage your eBay account and leave feedback on specific transactions.
You can focus on creating exciting auction listings and let My eBay take care of the administrative chores
When you first open your My eBay page, it will default to a view called My Summary, which provides a quick rundown of actions (sending payment, leaving feedback, paying your eBay account balance, etc.) you need to take as a buyer or a seller. It also displays eBay announcements and recent feedbackthat is, comments left about you by buyers or sellers.
If you are primarily a seller, you might want to switch your default view to All Selling to see the most relevant information instantly when you open your My eBay page. (If you are using eBay's Selling Manager feature, the All Selling tab is replaced by a Selling Manager tab).
To change your default view, open the Preferences link under the My Account tab, and go to General Preferences. Click on Show to the right of the My eBay heading, use the pull-down menu to select your default display, and click Apply.
The All Selling view displays information about:
- Items you have sold
- Items you are currently selling
- Unsold items
- Pending itemsthose that are scheduled to list at a later time
What's cool about this is, you can focus on creating exciting auction listings and let My eBay take care of the administrative chores. For example, if your auction items have sold, My eBay will automatically generate a list of the next steps you need to take, such as provide the buyer with a payment total, ship the item or leave feedback.
The All Buying view provides a similar digest of items you are watching, have bid on, have won or didn't win, and what to do next.
The My Messages tab opens a message center that organizes all your communications with trading partners, alerts and eBay announcements, and customer service correspondence. Only eBay and eBay members can send you messages here, so no need to worry about getting an inbox full of spam and spoof mail.
My eBay also lets you centrally manage your eBay account from the My Account tab, whether you want to update your personal information; change the way you receive information; or view information about recent payments, credits or fees. You can also pay eBay fees via PayPal from this page.
One of the most useful things about the My Account view is that it contains links to customer service features that aren't easily located on eBay. Use it to save yourself some time sifting through the site map.
Whatever your eBay ambitions, the My eBay page is a feature well worth taking advantage of. It's useful, free and easy to use. What more could you want?