The auction websites have different business models but at the core they rely on certain aspects which need to be addressed if you want to use them either as seller or buyer.
No matter what auction site you will use, the reality is that you will need a payment processor to receive or send payments. Also you will have to know what kind of products to sell, how to present them, to market and also to answer questions you will receive from your regular or potential customers.
Also you will have to understand that it is important that the product description and pictures to match the actual product, otherwise you will deal will lots of refunds and your reputation will suffer.
An issue to be addressed is the customers service. If it will take you too long to send an answer to a client it is possible that he or she will choose to buy from somewhere else. In these fast technology years people change very fast their decisions and expect to have reactions from companies with the speed of light if possible.
The auction websites are also great ways to sell and buy services using either fixed price or auction style. You know, there are many people who like to negotiate, it is in their way of being so a fixed price will not be appealing from the start to take into consideration.
After analysing the biggest players in the international market I came up with 18 steps to understand the auctions sites in general and eBay in particular:
1. Register for a payment account; 2. Setup the auction page; 3. Link the payment and auction accounts; 4. Assess the listing fees; 5. Check if the products you sell are allowed or not; 6. Leverage the power of the help pages including questions posted by other users; 7. The importance of customer feedback and reputation; 8. How to use an auction style listing and when you should use it; 9. When and why to use a fixed price listing; 10. Multiple item listings, classified ads, what is a reserve price; 11. How to search for items to buy; 12. Why it is important to know how to leave feedback for the seller? 13. One account or multiple accounts, which is the best strategy? 14. Learn how to list an auction step by step; 15. Invoicing a customer; 16. Understanding the shipping process; 17. Feedback for the buyer; 18. How to notify a customer for product shipment.