2
Introduction to
Easy HTML for eBay
Are you one of the millions who’ve discovered eBay? Do you pour through listings
looking for that one piece of treasure? Or do you have a pile of treasures you’ve
pulled out of your attic to sell? Maybe you’ve decided to make eBay the storefront for
your new business. If so, you’ve probably discovered something: You have to make
your listings look good.
But there’s a problem. Maybe you’d be perfectly capable of creating a beautiful list-
ing as long as you could use a paper and pencil, but the idea of designing some-
thing that will appear on the World Wide Web has got you stuck. After all, this isn’t
like a Word processor, where you can just type and drag items around on the page.
No, if you’re going to take full advantage of the capabilities at hand, you need to
know how to write Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), the language your browser
understands.
This book takes you by the hand and explains how to use HTML in your listings,
About Me page, and eBay Store. You’ll start with the basics such as paragraphs and
lists, which you can also accomplish using eBay’s editors. Then you’ll move on to
more advanced HTML, such as adding images to your description and controlling its
layout and appearance, which is well beyond what you can do with eBay’s editors.
Later in the book, I’ll show you how to notch up the “cool factor” for your listings
with special effects. And all along the way, I’ll try to provide you with some tips for
making sure your listings don’t go from looking professional to looking overdone and
amateurish.
This book has 10 parts:
Part 1, “Creating an Auction Listing,” starts by showing you what things look like for
a buyer and then takes you through the process of actually adding a simple listing.
Part 2, “Creating a Simple Description,” gives you practice in using the basic HTML
elements such as headings, paragraphs, and horizontal rules.
Part 3, “Adding Pictures,” talks about one of the most important aspects of your list-
ing: the photo. It shows you some techniques for getting good photos of your items
and explains how to make the photos you take available on eBay as part of your
description.
Part 4, “Arranging the Page,” shows you how to use tables and divisions to control
the layout and placement of items in your description.
3
Part 5, “Decorating the Page,” uses borders, background colors, and background
images to liven up the display of your page.
Part 6, “Styling the Text,” explains how stylesheets work and shows you how you can
control just about every aspect of your text’s appearance.
Part 7, “Creating Links,” demonstrates the types of links that are, indeed, permitted
under eBay’s rules, such as one that automatically creates an email with the auction
number in the subject.
Part 8, “Adding Sound, Video, and Animation,” teaches you how to take things one
step further and create and add sound, video, and animations to your page. (Subtly,
I hope!)
Part 9, “About Me Pages and eBay Stores,” starts by explaining how to create your
own About Me page and customize it using eBay’s custom tags. It also explains how
to create your own store and perform the limited customization that eBay allows
there.
Part 10, “Making Your Listings Stand Out,” is a catchall chapter, filled with tech-
niques for enhancing your listing.
Throughout the book, I’ve used Microsoft Internet Explorer because at the time of this
writing it’s more commonly used, but these techniques have been tested to work in
other common browsers such as Netscape and its derivatives.
This book should teach you what you need to know, but eBay is an ever-changing
place. As I write this, eBay is restructuring how it displays descriptions. So if you still
have questions, or if you just want to check in to see what’s new, I’ll be maintaining
a section for this book on my website at http://www.nicholaschase.com/
easyhtmlforebay/.
All right, then, on to Part 1!

Get Easy HTML for eBay now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.