What's a Hack?
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Frequently Asked Questions

What are 'Hacks?'

O'Reilly's Hacks Series reclaims the term "hacking" for the good guys - innovators who explore and experiment, unearth shortcuts, create useful tools, and come up with fun things to try on your own.

See What's a Hack? for more information.

What kind of hacks will I find in eBay Hacks, 2nd Edition?

The topics in eBay Hacks range from simple search tips and diplomacy advice to more-involved bidding and selling strategies. For hard-core eBay users, there are hacks to help you run a business on eBay and develop custom applications and scripts by tapping into the eBay API. There's something for everyone; see the Hacks Index for a complete listing.

I have the first book. What's new in the Second Edition?

For starters, there are 30 brand-new hacks in the 2nd edition. The rest of the material has been greatly updated to reflect the extensive changes that have taken place at eBay since the first book was written. Plus, each hack has been carefully expanded to cover hundreds of new tools, shortcuts, and workarounds. There's new code, and more introductory material to help you get up to speed. Take a look at the list of hacks in the new book to see what's new for yourself.

I already know how to use eBay. What can you teach me?

Every eBay seller wants to get more money for his or her items, and with less effort. Likewise, every buyer on eBay wants to improve his or her win rate while spending less money.

The hacks in eBay Hacks will help you achieve those goals by providing strategies, tools, and tips covering a wide range of eBay tasks, such as searching, bidding, selling, and running a business on eBay. Whether you're an eBay newbie, an experienced eBayer, a hacker with an eye on the API, or a power seller looking for a way to improve business, you'll find something to improve your eBay experience.

I've never used eBay before - will this book show me how to bid on or sell my first item?

For the most part, eBay Hacks has been designed to provide tools, strategies, and information for those who already use eBay. If you need help getting started with eBay, you'd probably be better off with the upcoming book, eBay PowerSeller: The Missing Manual [O'Reilly]. But if you're comfortable with the hands-on approach, you can probably get up to speed and begin trading like the pros in no time at all.

I'm not a developer; will eBay Hacks be useful to me?

Although programming is fun, it's not for everybody. About 20% of eBay Hacks is concerned with programming and the eBay API; that leaves the other 80% for hacks relating to strategy, diplomacy, tips & tricks, power tools, and straight-forward instruction. Simply skip over the programming hacks, and perhaps give them a try later on when you feel ready.

What is the object on the cover of the book?

It's a concertina (or "compound lever") corkscrew. If you're lucky, you might be able to find one like it on eBay!

More questions? See the Help page.

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