eBay Hacks 100 Industrial Strength Tips & Tools

eBay is a whole lot more than an online flea market. Its software creates a platform that you can use to run a business (or, it must be said, use to unload useless stuff that’s clogging up your garage), but to really get ahead you’ve got to know the software inside out.

David Karp’s obviously an eBay junkie; his passion for buying, selling and the addictive discovery that goes with eBay surfing shines through the text. He starts with first principles, explaining the ideas — such as feedback — that underpin eBay, and then ventures into useful territory,

such as how to use advanced searching and how to make someone else do all the hard work for you (Find Items by Shadowing, hack # 18). Where O’Reilly’s books really have it over the competition is in the tone and content. Unlike other books, eBay Hacks (and its ilk, including companion volume Google Hacks), assumes the reader has a brain and is willing to exercise it.

Perl scripts are provided (Keeping Track of Items outside eBay, hack # 24), and detailed explanation delves into why the script works. But if you want to use it you’ll need to do some (admittedly obvious) tweaking for it to perform on your system.

It’s even possible to hack the eBay API (amazingly, with eBay’s full blessing and benediction!). Hacking this application programming interface could let you link an inventory database with an online sale component using eBay as the auction engine, or it could just be a matter of you stringing all your eBay hacks into one mean, streamlined online auction bidding machine. The possibilities are as endless as the merchandise that passes through eBay’s databases every day. Highly recommended.

Author: David A. Karp
Publisher: O’Reilly (distributed by Woodslane)
ISBN: 0596005644 Price: $55 Phone: (02) 9970 5111 URL: www.woodslane.com.au

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Andrew Clements

PC World
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