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Learn How To eBay!
A Guide To The eBay Online Auction Place.

Part 7 - Auction Terms, Abbreviations, And Some HTML Code

Learn How To eBay!

eBay Article Content:

Part 1 - Introduction to eBay
Part 2 - An Overview Of eBay
Part 3 - Evaluating What And Where To Buy
Part 4 - Buying On eBay
Part 5 - Avoiding The Serious Scam
Part 6 - Selling On eBay
Part 7 - Auction Terms, Abbreviations, And Some HTML Code
Part 8 - Authentic Items Verses Fakes


Terms, Abbreviations, and Simple HTML Codes


Link to eBay's glossary of terms.

Buy It Now - A dollar amount the seller will sell at before the auction time has expired. When a buyer uses the BIN option, the auction is automatically ended and that buyer wins the auction. The first bid on an item, below the BIN price, wipes out the Buy It Now option (unless there is a reserve price). Many sellers use a reserve price simply to keep the BIN option available longer, but the BIN option will disappear when the reserve has been met.

Dutch Auction - A Dutch Auction can be a little complicated, but briefly, when a seller has many of the same item they can choose to have a "Dutch Auction" and place some or all of the items up for sell at the same time with one auction. Bidders bid as usual. When the auction is over, the highest bidder gets first choice at the number of these items they want to buy; then the next highest bidder can buy one or more and so on down the bidding line until the auction runs out of buyers or merchandise. There's more to it, so before bidding or running a Dutch Auction, read eBay's information.

Feedback - After an auction is completed and there has been an exchange of money and merchandise, buyers and sellers "leave feedback" for one another expressing their opinion of how the transaction went.

Hard-to-find - The item is not readily available. This may be fact or the seller's opinion.

No Reserve - The seller will accept any and all bids with no minimum set price.

Rare - There are a limited number available for sale. This may be fact or the seller's opinion.

Reserve - Minimum the seller will sell for. When bidding the buyer does not know what this minimum dollar amount (reserve) is unless the seller chooses to disclose it in the listing. Many sellers use a reserve simply to keep their Buy It Now option available longer, also it prevents an item from selling too cheap if there is simply no one out there really looking for that item at the moment.

Winning An Auction - The highest bidder wins an auction giving them the right (and duty) to buy the item at the winning bid price.

Product Condition:

On eBay, the sellers are not coin experts grading valuable coins, items are often being listed by average people just trying to describe their items as best as they can. The descriptions on eBay can sometimes be a little bit loose, after all, the seller wants someone to buy or why bother listing. Ask for more information or pictures if you are really concerned about condition. And remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the seller will probably see more beauty than the buyer will. Be sure to read descriptions carefully. Sellers use words like "Mint" as eye-catchers, it may mean exactly what it says, but sometimes sellers will qualify this term in their listing with "This item is fifty years old and is in mint condition for it's age." Meaning that the item is not really in Mint condition, but good condition for it's age.

There is no set of definitions at auctions for product condition, but here is my opinion.

Excellent - Superior condition, not mint, but really good.

Good Condition - Nice useable condition. In many cases, such as coins, this term often means serious flaws, but on eBay most anything that is used but is still in reasonable, useable condition, especially if vintage, everyone seems to just call "good". A video box that maybe has a couple of minor tears and bent corners, but still functions well as a video box is in good condition. If it works, it's good!

Like New - Very close to new condition, maybe some minor scuffing or something, but really nice.

Mint - Not new, but just like new. This term is used a lot on eBay because it only has four letters and with a limited number of letters available for the listing title, every letter counts. On eBay, Mint can mean anything from just like new to very close to new.

Mint in box - Just like new and in the original box. It might or might not have the original, inside packaging material.

Near Mint - Very close to mint condition. Almost mint.

Near New - Close to new, but maybe some minor imperfections.

New - Just what it says, new, but it may not have tags or the box.

New in box - The item is new and comes in the original box and it should have the original packaging material.

Sealed - Not opened. This does not mean new in age, someone may have a ten year old collectible toy, but it was never opened and is still sealed.

Very Good Condition - Maybe some very minor imperfections, but they do not take away from the quality of the item.


When listing an item for sell on eBay, the listing title (the description title that buyers see when they are searching or browsing) can only have a limited number of letters and spaces. Letters in a listing title are at such a premium that sellers often use abbreviations in their titles.

1st - First Edition. Generally used to refer to first edition books.
BIN - Buy It Now.
CD - Compact Disc.
Col Ed or CE- Collectors Edition.
DJ - Dust Jacket. The paper cover for a hard cover book.
DVD - Used by sellers to denote the item is a dvd.
First or First Ed. or FE - First edition.
HC - Hard Cover. As opposed to a paperback book.
LN - Like New. Very close to new condition.
MIB - Mint in box. Just like new and in the original box.
NIB - New in box. The item is new and comes in the original box.
NN - Near new. Close to new, but maybe some minor imperfection.
NG or TNG - The Next Generation (common with Star Trek).
NR - No Reserve.
NWT - New with Tags. Used to denote clothes and accessories such as purses that still have their manufacturer/store/retail sales tags.
OOP - Out-of-print. Means the book or video, etc. are not being printed or made at this time. Many Disney movie classics are only released for a short time every seven or so years and movies like "Cinderella", "The Lion King" and such might be currently OOP.
PB - Paperback. As opposed to a hard cover book.
SE - Second Edition.
VHS - Used by sellers to denote the item is a video tape.

HTML Code:

eBay and many auction software programs offer sellers some very nice templates to spice up their auction listings, but here is a little HTML basics to help give some emphasis to words or phrases. Templates are layouts and backgrounds that sellers can use to display their listing information.

Some of you may have the ability to do some HTML in your word processing programs or you may have an HTML program that you can type up and then copy and paste into the eBay text block area (you must copy and paste the hypertext, not the page preview), but for those of you who do not know HTML, you can still give your eBay ads some extra punch with a little HTML code.

When placing an ad at eBay, there is a large text block where you type in your product description; you can use HTML code in this area (only) to give your ad some pizzazz. HTML code allows you to make words bold or have them appear in a various colors and so on. All HTML code is placed inside brackets <XXX> and your words or sentences both start and end with this code. For example, if you want New In Box to appear bold you would start with the HTML code <B>, then the words you want to say, and then end the HTML code with a </B> to turn off the code so it would look like this: <B>New In Box</B>.

To use HTML Code simply sandwich your words between the beginning instruction code and the turning off code. There is more to using HTML to make web pages than this, you don't see it, but eBay already has the HTML, Head, and Body code needed in their coding that will wrap around what you insert in the description text block.

(Two notes. First, HTML for the most part does not matter if capital letters are used or not, capitals are shown below for clarity and emphasis. Second, something has changed at eBay, and it seems that HTML code is harder to use now, it seems that the code must ALL be aligned left and no line spaces in the middle of code lines.)

Bold is <B>Your words.</B>
Italics is <I>Your words.</I>
Underlined<U>Your words.</U>

To make your words appear larger or smaller you can change the font size.
<FONT SIZE=4>Your words.</FONT SIZE> This will make your words appear larger. The default size is probably 3, so 1 or 2 would be smaller and 4, 5, 6 and 7 will be larger.

Colors - Color codes are a combination of six numbers and/or letters preceded by a hash tag.

For text colors the Code would be:
<FONT COLOR="#4C4CFF">These words would appear as a shade of blue. </FONT COLOR>.

However, most browsers will recongnize some basic colors in text form:
<FONT COLOR=Blue>These words would appear blue.</FONT COLOR>
<FONT COLOR=Green>These words would appear green.</FONT COLOR>

There are thousands of colors, but here these are the basic ones (If you forget the codes, you can just substitute the words for these very basic colors: black, white, green, blue, and so on.)

Black #000000
Green #408080
Blue #4C4CFF
Violet #871E77
Red #FF007E
Orange #EEA600
Yellow #DBDB70

Disclaimer: For obvious legal reasons I need to make a few things clear. The ideas in this article are simply my opinions. I can not guarantee that reading this article will save you money, make you money, or prevent you from loosing money. This article was written for adults (minors should not be entering into on line purchase agreements) and I expect adults to be responsible for their own actions and the actions of their children when it comes to Internet conduct. Before trying to follow my opinions you should check with your own authority, such as an attorney. While I did my best to do research before writing this article, errors are possible and eBay and other auction sites make changes to their web sites which could make some of my references obsolete or incorrect. As always, shop, read, and compare before you make your own decisions.


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