Glossary For Business on Ebay

About Me page: The free Web page given to every user. An excellent promotional tool.
absentee bid: A bid that an auctioneer places on a lot (or lots) – up to a maximum amount that you designate – in your absence. When you want to participate in a live auction but can’t attend it physically, you can pre-arrange to have the saleroom place absentee bids for you.
accounts payable: The amount your business owes to vendors, office supply stores, your credit card charges, and the like. This includes any money your business owes.
accounts receivable: The money people owe you, such as the cheques and money orders you’re expecting in the post; the money sitting in your PayPal account that you haven’t transferred to your checking account.
chartered certified accountant: Someone who has been educated in accounting and has passed the relevant examinations. Accredited chartered accountants are at the top of the accounting professional heap.
announcements pages: pages where you get all the latest eBay information. You need to check these pages periodically. If you follow the Announcements link, which is at the bottom of every eBay page, you end up at the Community announcements page at marketing-uk.shtml?ssPageName=f:f:UK.
as is/where is: An item that comes with no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the merchantability of the product.
bid increment: The amount that a bid must advance, based on the auction’s high bid.
bid retraction: A cancelled auction bid. Retractions can occur only under extreme circumstances (such as when you type the wrong numerals).
bid shielding: An illegal process wherein two bidders work together to defraud a seller out of high bids by retracting a bid at the last minute and granting a confederate’s low bid the win. Not as much of an issue anymore due to eBay’s new bid retraction policy; see also bid retraction.
bonding: A surety bond can be issued by a third party (usually an insurance company) to guarantee a seller’s performance in a transaction.
card not present: Credit card services use this term to describe transactions that typically happen over the Internet or by mail order. The term means that the seller hasn’t seen the actual card.
caveat emptor: Latin for let the buyer beware. If you see this phrase posted anywhere, proceed cautiously – you’re responsible for the outcome of any transaction in which you take part.
chargeback: When someone calls his or her credit card company and refuses to pay for a transaction. The credit card company will credit the card in question while making you pay back the amount.
consignment: When someone hands over merchandise to you, which you then auction on You make a little commission and the other person sells something without the hassle.
corporation: A separate entity set up to do business.
DBA: Doing business as. These letters appear next to the common name of a business entity, sole trader, partnership, or corporation that conducts business under a fictitious name.
DOA: Dead on arrival. The product you purchased doesn’t work from the moment you opened the package.
DUNS number: Data Universal Numbering System number. An identification number issued to businesses from a database maintained by the great and powerful Dun and Bradstreet. These numbers are issued to allow your business to register with more than 50 global, industry, and trade associations, including the United Nations, the US Federal Government, the Australian Government, and the European Commission. You can get your number at no cost by logging on to
entrepreneur: You! An entrepreneur is someone who takes the financial risk to start a business. Even if you’re buying and reselling car boot sale items, you’re still an entrepreneur.
FTP: File Transfer Protocol. The protocol used to transfer files from one server to another.
hammer fee: A fee that the auction house charges at a live auction. Read the information pack before you bid on an item in a live auction. Hammer fees usually add 10-15 per cent to the amount of your bid.
HTF: Hard to find. An abbreviation that commonly appears in auction titles to describe items that are, uh, hard to find.
invoice: A bill that outlines the items in a specific transaction; who the item is sold to, and all costs involved.
International Standard topic Number. Just like a car’s licence plate number, the ISBN identifies a topic by a universal number.
keystone: In the bricks-and-mortar retailing world, 100 per cent mark-up. A product sells for keystone if it sells for twice the wholesale price. Products that you can sell at keystone are very nice to find.
mannequin: A representation of the human form made of wood, fibreglass, or plastic. Essential for modelling clothing for your apparel sales.
MIB: Mint in box. Okay, the item inside the box is mint, but the box looks like a car drove over it.
MIMB: Mint in mint box. Not only is the item in mint condition, so is the box it comes in.
mint: An item in perfect condition is described as mint. This is truly a subjective opinion, usually based on individual standards.
MSRP: Manufacturers suggested retail price. The price hardly anybody pays.
NARU: Not a registered user. A user of or other online community who has been suspended (for any number of reasons).
OOP: Out of print. When a topic or CD is being published, it usually has its own lifetime in the manufacturing process – and is OOP when no longer being made.
provenance: The story behind an item, including who owned it and where it came from. If you have an interesting provenance for one of your items, put it in the auction description because it adds considerable value to the item.
QuickBooks: A top-of-the-heap accounting program that helps you to keep your records straight.
register: Similar to a chequebook account listing, QuickBooks keeps registers that go up and down depending on the amount of flow in an account balance.
ROI: Return on investment. A figure expressed as a percentage that stands for your net profit after taxes and your own equity.
sniping: The act (or fine art) of bidding at the very last possible second of an auction.
sole trader: A business owned by only one person; the profits and losses are recorded on that person’s personal tax return.
split transaction: A transaction that you must assign to more than one category. If you pay a credit card bill and a portion of the bill went to purchased merchandise, a portion to petrol for business-related outings, and yet another portion to fees, you must post each amount to its own category.
tax deduction: An expenditure on your part that represents a normal and necessary expense for your business. Before you get carried away and assume that every penny you spend is a write-off (deduction), check with your accountant to outline exactly what is and what isn’t.
TOS: Terms of service. has a TOS agreement; check it out at
wholesale: Products sold to retailers (you!) at a price above the manufacturer’s cost, allowing for a mark-up to retail. We hope you buy most of your merchandise at wholesale. Shops such as Costco sell items in bulk at prices marginally over wholesale.

Next post:

Previous post: