If you already have an online storefront, then hopefully you've developed some sound business methods. These same practices can be applied to your eBay auction site. But eBay has some specific rules and regulations that influence how you'll do business. Here are some commonsense procedures and practices that you can follow to ensure you have a sound and enjoyable selling experience.

First, and foremost, take time to read through all of the literature that eBay has provided regarding fees, regulations and set-up. It's important to understand each of these areas prior to creating your auction.

Along with becoming familiar with every aspect of being a seller on the site, you should also know what it's like to be a buyer. Prior to creating your eBay presence become a buyer and purchase various items from different merchants. In doing so, consider what you liked about your experience, what you found inadequate, what aspects of that seller you'd like to emulate and how your experience could have been improved.

On eBay, every seller is rated and these ratings, which are extremely visible, can greatly influence your future on the site. Be sure that you truthfully represent the items or services you are selling, that you can deliver what you promise in the amount of time you promise it and that your return policy is clearly stated.

Photographs of merchandise should be of good quality. A poor photo or an inaccurate photo will limit the appeal of the item and your image as a seller. List items under the appropriate category and make sure that they are described in an interesting and accurate manner. Like a poor photograph, bad grammar, misspellings and inadequate information can compromise your potential to make a sale.

In your item's main photograph, specify UK Seller, or US Seller, or YourCountry Seller, so that when competing with sellers from other countries for the same item, the local buyer will privilege your item.

Price your items in a strategic manner. Know what people are paying for similar goods. Visit other online stores to see what they are charging. Consider carefully the 'Starting Price,' 'Buy It Now' price, and if you should set a 'Reserve Price'.

In terms of finding the buyer who is right for you, use eBay buyer management tools, which include the ability to select buyer requirements and a feature that allows you to block certain buyers. Check a potential buyer's feedback, which includes comments from other sellers.

Update your contact information and check regularly to make sure it is accurate. You must have a dependable computer and Internet connection as well as a back-up system in order to insure that customers can easily contact you. Additionally, spam-blocking software could inhibit a buyer's ability to contact you. Make sure that this is not the case.

Ask yourself what will help make you standout from the others? How can you upgrade your auction site to make it more attractive? eBay offers various features that sellers can utilize, including item rankings, special bold titles, item subtitles and enlarged photos. You can bundle various options and save money. Remember, these add-ons will affect your profit margin and must be considered when pricing your articles.

Open your site up to the international marketplace, accept as many different types of payment as possible and consider using eBay's 'Advanced Selling Tools.' It's important to realize, as with any business, this online marketplace works best when the seller is knowledgeable, dependable and communicative.

This is the final installment on getting started and using the power of eBay. Developing a successful eBay business takes effort, resourcefulness and creativity. It's not as simple as selling a few things out of your basement. Like any other retail storefront, you must have all procedures and systems in place prior to opening. Take some time to review each section of this six-part series and avail yourself of the numerous pages of information, tutorials and articles on eBay.

We hope you have enjoyed this introductory series to selling on eBay. You can find a lot of additional useful information on selling on eBay by visiting this page (UK) or this page (US). In future articles and series we will tackle intermediate eBay strategies, as well as advanced tricks to polverise your competition. Watch this space.