Education & Training

Before the Auction: Creating an About Me Page

Sometimes it's the personal touch that makes a difference in your online auction sales. eBay's About Me page allows sellers to post their own personal page on the site, offering information about themselves and their auctions as well as quick and easy access to their feedback and other auction listings, among other things. (Heck, you even can post a picture of your cat, if you're so inclined.) To follow is information on the benefits of About Me pages, how to create one, and what other sites besides eBay offer them.

The Benefits

Although it's not a proven science, many sellers believe that having About Me pages help sales and increase a wavering buyer's likelihood of bidding. Why? Buyers like the intimacy and contact that About Me pages provide; they put a face (figuratively, or literally, if you choose to include a photo of yourself) to the anonymous auction site username. About Me pages also indicate to a buyer that you're a serious, stable seller and that you're in the online auction game for the long haul. In other words, they promote trust.

There's also the fact that About Me pages are free--hey, it couldn't hurt. Think of it this way: If you were a buyer and you came across two auctions for the same product at the same price and one seller had an About Me page and one didn't, on which auction would you bid? Wouldn't you feel more secure with the seller who had the About Me page?

Lastly, if you want to see whether an About Me page is indeed helping/not helping sales, you always can add a counter and track the number of visits to see whether there's a correlation between the new page and any increased bidding activity on your auctions.

What to Include

Once you decide to have your own personal page, the next step is to determine what information and elements you want to include. In general, it's best to include information about yourself that relates to your online auctions (your specialties, how long you've been selling at eBay, and so on), as well as some more personal information. Try to strike a balance between the professional and the personal. In addition, you can include photographs and other visual elements, as well as links to other Web sites. eBay's About Me pages also include your most recent feedback and current products up for auction, which is convenient for buyers.

How It Works

Getting your About Me page up and running is very easy, even for someone with little or no HTML skills. In essence, three steps are required:

Step 1: First, go to eBay's About Me start page. Choose a layout type: two column, newspaper (three column), or centered (all text will be spread out across the entire page rather than placed in columns).

Step 2: Select and input the information and elements that will be posted on your page. This includes a page title ("Dan the Man's All About Me Page") and a welcome message in which you can introduce yourself and provide buyers with the aforementioned business and personal information. You also can include a link to a photograph, specify how much of your eBay activity (feedback, products currently for auction) you want to list, submit links to other Web sites, and indicate your favorite eBay products. When you're done, click either the "Preview your page" (go to step 3) or "Choose new layout" (return to step 1) button.

Step 3: Now you're ready to preview what your page is going to look like. While doing so, don't forget to proofread the text and check for typographical errors. At this point, you have several options that will amend your page. There are buttons to do the following: "Edit some more," "Edit using HTML," or "Start Over." Or, if you're satisfied, click on the "Save my page" button. Voilà! You now have an About Me page. A "me" image, which links to your page, will appear next to your username in your auctions.

Finally, don't be intimated by the idea of creating your own page. You don't need to be an HTML guru or Webmaster to produce a functional, satisfying personal page. And did we mention that they're free? Well yes, as a matter of fact we did. But it bears repeating.