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Setting up shop on eBid - how to make a store

eBid offers seller+ members five free stores, so there is plenty of scope for you to collect your bits and bobs together in branded areas, themed to collect similar types of items. For example, you might want a china shop, a clothes shop and a DVD shop. The following instructions are designed to help you set up your first eBid store (as they call them) and put it online with your first item listed.

In order to set up a store efficiently it will help if you have your store banner already made, and an item listed ready to be moved into the shop. Once a store has one item in it, it stays online and you can take your time about the rest. If you leave a shop empty it goes off line and you might find yourself having to start all over again if you're not quick enough about it!

A banner is a graphic image used to both decorate and represent your shop, and should be 310 pixels wide, 90 pixels tall. If you do not want to make your own, or don't know how to, you can look in the eBid forums for help. There are both sellers who will do a banner at a price, and some who will even do them for free if they have time. Look around, cast some bait, see what happens. :o)

So, let's assume you've got your banner and your item and you're ready to make that store...

In "my eBid" click on "my eBid stores", and you will be presented with the option of maintaining existing shops or adding a new one.

Click on the link to build a new store, and you will be presented with the store set-up form.

The first thing you need to do is load your pre-designed shop banner. Click on the "browse" button, then select the image file from your computer hard-drive using your normal browse window. When you choose the file you want, the image file name will be put in the logo box. Then press "upload image" to copy that file into your store set-up.

Your picture will be shown in the box below the buttons you have just used, labelled as your "current logo" - this way you can check that you have uploaded the right picture. Repeat if not!

When the logo is correctly loaded your shop will be given a temporary name based on your user ID - this will be shown at the top of the screen. You will be able to change it shortly.

Now move onto section two, to set the details of your store name, display colours etc.

Set your store title to something catchy and appropriate - the default/temporary name is based on your user ID and there's room to liven things up a bit. If you're going to have multiple shops, you might want to think about the branding... choose a name you can adapt to a variety of versions, such as "Freda's China", "Freda's Clothing" etc. Up to you!

Leave your store offline for now, no need to worry about that until you're ready to add items. Soon!

Choose the main category in which you wish to have your shop listed, and then the sub-category within that.

You have 255 characters in which to describe your store. Watch out for running out of characters, it doesn't warn you just starts losing text!

Now you need to set your store colours, for primary and secondary text and background colours. These are used to display the top stripe and side menus.

When you start the boxes to the left of the grid will be empty. You need to choose a text and background colour for the main heading panel, and the secondary level - borders, menus etc. Hover your cursor over the grid and the colours will show in the example boxes. Click on your choice and go to the next grid. Repeat as often as you need to make the colours look how you want.

Press Update Section 2, to safely store your choices made so far!

In section three, you need to create the categories (and sub-categories if you want them) that will be shown inside your shop. These will appear as a menu list down the left-hand side of your shop. The top level of category is called "parent", and you need at least one of those. If that's all you need, for example "clothes", simply type that into the parent category box and press "add category now".

If you wish to add a list of categories, such as my two item list of "abridged" and "unabridged" you can put the first item into the box offered,then press "+" to get an additional box. Keep adding as long as you want (up to 30 parent categories) and when you're ready use the "add category now" button. If you have forgotten one, put that in the box and "add now" until they are all there.

If you want to have a level beneath your parent categories (subcategories) you use the second box and work the "+" and "add now" in the same way. Remember to choose the parent category to which they belong. For example, I have "abridged" as a parent category, then sub-categories to show the different sizes.

When all your categories and subcategories are added, you will see a list of them in order.

Use the links next to each item in the table to sort them out!

Now that your settings are all ready, you are ready to put your store online. Go back up the screen until you find the "online" section and choose the appropriate radio button - the little dot next to "store status" in section two.

With your store online you can now add a listing to it. You want to do this quite promptly - if your store is still empty at the midday or midnight (UK) deadline, it will be taken back offline. Leave your store for now, go to my eBid > auctions I'm running, and find the one you wish to include. You can use the search facility to find the right item, if you have lots of them.

Choose the "edit" option to make the necessary changes.

Near the top of the edit screen you will find two fields - one to choose the store in which your item should be displayed, and one the category in which it belongs.

Once you have made this change, you must save your changes for them to take effect.

Your shop is now built, and there is an item listed in it. Better take a look and check your handiwork. If you go to your "about me page" as displayed to other ebidders you will see your shop list. You can have up to five, remember. The count of auctions held in each shop is updated at intervals, not instantly, so don't be concerned if it still shows zero when you first view.

Click on the link for your store, and you can check that your colour scheme works as you hoped, that your banner looks as expected, and that everything is just hunky dory. If it's not, go back into "my ebid stores" and make whatever changes you need. You're all done!

Happy selling!