Tired of facile books on eBay? (You know, something like 'Moron's Guide to eBay'.) Are you wavering on going to buy or sell on it, never having done so? Or you are already on eBay. But you are wondering if there are ways to get better prices, where 'better' of course depends on whether you are buying or selling. Well, here is an excellent how-to manual that still keeps some objective distance from its subject. That separation lets the author offer some disinterested advice. You can best see this when Karp evaluates the various listing options available to a seller. His suggestions, especially on one option, which he considers a total waste of money, are excellent.
There are some omissions that would have made this a stronger book. He offers 100 tips. But...
He discusses Phishing. Which has been used against eBay and Paypal users. But, as far as I can tell, he never uses this term. He REALLY should. We can imagine new users hearing about it, wanting to know more and not finding it in this book's index and hence passing on the book. And phishing is actually more dangerous than just one bad auction.
Also, he omits three important tips. Firstly, once you have sold to a satisfied buyer, you should add that buyer to an email list. Next time you offer a similar item, very politely email her about it. (Of course, drop her if she opts out.) You can also add unsuccessful bidders in your auctions to this list, though you may have to go thru eBay's mailer to contact them. He mentions keeping a spreadsheet of your auctions, including the email addresses of your buyers. But he doesn't take the next simple step.
Secondly, consider first offering future items directly to previous buyers, instead of listing on eBay. If no takers, then put on eBay. This does NOT violate any eBay rules because the buyer and seller now know each other and can talk about nonlisted items. There have been reports in the media about businesses selling on eBay partly to get just such a list of customers. Of course, there is now no eBay protection for buyer or seller. But if you are a business with a website and a good eBay rating, this reassures buyers. And you, as a seller, have a defacto credit check on buyers, by looking at their ratings.
Thirdly, what would have been good is a tip on when it is NOT economic to list an item on eBay. Note that I did not say 'sell'. Amongst some power sellers, there has been increasing dissatisfaction. Prices are falling, eBay raises its fees and more auctions end without any bids. If you have an item for which there is little demand, then what is the chance that within 7 or 10 days of an auction, potential buyers will go to eBay and look for it? Remember, eBay always charges a listing fee. Of course, you can lower your price, to spur demand. But that costs you. At some point, things become uneconomic. In fact, if you have specialised books with a limited audience, Amazon is a viable alternative as it levies no listing fee, albeit with a higher commission if the book actually sells.
Karp is a very experienced eBay user and a good programmer. But I really do not think the greatest readership for this book is people who want to or are able to program, and they will not be enamoured by the code examples. I suspect he could have expanded greatly on the points I raised, to the benefit of that readership.