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Library workercaptures moneyusing 'Net auctions

Nov. 4, 1999

E-bay Web site provides hours of fun,

extra money for Baylor staff member



Sheryl Salazar, a library assistant in the interlibrary loan office, has found another successful way, aside from her position in the library, to make money. After working at the library, she returns home to her computer and participates in auctions on eBay.

'A friend of mine e-mailed me and told me about a wonderful auction house she had found on the Internet. I checked it out and got hooked. It was eBay,' Salazar said.

Perre and Meg Omidyar founded eBay in 1998 as an auction house on the Internet that allows individuals to buy and sell items without meeting face to face. Many people start out as buyers and bid on items viewed on the computer. The buyer usually pays for shipping and insurance.

'After about four months of serious eBay bidding, I realized this was a seller's market. I told myself I could do this too,' Salazar said.

Salazar learned how to sell items on eBay with the help of friends she met through purchasing items from them online.

Soon, she learned how to take pictures of the items she wished to sell with a digital camera and post them on the Internet.

Just about anything is sold through eBay.

'I was interested in colored aluminum glasses from the 1950s and bid on them and won. Soon my collection grew to include many items including pitchers, trays, bowls, spoons, Christmas bells and tablecloths,' Salazar said.

The auctions are actually Web sites on which individuals post the items they wish to sell.

Buyers look on the Web sites and bid for items they wish to purchase.

The computer times the auction, and the seller and highest bidder contact each other to make arrangements for payment and shipping expenses.

They exchange addresses and the buyer sends the money, usually in the form of a check or money order, to the seller.

At the end of the transaction, the buyer and seller leave feedback for one another. Every time a seller gets positive feedback, a point is added.

If negative feedback is given, a point is subtracted. One look at a person's feedback record will let a buyer know if he or she wishes to conduct business with the seller. It is possible to read what other eBay customers say about any specific buyer or seller.

'The best time to look at an eBay auction is in the last two minutes. There is often more excitement in the last two minutes that there is during the whole seven days. Many people, like myself, like to bid at the last minute,' Salazar said.