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Chapter 4. Using Third-Party Auction Templates

Chapter 4. Using Third-Party Auction Templates

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HowtoUseAuctionTemplates

Therearetwotypesofauctiontemplateservicesavailableon

theweb.Thefirsttypefeaturesaweb-basedform(sometimes

calledacodegeneratororcodegeneratingwebsite)thatyou

completewiththeinformationforyourparticularauction.The

secondtypefeaturespre-writtencodethatyoudownloadto

yourcomputerforediting.Inbothcases,thefinalHTMLcode

thatisgeneratedhastobeinserted(byyou)intothe

descriptionofyoureBaylisting.



Note

Toinsertpicturesintoanauctiontemplate,you'll

needtouploadyourproductphotostoanimage

hostingwebsite.LearnmoreinChapter7,"Adding

PicturestoYourAuctionTemplates."



UsingaCodeGeneratingWebsite

Thereareasurprisingnumberofthird-partywebsitesthatoffer

codegeneratorsforeBayauctiontemplates.Evenmore

surprising,mostofthesecodegeneratorsarefreeforyouto

use,withnofeeswhatsoever.

Whileeachcodegeneratorisslightlydifferentin

implementation,theyallworkinprettymuchthesamefashion.

Forexample,K&DWebPageDesign'sCustomAuctionCreator

(www.kdwebpagedesign.com/tutorials/tut_template.asp),

showninFigure4.1,startswithalistingoftheavailable



backgroundsandcolorsforyourtemplate.Clickthebackground

andcolorsyouwant,thenscrolldowntotheformatthebottom

ofthepage(showninFigure4.2).Entertheauctiontitle,

description,paymentinfo,andsoon,aswellastheURLsfor

yourphotos,andthenclicktheShowMeMyAuctionbutton.

Thenextpage,showninFigure4.3,showsyouwhatyour

listingwilllooklike,anddisplaystheHTMLcodeforyour

templateinaseparatetextbox.It'sthiscodethatyou'llcopy

intoyoureBaylisting.



Figure4.1.K&DWebPageDesign'sCustom

AuctionCreatorstartbychoosingyourtemplate's

backgroundandcolors.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



Figure4.2.Fillintheblankswithyourauction

title,description,andotherinformation.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



Figure4.3.Afteryou'vefilledintheblanks,the

HTMLcodeforyourtemplateisautomatically

generated.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



OthercodegeneratorsusemoreofaWYSIWYGapproachto

creatingtemplates.Forexample,AuctionWriter

(www.auctionwriter.com)startsbyshowingyouthumbnailsof

theavailabletemplatedesigns,asshowninFigure4.4.Clickthe

templateyouwant,andyou'representedwithafull-page

versionofthetemplate,withplaceholdertextandgraphics,as

showninFigure4.5.Clickapieceoftextandapop-upbox

appears,asshowninFigure4.6;enteryourowntext,andthen

clicktheUpdatebutton.Thesamethingwithpictures;clicka

placeholdergraphic,andthenentertheURLforyourown

photo.Whenyou'redonecustomizingthetemplate,clickthe

Downloadbutton,andthegeneratedcodewillbedownloadedto

yourPCinaTXTfile.Youcanviewthiscodewithanytext

editorprogram,suchasWindowsNotepad.



Figure4.4.Someoftheauctiontemplatedesigns

offeredbyAuctionWriter.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



Figure4.5.Theauctiontemplatedisplayedwith

placeholdertextandgraphics.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



Figure4.6.Replacingplaceholdertextwithyour

ownauctioninformation.



UsingaDownloadableAuctionTemplate



Insomeways,usingadownloadableauctiontemplateiseven

simplerthanusingacodegeneratorwebsiteifonlybecauseyou

don'thaveasmanychoices.Thetemplatelayoutandcolor

schemeisalreadypredetermined,soallyouhavetodois

replacetheplaceholdertextwithyourownauctioninformation.

Forexample,whenyouchooseoneofthefreetemplates

availablefromAuctionSupplies.com(www.auctionsupplies.com),

thesitedisplaysthefullHTMLcodeforthetemplateona

separatewebpage,asshowninFigure4.7.Youcanthencopy

thiscodeintoyourowntexteditor(suchasNotepador

WordPad),andedittheappropriatesectionstoincludeyourown

textdescriptionandpictureURLs.(You'llalsoneedtodownload

theaccompanyingbackgroundgraphicsforthetemplate.)Once

you'veeditedthecodewithyourowninformation,youcanthen

copytheeditedcodeintoyoureBayitemlisting.



Figure4.7.TheHTMLcodeforan

AuctionSupplies.comauctiontemplate.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



OthersitesprovidetheirtemplatecodeinadownloadableTXT

file,whichsavesyouthebotherofcopyingthecodefromtheir

webpage.JustopentheTXTfileinyourtexteditorandeditin

yourowninformation.Youcanthencopytheeditedcodeinto

youreBayitemlisting.

Stillothersitesmakeyoudoalittlemorework.Insteadof

downloadingtheHTMLcodeinaTXTfile,theydownloadthe

templateitself(withplaceholdergraphics)asanHTMLpage,

typicallyincludedalongwiththenecessarygraphicsinaZIP

file.UnZIPtheZIPfileandyouhaveanHTMLfileandoneor

moreJPGgraphicsfiles.Whatyou'llneedtodohereisopenthe

downloadedHTMLpageinyourwebbrowser,thenviewthe

page'ssourcecode.(InInternetExplorer,pulldowntheView

menuandselectSource.)ThisopenstheHTMLcodeforthe



pageinatexteditor,typicallyWindowsNotepad.Youcanthen

editthefileinNotepad,toreplacetheplaceholdertextwith

yourowntextandURLs.Thenyoucancopytheeditedcode

intoyoureBayauctionlisting.



InsertingAuctionTemplateCodeintoaneBay

AuctionListing

Onceyou'vegeneratedthefinalHTMLcodeforyourlisting,it's

asimplemattertoinsertthiscodeintoeBay'ssellyouritem

form.Asyou'vejustlearned,you'llbepresentedwiththefinal

codeforyourtemplate,eitherinatextboxofsomesortonthe

service'swebpageorinatexteditoronyourcomputer.You

thenhavetodothefollowing:

1. BegintheprocessofcreatinganewitemforsaleoneBay,

andproceedtotheDescribeYourItempage.

2. Onthecodegenerator'swebpageorinthetexteditor

program,selecttheentirecodelistingbyholdingdownthe

Shiftkeywhileyoumoveyourcursorfrombeginningtoend.

3. CopythecodelistingbypressingCtrl+C.

4. ReturntoeBay'sDescribeYourItempageandscrolldownto

theDescriptionsection.

5. ClicktheViewHTMLlinktodisplaytheHTMLeditor.

6. PositionyourcursorintheemptyDescriptiontextbox,as

showninFigure4.8,andinsertthecopiedcodebypressing

Ctrl+V.



Figure4.8.InsertingtheHTMLcodeforan

auctiontemplateintotheDescriptionboxin

eBay'sDescribeYourItempage.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



It'sthateasy.Justcopythecodethatwasgeneratedandpaste

itintotheDescriptionboxinHTMLview.Youcanpreviewhowit

looksbyclickingthePreviewDescriptionbutton,andthen

proceedtocompletetherestofyournewitemlisting.



UsingCreate-Your-OwnTemplateWebsites

We'llstartourtourofthird-partytemplatesbyexaminingsome

ofthemostpopularcreate-your-owntemplatewebsites.These

sitesareoftenreferredtoascodegenerators,sincethat'swhat

theydogenerateHTMLcodethatyoutheninsertintoyoureBay

itemlisting.



AntiqueCentraleZAuctionAdvancedTemplate



AntiqueCentral'seZAuctionAdvancedTemplate(www.antiquecentral.com/eztemplate.html)offerssimpletext-based

templates,liketheoneinFigure4.9.Thereisnoprovisionfor

addingimages,althoughyoucanenteryourownHTMLimage

codesintothefinalgeneratedcode.



Figure4.9.Asampletemplategeneratedbythe

eZAuctionAdvancedTemplate.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



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Chapter 4. Using Third-Party Auction Templates

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