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Page last updated at 11:20 GMT, Friday, 17 October 2008 12:20 UK

eBay courses tackle credit crunch

By Nick Parry
BBC News

eBay course
Both courses being run in the county are fully subscribed

A quick search on the internet will throw up no end of advice and tips on beating the credit crunch.

From shopping in the evening when the price of fresh food is marked down to websites for swapping clothes instead of buying new ones - there are plenty of ideas.

Now one council - Carmarthenshire - has gone as far as to tailor some of its adult education courses to the current economic climate.

So new subjects this autumn include Trash to Treasure for people looking to recondition worn household items and Interior Design on a Budget for those thinking of selling their homes.

But the most popular is a 10-week course entitled "How to buy and sell using eBay".

The idea is to help novices feel comfortable entering the world of internet trading.

Maria Morgan
Like they say one person's rubbish is another man's treasure - so hopefully it's a little extra cash for the house
Maria Morgan

The start of the course has coincided with eBay warning that it was being hit by the economic slowdown with consumers feeling the pinch and reducing online purchases.

But those running the course still hoped it would give people tips in making a few extra pounds in the run up to Christmas and, perhaps, awaken the entrepreneur hidden inside.

"This course is about giving people the opportunity to use the internet and also to make money," said tutor Steven Morgan.

"eBay is world wide - you have the opportunity to be at home and to be able sell anywhere across the world.

"It's about understanding the mechanics of buying and selling and also to organise to become more professional at it."

As well as the basics like setting up payment accounts and fees and charges - topics go as far as the tax implications for those who are really successful.

Steven also throws in the odd tip on maximising profit.

Did you you know the quietest day for eBay auctions are Thursdays and the busiest time is Sunday evening?

Two courses are running - in Garnant near Ammanford and at Llandeilo - and both are fully subscribed.

The majority of those taking part - while not complete computer novices - are only starting to exoplore the internet.

Maria Morgan explained: "I was little bit concerned in the beginning because of the fraud that goes on and not being really up on computers, but it's working out fine.

"I've not ventured to sell anything yet, but I have browsed.

"Like they say one person's rubbish is another man's treasure - so hopefully it's a little extra cash for the house."

Sian Merlys
I think these days there are lots of programmes on television on how to de-clutter your house and it's a way of making money
Sian Merlys

Sian Merlys - community learning officer - set up the course and said it was particularly useful for people in rural areas like Garnant to become internet savvy.

"The idea came because of all the bad press that internet purchases have had," she explained.

"Lots of people have been coming to our courses over the years to learn how to use a computer but they are very wary of internet trading companies because they are scared of identity fraud and things like that.

"This course has been set up to give people an opportunity to learn more about buying and selling on the internet and eventually, if they wanted to, they could set up their own businesses.

"In a rural community you have to look for every opportunity to develop and I think most people don't want to go into a bricks and mortar situation when setting up a business and this is a good way of trying things out before you get in too deep.

"I think these days there are lots of programmes on television on how to de-clutter your house and it's a way of making money."


SEE ALSO
eBay warning of tough Christmas
16 Oct 08 |  Business

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