1.1. Installation

After you download the component, you will install it the same way as any other Joomla component.

1.2. Connection to eBay

To connect to your eBay account, go to the component's "Connect" page and click the "Connect to eBay" button.  You will be redirected to a page that asks you to log in to your eBay account, then you will need to approve the connection between CCJ Channels and your eBay account.  In order for this all to work correctly, please make sure you have cookies enabled in your browser.

1.3. Setting up your eBay listings

On the "Connect" page (or any of the CCJ Channels pages), click the "Options" button in the upper right to edit the CCJ Channels global options.  


1.3a. In the "eBay Configuration" tab:

Default Category: this is the eBay category in which any of your products that are not individually categorized should be listed.  If all your products are generally in one category then this will be the most useful to you.  If your products tend to fall into many different categories, you may choose to not use this setting, and instead to categorize all of your products individually.  Note that you may not need to categorize your products; please see the section of this manual on Using eBay.

Default Condition: the condition to use on eBay for your products that do not have individual condition settings.  If all of your products are generally of one condition (e.g. New) then this will be the most useful to you.  If your products tend to have many different conditions, you may choose to not use this setting, and instead to set the condition of all of your products individually.  Note that some categories do not accept some conditions; please see the section of this manual on Using eBay.

Item ZIP Code: this is the location from which the item will be shipped. It appears in your eBay listings and is used for calculated shipping.

Shipping Time: this is your turnaround time (in days) after receiving an order until you ship it out.  The lower the number, the more buyers you will get and the better feedback you will receive.  But you should be accurate, because you must ship within this time or you risk receiving negative feedback.

Accept buyer offers: if you turn this on, your listing will contain a "best offer" button that allows buyers to negotiate with you.   See this page for more information.

Charge sales tax: if you turn this on, you will also need to set the "Sales tax %" and "Buyer state to tax" parameters.  This is a simple way to set up sales tax, but you can get much more accurate results by instead using the detailed Sales Tax Tool in your eBay account settings.  Please see this page for details.

Sales tax %: if "Charge sales tax" is on, this is the percentage (expressed as e.g. "9.5" for 9.5%, not "0.095") to charge buyers in the "Buyer state to tax" (see the next parameter) for sales tax.

Buyer state to tax: if "Charge sales tax" is on, this is the state from which buyers will be charged sales tax.

Accept returns: this setting determines whether your listings will be set up to allow buyer returns or not.  Allowing returns gives buyers increased confidence, so you are more likely to make a sale, but of course it means you may get returns from dissatisfied buyers.

How you refund: if you do accept returns, eBay allows you only two choices for how you will return the buyer's money - either a complete refund ("Money back") or giving the buyer a choice between money back or a replacement item.  You are not allowed to give other conditions on returns, like "exchange only" for example.  If you are not willing to make one of these two choices, you won't be able to accept returns.


1.3b. In the "Template" tab:

This is where you will determine what your listings will look like when displayed on eBay.  eBay allows you to use HTML to make your listings display the way you want, so this field allows you to use your Joomla WYSIWYG editor to edit the HTML.   The special strings described in the tooltip ($DESCRIPTION, $TITLE, etc) will be replaced by those appropriate values from your actual products when the listing is actually created, which is why this is called a "template".  

eBay does not allow some types of HTML, however, like script or form tags or links to external websites.  If you attempt to use these you will usually get an error and your listing will just not be created, but sometimes eBay can miss it when you create the listing but this can be even more of a problem because you will receive a policy violation warning, which can lower your seller ratings and even endanger your account.


1.3c. In the "Payments" tab:

PayPal email: this is your PayPal address, at which you will receive buyer's payments.  You must provide this if one of your accepted "payment methods" (see below) is PayPal, or if you use the Global Shipping program (see below) for international shipping, or if immediate payments are required (see below).

Require immediate payment: historically eBay has allowed buyers up to 3 days to pay for items they win in auctions on eBay.  However, eBay recognizes that for many merchants using fixed-price listings (such as those created by CCJ Channels) this is not acceptable, so they allow you to require that buyers pay immediately when they buy one of your items.  If you do require immediate payment, the only way buyers can pay you is with PayPal.  Please remember that PayPal allows buyers to pay with credit cards if they choose (and eBay buyers are used to using PayPal with or without credit cards), so this does not restrict your set of possible buyers.

Payment methods: if you are not requiring immediate payment, buyers can potentially pay you in several different ways.  See this page for more information.

Payment instructions:  this is an optional field you can use if you need to give buyers more information about payment methods, how soon items will be shipped, feedback instructions, or anything else the buyer should be aware of when they buy your items (limit of 500 characters).


1.3d. In the "Domestic Shipping" tab:

eBay shipping is highly configurable, to the point where it can be confusing to dive into for the first time.  If you haven't dealt with it before, there are three basic "philosophies" of shipping used by eBay sellers:

A) free shipping.  This is very attractive to buyers, so eBay recommends you use free shipping.  Naturally you may have to raise your product prices somewhat in order to allow you to do this, but it reduces confusion and complexity for buyers, which is why they prefer it.

B) calculated shipping.  This means that you tell eBay information about your product (in the case of CCJ Channels this is the weight of your product) and the shipping method (for example UPS Ground), and then eBay charges buyers for shipping (and includes it in what you are paid for your item) based on that information and your location and the buyer's location.  If you're not going to use free shipping, this is definitely a good way to set up shipping because you don't have to keep track of constantly-changing shipping tables, eBay does that for you.  With experience you may discover that eBay's calculations, while generally accurate, tend to overcharge or undercharge for your items (for example, if all of your items exceed the standard package length dimension then you may pay more for shipping than what eBay calculates).  If eBay is consistently undercharging your buyers then you can add on a "handling charge" (see below).

C) flat-rate shipping.  This means that you will just charge a standard rate for shipping, no matter where a buyer is located (domestically).  This obviously works best if all of your items are close to the same cost to ship, but of course even if they are not then you can just pick a charge that's essentially the average. 

So once you choose your shipping philosophy, you should be able to decide which of the following settings are appropriate for you. 

Free Shipping: turn this on if you plan to offer free shipping.  You must choose a shipping service that will be used for this (your setting for shipping service 1 will be used).  You can additionally offer other shipping services that are *not* free (for example, you might offer free ground-based shipping but have calculated shipping for express service).

Local pickup: turn this on if buyers can pick up items at your location instead of paying for shipping.

Shipping cost: this determines if you will offer flat-rate or calculated shipping for your shipping charges.

Shipping service (1-4): these are the choices for services you will offer for shipping; you can choose up to four. Note that some of them are generic (like "Expedited Shipping") and can only be used for flat-rate shipping; calculated shipping must know exactly which carrier you will use so the charges can be accurately calculated.

Flat rate charge (1-4): if you are using flat-rate shipping, this is where you specify the cost for each service you offer.

Handling charge: if you use calculated shipping, you can add on an additional handling charge to reflect your actual shipping costs.  Note that this charge shows up to buyers as just part of their shipping cost.  eBay and buyers frown on using handling charges to allow you to offer ridiculously low prices for your items and then make up the cost by charging sky-high shipping rates.  Buyers can easily see through this and will just avoid your listings.


1.3e. In the "International Shipping" tab:

 The main choice here is whether to offer international shipping or not, or to use eBay's Global Shipping program, described here.  If you don't want to deal with international shipping at all, just say "No" here.   If you are willing to deal with the additional work required on your part, international shipping can greatly expand your potential market.

The eBay Global Shipping program is eBay's attempt to make it easier and less risky for you to offer your products to international buyers, so it's really worth considering.

But if you are not using it, and still want to sell internationally, you'll want to configure the rest of these options.

International handling charge: if you are using calculated shipping, this is a separate handling charge for international shipping, to reflect the additional work required for international shipping.  The same warnings apply as with the domestic handling charge: this should be an accurate reflection of your actual costs, not a way to charge buyers hidden fees.

International shipping service (1-5): these are the choices you will offer for international shipping.  As with domestic services, some of them are generic and can only be used for flat-rate shipping; calculated shipping must know exactly which carrier you will use.

Flat rate (for service 1-5): if you are using flat-rate shipping, this is where you specify the cost for each service you offer.


4. Other setup

In the "Image upload" tab of the component options, you can specify settings for when you upload image files for your products:

Upload max size:  maximum size (in Mb) allowed for image file uploads

Upload dir for product images: the directory (relative to the site root) under which your uploaded images will be stored; defaults to "images/ccjchannels".

Thumbnail size: any uploaded image will be kept full-size and will also have a thumbnail created automatically; this setting determines the max dimension (in pixels) of the thumbnail image.  (The thumbnail will always have the same aspect ratio as the original image).

In the "Permissions" tab, you can set permissions for which parts of the component are available for different backend users of your site, in the standard way as any Joomla component.