If you want to gather a group of motojournalists into one area at the same time, it's no great secret that the most effective means to do so is to offer free food. Make the venue one of the most enjoyable automobile museums a person can visit, and it's a sure guarantee the inkslingers are going to show up en masse.

Such was the case when Custom Classic Trucks' former feature editor and Kit Car magazine's current editor, D. Brian Smith, and I took up eBay's offer to attend an editorial roundtable at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California, to bring us all up to date on the latest capabilities eBay offers.

As I had expected, the younger guys editing some of our company's more high tech-related titles were right up to date, and there wasn't much the eBay folks could relate that they didn't already know. Not wanting to reveal to a room packed full of peers that I had no idea what any of them were talking about and had never progressed beyond the point of checking out some of the stuff on eBay, I kept my mouth shut (except to choke down a few more roast beef sandwiches).

When the subject changed to eBay's desire to become involved with any of the projects that any of our titles might be initiating, I was all ears. I figured this would be the perfect time to learn how to use eBay and pass on any tips we might discover to Custom Classic Trucks' valued readers.

Since we are on the subject of passing on tips, it might also be a good time to address the unpleasant experience known as "eBay surprise." Laughingly, the best recent example we know of to describe an eBay surprise was when one of the rat rod magazines with a title that ends in the letter Z decided to run a tech feature on how to rewire a car. One might imagine their advice would be on how to adapt a wiring harness salvaged from an old TV set, but they actually started out on the right track by going directly to Painless Performance and obtaining a new wiring harness. The desire to do the job right strayed off course when they installed a used alternator bought off of eBay that turned out to be fried junk. That said, obviously there are some purchases that should be left to a reputable retailer.

On the flip side, there are items such as extinct body panels that never will be reproduced by the aftermarket. We learned this last year at the '06 SEMA show in an editor's roundtable hosted by LMC Truck's Leo Long. It was kind of interesting, actually-Leo went on to explain that truck owners should go out of their way to take good care of their trucks (rust prevention and repair, etc.) because there are some parts that will never be reproduced because there just isn't enough demand to offset production costs. The lack of availability in the aftermarket is where eBay's ability to connect people from all reaches of the planet seems to function at its best, and this is where the first segment of our new eBay series begins.

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