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Sun Apr 13 2014 17:45:24

New Platform Inkfrog Open in Alpha

By: Julia Wilkinson

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We were chatting the other day with Greg Sisung, founder and CEO of inkFrog, and learned they are in the alpha stage of launching a whole new platform, which they call "inkFrog Open."

"We actually have a brand new platform called '"inkFrog Open" releasing very shortly," said Sisung during the interview. "It's the first "new" platform to be released in the eBay space (that I know of) in many years," he said. He added that it was built from the ground up, taking into consideration the 15+ years of experience that he and his team have in the space.

"It's going to be pretty incredible, and I can't wait for sellers to start using it," said Sisung.

So how can curious sellers who want to be "early adopters" get in on the fun? "If there are any adventurous sellers who would like to try a very early release of it, sign up at open.inkfrog.com/signup/beta and then login at open.inkfrog.com," said Sisung. But, he cautioned, "Please note this is a very early release (and could be considered an alpha release) - so use it with that understanding."

What's new in the inkFrog Open platform? InkFrog had already added multi-channel selling with its "Highwire" product, which allows sellers to list not only on eBay, but also Facebook, Google, Mobile and their own storefront. See below for more details about inkFrog Open from Sisung himself.

[Update 4/14/14: Sisung tells us inkFrog open will actually be "eBay only" and does not include other channels: "We are keeping it specific to eBay (for now)," he said. He added:  "It's got everything an eBay lister/manager service should have, only it does everything better. Think of it like the BMW of listing/management services. It's also got some very unique functionality and features."

He also gave us this new intel about inkFrog Open:

- 1st - "It has very powerful sync capabilities. Every item you create or launch is stored in the inkFrog Open Library (think of it as in the cloud) - Any revision to any of your library items will sync the revision across the platform and across eBay. This includes if the item is live on eBay.

2nd - "It's got very powerful search and filter capabilities. Finding, managing, and launching your listings is extremely quick and easy.  The platform allows you to custom create/save your searches so sellers can quickly find the listings they need - and it allows them to customize this based on their specific workflow.

3rd - "It's got one of the most robust eBay messaging apps built in - thus, customers can keep in contact with their customers without ever leaving the platform. The messages are threaded so you can follow the message flow and keep your discussions in context.

4th - "It's got powerful image managing and uploading capabilities, including the ability to import images directly from Dropbox.

5th - "It's named "inkFrog Open" because it's open to developers. We will soon have custom apps which are built specifically for the platform - new developers can build apps directly into it using an Open API. The API is currently open to some select developers, but shortly it will be open to the world.

6th - "We have some other top secret surprises that are coming out with Open shortly after release.  It's going to be big news, but we will keep it private for now."]

OK, so that's all the scoop you're getting for now!

Are you curious to try the inkFrog Open product? Are you or have you been an inkFrog customer? Let us know by leaving a comment here, or tell us about your experience. (You can report bugs or other problems to open@inkfrog.com).



Comments (6) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for New Platform Inkfrog Open in Alpha   New Platform Inkfrog Open in Alpha

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Sun Apr 13 23:30:00 2014

Oh Greg, Greg, Greg...where do I begin. First I would like to say I am a long time user of Inkfrog and before that Sparedollar. Obviously I have been for the most part content even with a glitch here or there.

Out of curiosity I just signed up for the open.inkfrog. This has a long, long way before implementation. Under profiles, I am seeing hundreds of shipping policy profiles with no rhyme or reason for how they differ or are applied. The same goes for 29 payment policies and 7 return policy profiles. There are no master or listing profiles. I cannot see my default profile.

The image folder is a mess and slow with uploading. I do want to say I am FINALLY very pleased with the image uploader in my current inkfrog smartlister which took Inkfrog forever to get right and it is very fast. Why is this being messed with again?

Looking at my live listings ON ebay everything is as it should be when viewing my listings. However looking at my live listings through open.inkfrog half the images are missing, best offer is not enabled (even though it is enabled on my live ebay listings), the buyer requirements for days is blank and also there is no scroll bar to see listing in preview.

There is no image library where I have thousands of photos stored and no saved listing library. Nothing is being carried over from the current inkfrog.There is nothing in the templates and image folders..completely blank. In the message folder there are three old messages from a couple months ago and from the same person.

It seems this open.inkfrog is ONLY for new, fresh listings. Maybe I misunderstood this beta and it is just for viewing purposes only and not ready for prime time beta use. Sorry Greg I know you are excited about this new platform and apologize for being such a Debbie downer. I really do hope others will find it not so problematic.
 

Perminate Link for New Platform Inkfrog Open in Alpha   New Platform Inkfrog Open in Alpha

by: Greg-inkFrog This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 14 14:09:14 2014

@bitbybit - inkFrog open is in very early stages. It does NOT import anything over from your current inkFrog yet - it also works completely different so do not try to compare it.  The profiles work much differently and there will be a learning curve for current inkFroggers. There are master profiles which can be used as standalone or in combination with the sub profiles

Perminate Link for New Platform Inkfrog Open in Alpha   New Platform Inkfrog Open in Alpha

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Mon Apr 14 19:31:04 2014

I'm not understanding the hundreds upon hundreds of shipping policies in the shipping profiles folder. Seeing Shipping Policy and then a series of numbers. Hundreds of these and I can't distinguish one policy from another. There is no title or explanation on how each one differs from the next other than a series of 8 to 10 numbers. Example: Shipping Policy 4857382309, Shipping Policy 9865098797 etc. Same goes for the 29 payment policies and 7 return policies. Like I stated before, the master and listing profiles were empty.

Platforms should be tailored to the users to make things easier and who are paying for the service; and not what the venue's vision thinks it should be. Definitely rings true with ebay and Microsoft. Recently read an article about Windows 8 and sometime in the future Windows 9 Threshold. Trying to make desktops and laptops run the same way as mobile and tablets with the software and operating system. One size does not fit all. Those using ebay know exactly what I am talking about.

Perminate Link for New Platform Inkfrog Open in Alpha   New Platform Inkfrog Open in Alpha

by: DebraD This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 15 08:19:32 2014

I have been using inkfrog for many years. Initially, because it saved me money on some listing features such as listing templates and multiple photos for which Ebay used to charge a fee. Also, I could keep a record of my listings indefinitely, and could create a new listing using a pre-formatted template. The service offers a good range of services that make it worth the reasonable monthly fee. However, Inkfrog has modified/updated its listing service over time and added a whole new listing platform a couple of years ago that quite frankly, was and still is fraught with issues. Personally, after trying the new listing format several times I continued to use the original "legacy" service as I could not find the benefit to using the new format. It now seems that I am stuck with the new service as I can no longer log into legacy.

I have not signed up for the newest Beta version, so I cannot comment personally,  but if history is any indication of how well this yet "newer" service will perform, my guess is, it will take several years to get the bugs worked out, if they ever get worked out.

Unfortunately, my satisfaction with Inkfrog as a service has gone down with each new listing update. I think they should focus on fixing what they have now instead of wandering off to yet another new platform.

Perminate Link for New Platform Inkfrog Open in Alpha   New Platform Inkfrog Open in Alpha

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Tue Apr 15 13:09:05 2014

Debra you can still sign up for the beta and it won't remove you from the current inkfrog. It's a different login altogether. Just to get a look at what we current users may be in for. It made me appreciate the current inkfrog even more. I would love to know what other users think of this new platform.  

Perminate Link for New Platform Inkfrog Open in Alpha   New Platform Inkfrog Open in Alpha

by: Greg-inkFrog This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 15 17:01:42 2014

@ bitbybit - those were business policies that were imported.. I agree they were confusing and so we are no longer importing them. We have removed the code so it no longer imports for new signups. You can delete all of those that were imported and then create your own (in our system you can name them).

Please again keep in mind that this is a very early release of this product (it's not even released yet). It's more of a sneak preview of what we are working on.  However, we do want feedback so please keep it coming.  



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