eBay to Discontinue Support for Blackthorne Listing Software
By Ina Steiner
eBay will end support for its Blackthorne software next year, EcommerceBytes has learned. The software program helps sellers manage and upload their listings in bulk to the eBay marketplace.
eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore said, "We have nothing to announce at this time, but I'll be sure to let you know if and when we do." But eBay has already begun preparations to discontinue technical support next spring and discontinue customer support by the fall of 2014.
When some larger users of the program began reporting they had been contacted by eBay, those not yet contacted were incredulous - as well as concerned how they would manage their listings once support for the program was terminated. Wrote one on the eBay boards, "Is this for real??? I have three computers in my shop, all running Blackthorne with some 2800 listing templates on it!!! I can't afford to re-create those on another system. Why would they keep coming out with builds if they were planning on tanking it?"
Another Blackthorne user wrote, "I have 2800 templates on Blackthorne and it runs fine. Are they really killing it?"
eBay has continued to launch new versions, the latest (Version 04.14.056) released earlier this month that adds support for UK Managed returns and fixed bugs such as "Tax for Shipping not coming to Blackthorne sales from ProStores."
Blackthorne Software had developed the software independently in 1998, and eBay acquired it the following year, hiring the original developers to continue to support the software. Ten years later, eBay transitioned the software in-house and laid off the Blackthorne development team, including John Slocum, the founder of Blackthorne Software.
Slocum then went on to launch another eBay listing tool independently called SixBit.
eBay has other tools that it will presumably continue to support, including Sell Your Item, TurboLister, Selling Manager, Selling Manger Pro and File Exchange. Unlike those tools, Blackthorne is a software program that users download to their computers, and users pay $24.99 per month for Blackthorne Pro.
A list of seller tools from eBay and certified providers can be found on the eBay Seller Tools page.
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About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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