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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3919 - August 31, 2016 - ISSN 1539-5065    3 of 3

Third-Party Selling Tools Safe from eBay Seller Update

By Ina Steiner
August 31, 2016

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eBay is discontinuing its seller listing tools, it announced as part of the Fall Seller Update. Users will have to migrate to the new Seller Hub by next spring, when eBay will discontinue Turbo Lister, Selling Manager, and Selling Manager Pro.

But many sellers use third-party selling tools. In a FAQ on the Seller Update pages, eBay wrote, "Seller Hub offers valuable capabilities that complement the functionality of third-party tools. You should work with your third-party tool representative to discover the best practices for listings and order management."

We checked in with a couple of third-party service providers to see if they were safe from changes coming as a result of the Seller Update policies around selling tools.

John Slocum of SixBit Software said the announcement doesn't affect SixBit users, and said his tool is a viable option for Turbo Lister users since it's a desktop application.

"We think that anyone who still prefers a desktop application will end up with us. It's just a matter of being able to get the word out." In fact, he said, "It's our goal to bring TL users into the SixBit fold and with any luck when it's all over they'll be glad it all happened."

He pointed to the benefits sellers have when using a desktop application to manage listings rather than a hosted service like Seller Hub - no waiting for web pages to load is an obvious advantage to those without a high-speed connection. Another advantage - all of the data is stored locally so users can keep it forever.

SixBit Software also supports multiple venues. And, Slocum added, "We have tons of features Seller Hub doesn't have, like a built in Item Research tool, picture editor with automatic picture processing, easy import and export of data, custom fields, custom workflow, drop shipper support, consignment support and lots more."

Shawn Horswill of TheOpenSkyProject.com, which now owns Auctiva, said eBay's discontinuation of its selling tools in favor of Seller Hub will have no impact on merchants that utilize Auctiva.

"In fact," he said, "for users looking for a replacement, Auctiva offers similar functionality and we also have a direct import utility from these platforms making the transition seamless and easy."

So do third-party tools have to be compatible with eBay's Seller Hub, we asked. No, Horswill said. "eBay is not working with us to make sure our import utility is compatible, we've had a data import utility for users migrating from those eBay listing tool platforms for years. An example would be a user using Turbo Lister today can export their listings from Turbo Lister and simply upload those listings to Auctiva using our data import utility."

And while eBay doesn't have a "Seller Hub" API, they do offer third-party vendors access to API's that allow them access to the same data that is provided in the Seller Hub tool, he explained. "Some of these API's are in the beta stages currently. Having said that, as a 3P, we are excited about the possibilities these new API's will offer."

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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 ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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