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EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 346 - November 03, 2013 - ISSN 1528-6703     2 of 7

Sellers Choice: Awards 2013: Inventory Management Tools


By Ina Steiner
EcommerceBytes.com

November 03, 2013
 



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Managing inventory and live listings is a major chore for online merchants of any size, and many tools promise to help solve this problem. We asked readers to rate the tools they use as part of the Sellers Choice Awards. The Inventory and Listing Management Tools category had one of the most number of services of any Sellers Choice category, and today we present the ten most used and highly rated services.

Many of the tools included in the Sellers Choice survey started as eBay tools and expanded to other channels. This is not surprisingly, since eBay was the earliest major marketplace for third-party sellers. However, some tools are geared toward other marketplaces, such as Amazon (Fillz) and Etsy (Betsi, Stitch Labs), though they also offer support for additional channels.

The Sellers Choice Awards is meant to highlight popular, well liked services among EcommerceBytes readers. It's important to note that the Sellers Choice inventory management category is not meant as an apple-to-apple comparison, since, as noted above, tools may be targeted at different marketplaces, and each has different price points and specialties.

The biggest challenges for many of the top-ten seller tools were ease-of-use and fees. Many of the tools received high rankings in customer service, a bit surprising given the complaints often heard about almost every area of our lives these days, particularly online.


Kyozou
Kyozou, which supports eBay, eBay Motors and Amazon, came in first place in the 2013 Sellers Choice Awards. It earned perfect scores in Customer Service (10) and Reliability (10). It received scores of 9 in Features and Fees, and an 8.5 in Ease of Use, earning it an overall score of 9.3.

Reader Comments - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly:

Kyozou - I've been using them for nearly 10 years. Ease of use and reliability have been phenomenal. Customer service is unbeatable. I've always had the feeling that they felt their success was tied to mine, and that in many ways, we were partners.

Kyozou has shipping also they use Endicia and FedEx and or UPS. Right now, eBay has good rates for eBay shipping so I use it. Kyozou integrates with PayPal and the refunds show up in your reports so you don't have to worry about 1099 reconciliation. I have used Kyozou since 2010. Hopefully they won't disappoint me.

They all take a while to get used to. I am happy with Kyozou. Once you have one it is a pain to switch so you know I was unhappy with past providers. It is a lot of work to move your listings over. I get many of the same items and unique items or quasi unique or vintage but I may get the same item again and it is very easy if most of it is done for me.

For the FLAT MONTHLY Price and service can't beat Kyozou.

I can call Kyozou and they get back to me quickly. I have an account manager that helps me and they have a support department.

Kyozou is low key and just does their job. I don't need in your face sign here upsell upsell all the time. I am busy. Sometimes sales people act like it's my responsibility to make their quotas, I have my own quotas to make and I don't tell my customers what my goals are. It's really inappropriate and that is why I like Kyozou.


Monsoon Stone Edge
Offering multi-channel support,Monsoon Stone Edge received impressive perfect scores in three categories: Ease of Use, Reliability, and Customer Service, and a near-perfect score in Features (9.5). However, it received much lower marks for Fees (6.5), which dropped its Overall score to a still-impressive 9.2.

Reader Comments - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly:

Jam-packed with features and very easy to use.

Great customer service on the few occasions I've had to use it.

Very powerful but not cheap - it's true what they say, you get what you pay for.


SixBit Software
SixBit Software, founded by the creator of Blackthorne Software which eBay acquired supports eBay and bidStart and received its highest mark in Customer Service (9.5), and garnered respectable marks in Reliability (8.8), Features (8.5), Fees (8.3) and Ease of Use (8.2), giving it an overall score of 8.7.

Reader Comments - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly:

Six Bit is very easy to use once you get it all set up. It does take time to get the profiles, etc. done but after that, listing is very easy.

We kind of like SixBit but their big problem is that they are still only good for eBay (who sells on BidStart???).


Stitch Labs
Stitch Labs, which supports Amazon, Etsy, BigCommerce and Shopify, received its highest mark for Customer Service, followed closely by Features (9.5) and Reliability (9.5). It received a 7.0 for Ease of Use and a 6.0 for Fees for an overall score of 8.3.

Reader Comments - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly:

Stitch is not perfect but it really helps me manage my inventory! Just wish it wasn't so expensive!!! $75 to $125 a month is just too much for tiny businesses. And I wish they would include integration with ArtFire.

For months I had a lot of problems with items being relisted before Stitch realized it was sold out causing unnecessary Etsy fees. But that hasn't happened in a month or two so I think they worked out those timing issues.


Betsi
BETSI, a tool for Etsy sellers, received its highest mark in Reliability (9.5) followed closely by Customer Service (9.3); its other marks included Features (7.0), Fees (6.7) and Ease of Use (4.8) for an overall score of 7.5.

Reader Comments - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly:

I'm new to Etsy, since March 8, but I've used BETSI on several occasions to make global changes regarding sales events. I've had nothing but good experiences with BETSI.


Auction Wizard 2000
The Auction Wizard 2000 eBay listing tool received a 9.5 for Customer Service followed by an 8.5 for Fees, 7.5 for Ease of Use, a 6.5 for Reliability, and a 5.0 for Features, for an overall score of 7.4.

Reader Comments - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly:

AW2K is powerful but not easy to learn.

Top-notch customer service - very timely responses to all questions.


Auctiva
Specializing in tools for eBay sellers, Auctiva received a 7.8 in Reliability followed by a 7.6 in Customer Service. Its other marks included Ease of Use (7.4), Fees (7.1) and Features (7.0) for an overall score of 7.4.

Reader Comments - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly:

Auctiva is worth the 10.00 a month. The other services that I have tried are not worth paying for. Some are free, but with them, you get what you pay for - headaches!

I like Auctiva's features better than the rest, easy to use.


FillZ.com
This multi-channel listing tool for Amazon, eBay and other marketplaces has attracted media sellers and is now owned by Amazon.com. It earned its highest marks in Ease of Use (7.5) and Customer Service (7.5), followed by Fees (7.0), Features (6.5) and Reliability (6.5 for an overall score of 7.0.

Reader Comments - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly:

We've had some questions go unanswered by Fillz. Other times they have given us "I don't know" answers without any hope of them trying to find out. Worst of all is when they blame Amazon for things that are obviously wrong with their code, specifically in how they reprice. They are always courteous.

Good for Amazon ETC.. but not for eBay.


InkFrog
InkFrog's eBay tool received its high mark in Reliability (6.8), followed by Customer Service (6.6), Features (6.3), Ease of Use (6.2) and Fees (5.6).

Reader Comments - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly:

I love every thing about Inkfrog for selling on eBay.

Inkfrog was a bit expensive and just not what I needed


Vendio
Vendio supports eBay, Amazon, Facebook and garnered the following marks: Reliability (7.0), Customer Service (6.2), Ease of Use (6.10), Features (5.7), Fees (5.6) for an overall score of 6.1.

Reader Comments - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly:

I used the "old" Vendio for many years and it was great. Easy to list, I liked the dashboard - I could do everything I needed to do from there. When they launched the new platform, I found it confusing, hard to use and expensive (although Vendio was expensive even under their old version).

I love the fact that Vendio saves all my info so I can list similar items even months later.


Related Stories
Sellers Choice Awards Get Social: Voting Now Open - January 20, 2014

It's Time to Nominate Marketplaces in Annual Sellers Choice Awards - January 06, 2014

EcommerceBytes Announces Sellers Choice Awards: Inventory Management - November 05, 2013

Sellers Choice: Awards 2013: Inventory Management Tools - November 03, 2013

Three Email Marketing Services Top the 2013 Sellers Choice Awards - September 23, 2013

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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