Crowdsourcing can be a great concept when it comes to ecommerce. It's also great when readers suggest an ecommerce product or service to write about because they love it so much. When the emails came in about BETSI, a bulk listing and editing tool for Etsy sellers, we just had to look into it.
"I started using BETSI for my three Etsy shops in 2012 and feel it is the most useful and beneficial tool," said Kelly Neddo, one of whose stores can be found on Etsy. "The app developer also offers one on one support (great for us artists), outstanding customer service, and an application that is the BEST tool for Etsy. He helps free in the Etsy forums in his free time. I honestly wouldn't be able to edit and update my larger supply shop if it was not for this software."
Then there was Stefanie Brawner, who has several Etsy stores including Pretty Snazzy. She was just as unrestrained in her praise.
"I love, love, LOVE it!" she exclaimed. "It would be a bargain at twice the price! Graeme (developer Graeme Grant)'s customer service is exceptional. He gets back to you quickly even though he is in Australia. He keeps everything up to date with the latest Etsy changes and he’s constantly implementing new features (most of which are customer requests). Things that took days (or I just didn’t mess with doing) now take just a few minutes. I don’t think I could run my Etsy shops without BETSI!! I hope you do an article about him. It’s a useful program at a reasonable price with a really nice person behind it."
It turns out Graeme's wife Jacinta actually founded Blugrin Co., which developed BETSI, a related product called BETSI Lite, and other tools for Etsy sellers. My colleague Julia Wilkinson wrote about Blugrin's other suite of products, Tools4Etsy, a couple of years ago. But BETSI wasn't ready at that time.
Jacinta sells yarn and beads on Etsy in stores like Spunkyarn and Cintaknits. Back in 2009, she got Graeme to develop some tools she wanted herself to sell more efficiently. BETSI, she says, grew out of her own frustration with selling on the site and to make changes using standard Etsy tools.
"Being an Etsy seller, I found that running and maintaining a shop, whether I had 50 or 1,000 listings, is a time-consuming process," she said. "It takes valuable time away from crafting product and building my Etsy business. And there are other time-consuming tasks that sellers like myself are doing on a daily and weekly basis - things like Etsy Relevancy Search positioning, Search Engine Optimization, running a sale, preparing for relisting, or updating shipping rates, to name a few."
BETSI was originally designed by Graeme, a developer with many years' experience in sales and inventory management, to enable Jacinta with bulk editing. But she learned that some of her Etsy seller friends were experiencing the same problems and she shared the app with them. The name BETSI was suggested by those friends. It stands for "Bulk Editing Tool - Simple & Intuitive."
"I should point out that we hear from time to time from our users ways that they use the app that we ourselves did not think of," Graeme said. "Also, when Etsy has an API bug, like unable to delete Variations from listings, we are able to advise users of a simple work-around until Etsy corrects the bug."
Graeme and Jacinta's endeavors are very much a family affair, and they are busy with more than just Etsy. Based in Sydney, Australia, they have two daughters age 20 months and 2 months. Jacinta has taken a break from selling for a while to care for the new baby.
BETSI is a little older than their "other" children and will turn 3 years old in March 2015. It boasts users in over 150 countries, and 45 million listings are now managed by users of BETSI apps. BETSI Lite, which contains a partial feature set, is free, while BETSI is free for 7 days or 20 bulk uploads. After that BETSI costs $9 per month, $24 per quarter, or $72 per year (Australian dollars).
BETSI enables sellers to manage listings in bulk or individually. Sellers can use filters and a search tool to edit listings in all possible states: active, inactive, expired, draft, and "sold out." They can, for instance, view all Draft listings using a State filter; see which listings are not linked to a shop section; and find expired listings and filter them by price, quantity, or partial name.
Graeme said if he had to pick popular features - a difficult task, he said - they would be:
- Flexible workflow - work the way that you want.
- Instant Filter, Search, Sort.
- See all listings, in any listing state, with key data, at the same time.
- Review Changes to be made, and in some cases refine, before sending.
BETSI also auto-calculates Etsy and PayPal fee costs - this helps sellers know their net sell price without any calculators, spreadsheets or websites. "You can view auto-calculated fee costs by Listing, Total by Listing Sate, Total by Filtered Listings, Total by Selected Listings, or individually preview the fee costs when making bulk price changes," Graeme said.
He also provided some examples of filtering and search options and sorting not found on Etsy:
- I want to see which listings are not linked to a shop section (Section Filter, Select all, Mode = NOT)
- I want to find Expired Listings (State filter) with "Less than 13 Tags" (Tag Filter Mode) that does "Not" have (Tag Filter Mode) the tag "xxx" (Tag Filter - check one or more Tags) and a tag with the partial name "ABC" or "DEF" (Search by Tag with partial tags separated with a comma to indicate multiples) and view the results sorted by "Most to Least" (Sort direction arrow) Expensive Price (Sort Type).
One key difference between the two versions of the software is that BETSI downloads and installs as an application on Mac or Windows computers, while BETSI Lite runs within a browser window.
BETSI Lite also does bulk pricing and comes with a wide range of controls. You can see a comparison of the two tools on the Blugrin website, and pricing is found on this page.
Jacinta acknowledges that Blugrin has a "very supportive and passionate user base." The enthusiasm comes from the level of customer support, she says.
"What our subscribers and our free LITE users appreciate is our old-fashioned rapid support - something that is missing today. We respond as soon as we see a question in the Etsy public forums. Business hours do not apply. We even Skype if required. Sellers can reach out, ask any question, and we are more than happy to reply."
Looking ahead, she says, her enthusiastic customers have made plenty of suggestions and requests for more tools and features. "Many are finding their way into the apps, and we have many new features planned for the next major release."