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Ditching Turbo Lister Is a Sign of eBay Changes Ahead

Ditching Turbo Lister Is a Sign of eBay Changes Ahead

Why is eBay ditching a free tool that many longtime sellers rely on? Because it’s moving forward on software advances this year, an employee said during a chat session devoted to the impending retirement of Turbo Lister.

We reviewed Wednesday’s chat session to compile tips for sellers who use Turbo Lister, and we also looked for clues about what changes might be coming to sellers even if they never used the tool known as “TL.”

5 Things Sellers Should Know about Turbo Lister’s Retirement

1) Sellers can continue to access Turbo Lister on their computers and receive support from Advanced Apps team (turbodata@ebay.com) until July 13th.

2) After July 13th, sellers cannot use Turbo Lister to upload items to eBay.

3) After July 13th, sellers cannot download data from eBay into Turbo Lister

4) eBay will stop updating Turbo Lister, so category IDs will go out of date.

5) eBay recommends SixBit as an alternative, but sellers must pay a monthly fee to use SixBit.

Sellers had a lot of questions, with many asking why eBay was ending support for the a tool that was so helpful and popular.

Sellers pointed out that they could currently access listings they had created in Turbo Lister in the past and easily relist them, even for products they hadn’t sold in years. For example, one seller said they list certain items during each year’s holiday shopping season. “When the next holiday selling season rolls around we can easily re-list what ever ones we have put back in stock” thanks to having them stored in the Turbo Lister software program, which resides on their computer.

“I am a HUGE Turbo Lister user and really upset this is going away. Very disappointed,” wrote one seller.

Many weren’t sure what it meant that eBay was ending support for Turbo Lister, since they would still have the software on their computers. “I can live without the excellent phone support for problems I have received over the years, but will I still be able to upload my listing from my current installation of TL,” asked one seller.

An eBay employee named Jacob replied to sellers’ questions: “Turbo Lister will still run on your computer as an offline application as long as it exists on your computer. After July 13th though, you will not be able to use Turbo Lister to upload items to eBay, even the Hub.”

He also said, “Keep in mind that Turbo Lister will stop getting updates on eBay categories and other changes so older exports won’t carry those corrected category ID’s so that could be a problem later down the road.”

A seller asked, “When it’s stated that the “drop dead” date for TL is July 13, is it to be understood that the tool will be disappearing or that eBay will no longer support functions, ie: use at your own risk – there will no technical support offered?”

“Turbolister can create listings in File Exchange format – will these be accepted after mid-July,” asked another seller.

eBay employee Jacob explained:

“Thank you for your post and great question. I know this has been on many minds and am happy you called it out. Turbo Lister, as an offline application will continue to function on your computer. What will change, come July, is that Turbo Lister will no longer be able to upload listings to eBay or download data from eBay but as for creating offline listings that just are in your Inventory, that part will remain unchanged.

“Our partnering with SixBit, which is another offline application similar to Turbo Lister, you can take those offline listings and move them over to SixBit and find it functions much like Turbo Lister.”

“I do not know why Turbo Lister has to stop,” wrote another seller. “I am not sure why eBay would want to make things more complicated or difficult for sellers when they have used a program that has worked so well for years.”

As far as why, eBay’s Jacob responded to the seller as follows:

“Thank you for sharing your feelings and we appreciate it. We know how important this tool is to many and we share some of your feelings. There are a few software advances we want to move forward on and where Turbo Lister stands now, it isn’t going to be compatible with our plans for 2020.

“We have decided to focus resources in other areas and felt the best time to deprecate Turbo Lister 2 is now. We know and understand how it will impact some of our members and for this reason we’ve partnered with SixBit Software which is a desktop application similar to Turbo Lister. We appreciate you and all you have done for us and your customers. Thank you again for your post!”

A bit later, Jacob wrote:

“The biggest reason why we chose now to deprecate Turbo Lister is due to the fact that Turbo Lister isn’t compatible with some future advances we want to make with the site in 2020.”

And then the following:

“Turbo Lister 2 isn’t going to be compatible with the future plans we have for 2020 and if there was any time to do it, it had to be now before we could move on with future technology we want to bring to our platform.”

Some also asked questions about SixBit Software, the desktop tool eBay is advising sellers to use as a replacement if they don’t care to use eBay’s own Seller Hub portal. However, SixBit charges a fee to sellers for using its software, though it offers advanced features and supports multiple marketplaces.

Several people from SixBit participated in the weekly chat session and suggested eBay Turbo Lister users first check out the special landing page on SixBit.com that has information and videos.

eBay employee Jacob answered additional questions, including what Turbo Lister’s retirement meant for sellers who had been using it:

“With Turbo Lister retired: All of the offline listings and application will remain on your computer. You can now use a Turbo Lister CSV export to move those listings over to SixBit, photos, description, all of it.

“You asked where the ended listings go, if you have them in your Inventory in Turbo Lister, you can just include those in your Export mentioned above and you won’t lose that hard work.

“SixBit is equipped with great help and videos on how to use it, you can reach out to their support page and set up a call with someone and I am confident they can help you with some of your conflicts with SixBit.”

While eBay has posted about ending support for Turbo Lister, a seller in Canada said she had never received any emails regarding its demise and said, “if I didn’t frequent the US boards I would have been totally surprised when TL ended.”

Another seller wrote, “I just found out (SixBit) is $35/mo. ……..really? Why does eBay NOT provide a FREE listing tool,” a seller asked. “After almost 20 years of TL, it seems difficult to let it go because it is so easy to use.”

SixBit staff pointed out there is a less expensive version of its software made specially for current users of eBay’s Turbo Lister, and that it has been offering a 6-month free introductory promotion for Turbo Lister users.

One seller said that while eBay notified sellers it would do away with Turbo Lister, the final timing was troublesome. “We are in the middle of a Pandemic. A large group of sellers are entering Managed Payments in July,” they wrote, saying it was a very difficult time to be learning a new tool very different from one they had been using.

Another seller said, “As a casual seller, I can’t justify spending $14.99/mo for a program. Either just let me buy it outright or skim 1% off items that actually sell.”

You can find the full weekly chat session with seller questions and responses from eBay and SixBit on this thread on the eBay Community Boards. And let us know if you have ideas about what other changes are ahead for eBay sellers.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

4 thoughts on “Ditching Turbo Lister Is a Sign of eBay Changes Ahead”

  1. I used TL for one thing only and wonder if you can do this with 6Bit:
    1) Load a bunch of closed listings from one ebay account.
    2) Save them on your computer.
    3) Change TL to a different account.
    4) Load the saved listings from your computer.
    5) Upload the listings to the different account.
    This has allowed me to take advantage of many free listing promotions.

  2. I could live with the end of TL much better if ebay would keep unsold ended listings forever. BONANZA does; CRAIGS LIST does. Why can’t ebay. If unsold ended listings remained on the system, working through seller hub would be an acceptable alternative. And if a means of sorting via category was added, even better. Wonder how much ebay gets from the six bit fee for partenring with them. I will not use six bit or any other system that charges a fee.

  3. Surprised that eBay is publicly recommending an installed/desktop package (SixBit) to replace Turbolister instead of one of the many web-native solutions out there.

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