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Sat July 5 2008 16:31:18

Tools for Online Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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In Sunday's newsletter, AuctionBytes is running an article about some of the services for online sellers spotted at the recent eBay conference. If you have favorite tools you use to help run your ecommerce business, we'd love to hear about them. From shipping to product sourcing, from inventory management to accounting tools, from email management to marketing - let us know about tools that save you time and make you money!




Comments (23) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Tools for Online Sellers   Tools for Online Sellers

by: Julia

Sat Jul 5 17:38:33 2008

TOOLS?
Did you say tools?

The only tools I've been reading about lately, AREN'T "helping", they've only messed things up, ROYALLY!

Tools for Online Sellers   Tools for Online Sellers

by: Keith

Sat Jul 5 19:27:26 2008

Well almost embarrassed to say I still sell on eBay.  I do/have use(d) their Turbo lister 2 for building my auctions and listing them.  As of late most likely due to all of their wonderful changes it seems TL is more of a hassle than it's worth.  Auctions already built and new ones being built are failing to list when uploaded.  Reasons do not make sense and having to do "live chat" with eBay is a real pain for me as I type with 2 fingers.  So not much help and not much listed.  Trying to find a person to help me build my own website and start listing there.  EBay is a mess  and it seems that it's getting worse each day.  EBay speaks with forked tongue!

Tools for Online Sellers   Tools for Online Sellers

by: RE NEW TOOLS

Sat Jul 5 20:09:17 2008

the biggest new tool that ebay has introduced is not working out.



hoping there's a way to replace or fix JD soon

Tools for Online Sellers   Tools for Online Sellers

by: Gary

Sat Jul 5 21:59:29 2008

I'm using Endicia to ship mostly website and Amazon orders. Endicia rocks!

Tools for Online Sellers   Tools for Online Sellers

by: Gary Overton

Sat Jul 5 22:00:49 2008

I have been selling online for over 8 years full-time and the only "tool" I have found to be consistently beneficial is Endicia
The rest, I have found do more harm than good.

Tools for Online Sellers   Tools for Online Sellers

by: Jim S

Sun Jul 6 08:05:47 2008

I still use TL2, SMPro, File Management Center downloads and PayPal shipping 'cause they're all free (I have ebay store), and they still work OK for me.

Tools for Online Sellers   Tools for Online Sellers

by: angryjim

Sun Jul 6 12:59:09 2008

re: ''let us know about tools that save you time and make you money''

The most useful and valuable tool would simply be a decision to no longer sell on eBay.  Saves time (you are no longer wasting it); and  saves money (you are no longer losing it.)

Tools for Online Sellers   Tools for Online Sellers

by: mette

Sun Jul 6 14:12:35 2008

TOOLS? Get cash back at eBay!

www.cashbackatebay.com

Tools for Online Sellers   Tools for Online Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Sun Jul 6 15:20:23 2008

I'm looking for tools and services for online selling, wherever that may be!

Tools for Online Sellers   Tools for Online Sellers

by: Steve Mills

Sun Jul 6 17:56:19 2008

I can tell you a lot more about failed products - e.g. Shooting Star, Marketblast, Sold! etc. than what works for auction management, but I've been very impressed with Listomax for a rather complete listing product (Desktop). It does lack auto relisting which is a major hole in its feature set.

With the apparent abandoment of Shooting Star, my search for a post listing / management system is getting DESPERATE.

steve

Tools for Online Sellers   Tools for Online Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sun Jul 6 19:29:11 2008

Third party insurance. Domestically less expensive than USPS or UPS in most cases:

dsiinsurance.com
u-pic.com

Endicia uses u-pic. Arrogant and often unresponsive customer service, however.

DSI is slightly more difficult to use, costs the same, and has better customer service.

Tools for Online Sellers   Tools for Online Sellers

by: unaware

Sun Jul 6 19:33:04 2008

I have been a full time seller since 2001 and a Powerseller for most of that time and I have a eBay store as well. I use AUCTION WIZARD 2000 for managing my auctions and inventory and I have been very happy with it. It has a very reasonable price (I think it currently has a flat fee of $75.00 per year I believe), tons of features and they are timely with updates and have probably the best support (via e-mail) that I have ever had with a purchased product. It is downloaded software (so it operates on your own computer). I have used it for about 5 years and I am still amazed by the features that I am still discovering in it. Very powerful for the price (or any price for that matter).... I even use the built in ledger for all of my accounting and it has quite powerful reports features for end of year taxes and so forth. I don't work for them... but I love the product. I highly recommend it.

Tools for Online Sellers   Tools for Online Sellers

by: unaware

Sun Jul 6 19:43:22 2008

I just checked the AUCTION WIZARD 2000 web site and they now charge $100.00 a year.... still a bargain as far as I am concerned. They take no percentage of your sales or other such nonsense. And they are NOT owned by eBay (a BIG plus in my book!)

Tools for Online Sellers   Tools for Online Sellers

by: GazLanNaThai

Mon Jul 7 09:10:06 2008

I began selling online in 1994 - yup, before there was an eBay.

In all that time I've tried many tools and website creation software, hosted services etc, etc

Now, almost exactly a year after first trying them, I believe there are only 2 tools any online seller needs ....

osCommerce to build the ecommerce side of things, and Wordpress to promote the business and site.

Putting the two of them into one website and domain name will have your sales and traffic rocketing in no time.  The learning curve is steep for osCommerce, but well worth doing.

I now have 3 osC/WP powered commerce sites rolling with another 5 I am building - on top of being an eBay PowerSeller (5 1/2 years with them and coming closer to a full exit every day).

How did I find the time to do it all?  Easy, I got banned from using the eBay forums for cross linking the posts of a certain staff member and proving he had lied through his back teeth, both on eBay and on the BBC.  I wasn't his last victim either - I know dozens of PS's banned by him for being critical of what he posts.

eBay was a good place for cutting teeth in a global online marketplace, but it is no longer global, it is fragmented and crumbling.  

It's now time to move on unless they roll the clocks, and the policies, back to Q4-05/Q1-06, which is when eBay peaked as a marketplace and as a public company - it's been all downhill since them, and they are no longer the tool of choice for budding online entrepreneurs.

In national economics, 3 consecutive quarters of negative growth is a recession.

On eBay, despite the spin, and lies to the SEC, every independent public record shows them having 9 consecutive quarters of traffic decline since Q1-06.  

Even eBay admits, the average logged in time per user visit has dropped from a couple of hours to under 10 minutes over the last 2 1/2 years.

Is any further evidence needed?  Why are they not heeding the warning in that statistic?  It is because eBay formulates policy using flawed tools, and that makes the entire organisation itself now a flawed tool for sellers.

As eBay has never paid a share dividend, and the price is a third of what it was, why are the stockholders not demanding heads on platters?

Did Enron put the 'e' in eBay?

Seems that way to me.

Gaz

Tools for Online Sellers   Tools for Online Sellers

by: Lisa in Utah

Mon Jul 7 13:40:33 2008

Ina,
Since you are looking for tools rather than complaints, I will share my favorite: AUCTIVA.

It is free and they offer all sorts of goodies, like automatic relisting and inventory management.

I am not affiliated with Auctiva in any way, but I have used them for a couple years now.

They will post your auctions automatically to eBay, if desired.

If you list elsewhere, a simple cut and paste of the html code will let you list  your items anywhere else using their free templates and designs.  

I think everyone should try it out!

~Lisa
still boycotting eBay

Tools for Online Sellers   Tools for Online Sellers

by: Stacy

Mon Jul 7 14:05:11 2008

I like PayPal's Multi-Order Shipping (doesn't work for me in Firefox 3 though).  It has streamlined shipping for me a great deal.

I also like certain aspects of Auctiva, including their free photo hosting, free auction launch scheduling and scrolling gallery.  I also use them on an as-needed basis for third party insurance rather than USPS (mostly for shipments outside the US via First Class International, where USPS does not offer insurance).  I believe their third party insurance provider contract is with U-Pic.

I don't care for their ''click to enlarge'' photo capability, their checkout, and their templates, but the beauty of Auctiva is you can pick and choose which aspects of it you want to use, which makes it very flexible.  And its free.  And, unlike Turbo Lister, the data resides on their server, not on a PC, so I can list from any computer (including my Mac) anywhere.  The downside of that is when they are down, I cannot list :(

I also like playing with the eBay Research Labs BayEstimator tool at http://labs.ebay.com/raghavgupta/demoto/to?  It gives me interesting insight into what people search for and how they do it.  Since I have been searching on ebay myself for 8+ years, its hard to remember that many buyers are still newbies and search differently than seasoned ebay veterans might.

I also found ViewTracker from Sellathon helpful in learning what people search on.  The information received was more detailed than what ebay provides in its basic level store traffic reports.

Finally, I receive about 20% of my store hits from Google because I upload my store information to Google Base.  I used to use the Google Base Store Connector software to do this, but it hasn't worked well for me in the past few weeks so I have gone back to uploading a file manually, and even wrote a guide as instructions to others who might want to try this method at http://reviews.ebay.com/Uploading-eBay-store-items-to-Google-Base-for-
Mac-users_W0QQugidZ10000000007217287

Tools for Online Sellers   Tools for Online Sellers

by: Hank

Mon Jul 7 17:39:43 2008

The biggest "tool" on Ebay is Donohue.

'Nuff said.

Tools for Online Sellers   Tools for Online Sellers

by: MERMAIDMONKEY

Tue Jul 8 10:50:52 2008

Free typo tool: Win amazing deals when sellers have a typo in their eBay
auctions. Just enter words or short phrases correctly and this tool serves
up auctions with typos. Try it now! Buy low and sell high to make money
on eBay:



http://www.mermaidmonkey.com/FREESECRET.html

Tools for Online Sellers   Tools for Online Sellers

by: MERMAIDMONKEY

Tue Jul 8 10:54:45 2008

Do you know what you're paying in eBay fees?  Try this free eBay Listing Fee Calculator. This cool tool will help you understand what it costs for each listing.

http://www.mermaidmonkey.com/FREE6FEECalculator

Or just go to www.mermaidmonkey.com and click on seller tools to see it all.

Tools for Online Sellers   Tools for Online Sellers

by: o.c.d.collectibles

Tue Jul 8 19:50:49 2008

Oh I couldn't wait to add a comment to this blog, in particular!

My new favorite tool is the interface designed, for the seller in mind, that was given to me as a gift last week from MY EBAY BETA forced testing staff!

I am now the proud owner of a poorly designed, space wasting, inefficient, computer clogging,"MY EBAY BETA".

It would have been nice to know I was going to be chosen for this gift, but Ebay must have wanted to give me a surprise gift to make me happiest!

They forgot to mention that there were no returns, and no going back to the original MY EBAY page.Nor did they remember to mention to me that Renee V./Ceril would return to the feedback thread only once a week to take note of the problems, (but do nothing to change them at all!)and say hello to all of my gulag comrades!!

Yes, we are locked up, and unable to list...and the poor cheerleader in the thread tries so hard to help people who she knows are only getting canned and inappropriate responses from ebay staff..

It's really a shame, when the elderly can't figure out what happened to the font or the lack of color contrast that suddenly changed for the worst, or why the item said it was paid for by paypal yesterday, only to find out that it wasn't paid for at all.. until after the items were shipped...

But I feel like I'm one of the lucky ones who could choose not to list during this ridiculous waste of time and energy called BETA MY EBAY...and I could take break from listing..an extended one since I stopped selling in February after I got the wonderful greeting card from John...

Anyway I just wanted to share with everyone how impressed I am with the biggest gifted tool given to sellers that has happened since the feedback balance was so nicely tilted sideways, and the fees were decreased to a higher amount!

I hope there aren't any more force-fed test takers that have to accept these wonderful free tools bestowed on them without notifying them first! It's awful nice to be prepared!

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