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Wed June 13 2012 13:10:57

eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?

By: Julia Wilkinson

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[Update 6/16/12: Please see eBay's reaction to this post here:.] 

News leaked out of eBay on Location Denver that eBay is replacing its existing selling tools Selling Manager/Selling Manager Pro, Turbo Lister, and Blackthorne with a new suite of tools, which will reportedly be built into the X.commerce system.

Wrote seller Sally Milo in her newsletter, "Last week I attended eBay on Location in Denver and got some news from an eBay staffer which will be of interest to many more eBay sellers than just us: eBay will be replacing Blackthorne, Turbo Lister and Selling Manager with a new suite of tools. The switch probably won't take place for a couple years, but I figured I'd better share this info with you sooner rather than later. Of course, eBay hasn't even hinted at such a thing, but the employee who told me about this is someone I've known on eBay for years and who knows I've been the 'Blackthorne lady' since its inception."

(Selling Manager and Selling Manager Pro, Turbo Lister, and Blackthorne Basic and Pro are tools which enable sellers to do various listing management tasks; including listing with templates, generating bulk feedback, bulk listing and editing, and tracking sales).

I'm not surprised to hear of the change, since change is constant at eBay, but my kneejerk reaction is I hope they don't fix what isn't broken, and add features sellers want. And I hope they give sellers a nice, long transition period with lots of warning so they have time to make the changes they'll need.

eBay closed the eBay Open Apps API (which is built on top of Selling Manager) to new developers earlier this year, so it isn't a big surprise that eBay is moving away from Selling Manager, according to EcommerceBytes' Ina Steiner.

Sources have told Ina that eBay's acquisition of Magento had a profound impact on how management thinks about the eBay API and developers program. (See her article about last fall's Developer Conference). eBay is moving the eBay API to X.commerce, and the new listing tools will be built into the X.commerce fabric, which is a couple of years away from being fully realized.

Some developers are unsure what will happen to the applications eBay has allowed third party developers to build as part of the Open Apps platform - many don't believe eBay would simply remove the applications tab, others are more cynical. One source guessed it would be March of next year at the earliest before eBay would make any official announcement about its plans to do away with its current listing tools.

So, what would you tell eBay to be sure to include in their new suite of listing tools? And what would you most like to see in an eBay listing tool? Get it off your chest now and post a comment here!




Comments (16) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?   eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?

by: DrStrangegoods This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 13 14:31:46 2012

I currently use Blackthorne Pro, and previously Seller's Assistant Pro. After years of buggy operation it has finally been stable for the last year or two. I absolutely guarantee a ''fix what isn't broken'' moment coming. Hang on while I bang my head on the table for a bit here....

eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?   eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Wed Jun 13 14:50:05 2012

First thought: ''How much is this gonna cost me?''

Second thought: ''Oh, never mind. I really don't care anyway. ~~ If all goes as I have planned, by the time eBay has everything in place, my gradual transition to Amazon will be completed.''

eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?   eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Jun 13 16:11:18 2012

I use Turbo Lister.

Improvements would be:

  Updates that do not stop me from completing tasks while back ups and updates take place.

  Allow for archiving of old listings so that Turbo Lister loads faster and functions more quickly.

  Allow for seamless integration with existing Turbo Lister listings.


What I do not want (but fully expect) is a tool that is changed with no significant improvements... i.e. cosmetic changes but no improved performance or functionality.

I expect to be told that it will pick up existing listings both live and from existing Turbo Lister files and fully expect that there will be serious issues which will require massive amounts of time to correct before the new tool will work.

I expect to be told the new tool will be better but I know that when it is rolled out there will be many glitches and Customer Service will be typically inept when it comes to resolving those glitches because the tool is new.

I fully expect a poorly tested product to be forced on sellers with no overlapping time period while those glitches are resolved.

I anticipate being frustrated, aggravated and underwhelmed by the new tool that is supposed to make my work easier but turns out to be nothing more than one problem after another.

eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?   eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?

by: mickeyfinn This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 14 03:25:14 2012

What Ric said....

but I would dearly love to be proved wrong.

eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?   eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Thu Jun 14 08:28:33 2012

How many years has Turbo Lister been broken?

Did they ever come out with a version for Mac?

How long does it all take?

Why?  

eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?   eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?

This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
Web Site

Thu Jun 14 10:27:17 2012

I use Turbo Lister and it is a tool that still need to improve a lot in performance.  

eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?   eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?

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

Thu Jun 14 15:13:33 2012

Here's a novel idea, ebay:

MAKE IT WORK RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX!

I've never used Blackthorne, but ebafia's other listing platforms are a mess with TurboLister being the absolute worst offender in my experience.

I'd like to see free scheduling. Ebafia wants free shipping. Well, I want free scheduling.


eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?   eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Thu Jun 14 16:41:29 2012

-- ''Well, I want free scheduling.''

Coming soon! An eBay poll with the following questions:

Which would you rather have:

a) A small fee for scheduled listings.
b) A poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

Later... followed by a big announcement that goes something like: ''You spoke, we listened. Sellers have indicated in overwhelming numbers that they really don't mind paying fees for scheduled listings. Good news! We've decided to increase the fee for scheduled listings to our LOWEST FEE EVER!!''

eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?   eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?

by: Dazzle This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 15 01:45:25 2012

a new CEO - one with a brain

eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?   eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?

by: Lois payne This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 15 05:40:00 2012

I would like to see the Selling tools that also available for MAC's.    

eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?   eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Fri Jun 15 07:00:29 2012

Until you get TurboLister fixed, take away Donuthole's smartphone.

That's right! You're the Boss.

Donuthole is supposed to be getting things done. People can't fix the program, you don't promote them, you don't give them a farewell party

YOU FIRE THEM!

So Donuthole, you get this chunk of wood with stickers on it. This is your new smartphone.

When you want to check your email, you can't - just like problems with the clunky TurboLister.

John, want to search the Web and read the latest The Family Circus strip? You can't. That's like owning an Apple computer and being left standing in the rain.

What happened to ''The Buck stops here?''

eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?   eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?

by: Ed This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 15 10:45:30 2012

It would be great if the new listing tool could adjust the shipping cost to cover USPS, FedEx, UPS and LTL Freight carriers and adjust shipping cost for all 8 shipping zones, additional ebay and PayPal fees, Insurance, home delivery and gasoline surcharges and also figure in Flat rate boxes and handling charges so every seller would be on the same page so the buyers would see that shipping is not very reasonable. This could fix the problem with Shipping cost on the DSR Feed back.

This sure would make my day if it's possible. Other wise scrap the DSR feed back for shipping cost.

eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?   eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Fri Jun 15 17:14:06 2012

I hope they're keeping the csv file upload feature or something similar. I'm currently using TurboLister, but am also writing some code to generate my own listing files from data in my inventory database. Simple and easy and I can integrate it with my custom selling management application and not be forced to use whatever clunky interface they come up with. I'd hate to think all that effort is going to waste.

eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?   eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 16 04:41:08 2012

A Ho Remover.

eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?   eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Sat Jun 16 09:28:52 2012

Change TurboLister so that the fees are calculated WITH promotions etc BEFORE committing the listing!

What stoopid programmers/management haven't done with TurboLister.

Oh yeah! Do all of your calculations on the host (PC) side before moving the data down to the server. The KBS rate keeps slowing down - it used to be around 70 and now, on a good day it is 30-35KBS. It takes at least 2 seconds (x2 calculate fee & upload) or so to get 1 item listed! If you do 100, you are twiddling your thumbs.

And, if eBay decides there is an error in your listing (bad category for instance), it just stops & you have to do the whole submission (the whole batch) over again.

Great programming technique folks - who does TurboLister - the summer interns?

eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?   eBay's New Selling Tools: What Would You Like to See?

by: elancep This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Jul 23 13:56:26 2012

They should've announced this right away TurboLister is in terrible need of a replacement. I've often wondered "Is there a way to upload without getting 10,000 errors?"



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