|Wed June 4 2014 19:07:35|
eBay Sellers Learn, Don't Take Free Resources for Granted
By: Ina Steiner
eBay sellers who are fans of Toolhaus.org, a free tool that helps evaluate both buyers and sellers by analyzing eBay feedback, were relieved to see the site come back online after a brief outage. After the site went offline, some sellers speculated that eBay had pressured Toolhaus or that it was related to eBay's recent security breach. Toolhaus founder Win Bent was clear that neither was the case. The website was down due to a combination of financial and web-hosting challenges the site faced.
Last week, Bent told EcommerceBytes that he wasn't sure if he would be able to bring Toolhaus back online, but thanks to an outpouring of support from donors, the financial contributions will allow him to operate the site for another year. "I've never been in this for the income, but I do need to cover the basic costs." he said. "There are technical requirements for running Toolhaus, and I'm learning that those are hard to find when you're on a shoestring budget."
Other free online seller tools, such as AuctionSubmit and Invenna (listing tools), Medved's Auction Counts, and others haven't fared as well over the years. Online selling has always been fertile ground for programmers, many of whom created tools for their own use, then shared them with the general public. But, tools offered for free have real costs, from web-hosting to programming and other maintenance costs. Some free resources offer a donate button, like Toolhaus, and others are ad supported.
So which free tools do you use and which tools have you used in the past that are no longer available? How do you show support (donations, clicking on ads, etc.) for free resources that help you sell? Toolhaus is a reminder to sellers to support free or low-cost resources or face living in a world without them.