Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Apr 20 2015 11:28:59

What Tools Do Sellers Use to Manage eBay, Etsy, Amazon Listings?

By: Ina Steiner

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News that ChannelAdvisor will be ending support for MarketplaceAdvisor (formerly Marketworks) brought back a flood of memories and how much the industry has changed over the years.

In 2002, we published a report called Auction Management Solutions focusing on tools companies could use to automate selling on marketplaces and storefronts. At the time, auctions dominated the major platforms that were available to sellers of all sizes: eBay, Amazon Auctions, Yahoo Auctions, and uBid. Etsy was three years away from launching.

Ecommerce was still very new, and companies were discovering that it was difficult to drive traffic to their own websites, so they used marketplaces to boost their visibility and acquire customers. But selling on online marketplaces was complicated and time-consuming, so sellers turned to solutions to manage the process. 

Initially developers had to scrape eBay until it launched an API. Major tools for small sellers included Andale, AuctionHelper, Auctionworks (renamed Marketworks), ChannelAdvisor, and Zoovy. 

Now, most tools are hosted rather than desktop, and many support multiple marketplaces. One thing that hasn't changed is that sellers continue to have difficulty driving traffic to their websites. 

But, according to ChannelAdvisor, small sellers are now also having difficulty selling on eBay.

Typically when a vendor discontinues a service, there's lots of angst from sellers who have to migrate to a new system, but sellers aren't even discussing the demise of Marketworks online. 

We'd love to hear what tools you're using, how that's changed over time, and what features are important to you. You can also find "Inventory Management & Listing Tools" and "Storefronts Solutions & Shopping Carts" sections on our ratings charts where you can rate the tools and services you use.

Let us know what tool you couldn't live without when it comes to online selling, and what you think of this latest development. Does it signal trouble for small sellers on eBay? Are Amazon, Etsy, and other marketplaces providing a viable alternative?




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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Mon Apr 20 11:43:05 2015

Listing tools shouldn't be necessary on ETSY.
The items are supposed to be made by hand in small numbers(less than 200 or so) by the artist / "store" owner.
The vintage goods should never require listing tools, but should be composed of individual descriptions and prices.
Listing tools should only be needed by the Brand named websites.
People who bother themselves selling new items in a 3rd or 4th party capacity should stop the nonsense and get real world employment.
I absolutely don't want to purchase new goods from anyone other than the designated outlet.

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

Mon Apr 20 11:48:26 2015

Hello,

I am not a retailer but as an ecommerce expert I help retailers in listing their products on online channels.

I work for Lengow and so far we have integrated 1800 online channels on Lengow platform and we cover 35 different countries. The process of listing product on market places, CSE's, affiliate platforms and on retargeting channels are very simple and fast with Lengow.

Please contact me if you have any question.

Regards,

Kamal Chhetri
kamal@lengow.com

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by: dropnrun This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 20 11:49:17 2015

''Typically when a vendor discontinues a service, there's lots of angst from sellers who have to migrate to a new system, but sellers aren't even discussing the demise of Marketworks online.''

I am really surprised as well have not heard any news about it.  

Was anyone using them? Makes you wonder.

We had to write our own software after BT went away. Been hard but worth it.

Best luck to all

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Apr 20 12:13:14 2015

During my eight years on eBay, and since then on eCrater, I have never used a listing tool. I type out every listing because for every item I sell there is, and only ever will be, one in inventory.

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by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 20 12:30:44 2015

I have never , nor will I ever use listing tools. Maybe they are good if you want your add to look like everyone else.( same pic same ole) The personal touch does nicely on other venues , not including deadbay , where nothing helps. Literally , nothing helps.

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

Mon Apr 20 12:43:03 2015

I sell on Etsy and my own Zencart ecommerce shop. As primarily a supplies seller, it's important to me to have consistency between my listings and an easy way to post a batch of new items with color variations.

Unfortunately Etsy has no inventory control for their variations so that leaves me with one listing per color.

Generally I use Shopshaper.net for large batches of new listings. It's cheap, it's easy.

For shipping I'm a fan of Shipstation which pushes the tracking and status information back to Etsy and my Zencart store. Shipstation says they are working on an inventory management tool and I'm eagerly waiting for this.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Apr 20 13:30:28 2015

As glitch prone and clunky as it is we manage our eBay listings with eBay's Turbo Lister.

Sure, it breaks down about once a year necessitating downloading a new version.  I have found the frequency of this issue is lessened by simply not updating the program as eBay updates seem to be what breaks the program - go figure.

One of the features that is under utilized by sellers is the ability to contact eBay customer service by eMail through the application.

eMail inquiries are our preferred method of contact as we are able to iterate our issue clearly and concisely without the hassle of know nothing agents assuming they understand the problem.  Nothing gets lost in translation.

It seems as though eMail inquiries end up in the hands of people who actually seem to know what is going on and there is no waiting an eternity to be disconnected from eBay's Customer Disservice by phone.

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by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 20 13:37:15 2015

I don't known enough on these listing tools and never used them.

I do have 4 different shops with over 100 to 500 items in them.

My choice of inventory control are index cards in a shoe box. All the descriptions, packaging size and weight is listed on the cards. The cards are sorted into their shops.

My only problem with my inventory control is when the cat tip the box over and I had to resort my inventory into their proper shops. My cat knows not to do that again, but then there is the other 3 cats. LOL

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Apr 20 14:57:18 2015

Wingo at Channel Advisor is all about enterprise just as JD is.  Am I the only one not surprised by Channel Advisor's move?

Small sellers are having a hard time selling on eBay because eBay, for the most part, have made them invisible.

eCrater, eCrater, eCrater

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

Mon Apr 20 16:09:28 2015

@DinDong -

Consider investing in Hollerith cards & an IBM 029 keypunch (cheap nowdays)and a sorter. That way you can punch a sequence #in the cards so when the next cat does its thing, 2 seconds on the sorter is all you need to do. Besides, the cards look cool sticking out of your front shirt pocket. You'll get a lot of attention from the current gen-set (X,Y,Z etc).

Myself? I use a home written MS Access database & front-end to feed eBay's TurkeyLister (er, TurboLister) and other platforms which can suck in .CSV files.

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by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 20 17:17:16 2015

The title of this blog implies that fleaBay sellers have any real say in "controlling" their listings! Experienced sellers know that's basically nonsense.

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This user has validated their user name. by: askalice59

Mon Apr 20 18:14:33 2015

You guys are all over the place on this one. LOL DingDong, just don't be shipping them cat hairs. Bad for feedback.

The End-''I absolutely don't want to purchase new goods from anyone other than the designated outlet.'' SMH You really 'should' all over everything. Where does someone acquire such a world view?

As a former consignment store owner with over 5000 consignors, I can say that I would rather have dealt with a handful of crabby-ass consignors who had a higher sales volume because of better products than, thousands who took up my precious time and resources and did nothing but complain for very little action. The problem was, those small sellers were my buyers. Big sellers didn't buy and they didn't spend their consignment check in the store either.

Such a quandary for eBay. Remember the days of court injunctions and personal protection orders on the Power Seller board?  Love-hate you know?

The 3rd party listing tool companies are likely having the same issue. They all start out good until demand for their services outstrips their tech support abilities. Then everything goes haywire.



 

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Apr 20 18:41:05 2015

I won't use 3rd party tools because I knew exactly how they were going to screw their customers by pulling the rug out from under them.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 20 19:16:37 2015

.... geez

1) "But, according to ChannelAdvisor, small sellers are now also having difficulty selling on eBay."

DUH, EVERYTHING that sellers have to deal with selling on eBay is made tougher by them since they dont care.

BIG sellers upload via a feed, its only smaller sellers that need the help.

Those bigger sellers are the ones that dont fill in details or have good pics - its all automated and eBay looks the other way - due to listing fees.

2) "ChannelAdvisor will be ending support for MarketplaceAdvisor". ChannelAdvisor doesnt either see a bright future for eBay, as eBay management makes every possible wrong choice month after month, update after update. Only GOD in his heaven knows the horror in the NEXT "update" ... LMFAO "our lowest fees EVER!"

3) ChannelAdvisor is also "in it for the money". They arent running a charity either btw, aka they arent saints in any of this. Their "take" is preety big, as is their monthly fees. Id LOVE to get into Walmart, N&N and a few others that will ONLY use ChannelAdvisor's platform ...... (nothing to see here - no kickbacks going on, move along PLEASE". (Which is why im not on those platforms, as unlike JD - Im not made of money).

Good article ... needs more depth!

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 20 19:17:34 2015

N&N = Barnes & Nobel (sorry for the typo)

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Apr 21 07:06:25 2015

The End says "Listing tools should only be needed by the Brand named websites.
People who bother themselves selling new items in a 3rd or 4th party capacity should stop the nonsense and get real world employment."

Seriously?  LOL  Did you ever stop to think that many DO have real world jobs and they do this on the side to help support their families?  And I would love to hear your rationale on why only the big brands should use listing tools.

Most large businesses start out very small, so why crush the American dream.  Can you imagine if no one had purchased from the future Apple when they were manufacturing in Steve Jobs' parent's garage?

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by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 07:49:12 2015

I'm a SMALL but continuous seller for 19 years. I have avoided using ANY software apps offered by eBay. Shipping, logistics, bulk uploaders, etc, etc.etc. I sell vintage little things and do well without assistance. I have fewer than 600 items in shop at all times, and average sale price of $150, and hardly sold anything for the past 2 years. It recently took off again just like BEFORE Cassini (NO idea why, but AMEN). I would never lie down with eBay more than necessary :) Don't want its bugs.

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by: yesmikan This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 08:30:49 2015

The End: "I absolutely don't want to purchase new goods from anyone other than the designated outlet."

What an utterly crap opinion for a site that caters to people who resell on the internet. SMH

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by: Watching the Wheels This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 08:31:34 2015

I don't use any outside listing apps. Why should I? I believe that the given venue should do what they need to do to take care of their FREE INVENTORY SOURCES.

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by: corpuschristi1956 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 21 10:12:58 2015

What Tools Do Sellers Use to Manage eBay, Etsy, Amazon Listings?

Tequila with a beer chaser.

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