Essential Features of Third Party eBay Auction-Management Services - dummies

Essential Features of Third Party eBay Auction-Management Services

By Marsha Collier

You may decide that there is a time for using a third party auction-management service for your eBay sales. Here are some must-have features to look for when you evaluate the offerings of auction-management services and products:

  • Image hosting: Some hosts dazzle you with gigabytes of image storage. Keep one thing in mind: eBay requires images now to be at least 500 pixels on one side; this means your images will hover around 1MB in size. This means you could store approximately 1,000 pictures in a 1GB storage space Unless you’re a big-time seller, you really don’t need tons of storage space.

    Your eBay images should be archived on your computer (how about in a folder called eBay Images?). Images for current listings should be on the hosted site — only while the transaction is in progress. After the buyer has the item and all is well, you can remove the images from the remote server.

    If you have your own website, there’s a good chance you already have free image-hosting space.

  • Listing design tools: The basis of most of these products is a good listing function. You’ll be able to select from supplied templates or design your own and store them for future use. Be sure to use a spell checker. There’s nothing worse than sloppy spelling in a listing.

  • Listing uploading tools: Most products have a feature that launches a group of listings to eBay all at once. They may also allow you to schedule auctions to get underway at a prescribed time.

    You can also expect to be able to put together your listings at your leisure offline and upload them to your service. Most products archive your past listings so that you can relist at any time. Many services also offer bulk relisting.

  • E-mail management: You may be provided with sample e-mail letters (templates) that you can customize with your own look and feel. That’s a nice touch, or you can just use an e-mail templates.

  • Feedback automation: Post feedback in bulk to a number of your buyers, or leave pre-designed feedback for each, one by one. Some products support automatic positive feedback that kicks in when a buyer leaves you positive feedback.

  • Sales reports: Some services (even the least expensive) offer you some sort of sales analysis. Be sure to take into account how much you really need this feature, basing your estimate on data that you may already receive from QuickBooks, PayPal, eBay Stores, or SquareTrade.