Managing Your eBay Business with Online Resources and Software - dummies

Managing Your eBay Business with Online Resources and Software

By Marsha Collier

Using a site or software to run your eBay auctions makes your selling more efficient, which improves your profits. Some software and services that you can use in your eBay business work on a monthly fee, whereas others work on a one-time purchasing fee. For an application to truly benefit you, it must have the reputation for updating its software each time eBay makes a change in its system.

Most services have a free trial period. Be sure that you don’t spend a bunch of your precious time inputting your entire inventory, only to discover you don’t like the way the service works. Instead, input a few items to give the service a whirl.

Online management tools

  • Auctiva: This entry-level choice offers some very good free tools that you can try to get an idea of whether you want to use their service.

    Auctiva offers online item-listing software and image hosting for eBay sellers. The easy-to-use site guides you through the process: creating auction listings, posting them on eBay, communicating with buyers, collecting payments, organizing shipments, keeping records of sales, marketing your listings, and much more.

    Their basic plan, at $2.95, gives you 15 listings a month from their site. It features 500MB Image Hosting, a Scrolling Gallery on your eBay listings, and an efficient, one-page listing form with design templates.

  • Vendio: This platform lets you manage items, orders, buyer communications, and your very own store all through one integrated Platform.

  • eBay’s Selling Manager: eBay replaced the All Selling tab of your My eBay page with Selling Manager, which displays a summary of your current transactions. Many sellers (even some PowerSellers) rely on Selling Manager to handle their eBay management chores.

    There is no fee for using Selling Manager. It also offers a Pro version that incorporates inventory management and more for $15.99 a month (free to Premium Store subscribers). Many sellers love the Pro version.

Software packages

You can accomplish almost all the same tasks on your own computer as you can with online services, except online auction checkout. You can always use eBay’s checkout as your final stop or include a link in your end-of-auction e-mails. And if you want, you can set up a checkout page on your own website that gathers your auction information. Check out these options:

  • Auction Wizard 2000: Way back in 1999, Standing Wave Software developed a product that would handle large inventories and meet the needs of the growing eBay population. In 2000, the company introduced a more robust version, Auction Wizard 2000, to meet the challenges presented by changes on eBay, such as tracking consignment sales, and importing and uploading images.

  • Blackthorne Basic and Pro: eBay’s Blackthorne Basic is a solid listing program, offering a variety of templates. Blackthorne puts your standard shipping information and auction messages into your auctions automatically so you don’t have to retype them every time. You can customize your e-mail correspondence, and Blackthorne will generate the appropriate e-mail messages after retrieving your completed auction information from the site. The program is available as a monthly subscription fee charged to your regular eBay bill.

  • Turbo Lister: Using Turbo Lister is as simple and straightforward as posting a listing using the Sell Your Item page on the eBay site. One of the benefits of Turbo Lister is that it allows you to prepare auctions while offline and group them for launching all at once to eBay. You can also keep listings in the program for relisting in the future.

    Using the program is a two-step process. First, you download the TurboLister from eBay. Next, you install Turbo Lister on your computer. What could be simpler?