Small Business, Specific Needs

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United States United States
momof8
Kudos: 40
Joined: Jul 19, 2006
Small Business, Specific Needs
19 Jul 2006
Hi, I'm a former computer programmer with the capacity/proclivity to read manuals and implement software solutions. (In other words, I'm a computer geek that enjoys reading code and doesn't always need a WYSIWYG editor.) I have been using Turbo Lister for my auctions because I like to do my own HTML. We run 10-40 sales a month, unique and specialized items, and rarely repeat any items.

I'd considered upgrading to TL2, but the reviews are awful! However, I'm concerned that eBay will discontinue its support for TL, so I'm trying to find something that will work for me before I'm SOL...

The other issue is that my husband would like to become more involved in the business. He is NOT a computer person and really doesn't like to use one at all. So I would like a program that will let him log in, keep track of listings, figure out shipping needs, and perhaps create some simple listings at some point, without a bunch of weird code or obscure links to follow.

I like TL because it's a desktop solution, so the server being down doesn't affect me. I'll be going DSL soon. I host my own pictures now, but when we go DSL, that may change.

Our items typically sell in the $100-$500 range, with some selling for more, and not many selling for less.

I contact all my customers personally because of the nature of the items (many vintage musical instruments and electronics). I use PayPal. I don't (at this time) need automated emailing, feedback, or invoicing. I do wish I had a service that would integrate with DHL for shipping quotes!

With eight children , I don't see us expanding the business to more volume per month. It's hard enough to keep up as it is! I *can* see us getting into more specialized, higher dollar items.

Do you have any recommendations for us? Thanks much! This is a great website!
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,616
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: Small Business, Specific Needs
23 Jul 2006
Hi momof8 and welcome

It sounds like you mainly need an ad design and listing program - roughly equivalent to Turbo Lister - but with some basic auction management. It needs to be easy to use for your husband, and you would prefer a desktop program. As you are a Turbo Lister user already, I am guessing you have looked at eBay Blackthorne already... it's eBay's own desktop auction management program.

I think your requirements point you to SpoonFeeder, which is strong at the design and listing part. Or maybe AuctionSage, Auction Wizard 2000 or Shooting Star, which have more mature auction management features. Shooting Star is particularly well known for its ease of use.

MarketBlast has some powerful auction management features but has a steep learning curve so might not suit your husband.

Hope that helps!
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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United States United States
momof8
Kudos: 40
Joined: Jul 19, 2006
Re: Small Business, Specific Needs
24 Jul 2006
Thanks, Andy!

I had started leaning toward SpoonFeeder before your reply, so I believe I'll try that software. I looked for listings that included Spoonfeeder in the text, found several whose feedback was in the same range as mine and whose sales were similar to what I sell, and contacted them individually to see how they liked it. The response was all positive!

Again, great website!
Kim
United States United States
Seller1
Kudos: 385
Joined: Jun 2, 2006
Re: Small Business, Specific Needs
26 Jul 2006
I showed my family how to sell on eBay and they are in the exact same boat as you are. They just go straight through eBay to submit their listings, etc. I recommend staying with eBay to do that amount. It doesn't sound like you need to be giving percentages away to programs that have features you are not going to use.
United States United States
momof8
Kudos: 40
Joined: Jul 19, 2006
Re: Small Business, Specific Needs
26 Jul 2006
Does going through the eBay "Sell an Item" form allow them to retain the default settings that I've established: location, my html about sale terms, formatting?

Thanks again for your input.
Florida United States
blackstar
Kudos: 334
Joined: Jul 28, 2006
Re: Small Business, Specific Needs
28 Jul 2006
Personally, I had enjoyed working with MarketBlast, as previously mentioned.

There is quite a bit of a learning curve, but its the same with SpoonFeeder or any other program out there.

The learning curve really deals with any new GUI/Interface that all interact differently with what you want to do.

My main issue with Spoonfeeder is reliability and asthetics.

In essence, youre geting a glorified MS Access database to work with that needs to be debugged more times than it took me to make a listing. Maybe its just me.

The online, and free version, of Auctiva has been good to me, and I would definetely suggest this as a consideration as it makes it as simple as you can get, where there is no guess work since the templates are provided for you. Good luck

PM me if you have any questions.
United States United States
Seller1
Kudos: 385
Joined: Jun 2, 2006
Re: Small Business, Specific Needs
28 Jul 2006
You could just copy and paste the info! But, that would probably also take 5 minutes longer. I hate to recommend Channel, but maybe they can give you a deal for just selling a few items a month. Most of the auction software management programs are more geared towards higher volume sellers. How about eBay's Turbo Lister? My parents do a little more volume than you and still go straight through eBay.
United States United States
momof8
Kudos: 40
Joined: Jul 19, 2006
Re: Small Business, Specific Needs
28 Jul 2006
I do use TurboLister now (reference my first post), but eBay will not support it much longer and the board are full of nothing but complaints about TL2.

I won't use the eBay "Sell your item" form because it requires tedious paging through each page and doesn't allow me to store my auction setups.

I keep copies of all my listings for use when I sell similar items. So I appreciate being able to store them in different folders.

My concern is not for me, it's for my husband.
United States United States
Michael6
Kudos: 130
Joined: Jul 23, 2004
Re: Small Business, Specific Needs
30 Jul 2006
Hi all:
I don't always read this forum, so maybe this post is to late but I wanted to get this info out anyways. I never see Mpire talked about here. I have a full time trading assistant (consignments) and business liquidation operation here in Kansas City. I have been using another program for about a year and a half and have also tested 10 - 12 other auction management systems. After reviewing the MPIRE system I lept in with both feet and now I have been a user of MPIRE's 'Builder' version for about six months. It's great, very easy learning curve so even a novice can be up and running in a flash. They have have a paid and free version and a Trial period. With the paid version you get everything automated ( email autoresponders, paypal info, shipping, feedback, etc.) with additional features like: product sourcing (this is worth the thirty dollars a month all by its self), research (via Terapeak) scheduling, photo management and storage and the ability to access everything from any where that has an internet connection. It is a little slow from time to time and I have found some thins that are "broke" but those issues seem to get corrected pretty fast and to be truthful I wish that some of the tasks worked differently but that's my way od doing business and who's to say which way is best. All in all I really do believe this "sleeper" has it all together. Try it at mpire.com. I think there is a special price deal on it right now.

Michael Barry
EZ Auction Help, Inc.
eBay user ID: ezauctionhelp

-- Moderator edited: duplicate post removed --

[Last edited by moderator: — 31 Jul 2006]
United States United States
momof8
Kudos: 40
Joined: Jul 19, 2006
Re: Small Business, Specific Needs
30 Jul 2006
Thank you, Michael. Thank you, Michael! (Okay, so I've had my fun and I won't go on....

Nice Roseville candlesticks, BTW! I'll have to check Mpire out. Do the borders you use in your listings come as a courtesy of the software, or do you specify them? In a couple of the listings I looked at, the borders were wider than my screen, forcing me to scroll back and forth to see all the listing.

Thanks for your response, as well. I appreciate the heads-up re. the special pricing currently...
Kim
United States United States
Michael6
Kudos: 130
Joined: Jul 23, 2004
Re: Small Business, Specific Needs
30 Jul 2006
Sorry about that! Sorry about that! I thought I was going to preview it, I now know better.

No about the borders I built my own listing templates so they would match up with the look of my website. I built a bunch of different ones ( so I could display 1 large photo at the top (above the item description) or 2 side by side on top or I can have photos run down beside the description. That's one of the things that drew me to Mpire was that I could do just about anything I wanted design wise. They have several stock templates that you can save with another name and modify those any way you want..

I'll have to check out the sizing issue where you had to scroll. Can you remember which listing you looked at? I thought I had set up the listings to automaticly resize to fit the frame.

Michael
Supplier
United States United States
Hosted Support
Kudos: 20
Joined: Oct 3, 2005
Re: Small Business, Specific Needs
31 Jul 2006
Dear Momof8,

You might want to investigate a new product called ezLister (www.EZLister.net)

Kind Regards,

HostedSupport

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