Desktop Recommendations Sought

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United States United States
dancer
Kudos: 25
Joined: Sep 15, 2006
Desktop Recommendations Sought
15 Sep 2006
I am Timbercreek/Sold! refugee.

I have been spending a lot of time trying to find a replacement for this excellent (but not quite perfect) now defunct application.

I have read a large number of the postings in this forum, and have spent a lot of time reading this site’s descriptions with the user reviews. I think I have been to all of the management sites. God, they don’t know how to plainly list their features.

I am having a hard time finding a management program that meets my needs.

I will be grateful for any suggestions that meet most or ideally all of my below listed needs.

Thank you in advance.

In no particular order of importance, some of the key tools that we are looking for:

A desktop application not an online one.

Able to post listings automatically.

Supports both multiple eBay user Id’s and multiple eBay stores.

Uses PayPal’s Instant Payment Notification (IPN) to import payment info directly into the software matching up when possible to the correct auction.

Leave feedback in bulk or automatically for buyers after they have left positive feedback (bulk identifies those who have) for us.

Inventory management that correctly adjusts inventory numbers for auction listings for the same inventory item but with different titles and/or categories. Correctly adjusts for auctions listings that contain more than one of an item (both dutch listings, and auctions that are for more than one of an item, a lot listing).

Able to export to a file the shipping information so that UPS’s Worldship software can import for the automation of shipping labels. Separate fields for weight, invoice #, name, company, street, city, state, and zip.

Able to combine multiple auction wins from the same bidder.

[Last edited: 15 Sep 2006]
Florida United States
blackstar
Kudos: 334
Joined: Jul 28, 2006
Re: Desktop Recommendations Sought
16 Sep 2006
MarketBlast
Where all the SOLD! users are migrating.
Cheers
United States United States
dancer
Kudos: 25
Joined: Sep 15, 2006
Re: Desktop Recommendations Sought
17 Sep 2006
Thanks Blackstar.

Unfortunately, MarketBlast does not have an integrated multi eBay user Id capability. Their current solution for this is to have us install their program in separate folders to use more than one ID. We are currently using 3 Id’s and use as many as 5. Also, they want an additional fee for each install. I think it was $49.00.

Do they pull in PayPal payments using PayPal’s IPN, and match the payment when possible?
Florida United States
blackstar
Kudos: 334
Joined: Jul 28, 2006
Re: Desktop Recommendations Sought
20 Sep 2006
hello there...
unfortunately, as far as a desktop solution that is CLOSEST to being like SOLD is MarketBlast...
they do use the Paypal IPN feature, but just like ANY other solution, web/desktop based systems, do not reconcile already paid transactions through paypal. From what I understand on how the API system works, it only feeds current transactions, not those that are stored/before the point the ipn is configured.

With web-based systems, you truly have the pick of the litter on multi-user support, and would suggest to give Mpire builder (launcher only supports one) a whirl just in case as, from what you described, truly does everything youve suggested...

Considering the speed in which SOLD worked at, you should actually see an INCREASE in productivity versus a dip using a web-based application.

Otherwise, AW2000 would be the last option to suggest.
A desktop solution that is buggy, and ugly..but can get the job done...
www.auctionwizard2000.com/

Cheers
United States United States
dancer
Kudos: 25
Joined: Sep 15, 2006
Re: Desktop Recommendations Sought
22 Sep 2006
Blackstar, I really appreciate your taking the time to respond. Thank you so much.

I didn’t do a very good job explaining what I was looking for with the PayPal IPN. Based on what you have described, it sounds like MarketBlast will do what I am looking for with this feature, i.e. pull in current payments and match/link them to the correct auctions when possible.

I will take another look at both Marketbast and Mpire Builder.

I currently have a dial up connection to the internet. DSL is not available in my location, and probably never will be. Cable is available.

I fear that any web based management application will be way too slow unless I upgrade to broadband cable.

I welcome comments about speed acceptability from anyone using web-based auction management applications with a dial up connection. I currently list about 160 to 200 auctions per week with around 70 to 80 sales per week.

[Last edited: 22 Sep 2006]
Texas United States
farmerswife
Kudos: 188
Joined: Sep 28, 2006
Re: Desktop Recommendations Sought
2 Oct 2006
[color=Green]I, too, only have dial up and my only semblance of a high speed option is satellite service but it's too expensive to consider at this point. Besides, I really like the desktop applications better.

My concern about MarketBlast is that it only supports eBay. From just reading their website it appears very similar to eBay's Blackthorne software (formerly Sales Assistant) except that MarketBlast is a one-time purchase instead of the monthly fee.

I really want a desktop option that is truly comprehensive -- from templates to post sales reporting, supports more than just eBay, and multiple user ids would be a plus. Is that even a possibility or should I just go back to sleep and keep dreaming?

Thanks! [/color]
Florida United States
blackstar
Kudos: 334
Joined: Jul 28, 2006
Re: Desktop Recommendations Sought
2 Oct 2006
unfortunately from my findings, i really cant suggest something with confidence on a desktop level other than MarketBlast...

i fear referring you to liberty4, especially since there is such a high cost upfront and the monthly is still on the expensive side..

recently, i have entertained the eSellerPro solution, and the software is pretty nice, and has support for amazon as well...

again, the initial price and monthly fees is what deters me from considering this a recommended source unless you are doing the volume to support that...

with the figures that i have come up with, in order to afford a system of that nature, one would have to be billing approximately 7k a month in gross sales with a net margin of profit between 20-25% to justify costs with consideration of a variety of factors.

the market place is pretty scarce currently with a good desktop solution, and probably will remain so until costs go down on the calls to ebays' api as i believe it is a deterent for some developers to create such a project considering the upfront capital needed just to create such a program.

either way, good luck and please post here any findings you may run across as i would be equally as interested.

cheers
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,664
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: Desktop Recommendations Sought
3 Oct 2006
The eBay API has actually been free since November 2005, which is why many desktop developers have been converting to it, e.g. AuctionSage, AuctionTamer, Auction Wizard 2000, Shooting Star - in other words, all of the best regarded software that formerly used page scraping.

In theory, using the API will mean faster and more reliable software and free up developers to concentrate on improving their products instead of creating urgent fixes in response to eBay HTML changes.
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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Florida United States
blackstar
Kudos: 334
Joined: Jul 28, 2006
Re: Desktop Recommendations Sought
3 Oct 2006
thank you for the correction...i thought that the release of the ebay api meant that it was "free" to the general public without having to pay any fees in joining/gaining access, but still tacked on an 8 cent charge per call.
am i wrong with that information?
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,664
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: Desktop Recommendations Sought
3 Oct 2006
The eBay API has been around for many years, and it used to cost developers to use it. Now it is free.

eBay wrote:

*API calls that are made on or after November 14, 2005 using the unified schema will be free. ...after June 1, 2006, all API calls must be made using unified schema, all other API calls will be blocked.


From the footnote at: developer.ebay.com/join/pricing

Thats a long way round of saying that the API is free from 1 June 2006 (and was free for some developers from 14 November 2005).

eBay does still charge for some developer services, such as Checkout Redirect, technical support, Certified Provider status, and Market Data.

Just for interest the last API fees before it became free ranged from $1.25 to $2.90 per 1000 calls.

[Last edited: 3 Oct 2006]
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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