Which listing tool is best for me?

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Bulgaria Bulgaria
alex.bsc
Kudos: 65
Joined: Jun 21, 2007
Which listing tool is best for me?
21 Jun 2007
Hi.
I list universal and car-specific car parts for many different vehicles.
As such, one item will be listed with different titles. For one aspect of my business, I have made a custom piece of software which generates over 1500 listings and saves them in CSV format.
This could potentially be re-engineered to accomodate the ideal listing software.

1. I need to use a standard template for all items.
I then need to use sub-templates for the different categories of items. For example, if I sell gear knobs, I need the master template with all the shipping etc. details, then a sub-template with the description texts for gear knobs. All I want to change is the title and the images.

This is priority number one as I have this set-up with DreamWeaver at present, but I do NOT want to go back to Turbo Lister and copy-paste all the listings each time a change is made, especially when eBay policies change. This right now is a NIGHTMARE!!!

2. I made a custom analysis tool also, but some sort of detailed analysis built into the listing tool would be excellent. Search terms used to find listings would be a bonus, which items sell, which do not etc. would be excellent. Leads in my market sector would be a great boost.

3. I also made a tool to re-list all the items that did not sell, taking advantage of the re-listing credit if the item sells a second time. All this again with CSVs and Turbo Lister, which to be honest is not up to the job.
Which tools will allow me to do this?

4. I currently host my item images etc on my own server, so this would be great if it is indeed built into the app.

5. Finally, customer support (replying to mails, tracking orders, shipping etc.) is at another location from where I list and develop items. Some sort of synchronicity between the locations would be superb!

6. I'm keen to start off with free tools, but a great tool that does not cost too much and offers me

a) primarily great templating. This is VITAL
b) cost savings due to re-listing non-sold items (ONLY ONCE MIND AS WE KNOW EBAY ONLY ALLOWS RE-LISTING ONCE - the software should keep track of the relisting count and transparently re-list where appropriate yet lists afresh otherwise.. i.e. when the item did not sell having been re-listed
c) stats - keywords customers used, popular keywords, peak eBay traffic times for my items, etc etc..
d) post-sale support - order tracking etc etc.

e) CSV import so I can migrate my old Turbo Lister files and also so it works with my current custom apps (although I can change these).

Any ideas? Theres too many tools out there and I'd love some pointers. I'd prefer a desktop solution as I will be coding part of the solution

[Last edited: 21 Jun 2007]
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,618
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: Which listing tool is best for me?
21 Jun 2007
Hi, welcome to the site

If you want to do a lot of your own custom-coding and configuration I would look at MarketBlast first.

It is a sophisticated desktop application which can be complex to learn but that should not a challenge for someone with coding skills. The pay off is lots of configuration options and scope for custom-scripting.

It can import from CSVs, automate listing by trigger events or scripts, and has good reporting and analysis. Its $199 (one-time fee) and has a 45-day free trial.

I don't know if it works well running from different locations (web-based apps are normally best for this) but I think it fits your other requirements pretty well.

Other than that eBay File Exchange is at the other end of the spectrum - it allows you to submit listings using a delimited text file but you would have to code your own logic around that to get more sophisticated features.
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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Bulgaria Bulgaria
alex.bsc
Kudos: 65
Joined: Jun 21, 2007
Re: Which listing tool is best for me?
21 Jun 2007
Thanks for the reply. I'll give MarketBlaster a go... from the sounds of things it looks suitable. eBay File Exchange is a nono as I will have to re-invent the wheel too much - hence my search for a solution.

I am keen to branch out into selling outside eBay and managing my online store in a single solution in a single entity. Keeping OSCommerce running in parallel with my eBay sales is a headache. As if Turbo Lister / eBay wasn't enough of a headache!!

So running a store is a new requisite as my site is currently down due to an OSCommerce misconfiguration / upgrade as I had to migrate servers. Any leads? I'm eying MW at the moment, but then again I have only just discovered this site!

Infopia looks sweet if a bit dear, Marketworks is one I have had my eye on for a while. I'm still a n00b, having just worked with eBay's Turbo Lister and Seller Manager Pro till now, so I'll get back to you with my findings shortly.

What about SpoonFeeder? Even The Poster Toaster appears to have quite a bit of templating built in..
still early days, too many things to try.. but I'll be reporting back with my Desktop and Web based findings.

AuctionSplash has given me a taster of the basic features I have been missing, but it is a tad too sparse for me at first sight.

Thank God for this forum!
TBH I was not aware that MW and Infopia allowed you to push your products into so many different distribution channels! I was looking at stramlining my eBay sales but may walk away with so much more!

What other tools allow me to do this? What is ChannelAdvisor like? I noticed another seller using it and was impressed as a buyer.

[Last edited: 21 Jun 2007]
Florida United States
blackstar
Kudos: 334
Joined: Jul 28, 2006
Re: Which listing tool is best for me?
22 Jun 2007
I have not actually tried it, but if you want to wander the grounds, AuctionBlox has an all in one solution to tie in to the backend of your existing OSCommerce install.

Working in tandem with your store inventory, and then listing them on eBay as well, it centralizes the two to create less of a headache of inventory.

I have yet to try it myself, so I cannot give you any info on how well it actually works though.

Other alternatives such as ChannelAdvisor/Infopia are higher priced solutions, so it really depends on the volume/margin levels you're running.

[Last edited: 22 Jun 2007]
Bulgaria Bulgaria
alex.bsc
Kudos: 65
Joined: Jun 21, 2007
Re: Which listing tool is best for me?
22 Jun 2007
Thanks for the input. I've heard of AuctionBlox and I'll look into it, thanks.
MarketBlast(2) looks schweet but unbelievably enough it is for eBay US only!! Come on! UK version please! I like what I see so far, but can't for the life of me make use of it!

ETA on UK version?

[Last edited: 22 Jun 2007]
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,618
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: Which listing tool is best for me?
22 Jun 2007
Sorry, I didn't realise you were in the UK.

MarketBlast clearly gets asked a lot about UK support, as they have a sticky forum thread on that question. It would not hurt if you contacted them about it - they need to know there is demand from the UK before investing in development.

If you want an enterprise-level solution, the main UK players are Marketworks, ChannelAdvisor Merchant, and eSellerPro. MW and CA are US companies that have been in this business for a long time and have set up offices in the UK, and eSellerPro is a relatively new UK company that has created a great product in a short time. All three are good tools for the UK, aimed at businesses selling on eBay and other marketplaces. I don't believe Infopia supports the UK.

I think your first priority should be to nail down what you really want at this stage. You are looking at a very wide range of products from basic listers to full-blown auction management applications. You need to be very confident about your business to go for an enterprise-level tool at this early stage.
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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United Kingdom United Kingdom
direct4games
Kudos: 125
Joined: May 17, 2006
Re: Which listing tool is best for me?
22 Jun 2007
Hi
You have got to speak with the guys at ESeller Pro.

Their system is the best - it can handle everything from Purchase orders, stock location and stock control, then listing to numerous market places, collecting the orders, and then posting all the finanicals to Sage!

Its far too good for me to explain - call them for a DEMO

Then for the listing templates - spend a £1000 and use Frooition (speak with David Conway)

We use both systems - look at our ebay templates

ebay ids - video-games and gameswithout.
Our websites

direct4games.com and gameswithout.com are also feed from Eseller Pro

High Recommended

Best regards
Pete
Director
United Kingdom United Kingdom
patrickrobb
Kudos: 15
Joined: Jun 28, 2007
Re: Which listing tool is best for me?
28 Jun 2007
Hi there. My questions are directed to Direct4games and anyone else who is willing to help!. Can I first say, congratulations on the extremely professional presentation of your Ebay storefront! I am working for my dad's sports business at the moment and have been given the task of setting up an Ebay store for their UK based company, Safari Sports Ltd. I have experience with graphic design and developing websites so I'm not a complete amateur, but obviously Ebay stores are slightly different. They already have an Ecommerce store at www.safarisports.com but Ebay contains such a massive target audience it would be plain stupid not to tap this lucrative market area.

I am first going to purchase a deep analysis program for the market research side, but then I need something which will actually be able to list the products we have on offer. I observed your ebay shop and was very impressed with the layout, in particualr the ease of navigation through the products you offer through the nav bars on the left etc. Which program did you use to customise these front pages? I can use Dreamweaver and Fireworks and we have a pro web-designer on board that is able to customise code, so I would like a customising program that isn't too complicated but obtains results like yours. We would like the store to be similar to our already online store at SafariSports.com.

Does the eSellerPro software enable customisation of the storefront? Or does it just manage and list items? The company turns over just under £1,000,000 and will list a vast number of products so the most efficient and cost-effective listing software is crucial. Do you think we would need a listing software to start off with? Waht do they actually do?

Thankyou for your time,
Patrick Robb.
Safari Sports Ltd.
Bulgaria Bulgaria
alex.bsc
Kudos: 65
Joined: Jun 21, 2007
Re: Which listing tool is best for me?
5 Jul 2007
Man is there no other app that is like MarketBlast as that looks pretty ideal, but I need a UK compatible app.
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,618
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: Which listing tool is best for me?
6 Jul 2007
Hi Alex, I've dropped MB an email asking if they have plans for a UK version.

You could approach the problem from a different angle and look at an osCommerce add-on like AuctionBlox as blackstar suggested or there is a new, free, equivalent called Auction Lister Pro which says it supports the UK.
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
Please follow on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+
Bulgaria Bulgaria
alex.bsc
Kudos: 65
Joined: Jun 21, 2007
Re: Which listing tool is best for me?
8 Jul 2007
I'll take Auction Lister Pro into consideration.

But my dream date would be MarketBlast. I need that CSV goodness, otherwise I'd have to devise an alternative to my custom mass listing software app.

Thanks for all your help in emailing the developers etc.. is eBay US REALLY all that different to the international sites?

eBay themselves must have a pretty descent API.. haven't taken a look at it but I'd imagine that it is pretty uniform cross-border..

If not, eBay, what are you playing at!!!??

And finally, MarketBlast developers!!! MAKE IT INTERNATIONAL!!

[Last edited: 8 Jul 2007]
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,618
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: Which listing tool is best for me?
9 Jul 2007
I have had a reply from MarketBlast:

MarketBlast spokesperson wrote:

We are still in the investigation stage of a UK version, but we will let you know when this has changed.
If all the UK-based sellers who want to use MarketBlast get in touch with them I'm sure it would help their "investigation"!

BTW, eBay does have a comprehensive API and developers' program.

I think adding support for a new country shouldn't be technically difficult (depending on how the application was originally coded), but there are several areas that differ, e.g.:

  • Categories
  • Currency
  • Taxes
  • Time and date formats
  • Terminology and language (P&P not S&H etc.)
  • Fees
  • Shipping
  • If providing user support: time zone and public holidays

  • I can see why there could be a considerable investment in development to support a new country, but once you can support two countries it should be fairly trivial to add more, and the pay-off is potentially great. The UK has a population of 60 million and eBay is massively popular, plus we speak the same language (more or less). That's why the UK is traditionally the first place US companies go to when expanding internationally.

    [Last edited: 20 Sep 2007]
    Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
    Please follow on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+
    Bulgaria Bulgaria
    alex.bsc
    Kudos: 65
    Joined: Jun 21, 2007
    Re: Which listing tool is best for me?
    11 Jul 2007
    Im playing around with The Poster Toaster and noticed that you can 'load from file' the item description.

    Is it possible to permanently do this, i.e. have TPT update the description when the original HTML changes?

    This would make Dreamweaver templates + products a dream to work with.

    Other than that, is there a great templating listing solution?
    Supplier
    United States United States
    AuctionListerPro.com
    Kudos: 30
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Re: Which listing tool is best for me?
    18 Jul 2007
    Hi,

    This is David from Auction Lister Pro. While ALP is still new we have managed to cover much ground.

    We currently support eBay in 4 countries with an additional country coming hopefully in the next few releases. (Germany)

    We are currently working on a solution for integrating Turbo Lister files for several of our power sellers as well as an eBay shop import tool for osCommerce.

    While we probably don't have the perfect solution for you just yet, we do plan to incorporate every aspect of your needs into Auction Lister Pro in future releases.

    If you have any additional questions about ALP feel free to head over to my site and ask. I will do my best to answer your questions and help you out.

    All the best,
    David
    Bulgaria Bulgaria
    alex.bsc
    Kudos: 65
    Joined: Jun 21, 2007
    Re: Which listing tool is best for me?
    19 Jul 2007
    Hi David, thanks for the suggestion and I'll definitely consider it.

    I have stopped on AuctionSage for now and it does indeed seem like quite a powerhouse of an app, fast as well!

    Takes a bit of time but I'm getting into it, and it's comprehensive and, again, after Turbo Lister 1 then 2 (even worse), FAST!!!

    I advise all to try it!
    btw. importing CSVs is very possible if a bit arduous at first.

    [Last edited: 19 Jul 2007]

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