Considering Auctionblox? Only if your Beta testing..
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United Kingdom United Kingdom
crackingbargains
Kudos: 20
Joined: Jan 2, 2008
Considering Auctionblox? Only if your Beta testing..
2 Jan 2008
I've been using AuctionBlox for the last few months and, despite it's claims, it doesn't fulfill many of the basic requirements of eBay business sellers. It might be good for those who fancy being beta testers but at it's current price, it's ten times the money of Selling Manager pro with half the functionality.

As far as I can tell, the following basic features are missing:

  • Listing items in lots.
  • Shipping to Europe
  • Templates
  • Multiple item Shipping discounts
  • Automatic relist
  • Unpaid Item alerts
  • Download multiple listings
  • Post sales management (this is down to your own back end software)
  • Doesn't manage inventory (a separate module has to be purchased)

  • Shipping to Europe

    I'm not just talking Europe here folks, only 2 shipping rates are included, UK and Worldwide. For those that want a bit more, shipping to EU, far East, Australia etc., this can be done if you use your own oscommerce weight based shipping modules.

    The problem with using your own shipping modules instead of Fixed shipping is twofold. First, the shipping is not shown in the listing, an important consideration if you sell larger items for example. Second, there are so many variables in oscommerce shipping modules that it would take a full page to insert them into a listing. I have shipping rates for nearly 35 different countries and rates vary according to the weight of the item/s at ten levels. Imagine the numbers.

    Templates
    None are included. . Good if you want to create your own, bad if you want an easy way to list your products and make your listings look good without design skills. It could take up to a week just to get a single template right.

    A way of getting around that problem is to purchase templates and add the macros (I'll get to that problem later) or copy the templates from other, free auction management applications (such as Auctiva).

    macros

    The macros are fully detailed, there is a macro for absolutely everything and it's hard to gripe about the volume of content. the quality of said content is a different matter. The image, price and shipping macros are not without fault or error; maybe these aren't important enough for Auctionblox to consider them a problem.

    The image macros have several problems. Firstly, they're not intelligent or dynamic. If you have stock item with 7 images and only use 4 images in your template, only 4 images will appear . conversely, if you have 7 images in your template and 4 in your stock item, the last 3 images in the template will have to be manually removed because they ruin the template itself. Stock cannot be listed until each template is edited once it's created, negating any time saving you may have been dreaming of.

    All prices always appear with an odd looking "Â" beside them. Despite repeated requests, Auctionblox have been unable to prevent this from appearing in both sale and shipping price of goods. I have thus been prevented from listing shipping costs. i can tolerate it appearing next to the sale price but with up to 4 shipping rates appearing in the listing, it looks unprofessional at the very least.

    Unpaid item Alerts

    Don't work... Auctionblox have acknowledged the fact and blame a change in eBay's systems that they have yet to find a solution for. So filing unpaid item alerts is not possible with this software.

    There is not enough space to cover every problem Auctionblox is facing as a package. In my opinion it is simply not yet suited to commercial release.
    It is barely functional for small part time sellers at least and is at most a complicated sideline for oscommerce users.
    My ratings:
    Value for money: 2/10 It does less than selling manager pro and costs more.
    Support: 7/10 The moral support and customer service is fantastic, unfortunately the solutions are poor.
    Overall: 3/10. Not a substantial product, only worth a try if you've nothing to lose.

    [Last edited: 2 Jan 2008]
    Herts, England United Kingdom
    Andy
    Kudos: 11,665
    Joined: Jan 1, 2001
    Re: Considering Auctionblox? Only if your Beta testing..
    2 Jan 2008
    Wow, thanks for the very detailed review of AuctionBlox.

    If it's an eBay-compatible add-on for osCommerce that you want, one alternative is the free Auction Lister Pro.

    Another option is Auction For Store, but its not free and there has been a post saying that they aren't responding to emails.

    If you get a minute please could you submit a brief review on the main AuctionBlox page and mention the detailed one here?

    [Last edited: 2 Jan 2008]
    Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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    United States United States
    luffy
    Kudos: 15
    Joined: Apr 10, 2008
    Re: Considering Auctionblox? Only if your Beta testing..
    10 Apr 2008
    I've used AuctionBlox for well over a year and I think I can give a better review of AuctionBlox.

    Listing in Lots: Yes, this feature is not available. No word from AuctionBlox on ETA.

    Shipping to Europe: It is NOT limited to UK and Worldwide only! Yes, there are only two shipping options that you can set in the listings, Domestic and Worldwide. AuctionBlox have mentioned in the forums that they are revising the shipping portion to add the ability to specify shipping per country. If you need to have different rates you can use the built in osCommerce shipping modules.

    Templates: I can't speak for other sellers, but I would never have used a generic template. I suppose a casual seller might use one of the generic templates like eBay offers, but to be honest, you can pay any neighborhood kid $5 to make something that generic. My templates mimic the look and feel of my website like many other sellers.

    Multiple Shipping Discounts: AuctionBlox has had options for this long before I started using it. There are several ways it can be done, it all depends on what you want to do.

    Automatic Relist: This is another feature that has been around for quite some time. When you list an item, it brings up a scheduler giving you many options for when to list, how to list, and options for relisting.

    Unpaid Item Alerts: This was available for a while until eBay changed their method. You used to be able to do 50 at a time, but then eBay changed their process to only allow you to do one at a time (very time consuming). After that change, the process underwent several other changes for about a year. Additional screens were added, they required additional information, and now they have added multiple steps you are required to go through before being allowed to file. To be honest, it's gotten to the point where it's almost not worth my time to file them. Would it be nice to have an automated process. You bet! But, that still requires me to enter tons of information somewhere, and jump through all of eBay's hoops. I'm not even sure how it would be possible to automate something like that.

    Download Multiple Listings: Once again, AuctionBlox has been doing this for a long time.

    Post Sales Management: AuctionBlox is a plug-in for osCommerce. The point of AuctionBlox is to maximize efficiency, if you had to do post sales management in AuctionBlox, and then again on the osCommerce sales that would be redundant and a waste of time. AuctionBlox checks the osCommerce order status and updates eBay accordingly minimizing the work you need to do.

    Doesn't Manage Inventory: When a customer checks out through your store, the inventory is decreased. How is that not inventory management? There ARE additional modules that you can purchase that expand the functionality. One of them checks your available inventory, and if anything has 0 inventory it will cancel any active listings. For someone who does pre-orders, it's not a feature they would want.

    Macros: Your issue with the character appearing is due to eBay. You can find threads on it in the AuctionBlox forum, as well as the eBay seller forums. It has something to do with coding and ascii characters or something like that. I don't deal with many foreign symbols so I haven't run into issues myself.

    Support: I feel you left this out. AuctionBlox has offered free support since it started. They are very knowledgeable and willing to go the extra mile. They also have great support in their forums.

    AuctionBlox may not be perfect for everyone in every instance. It does include several things the poster claims it doesn't. I'd advise people to try it themselves to see if it is something that will fit their business needs.

    [Last edited: 16 Apr 2008]
    Herts, England United Kingdom
    Andy
    Kudos: 11,665
    Joined: Jan 1, 2001
    Re: Considering Auctionblox? Only if your Beta testing..
    21 Apr 2008
    If either/both of you could add a summary of your reviews to the AuctionBlox page it would be much appreciated
    Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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    Australia Australia
    jjaent
    Kudos: 20
    Joined: Aug 27, 2008
    Re: Considering Auctionblox? Only if your Beta testing..
    27 Aug 2008
    We've been selling on eBay for 5 years at the Platinum Powerseller level and have found AuctionBlox to be an excellent tool to manage our listings - we've used it for the last 12 months and have processed some 15,000 sales in that time. Prior to that we were with Marketworks.

    GREAT ABX FEATURES

    * Compatible with OsCommerce and ZenCart

    * Easy listing to multiple eBay sites ie AU, UK, USA, etc

    * Excellent product reservation feature - listing ended on eBay automatically if runs out - no overselling!

    * No fees payable to anyone for your own website sales

    * Supports checkout redirect so eBay customers are brought to your own website to complete the purchase via the eBay pay now button.
    - This allows your customers to add products from your website to their eBay purchases!
    - Allows you to set up your own payment methods, credit card gateways etc as per your website.

    * Top notch support willing to go the extra mile.

    DISAGREE WITH ORIGINAL POST ON THE FOLLOWING

    * Inventory management
    This is a function of the website generally isn't it??? Why on earth would ABX need to replicate this feature - it uses the existing inventory management of the shopping cart.

    * Post sales management
    Umm eBay sales end up in the orders section along with all other website orders. Not only that but the status are linked back to eBay's so if you mark an order paid on your website, ABX notifies eBay and the $ lights up in SMPro and in My eBay - works flawlessly!

    * Automatic Relist
    Umm did you even try listing?!?! This feature is there!

    * Shipping options
    have you even had a look at the fixed shipping table module provided by ABX??
    The fixed shipping table handles combined shipping perfectly as there are fields for additional per item (seperate values configurable for domestic and international).

    AGREE WITH ORIGINAL POST ON THE FOLLOWING

    * Templates - none provided - but then again most sellers have their own to match their product anyway!

    * UPI - I'd love to see UPI automation - it's a bugbear for us too - however the new status vies allow you to easily see which items require UPI so all in all it's not that time consuming to manage.

    * Listing in lots - agree 100% ABX doesn't do it.

    SUMMARY

    I agree that the software may not be perfect for everyone but I love the configurability it's a reasonably open system so you can get your own dev. work done if there's something your not happy with but I strongly disagree that it's of beta value - we have 3 staff working full time in our business and the ABX system has managed up to 3,000 sales over a 10 day period in the lead up to last Christmas without missing a beat.

    The development staff are willing to listen to constructive feedback and act appropriately in terms of adding features for future release. All this at a great price. What more could you want?

    Kind Regards
    John
    JJA Entertainment

    [Last edited: 27 Aug 2008]
    Canada Canada
    Chrisauctionsoftware
    Kudos: 20
    Joined: Aug 27, 2008
    Re: Considering Auctionblox? Only if your Beta testing..
    30 Aug 2008
    - deleted by moderator -

    [Last edited by moderator: Promotional, off-topic post removed. Member banned. — 30 Aug 2008]
    Best Auction Software
    www.bestauctionsoftware.com
    Australia Australia
    jjaent
    Kudos: 20
    Joined: Aug 27, 2008
    Re: Considering Auctionblox? Only if your Beta testing..
    30 Aug 2008
    Chrisauctionsoftware

    You don't have any pricing on your website.

    Yet you comment about other sites who show their pricing and then have a whole bunch of hidden extras.

    For your site all the pricing is a hidden extra what the heck does from $100 to $1000 mean.

    You've posted about the software in a thread discussion AuctionBlox where ALL the pricing is fully publicized on their web page with no hidden extras....

    Why can't you publicise your pricing?

    Kind Regards
    John

    Xpress Lister
    2nd Office
    ChannelAdvisor
    XSellco