Alex Knight picks out alternative listing tools for eBay sellers still relying on eBay’s much-loved but now obsolete Turbo Lister
This month marks the end of an era, as eBay retires its listing tool, Turbo Lister, after almost two decades of service.
Turbo Lister always splits opinion, as some eBay sellers opted for a third-party listing tool long ago. For many others though, Turbo Lister’s ability to create listings offline and upload them in bulk to eBay, for free, made it their listing tool of choice.
It is these sellers who are now left with a tough decision. On one hand there is eBay’s “improved” Seller Hub, which does feature a listing tool. But, it is not a desktop application like Turbo Lister and doesn’t have either the option to work offline, or the capacity to store finished listings.
This is driving many sellers to third-party listing tools. But, with several tools claiming to be the premier Turbo Lister replacement, it can be hard to decipher which is right for you. Maybe you’ve tried several already, but haven’t found one you like, or are yet to find one with all the features you need.
To help, we’ve taken five listing tools that sellers could use to replace Turbo Lister: SixBit, Xpress Lister, Wonder Lister, Ad-Lister and CrazyLister. I’ve reviewed their key features, and identified which type of sellers they are most suited to.
What is a Turbo Lister replacement?
Before we review alternative listing tools, it’s important to set out the essential functions for a Turbo Lister replacement.
Most importantly, it needs to be completely focused on eBay or, if it’s a multichannel listing tool, have a very strong eBay integration. It should have the facility to create and edit eBay listings, both individually and in bulk, and have design templates to make listings look professional.
It must also be able to hold inventory data (or pre-built listings) independently of eBay and allow sellers to upload them to eBay at their convenience. An archive feature to hold past listings is also helpful. This means that if you sell a product seasonally, you can just copy your previous listing instead of creating a new one from scratch.
You may also want to consider features that Turbo Lister didn’t offer, such as sales processing functions. Or, with $9.6 billion worth of sales being completed via mobile devices in Q3 of 2016 alone, you should probably consider how well any new tool creates mobile-optimized listings.
SixBit is run by John Slocum, who created the first ever eBay selling tool, AuctionAssistant, in 1997. He then spent ten years working with eBay as a software developer before starting SixBit in 2009.
It is perhaps no surprise then that SixBit is the tool that has the most in common with Turbo Lister. The biggest similarity is that both are desktop applications, meaning that listings can be created offline and then uploaded to eBay. It also means that all your data is held on your computer, so you don’t have to worry about a third-party application only holding your finished listings for a certain period of time.
Former Turbo Lister users will be happy to hear that SixBit allows sellers to directly import listings from Turbo Lister CSV files. It also features a mode where sellers can customize the SixBit icons to match those used for the corresponding function in Turbo Lister.
In terms of features, SixBit goes further than Turbo Lister and offers post-sale functions, such as tracking orders and emailing customers. Other nice touches include a fully customizable data-entry sheet and built-in tools, which include a price researcher and picture editor. SixBit also lets you list your inventory on Amazon.
Who is SixBit best suited to?
An area where SixBit does differ from Turbo Lister is price. Sellers can take advantage of a 30 day trial before deciding whether SixBit is the right tool for them but, after that, pricing plans start at $19.99 a month.
This rules out the casual sellers who were attracted to Turbo Lister because it was free. Realistically, you have to be doing enough volume to justify spending $19.99 every month. If you can, then SixBit has several pricing tiers depending on factors such as the number of eBay accounts you want to link to your SixBit account.
SixBit is listed in Web Retailer’s comprehensive directory of software for marketplace sellers.
Xpress Lister allows users to create and edit listings in bulk using a spreadsheet-driven interface. After a quick sign-up process, users can start uploading spreadsheets straight away, in a number of formats. This includes CSV files, Excel files and even Amazon product files.
Former Turbo Lister users will be pleased to hear that they don’t have to include 100 columns of data like they did with Turbo Lister. You can upload spreadsheets to Xpress Lister with as little as four required fields. There are a number of optional fields that sellers can choose to include and two more required fields if you are listing a product with variants.
Another time-saving feature is that unlike Turbo Lister, where users had to enter the category code for each item individually, Xpress Lister auto-categorizes listings. If the category doesn’t fit your product, you can still change it manually.
A common criticism of Turbo Lister was that it reflected what was happening on eBay. So, if you’re listing finished on eBay it wouldn’t be stored on Turbo Lister. This meant if you wanted to relist that product seasonally, you’d have to create a new listing.
Xpress Lister allows you to upload your whole product catalog and holds your listings even when they are out of stock. As soon as your product is back in stock it goes live on eBay again and appears on the same listing as before, meaning you retain your sales history.
Who is Xpress Lister best suited to?
Xpress Lister has a wide appeal because it offers two price plans. One is a “free forever” plan called Xpress Lister Lite. This allows sellers to create listings for free but any changes to the listing after it’s been created must be done on eBay. This plan appeals to the casual sellers who used Turbo Lister because it was free. It also could help sellers with smaller volume, who can list their products in bulk for free and don’t mind making alterations manually on eBay.
The paid-for plan, Xpress Lister Pro, allows both creation and management of listings directly from Xpress Lister. It has 13 different paid options, with prices starting at $11 per month for 100 listings and going up to $499 per month for 1,000,000 listings.
It is important to note that Xpress Lister only allows you to create fixed price listings. So if you mostly use auction-style listings this tool isn’t for you.
Xpress Lister is listed in Web Retailer’s comprehensive directory of software for marketplace sellers.
Wonder Lister is an offline listing tool that allows users to create and edit listings in bulk. This is its main similarity with Turbo Lister and once again allows users to store data on their own computer. You can create listings offline, store them in Wonder Lister and upload them to eBay at your convenience.
Wonder Lister displays listings in a customizable grid, similar to a spreadsheet. Users can choose which fields are displayed in the grid, then those fields will appear for every product that is to be edited. Bulk editing features allow sellers to edit thousands of listings with just a few clicks.
Inventory and listings can be uploaded to Wonder Lister in a CSV file. It is worth noting that former Turbo Lister users can upload their inventory and existing listings to Wonder Lister using a CSV file exported from Turbo Lister.
Wonder Lister isn’t just a listing tool and offers users a number of post-sale functions. It can be used to generate pick lists, track shipments and generate invoices. Users can also see a profit or loss report for each of their sales.
Who is Wonder Lister best suited to?
Wonder Lister is primarily targeted at small to medium sellers who have a maximum of 5,000 active listings at a single point in time. For these sellers Wonder Lister offers very competitive pricing, allowing them to list 1,000 items for just $5 per month.
Cross-border sellers can also benefit from using Wonder Lister, as it has the ability to list on any eBay marketplace. This is made simple by using the bulk duplicate feature. Sellers can create one single listing for their product, duplicate it several times and then list it on eBay sites around the world.
Finally, cross-channel sellers can export a customized CSV file from Wonder Lister that can be used to import your inventory to another channel, such as Amazon, or your own website.
Wonder Lister is listed in Web Retailer’s comprehensive directory of software for marketplace sellers.
Ad-Lister allows sellers to create listings quickly, using a simple two-step process. The first page asks you three questions about the type of item, and the second asks you to input further information such as a title, description and images.
It is also heavily focused on promoting your products, as the listing creation process includes an option for sellers to share their listing on Facebook and Twitter as soon as it is live on eBay. Sellers can also manage their cross-promotional advertising by using keywords to select the most relevant products and create bundles (for instance you might want to list a drill alongside a case and safety gloves).
You can also add customized design templates to your listings using the drag-and-drop template builder. You can create one design for all your listings or a separate one for each category of product you sell. All templates are mobile-optimized and compliant with eBay’s new active content policy.
Finally, you can see an overview of your Ad-Lister account from the dashboard. This can be customized by dragging-and-dropping the different functions and also by adding widgets, which provide additional features such as a profit and loss calculator.
Who is Ad-Lister best suited to?
Ad-Lister has something to offer sellers of all sizes. If new sellers can justify spending at least $185-a-year then it’s a good tool to start with. There is support on hand to help with any queries you may have, including free telephone support, and the upload process is very simple. Ad-Lister is purely a listing tool, so there also isn’t any added complexity.
Big businesses can also benefit from Ad-Lister’s data feeds. They have the ability to upload very large catalogs and create eBay listings for them. This would suit a big retailer looking to start selling on eBay.
The tiered pricing structure also offers flexibility for growing sellers, who can choose from a range of paid options that offer between 100 and 1,000,000 listings every month.
Ad-Lister is listed in Web Retailer’s comprehensive directory of software for marketplace sellers.
CrazyLister is a drag-and-drop editor, that allows eBay sellers to add customized design templates to their listings. Users don’t need to be familiar with coding or have any design skills, they can simply choose from over 200 templates and customize it to suit their needs.
The editor is easy to use, as users simply click on parts of the template and move them, resize them or delete them. You can also insert pictures, which CrazyLister optimizes, to make sure that your listing loads as fast as possible.
All templates adhere to eBay’s new active content rules and are mobile-optimized. When editing you will get two views – one will show your listing on a desktop and the other on a mobile device. These can look entirely different, as you can customize your listing to look and behave differently depending on how a buyer is viewing it.
When you have finished your template, you can apply it to all your existing listings with just one click. This has been especially useful for sellers who needed to alter their listings to comply with eBay’s new active content rules. They can use CrazyLister to change them all at once.
It should be made clear that you can’t currently create new listings with CrazyLister. You can only apply the templates to existing listings that you have created elsewhere. This means that you have to use it in conjunction with a third-party inventory management tool, or copy the HTML directly to eBay. A function to allow CrazyLister users to create new listings is being developed though and should be introduced in the next few months.
Who is CrazyLister best suited to?
CrazyLister is most useful for small and medium sellers who have over 100 active listings. This is because sellers with fewer listings won’t get the benefit of applying a template to a large number of listings with just one click.
CrazyLister is listed in Web Retailer’s comprehensive directory of software for marketplace sellers.
When eBay announced it was going to retire Turbo Lister, many sellers were left confused and concerned about how they would create listings in the future. But, as you can see, there are some great alternatives on the market.
In fact, the retirement of Turbo Lister could be a great opportunity for many eBay sellers. They have the chance to sign up with a new listing tool that not only replaces Turbo Lister, but also gives them a whole bunch of extra features that could make a real difference to their sales.