When sellers start out on eBay they can usually manage the day-to-day running of their business manually. But, as sales increase and they take on more product lines, their time gets stretched to breaking point. This is often when sellers look for software to help automate processes and lighten the workload.
Sellers may also reach the limits of what can be achieved without outside help, and need a design service to create a brand identity, or an analytics tool to see how their business is performing and what they can do to improve.
eBay tools can be very different in feel to Amazon tools, partly because some are well over a decade old. This can make their appearance seem a little dated, but don’t let that put you off. Just because some of the tools are a little long in the tooth doesn’t mean they aren’t popular or reliable. In fact, the opposite can be true.
In this post I’ll walk you through the eBay selling category of the Web Retailer directory, explaining what each section covers and giving a few examples of the tools you’ll find there.
To be included in this category the tool must be able to create listings. So, on a basic level, there are tools that are just listers, where you enter your title, product description and images and the tool will create an eBay listing for you.
Despite being basic in terms of functionality, these tools are still very useful. Not only do they make listing items much faster, especially if you’re listing in bulk, they also make it easier to relist items and often allow you to schedule listings at no extra cost.
At the other end of the spectrum, some of the listing management tools incorporate additional functions. This means that alongside creating listings, they might handle order management, allow you to export your listings to other marketplaces, or create profit and loss reports. These tools can even extend to cover the whole process from managing inventory to requesting feedback.
Choosing which type of listing management tool you need is often dependent on the type of products that you sell. For instance, if you sell only unique items, then a simple listing-focused tool is fine because each of your listings will be unique. You won’t need your software to tell you a product is out of stock, because you know you only have one.
On the other hand, if you have 100 units of the same product and create an auction, a fixed-price listing, and another listing offering a six-pack, it’s very useful for the listing tool to cover inventory management. This way it knows that all three listings are related to one piece of stock.
Browse the directory for eBay Listing Management tools, including reviews, news, related discussions, compatibility information and pricing.
Listing Design Tools
Listing Design tools help you create templates that you can apply to your eBay listings to make them look more attractive. The tools usually feature a fully customizable design template that you can edit to suit your needs.
When you’ve designed a listing from the template, you can take the HTML and copy it directly into eBay’s own listing page or, if you’re using a listing management system, you can paste the HTML into there. Some listing design tools may offer to apply the template to your existing listings in bulk, possibly as an additional service.
For high-volume sellers, listing design tools usually need to be used in conjunction with a listing management tool. This is because many have no connection to eBay, and those that do are not sophisticated enough to be used as a listing management tool. They may be best used as one-feature tools for creating a visually appealing listing template.
When choosing a listing design tool, it’s crucial that you make sure the templates are compliant with eBay’s Active Content policy, or you could waste time designing a listing template that you aren’t allowed to use. It is also important to make sure that the templates are optimized for buyers viewing them on desktops, the eBay app and mobile browsers.
Browse the directory for eBay Listing Design Tools, including reviews, news, related discussions, compatibility information and pricing.
The first step of using a design service is to approach them with your brief. They will then give you a price for the project and design the template for you. When it’s done, there is a hand-over, where they give you the HTML to plug into your software or, for an extra fee, some services will apply the design to your existing listings for you.
It is not uncommon for these services to work on larger projects, where they not only produce a listing template but create a whole new brand identity for a seller, with features like banner graphics and a logo.
eBay design companies usually work on a project basis, so when the template is done and the money has been handed over, that’s it. You buy the template as a one-off and any changes you want to make further down the line, you’ll have to pay for.
Alternatively, you may have a subscription plan where you pay monthly to use their software to create listings using the template.
Browse the directory for eBay Design Services, including reviews, news, related discussions, compatibility information and pricing.
The category has become smaller over the years partly due to eBay policy changes, including Active Content, which have meant that many add-ons are no longer compliant. Some add-ons have become obsolete due to eBay building the same features directly into the site, or have just become dated as more people are buying on mobiles and detailed descriptions have become less important.
Currently listed in this category are a number of tools, such as Froo! Cross Sell, that create cross-selling galleries. These are horizontal strips, usually beneath your listings, that feature other products that you have for sale.
Other tools in this category include currency converters, 3D interactive image creators and tools to include “watch this item” links in your product descriptions.
Browse the directory for eBay Listing Add-Ons, including reviews, news, related discussions, compatibility information and pricing.
In this category, you will find tools to edit product photos. These tools are not general-purpose photo-editing tools, like Photoshop, but ones focused specifically on product photography for ecommerce.
It is far more common for eBay sellers to take their own product photos, as they control their own listings and are also more likely to be selling unique items. On Amazon, the strongly catalog-driven approach means sellers are usually offering products on listings that already exist.
If you’re an eBay seller, and you’ve just been to a house clearance and purchased 100 unique or vintage items, for example, you’ll want to get them listed on eBay as soon as possible. This means you need to process the images quickly and in bulk, which product photography tools can help you achieve.
Essentially, these tools are streamlined and allow sellers to get good quality product photographs up quickly, as opposed to the more powerful but complex functionality of software like Photoshop.
Browse the directory for Product Photography tools, including reviews, news, related discussions, compatibility information and pricing.
Marketing and SEO
This category is one of the more recent additions to the directory, and includes tools to help sellers optimize and promote their eBay listings. The idea is that sellers can increase sales, not just by having more products, but by selling more effectively.
It is another varied category, with a range of different tools being included. For example, CampaignGO helps manage eBay sales, promotions and discounts by providing a better layer of functions on top of eBay’s markdown tools.
Quantity Manager and Scarcity Manager adjust the quantity of items remaining on your eBay listing to an artificially low amount, in order to create a sense of urgency which encourages buyers to purchase the item.
Another tool is Daxus (formerly Rebuyers), an email marketing tool, that sends customized newsletters to buyers about your latest items.
There is also software for automatically sharing your listings on social media and building SEO-optimized titles for your eBay listings.
Browse the directory for eBay Marketing and SEO tools, including reviews, news, related discussions, compatibility information and pricing.
By using these tools, sellers can get detailed data on several different aspects of marketplace selling. This might be seeing how they perform in certain categories, how an individual listing is performing or which channel is the most profitable. Sellers can also get more detailed insights into their customer base.
Browse the directory for eBay-compatible Analytics tools, including reviews, news, related discussions, compatibility information and pricing.
Repricing is an area that is still associated more with Amazon, due it being a more catalog-driven marketplace, as opposed to eBay’s listing-based approach. So, it’s not surprising that there isn’t a large range of repricing tools in the eBay section of the directory.
For years, there was only one repricing tool solely focused on eBay, Price Spectre, which supplements catalog IDs with keyword matching to find competitive listings to reprice against. New tools Price Guard and StreetPricer also focus on eBay repricing. StreetPricer is currently unique in using artificial intelligence techniques instead of keyword matching to identify competing listings. All three tools are covered in our new roundup of eBay repricing software.
There are other repricing tools that support eBay, in addition to Amazon, but they rely on listings being in eBay’s limited product catalog. This means they can only reprice cataloged items against other cataloged items, which won’t be useful for all eBay sellers.
You’ll find two types of repricers in the software directory: rules-based and algorithmic.
Rules-based repricing offers a huge amount of control, and that flexibility can be very useful. The downside is the time and effort the seller needs to spend deciding what the rules should be, and configuring the system.
With algorithmic repricing, you only need to provide the minimum price you are willing to accept for your products. The system will then use its own predefined rules, competitor data and price experimentation to find the optimal price – one which maximizes sales while keeping the price as high as possible.
Browse the directory for eBay Repricing tools, including reviews, news, related discussions, compatibility information and pricing.
eBay is a marketplace built very much around feedback. It is a big factor for buyers, and separates the good sellers from the poor ones. This is in contrast to Amazon, which is focused more on product reviews.
The community feel of eBay means that buyers are relatively likely to leave feedback, but sellers may still need to remind buyers. This can take time, especially if you’re a high-volume seller.
Feedback solicitation tools do the hard work for sellers, automatically contacting buyers to remind them to leave feedback. They also alert sellers when new feedback is left, and may have an option for sellers to send follow-up messages to buyers, to thank them for leaving feedback or to make sure they are happy with the product.
Note that directly asking for feedback can be a controversial subject, and care should be taken to avoid complaints of spamming or harassment.
Browse the directory for eBay Feedback tools, including reviews, news, related discussions, compatibility information and pricing.
On eBay, sellers can add 12 pictures to each listing for free. Some sellers, such as those trading high-value items like cars, may want to include more than 12 images.
By using an image hosting tool, sellers can add more images to their listings, as instead of uploading the images to eBay, you upload them to the image hosting tool. They will then give you a URL, or a snippet of HTML, that you can add to your product description. Some image hosting tools offer unlimited uploads, so you can add as many images as you want to your listing.
As well as being available as a standalone service, image hosting is often included in listing design tools, and some listing management and multi-channel management tools.
Browse the directory for Image Hosting tools, including reviews, news, related discussions, compatibility information and pricing.
There are many effective, high-quality tools and services out there for eBay sellers, and not all of them are covered here. eBay market research tools, for example, are listed under Product Sourcing in our directory, so do not feature in this particular guide.
Finally, the eBay category is a real goldmine for free tools, so watch out for these when you are browsing, as they can offer your business increased functionality, at no extra cost.