Thursday, June 09, 2005

Common and Uncommon Facts about eBay Management Tools

Excerpt from "The 7 Essential Steps to Successful eBay Marketing."

eBay’s Management Tools
eBay offers some very powerful management tools that help you super-charge your selling. Some PowerSellers use a combination of eBay’s Selling Manager Pro along with TurboLister to create and manage a large volume of listings.

Turbo Lister
TurboLister (http://pages.ebay.com/turbo_lister/) is free downloadable software from eBay that enables you to create bulk listings and bulk uploads. It features a single screen listing form where all the information required for the listing is entered on one page. (Compare this to the tedious clicking of the “Continue” button through seven pages of the eBay Sell Your Item form.) It also gives you the option for customized item templates, bulk editing of listings, bulk scheduling of start times and bulk uploads of listings to eBay. It’s truly an incredible time saver.

Note: Although it’s a nifty tool, it does not work for Mac users. TurboLister only works in Windows operating systems.

TurboLister also provides a WYSWIG (what you see is what you get) HTML editor to create your listings. It can be used in conjunction with eBay’s Listing Designer, which provides HTML templates to create attractive and effective listing layouts. Chapter 3 of this book discusses ways to use this tool to create a visual identity that reinforces your eBay business brand.

Selling Manager Pro
Selling Manager Pro is a powerful tool that provides:
· Inventory management functions
· Customer email interfaces with customizable templates
· Payment and shipment tracking
· Bulk printing of invoices and shipping labels
· Custom preferences to automate customer emails and feedback
· Sales reporting with profit and loss statements
· Customizable bulk feedback options

You’ll note that the word “bulk” appears a couple of times in the list of functions above. This is the beauty of this software – functions such as feedback and customer emails that once were handled individually can now be handled dozens at a time. A few simple checks of boxes and clicks of a button and you’re on your way. You can even set preferences to automatically send customers email notifying them of winning bids, payments received, or items shipped.

When you use Selling Manager Pro, it automatically becomes the “Selling” tab of your My eBay page, which gives you access to all your selling activity from any remote location with an Internet hookup. It has an easy user interface that divides your selling activity into different “views,” such as scheduled listings, active listings, etc. Figure 1 shows Selling Manager Pro as it appears on the My eBay page. Note the variety of views listed on the left column.

Figure 1: Selling Manager Pro replaces your My eBay page and offers a variety of options for sorting and viewing your listings. This makes it much easier to manage your listings and sales.

Tip: The customizable email templates with Selling Manager Pro offer a great opportunity for sellers to connect with their customers on a personalized basis. This is a powerful tool for creating excellent customer service and driving repeat customers to your eBay store. Chapter 6, our customer service and retention chapter, will discuss these strategies in detail.

An added benefit to using eBay’s Selling Manager Pro is that eBay offers to bundle the cost of this tool with other eBay tools you may already be using. Although there is a monthly fee involved with SMPro (at the time this book went to press, it was $15.95 a month), it’s offered as a freebie to Featured and Anchor eBay Stores subscribers. Also, if you choose to use eBay’s Listing Designer (pre-set HTML templates for listing creation), the usual fees for the service are waived for SMPro subscribers.

[We'll discuss 3rd party management tools in the next post]

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2 Comments:

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