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The Web Ask Steven Smith
A Look at Third Party eBay Tools.

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A Look at Third Party eBay Tools. - Courtesy of Steven Smith


There are plenty of companies out there offering third party eBay tools. Most of them are web-based instead of downloadable, so you pay a monthly fee instead of just buying the software. But do you know what these sites can do for you? It can be hard to get to grips with what’s out there using a search engine, so here’s a quick rundown of the key players.
Andale (www.andale.com).
Andale offer lots of small products instead of one solution that does everything: you can take your pick from a lister, image hosting, counters, analysers, a gallery, a checkout and an email manager. The price plans are a bit of a maze, but quite reasonable as long as you don’t go and use everything.
Andale’s real claim to fame is that they’ve been doing it for so long – they’re not some fly-by-night organisation, and many eBay sellers have been using their free counters for absolutely years. They also have a reputation for being very responsive to customers, and will often talk to you directly on their forums and implement any suggestions you might have for improving their software.
Vendio (www.vendio.com).
Vendio offer two editions of their software, Sales Manager: a Merchandising edition and an Inventory edition. The difference between the two is that the Merchandising edition is designed to make it easier to list individual auctions, while the Inventory edition is for sellers who sell many of the same item. They offer a pay-as-you go price of 10c per auction.
They also offer software called Tickets Manager, special software for people who sell lots of tickets on eBay – an odd product to have, but useful if you happen to sell tickets. Other services offered by Vendio include web and image hosting, fancy Flash galleries of your products for your listings, and stores.
ChannelAdvisor (www.channeladvisor.com).
ChannelAdvisor offer their software in three versions: Enterprise, Merchant and Pro. Enterprise and Merchant are both designed for very big businesses, though, and the chances are that the Pro version does everything you’d want. ChannelAdvisor is popular among sellers who want a solution that they know is used and trusted on a very large scale by enterprise-level customers.
It offers all the standard bulk listing and inventory features, as well as the unique feature of being able to create auctions from an Excel spreadsheet of your inventory. The cost is high, though, at $29.95 per month.
And Many, Many More…
eBay maintain a comprehensive directory of third-party software, which you can browse through anytime you have a few days to kill. You can look either for complete solutions or for each part of what you want individually – the choice is so daunting that there’s bound to be something out there for you. You can look at their directory at http://cgi6.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?SolutionsDirectory.
Once your items have sold and you’re about to ship them, you might be a little nervous about whether you can trust your buyer. Our next email will give you a few tips for spotting problem buyers before you send them anything.

 

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