Auction Software Reviews
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As I just mentioned in the previous section, the time will come when your business sales will be high enough that just keeping track of what's going on will become overwhelming.
That's when you know it's time to grab some auction management software.
Auction management software can automate many of the tasks you spend time doing manually each day. Aren't computers great?
The following pages will discusses the different auction management tools offered by eBay. There are plenty of other tools available out there, so I recommend that you take a look at eBay's competition before deciding on a final purchase.
The nice thing about eBay's competition is that their software is often integrated with online auctions other than eBay. So if you ever want to start listing auctions with one of eBay's competitors, you might want to consider buying software other than what I go over here.
Which Auction Management Tool is Right for Me?
Depending on what level of sales you are doing and to what level you wish to automate tasks, eBay has several different auction management options for you.
Here's a quick run down of the available options eBay offers.
My eBay is the tool given to all sellers to help them track and manage their auctions. However, My eBay is not at all powerful, and should only be used (as an exclusive auction management solution – you'll probably always use My eBay to some extent no matter the level of your eBay buisiness) for very low volume sellers.
TurboLister is a free listing tool. The key is that it is strictly a listing tool, nothing more. You won't be able to do any auction management with it.
One of TurboLister's nicer features is its ability to bulk edit auctions. In other words, you can modify several auctions at once.
Selling Manager is recommended for sellers doing fewer than 100 sales per month. The cost is $4.99 per month.
Selling Manager is strictly an online tool, meaning you need to have internet access to be able to use it. The advantage to this is that you can manage your auctions from anywhere in the world so long as you have internet access.
Selling Manager, like TurboLister, gives you the ability to bulk upload auction listings, as well as bulk edit them.
You'll also be able to take care of post sales management, such as emails, feedback, etc. either one at a time or in bulk. The email manager has a template builder. It comes with several preloaded field variables, which allow you to automatically insert things such as a buyer's user ID, the item number, the date, and so forth. You can also create your own custom field variables.
Other capabilities include bulk relisting, bulk printing of shipping labels, and the ability to export sales data for bookkeeping.
Selling Manager Pro
Selling Manager Pro does everything its younger brother (Selling Manager) does and much more. It is recommended for sellers doing more than 100 sales per month and costs $15.99 per month.
Like its younger brother, this is also an online tool.
The software itself is actually identical to Selling Manager. However, in Selling Manager all the Pro features are locked out until you upgrade to the Pro version.
The main advantage to going Pro is its ability to automate many of the tasks you would normally have to do manually. For example, when an auction ends, you can set Selling Manager Pro to automatically send a post auction email to the winning bidder.
You can even tell it to automatically leave positive feedback based on certain criteria (for example, if you've received payment for an item or after you've received positive feedback from the buyer).
Selling Manager Pro also provides inventory management tools, which in turn allows you to set up rules for automated auction listing.
Yes, believe or not Selling Manager is actually smart enough to automatically list auctions based on inventory levels as well as any other criteria you give it.
To learn more about either Selling Manager or Selling Manager Pro, visit the following URL: http://pages.ebay.com/selling_manager
Blackthorne is the new name given to what was previously Seller's Assistant. Unlike Selling Manager, Blackthorne is a desktop tool, meaning it resides on your computer rather than on the internet. This allows you to manage your business even when you're offline.
Perhaps the biggest news regarding Blackthorne is the fact that it has an open Microsoft Access database, meaning you can directly edit the database.
If you're a computer geek and understand what that means, then you can understand the potential an open database provides. You'll be able to write your own queries and do all sorts of other cool stuff.
If you don't understand what any of that means, then just simply ignore it. By directly editing the database, you can really mess things up very quickly.
Another major change is the interface. Unlike Seller's Assistant, Blackthorne is just one window in which you can see all information without having to scroll sideways. The user interface is far more friendly and much more intuitive than the old Seller's Assistant.
Blackthorne is a "do it all" program for eBay auction management. In fact, Blackthorne is so powerful it would take an entirely separate book to really talk about everything it is capable of.
In addition to managing your own auctions, Blackthorne also allows has tools for consignment sellers, as well as sellers that have employees. Some of the tools for the latter include the ability to create multiple users and the ability to restrict access to certain parts of the program according to which user logs on.
Additionally, Blackthorne's WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get, pronounced wizzy-wig) HTML editor allows you to insert images. That in and of itself is not unusual. The really nice part of it is that when you send your auction to eBay, Blackthorne will automatically upload the photos to your web host or image host and automatically adjust the HTML code to point to the proper image location.
If you understand what I just said about how Blackthorne handles images, then you know that this feature is a major time saver!
Blackthorne is not available to all countries. To learn more, and to check availability in your country, visit the Blackthorne site at:
Jump to another chapter:
Chapter 1: Driving Traffic to Your Auction Listing
Chapter 2: Listing for Higher Profits
Chapter 3: Does Any of this Stuff Work?
Chapter 4: eBay Stores
Chapter 5: Auction Management
Chapter 6: What to Sell on eBay
Chapter 7: Finding Products to Sell on eBay
Chapter 8: Mining eBay's Traffic
Chapter 9: HTML Tutorial
Chapter 10: Acting Like a PowerSeller
Chapter 11: Final Words
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