In the previous article in this series, two different types of eBay selling tools were discussed, Listing Tools and Tracking/Managing tools.
eBay’s 2 listing tools are the Sell Your Item form and Turbo Lister, and its 4 primary tracking/managing tools are My eBay, Selling Manager, the Seller Dashboard, and Listing Analytics.
Next, this installment in the series will discuss all-in-one tools and a sales Insight tool.
Selling Manager Pro
Perhaps the most popular all-in-one tool eBay offers is Selling Manager Pro, which is basically Selling Manager on steroids. It offers all of the features you’ll find in both My eBay and Selling Manager, then tacks on several additional features as well, making it an extremely comprehensive one-stop shop for eBay sellers:
- Create and schedule listings in bulk
- Automatic listing and relisting
- Automated payment, shipping status and feedback
- Create and manage inventory, including automatic incrementing and decrementing of inventory
- Automatic emailing
- Create monthly profit and loss reports
- Determine listing success ratio and average selling price
- Export sales data to Quickbooks using eBay’s Accounting Assistant program
Selling Manager Pro offers a 30-day free trial, after which it costs $15.99 a month for sellers with Basic eBay Stores or no store. Sellers with Premium or Anchor store subscriptions get Selling Manager Pro for free. ($15.99/month)
Another all-in-one tool eBay offers is SixBit. It is similar to Turbo Lister in that it’s a desktop-based tool that you download to your computer, but it has much greater functionality than Turbo Lister does.
Here are some of its main features:
- Create and edit listings in bulk
- Listing and invoice templates
- Automatically insert payment terms, shipping details, and other fields
- Send bulk emails and leave bulk feedback for buyers
- Update payment and shipping status in bulk
- Save sales and customer information
SixBit offers a 30-day free trial, after which it costs $19.99 a month. ($9.99/month)
One of eBay’s lesser-known tools is File Exchange, and although it’s also a fairly comprehensive all-in-one tool, it’s so technical that most eBay sellers have difficulty using it. In order to use it effectively, you need to be well-versed in spreadsheet functionality and be comfortable working within a spreadsheet environment to list and revise items, as well as relist, manage sales, and handle post-transaction activities.
Here are some of the main features File Exchange offers:
- List, revise, relist and end listings early in a single file
- Update transaction status and leave feedback in a single file
- Download active listings and sales history reports in a flat file format and import to your own software (if needed)
- Create file templates for every category, including columns for item specifics
- Create listings from any application on any operating system
- Supports HTTP Post
File Exchange is the only all-in-one tool eBay offers that is completely free, but the learning curve is such that most sellers would rather pay to use Selling Manager Pro or Blackthorne, rather than have to spend the time and energy to figure out how to use File Exchange (Free).
Sales Insight Tools
eBay’s Sales Reports tool has been around for quite a while, yet many eBay sellers are completely unaware of its existence and how valuable it is. There are 2 versions of the tool, Sales Reports and Sales Reports Plus. There used to be a fee associated with Sales Reports Plus, but it’s free now, so it’s definitely the best version to use.
Here are the main benefits of using Sales Reports (taken from eBay’s Sales Reports hub page):
- Measure your existing eBay business against sales goals
- Understand the main drivers of your business
- Determine areas of opportunity and areas of improvement
- Refine your business strategy to ensure success
Pretty abstract, right? Well, in short, Sales Reports gives you data on all of your sales for each previous week and month since you subscribed to the tool, going back 18 months within its archived reports.
It provides you with crucial data to help you analyze your sales, ` organized into the following 3 reports:
- Sales Summary
- Unpaid Items
- Sales By Category
- Sales By Format
- Format Summary
- Ending Day
- Ending Time
Within these reports, you can determine the following things:
- How much you’re paying in fees, compared to your overall sales revenue
- How much your sales have increased or decreased over the past few weeks or months
- The average selling price of each of your items
- How many buyers you’ve had, broken down into new/unique and repeat buyer
- Your most and least successful categories
- Your most successful listing format (auction or fixed price)
- The most successful day(s) of the week and time(s) of the day for your sales
- The most successful duration you’ve used
What’s more, you can print any of the reports or download all of the data into a comma or tab delimited file, which can be viewed in most spreadsheet programs (MS Excel, for instance).
Every serious eBay seller should be reviewing his Sales Reports on a regular basis. If you don’t view them at least once every couple of months or so, eBay won’t save them for you to view at a later time (Free).
All of the eBay tools that have been covered in this article, as well as its previous installment, are very helpful tools, but the tools you should use personally depends entirely on your situation, eBay sales level and experience, and personal preferences.
One rule of thumb that works well for many people is to start out by utilizing the free tools that are available, then decide later on if you need greater functionality and want to upgrade to one or more of the paid tools.