Fiddling around with a multitude of tools can seem, at the outset, to be something that takes up a lot of time, but once you get to grips with them you’ll soon see that they can really help you to streamline your online selling business. I use many different tools to help me to manage my sales, some of which are completely free and included within eBay, and some of which cost a little money in the form of a subscription fee.
You’ll need to work out which tools are the best for you and your business yourself with a bit of playing around, but here are a few of my favourites to get you started. If you’re not already using these tools then take a look at them and consider if they could help you to make your eBay business more of a success.
Selling Manager Pro (SMP)
This is an eBay tool that has a subscription cost of £4.99 per month, (at the time of publication) though there is a 30 day free trial available if you’d like to give it a go. I use this tool and find it absolutely invaluable when it comes to managing my sales on the eBay website. It’s particularly useful when you find that your online selling business is starting to grow and tracking and managing your sales becomes more difficult to do manually. Medium to high volume sellers will find SMP incredibly useful for the day to day admin tasks that are required of you, as the tool helps with:
- Managing your product inventory and saving templates of listings to easily recreate them.
- Automating dispatch emails and feedback.
- Providing sales activity reports for you to download to keep an eye on what’s selling well.
- Automatically scheduling listings and relisting items that might not have sold.
Those are just a few of the things that this tool can do, so take a look at the information that eBay provides on this service here
This is another paid tool, and though it does overlap with eBay’s Selling Manager Pro, there are some great extra bonuses that SMP doesn’t provide. For example, Auctiva gives you access to more than 1,700 professional looking templates that you can use for your eBay listings, and also access to a scrolling image gallery to showcase some of the other items that you have for sale to interested parties looking at your listings. Once again, there’s a free trial that you can take advantage of to get your head around how Auctiva works, and after that the Starter Plan costs just $2.95 per month (around £1.90). You may find yourself leaning toward either Auctiva or SMP; however I personally use both tools. You can find more information about Auctiva here
Although eBay allows you to add images to the gallery of your listings, you should also consider adding images to the main description part to showcase your products. In order to do this you will need to use an image hosting website to store those pictures that you wish to use. Photobucket is my preferred image hosting service because it’s completely free and very intuitive to use. There is plenty of space for storing up to thousands of pictures, and you won’t need to pay eBay to add any additional photos. You can sign up for a free Photobucket account here
This is another tool that you need to pay for, but it’s one that I think any serious eBay seller should have access to because of the invaluable marketplace research that it provides. The information accessible within Terapeak is truly incredible; from what’s selling the most successfully, to the sellers selling those products, to the sellers making the most profit, and so on and so forth. It’s really simple and easy to use, and can help you to run your own eBay business more successfully. Once again, there’s a free trial so have a play around and then you’ll have a better idea of which package would be the most useful for you. Terapeak is available here
BONUS TIP: Watermarking Your Photos
I mentioned using Photobucket earlier as a tool that can help you add more images to your eBay listings for free – that’s a service that allows you to add watermarks to your pictures so that other sellers can’t nab your images to use on their own auctions. If you weren’t aware though, eBay’s picture service also allows you to watermark your pictures, and you can do so by following these simple instructions:
- On your eBay listing creation page scroll to the ‘Bring your pictures to life’ section.
- Click the ‘Add or remove options’ link, and then select your preferred watermark option (your eBay user ID or a camera icon – I suggest the user ID).
- Click the Save button.
It’s as simple as that, and it means that all of your pictures are protected from unscrupulous sellers who would seek to use your images for their own benefit. So there we go, if you haven’t taken a look at the tools mentioned within this article I strongly suggest you do have a browse around to find the ones that will work best for you, and help you to make your eBay business more of a success than it already is.