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How to Automate your eBay Store

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 6 Aug 2010 | comments*Discuss
How To Automate Your Ebay Store

Managing your ebay business can be incredibly time consuming. If you continue to manually list all of the items your business wants to sell to ebay users, this isn’t a very efficient use of your business resources. As ebay has developed tools have been created to enable business users in particular to manage their store more efficiently. Many of the tools that ebay provide are free or have a small monthly fee. If you’re listing more than a dozen items a week on your Internet business, now is the time to think about automating these areas of your ebay store.

Turbo Lister

This free utility that all ebay users can download enables you to automate the listing you place live on your ebay store. You can create professional listing layouts with this software that enables you to upload thousands of items with just a couple of clicks of your computer’s mouse. If you consistently relist items that haven’t sold, Turbo Lister is essential to improve the efficiency of your Internet business. Note that Turbo Lister is for Windows computers only.

Selling Manager

When you start to sell multiple items through your ebay store, your business can become very complex as it has to track each of these transactions. This is where Selling Manger and Selling Manager Pro come in very handy. The standard version of this utility is free, with the more advanced Pro version currently costing £4.99 per month. Think of Selling Manager as dashboard that enables you to instantly see the status of your ebay store.

Picture Manager

One of the golden rules of successful selling on ebay that every business learns every quickly is that each listing must have a photo of the item for sale. Ebay customers want to see what they are buying. If your ebay store intends to have hundreds or even thousands of items live at any one time, managing the images for each item can become complex. Ebay offers Picture Manager to help you keep control of your images. Prices start at £4.99 for 50MB of image hosting per month.

Payment Automation

As ebay has integrated the PayPal online payment system into its systems, making the most of these features is a great way to ensure the payments side of your ebay store is always working efficiently. You can set-up PayPal invoicing to automatically appear on each of your ebay listings. The PayPal Payflow gateway allows your ebay business to connect to an existing payment processor you may already be using. Also available is PayPal Payment Pro and Express Checkout that enables your business to further automate payments from its customers.

Shipping and Delivery

If your ebay business sells a large number of similar items, you can use ebay’s selling manager utility to include the same shipping cost on each item you list. This can be easily changed across all of your listings when shipping costs increase. The Royal Mail and the other commercial carries such as FedEx and UPS can provide automated services to help you with shipping the items you sell from your ebay store. Look closely at the costs of these services as they can be expensive.

Automated Feedback

One of the core foundations of ebay as a business is the feedback that every user can give and receive. As a business your ebay store could sell thousands of items each day. Leaving individual feedback for these buyers quickly becomes inefficient. Luckily, if you subscribe to the Selling Manager Pro utility you can automate how you leave feedback. Positive feedback can be automatically left for any completed transactions.

Selling Manager Pro also enables you to send a selection of automatic emails to your customers. These can include: winning buyer notification, payment reminder and item dispatched. Sending these emails keeps you in contact with your customers and creates a positive and professional connection that will ensure your ebay store is visited again.

Starting an ebay store can seem like a fast and straightforward exercise, but once you begin to list more than a dozen items at once, you soon realise that manually updating your store is going to require huge amounts of time and effort. Look at the type of goods your ebay store will be selling and what kind of format you want your store to take - auctions or Buy It Now sales. You can then choose from the available automation services and utilities to ensure you run your business efficiently.

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