- Using Auction Listing Services
- Using Auction Listing Software
- Another Listing Creation Option: Third-Party Auction Templates
Using Auction Listing Software
All of the services we've discussed so far in this chapter are just that—services, based on the company's website. To create an auction listing, you use your web browser to access the website, log in, and then get to work.
But many sellers prefer to do their listing creation offline, at their own pace. For these sellers, a listing creation program is the preferred tool, like the ones we'll discuss next.
Why Use Listing Software Instead of a Web-Based Service?
There are a few advantages to using a listing program instead of a web-based service. For one, using a software program lets you work offline, at your own pace; you can create your listings at any time of day or night, and upload them at your leisure.
Second, since you work offline, all your auction information is stored on your own computer—not on somebody else's website. That makes it easier to access past information when you're not online, and to manage it as you see fit. (Many sellers like to create their own sales reports using Excel or Access, which isn't always doable with web-based management services.)
Third, most web-based listing services charge you money for each listing you create—or sale that you make. That's not always the case with listing creation software; while some programs come with subscription plans, many are available as simple one-time purchases, just like most of the other software you have installed on your PC.
Popular Listing Creation Programs
If the software route sounds like the way you want to go, then here are the programs to check out. It's important to note that several of these listing creation programs are offered by eBay, which doesn't make them any better or any worse than the other programs; it only makes them "official," whatever that is worth.
Ándale Lister Pro
Earlier in this chapter we discussed the web-based Ándale Lister service. Ándale also offers a software-based listing-creation tool, called Ándale Lister Pro (www.andale.com), which provides the option of creating all your auction listings offline, at your leisure. The software is free to download, although Ándale still charges fees for all listings you upload.
Auction Lizard (www.auction-lizard.com) is an easy-to-use listing-creation software program. It creates simple auction listings using forms and templates; you can also format your auctions using a WYSIWYG HTML editor. (Figure 3.7 shows one of many Auction Lizard auction templates.) Auction Lizard is shareware, with a $29 registration fee.
Figure 3.7 A listing template created with Auction Lizard.
Auction Wizard 2000
Auction Wizard 2000 (www.auctionwizard2000.com)—that's wizard, not lizard—is an auction management software program that includes a listing creator, an image editor, a report generator, an FTP manager, and an auction database. It costs $75 for the first year (and $50 for each subsequent year) with no monthly subscription fees.
Auction Wizard's strength is as a bulk listing tool. It does offer predesigned listing templates, and lets you do a variety of formatting within the templates; a typical auction template is shown in Figure 3.8.
Figure 3.8 A listing created with Auction Wizard 2000.
AuctionSage (www.auctionsagesoftware.com) is a software program that lets you post and manage your eBay auction transactions. It includes a basic listing creation tool, capable of creating auctions like the one shown in Figure 3.9. The program is available on a subscription basis—$29.95 for 3 months, $49.95 for 6 months, or $79.95 for a year.
Figure 3.9 An auction listing created with AuctionSage.
AuctionTamer (www.auctiontamer.com) is an all-in-one auction management software program for both sellers and bidders. For sellers, it features an WYSIWYG HTML editor with a handful of simple templates, like the one in Figure 3.10. Cost is $12.95 per month or $99.95 for a year.
Figure 3.10 An auction listingssoftwareeBay Blackthorne Basicauction listingssoftwareeBay Blackthorne Proauction listingssoftwareeListerauction listingssoftwareeBay Blackthorne BasiclistingssoftwareeBay Blackthorne ProlistingssoftwareeListerlisting created with AuctionTamer.
eBay Blackthorne Basic
eBay Blackthorne (previously known as Seller's Assistant) is an auction listing/management program offered by eBay. It comes in two variations: Basic and Pro.
Blackthorne Basic (pages.ebay.com/blackthorne/basic.html), shown in Figure 3.11, is the best program for casual and small-volume sellers, offering HTML-based listing creation (using forms and templates), auction tracking, and basic post-auction management. The software is available on a per-month subscription; you'll pay $9.99 each month, no matter how many listings you create. (Figure 3.12 shows a fancy listing created with Blackthorne Basic.)
Figure 3.11 eBay's Blackthorne Basic program.
Figure 3.12 An auction listing created with Blackthorne Basic.
eBay Blackthorne Pro
eBay Blackthorne Pro (pages.ebay.com/blackthorne/pro.html) is essentially Blackthorne Basic on steroids, with many more post-auction management features for high-volume sellers. It also includes free Listing Designer templates, which (if you like them) are worth 10 cents a pop. Other than the Listing Designer templates, the listing-creation functions are identical to those in Blackthorne Basic. The program costs $24.99 per month.
eBay Turbo Lister
eBay Turbo Lister (pages.ebay.com/turbo_lister/) is eBay's official software program for the bulk uploading of multiple auctions. Although Turbo Lister doesn't offer any auction tracking features, it excels at bulk uploading—and it's free, with no monthly subscription fees.
The Turbo Lister software is quite easy to use. As you can see in Figure 3.13, it uses a series of forms to request information about your listings. You can format your listings with the built-in WYSIWYG text editor, a raw HTML editor, or just apply a Listing Designer theme. (You'll get charged the standard 10 cents per theme when you upload your listings.) In short, using Turbo Lister is like using eBay's web-based sell your item pages, but it works offline, on your own PC.
Figure 3.13 Creating a listing with eBay's Turbo Lister program.