eBay have four main bulk listing tools, File Exchange, Selling Manager Pro, Turbo Lister and BlackThorne, with Turbo Lister being the most widely used.
Tip 1: The key to getting the most out of Bulk Listing tools lies within their unique file structures.
Most if not all Bulk Listing Tools refer to the file format that they import/export as Comma Separated Values (CSV) file. CSV is a file format but structures differ across the various tools. An example is the difference between File Exchange and Turbo Lister, they both use CSV. File Exchange is a Pure CSV and Turbo Lister is a Hybrid CSV file containing CSV, XML (Item Specifics) and XML Base64 (Shipping, Location and Postage Costs).
Tip 2: The more you can manipulate a file format, the less preparation work is required
Some Tools are better at dealing with higher volumes than others. File Exchange is superior to Turbo Lister and Selling Manager Pro for Mass Product Listings
An extract from eBay
'In general the API provides more calls and more flexibility than File Exchange. However, eBay File Exchange may be useful for large bulk adds or revisions as the File Exchange protocol is less "chatty" for each insertion or revision."
Tip 3: Research on user forums for technical issues related to the tool you want to use. If it constantly gets bad reviews then it may not be a good fit!
Probably the most important aspect related to using bulk listing tools, the Graphical User Interface (GUI). Sellers want to see what the end listing will look like before spending money on fees. This allows for the use of Branded HTML templates, listing themes and WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) Editors.
If it's logical and easy to use, there is less of a learning curve. However, badly designed and cumbersome tools create headache, frustration and annoyance.
Tip 3: When choosing a Bulk Listing tool, check to see how compatible it's exports are with other Bulk Lister. If you ever decide to move away from that tool, it's far easier to move with existing listing data.
Main costs to consider with using bulk listing tools
The choice of the right Bulk Listings tool for Sellers is directly related to their specific needs, volume of goods to be listed, technical abilities and selling approach. The 'term of one size fits all' probably does not apply in this case of Bulk Listing Tools.
However, if you require a streamlined, cost effective and automated approach to automating bulk listing preparation for eBay we provide a hosted solution called Inventory to eBay which is directly accessible from any desktop or email client. It converts inventory records, spreadsheets, product feeds and supplier catalogs directly into File Exchange (Multi Variations), Turbo Lister, Selling Manager Pro and Blackthorne formats, ready to bulk listings without the requirement for manual data entry.