Many years ago, when I first use eBay to sell my personal stuffs, I created each listing individually and the repeating process bugs me all the time. As soon as I treat my eBay selling as a business, I was actively looking for tools to help with efficiency. Eventually I found a good tool called Auctiva. From the definition from Wikipedia,
“Auctiva is an eBay auction management system, founded in 1998 by Jeff Schlicht”
Auctiva provides a user friendly interface to help build listing profiles and save them as template to make future listings fast and easy. In this article, I am going to demonstrate how Auctiva is working and I highly encourage you to learn and master this tool.
Originally I plan to put everything about Auctiva into one single post, however as my writing goes, I realized that this will result a super long post, so in order to keep a good size for each of the listing, I will instead start a series. In this first article of the series, I will talk about setting up Auctiva account and first part of new listing demonstration.
Set Up an Account
Comparing to eBay and PayPal, Auctiva account is much easier to set up. In addition, to help you to get started easily, Auctiva provides a trial version and makes the best customer experience. There are only 3 pieces of information needed to start a free trial account: User Name, Password and E-mail address. Even after the trial period is over, you can still keep the account free if you do not purchase a monthly plan. Please see all the free tools in the picture below while keeping a free account.
If you are an active eBay seller and constantly listing lots of items, you can choose a monthly plan from Auctiva (with details of pricing and contents of the package). Just for your reference, the current plan I am using is “Advanced plan.” costing $10 per month.
You might have known this already, but I just want to make sure if you like to select a plan or switch a plan once the account is set up, you can go to “Change Plan” in the “Account” section under “My Account” from the top menu once you log into your Auctiva account.
Again before I go into details of Auctiva, I want to make it very clear here that I am only going through the most important functions I use the most, but please play around with other functions because you might have good ideas of utilizing them and do not forget to come back and share your experiences of using Auctiva.
Create a new listing
Now let’s get into the part where you can put in your hard work. Remember you might need to work a little harder upfront (depending on how many individual products you want to list, just to give you an idea, I have about 200-300 listings for each of my product line), but later on you can enjoy the benefit of working whenever you need to mainly by answering questions, processing orders and manage the listings.
As the picture shows above, through the top menu, under “Listings”, you can choose to create a new listing. By click on the link, you will be directed to the page of “Create an eBay Listing”. If you have any experience with creating a listing inside your eBay account, you will notice that this “one page” platform is more user-friendly and saves you more clicks and time to have the listing alive without missing any necessary details.
When I say “one page”, it means all the details you need to enter before publishing the listing are only on single web page, so you do not need to click through different pages and wait for each page to load up. Less clicks = less hassle, and you can have all the information in a listing saved and published at once. Just for your reference, by the time I write this post, I experimented to create a new listing my eBay account and found out it actually took me to click through 5 different pages to eventually publish a listing.
Now let me walk you through all the details on this one page platform to walk you through the process. If you have any questions, by all means, send me an email, or leave me a comment, I will do my best to help you with more details.
As showing in the picture above, the first 2 sections are basic setting for a listing.
– Create an eBay Listing:
– Skip to a Section:
This is used to help you easily navigate to a different section of this one page platform, so you do not have to go through all the details every single time.
As this section has lots of information, I divided it into three parts. Now let’s look at the first part:
– Load Profile: again I will go into more details to Profile in a separate article of this series and for now it just gives an option to load up some pre-filled information to save you time
– Title: I will say this is the most important part of you listing. Why? No matter how great your product is and how beautiful your listing is designed, if buyers can’t find your listing, you are pretty much just wasting your time by only enjoying with yourself. Therefore, as part of marketing strategy, title becomes extremely important when grabbing buyers’ attention. How to make an effect title? – to add most relevant keyword to the title. You don’t just brainstorm the keyword yourself, here are some helpful tips in one of previous post talking about how to use Terapeak to find the most relevant key words.
Please note that I do not encourage you to use “Subtitle”. Not just because it costs you money to add a sub title, based on my research, there is no significant advantage of using them.
– First Category: By clicking “Mange List”, a list of recent used categories will be opened up for you to choose from on the right hand side (where it’s showing blank right now). If this is a brand new product that has no relationship with your previous products, you can browse or search through all the categories available on eBay.
– Item Condition Note: Other than simply telling the buyers your product is new or used, you can add more details of your product to provide better customer experience and save you more trouble from possible argument later on.
– Second Category: The option is useful when you want to insert your listing to two different categories on eBay to increase the market exposure. Please be noticed that this does cost an extra fee though.
Now let’s look at the second part.
– First and Second Store Category: The reason eBay has category is to keep all the listings well organized, so same idea here, in order to help buyers with easy navigation, eBay Sore Category is necessary. In my last post about eBay Store, I talked about how to manage categories, and here we simply choose which category the listing belongs to. When new store categories are created in eBay account, they do not get updated in Auctiva account automatically. To synchronize the change, you need to manually go to top menu, “My Account” -> “Settings – eBay” ->”Update Store Categories from eBay”.
– Item Description: This is where you put in your own words. To keep it well organized, you can consider adding a template, which I will talk about later in this post. Good item description does not only contain text. Integrate photos and videos into the description can definitely help with more attractions.
In the last part,
– Auctiva Image Selection: Auctiva provides the service as an image host, so you can upload images up to size 2 GB (depending on which monthly plan you choose) and for each listing as per eBay’s standard, you can add up to 12 images.
– Price: Start Price and Reserve Price are prices used for Auction type of listings and they will be grayed out if fixed price listing is chosen. “Buy it Now Price” is how much you want to sell your product for.
By ticking “Accept offers from buyers”, you give the option to your buyers to negotiate the price, but in order to keep the offering price in control, I will suggest you to utilize auto decline offers and auto accept offers.
For each listing, you can list multiple items – please notice that this option is not available when you have feedback score less than 10.
Duration is how long you would like to list your product for. The ones I always use are 30 days and “good till cancelled”
If you do not want other people except for you and the buyer to know too much about the transaction, you can choose to set up listing as private. I sellers usually use it for expensive items such as jeweleries and cars. I have not used this before myself.
– Template: This is a format to organize the contents of your listing by separating them into different sections. I will get into more details in a later post.
Alright, I will end the first post of this series here and please let me know if you have any question and feel free to leave comments.