Auctiva Series 2 – New Listing Demonstration Continued

This is the second article of the series of using Auctiva. In the last post, I talked about account setup and the first part of creating a new listing. In this article, I will finish the rest of the sections of creating a new listing.

 

Marketing Tools:

This is an optional tool to increase exposure to the market. I will not get into details. Please spend some time to look into it yourself.

 

Shipping Tools:

– Location: You want to tell the buyers where your warehouse is located (where your product is going to be shipped from), so they can have a better idea when to expect the item – It’s extremely helpful when during holiday seasons as nobody wants the gift later than the date they need it. To deliver on time is the most important in this matter. If you are in North America, you can simply enter the zip code and it should fill out your city state (province).

AuctivaShippingLocation

 

– Options: By indicting “Domestic Handling Time”, buyers can tell how quickly you will send out the product. Please be aware of that shorter handing time will result better customer experience. You should keep your promise as much as possible because handling time is now one of the main categories to fill out when leaving the feedback and it can affect your reputation directly.

– Ship to Location & Exclude Location: If you are not shipping to worldwide, this is the place for you to tell your buyers.

– Domestic and International Shipping Services: The most common used ones are “flat rate shipping” and “calculated rate shipping”. In most of cases, I use flat rate, because it’s simple and easy. Even though “calculated rate shipping” is more accurate, you need to spend a lot of time to enter dimensions and weights for each product in order to run the calculator from shipping carriers to tell the cost of the shipment.

 AuctivaShippingRates

 Most common practice is to provide combine shipping, which means you charge less shipping cost for any additional item people are buying from you after the first one. To give you an idea, I charge 50% of regular shipping cost for each additional item purchased.

In order to keep your business automatic, try to avoid “local pick” unless it’s really convenient to you, but think about the time and efforts you need to put in to handle this on regular base before you grant the option. 

– Auctiva Shipping Insurance: I usually round the insurance charge to the total shipping cost, so I do not use this option.

 

Checkout Options:

AuctivaPayment 

– Payment: Enter your PayPal email address to make sure the payments going into the right PayPal you want. PayPal is by far the only payment method I accept for all my eBay sales. If you are interested to set up other method of collecting payment, by all mean, feel free to use them.

“Require Immediate Payment” is available only to fixed price listing without best offer option (no negotiation allowed). Why do you want to use this option?  For each unpaid item, it takes you at least 7 days to get your listing fees and final value fees back, so I found it’s very time consuming when dealing with unpaid issues. In order to improve eBay selling efficiency, I always make sure immediate payment is required.

– Sales Tax: this is for accounting purpose. By law in most of the states in USA and provinces in Canada, sellers are required to collect tax when sales are made where this business is located. As I am not an accountant, I will strongly suggest you to talk to your accountant if you have any particular questions regarding this matter.

– Return Policy: The best practice is to provide at least 14 days return and you can fill out refund, return shipping and restocking fee according to the nature of your products.

AuctivaPreview

Now you reach the end of the listing page. After you complete the listing, you can preview it to make sure it’s looking good overall. Estimate the eBay fee to know the cost of your listing and check possible error in you listing and fix them if there are any.

Lastly, you have options to:

AuctivaAfterOptions

– Save the listing for future use

– Post the listing into your eBay account now

– Schedule a future time to post the listing

Please notice that, the listing will be automatically saved once it’s posted.

Alright, I am going to wrap up here. By this point, you know how to create a new listing in Auctica. In next article, I will talk about some other functions in Auctiva to organize the listing contents better and further improve the efficiency after the very first listing is created.

Please go ahead with your comments and questions as usual. Until next time…


Auctiva Series 1 – Account Set Up and New listing domonstration

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.

 AuctivaFreeTools

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.

AuctivaCreateNewListing                                     

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.

 

Basic Settings

 AuctivaCreate1

As showing in the picture above, the first 2 sections are basic setting for a listing.

– Create an eBay Listing:

  • Sale Type: There are two types of listings on eBay. Fixed Price is the one I use the most. If you are carrying popular products from big brand with high market recognition, Auction might be more ideal to you
  • eBay Site: Always choose United States if you can as it provides the most exposure to the audience.
  • Master Profile: This works as a plug-in that you can save prefilled information into different profiles and load them into future listing to save your time. I will get into more details in a later article of this series of this post. Please Stay tuned for now.

 

– 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.

 

Item Details

As this section has lots of information, I divided it into three parts. Now let’s look at the first part:

AuctivaCreate2

 

– 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.

AuctivaCreate3

 

– 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.