Perfect Timing

Power Up: It's Tool Time

Some eBay part-timers like to do things hands-on, in what could be called the old-fashioned way. Other sellers look for easier, faster ways to get their work done. Janice Ford-Freeman, for instance, always lists using InkFrog, a third-party, eBay Certified Provider that automates the listing process.

One of the most useful tools for part-time eBay sellers is Turbo Lister. "You can list items on the site using our regular form, but Turbo Lister has additional capabilities," says Nathan Etter, senior manager at eBay. "When you're selling similar items in volume, it makes the listing process much easier."

Selling Manager is another eBay tool well-suited for part-timers who want to boost sales volume without a corresponding increase in time. "Selling Manager helps volume sellers manage their inventory, keep track of activity on the site and keep track of sales over time," explains Etter.

eBay Stores is another option worth considering for part-timers because it gives sellers a permanent shelf for merchandising items. "[eBay Store owners] have a number of tools that allow them to produce newsletters, offer discounts or perform other marketing [tasks] that drive buyers to their sites and potentially create repeat buyers," adds Etter. "An eBay Store is a very inexpensive way for a part-time seller to create an online presence, and it doesn't take nearly as much time and money as [launching] your own website."

In addition to the tools offered by eBay, many Certified Providers offer tools that give part-timers a wide range of sophisticated capabilities. Etter says consulting services such as As Was give eBay sellers valuable assistance on topics such as serving customers and listing artwork. Aspyro, another Certified Provider of consulting services, helps sellers analyze and develop overall strategies to maximize sales and profits.

Listing items for sale is one of the most time-intensive yet critical parts of the business, and tools that speed up the process are popular with part-timers. Auctiva, One-Minute Lister, Vendio and other third-party listing tools can help sellers with image hosting, templates and inventory management. "The solutions aren't free," says Etter, "but part-timers find they are worth the investment in terms of saving time and [boosting] profits."

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