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Tips for Choosing Auction Software

Want to turn your business into an automated sales machine? Try auction software.

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There is as much art as there is science in crafting an effective listing. Fortunately, there is a host of applications that can take care of the technical details and free you up to focus on content. Whether you're looking to create clean, professional listings; list multiple items with ease; or make managing your on eBay a breeze, there is a program out there for you. "Streamline" and "automate" are the buzzwords here.

Mac users may find it a little more of a challenge rounding up software for listing eBay items. There are some options available, though, including a Web-based application. Check out the following rundown of features for eight popular applications, with a focus on listing software. You might just find the one that's right for you, saving yourself time and money.

(877) 4-ANDALE
Starts at 10 listings for $2 per month
Andale offers a wide suite of auction applications that keep track of everything from image galleries to counters and research. Lister is just one of many of Andale's auction programs. With Lister, users can pick and choose the elements they want. Highlights include access to more than 100 layouts and templates, plus a launch scheduler and automated inventory management.
· Web-based; offline Windows-only version available

Marketworks Salesware
(877) 668-2655
Starts at $14.95 per month, or 2 percent of transaction closing price ($3 max)
Marketworks Salesware is geared toward small businesses seeking a complete auction management solution. Users can purchase up to 1GB of hosted image storage. Advanced features include an integrated e-commerce storefront, automated customer notifications and a bulk inventory upload utility.
· Web-based

Auctiva Poster
Starts at $9.95 per month
Just one of a suite of software and services available from Auctiva, Poster takes the guesswork out of pricing by allowing unlimited postings for a single monthly fee. It also offers a variety of template options, as well as a batch upload feature. Although free picture hosting and counters come with embedded ads, these features are also available ad-free for an extra charge.
· Downloadable software requires Internet Explorer 4.0 or later

ChannelAdvisor Pro
(866) 264-8594
Starts at $29.95 per month
ChannelAdvisor offers packages for individual sellers all the way up to enterprise businesses. The Pro package targets low- to mid-volume sellers and comes with customizable templates, a launch scheduler, 250MB of hosted image storage and customizable settings.
· Web-based

Selling Manager Pro
One month free trial for new users; $15.99 per month
Auction software straight from the source, eBay's Selling Manager Pro combines the abilities of eBay's free Turbo Lister program with inventory tracking, listing statistics, feedback automation, bulk listing, sales reports and templates. If you don't need so many features, Selling Manager Basic is available free for the first 30 days, then $4.99 per month.
· Web-based

Marketplace Manager
(888) 421-4537
Starts at $8,000
Infopia's Marketplace Manager is a complete e-commerce solution for small and midsize businesses that have an auction services component. Besides the usual suspects like auction scheduling and inventory management, the program also assists with bulk e-mail campaigns, coupon creation and automated post-sale management. The cost is for a full installation.
· Web-based

Sales Manager
Varies; flat rate starts at $12.95 per month
Vendio also offers a suite of extra services that can be added on. Sales Manager perks include bulk feedback submittal and FedEx, UPS and USPS integration. A built-in spellchecker keeps your listings looking professional and easy to read. Pricing varies with the number of auctions you run and whether you choose a flat rate or pay-as-you-go plan.
· Web-based; offline Windows version available

Auction Package
(877) 966-8948
A one-time setup fee of $400; $49 per month (basic bundle with auction bundle added)
The Zoovy Auction Package has components for setting up, launching and closing ads with a heap of automated features. Bulk listings, hit counters and the usual assortment of customizable templates and themes are all within the scope of the program.
· Web-based

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