Tips for Choosing Auction Software
Want to turn your business into an automated sales machine? Try auction software.
There is as much art as there is science in crafting aneffective eBay listing. Fortunately, there is a host of softwareapplications that can take care of the technical details and freeyou up to focus on content. Whether you're looking to createclean, professional listings; list multiple items with ease; ormake managing your business on eBay a breeze, there is a programout there for you. "Streamline" and "automate"are the buzzwords here.
Mac users may find it a little more of a challenge rounding upsoftware for listing eBay items. There are some options available,though, including a Web-based application. Check out the followingrundown of features for eight popular auction applications, with afocus on listing software. You might just find the one that'sright for you, saving yourself time and money.
Starts at 10 listings for $2 per month
Andale offers a wide suite of auction applications that keep trackof everything from image galleries to counters and research. Listeris just one of many of Andale's auction programs. With Lister,users can pick and choose the elements they want. Highlightsinclude access to more than 100 layouts and templates, plus alaunch scheduler and automated inventory management.
· Web-based; offline Windows-only version available
Starts at $14.95 per month, or 2 percent of transaction closingprice ($3 max)
Marketworks Salesware is geared toward small businesses seeking acomplete auction management solution. Users can purchase up to 1GBof hosted image storage. Advanced features include an integratede-commerce storefront, automated customer notifications and a bulkinventory upload utility.
Starts at $9.95 per month
Just one of a suite of software and services available fromAuctiva, Poster takes the guesswork out of pricing by allowingunlimited postings for a single monthly fee. It also offers avariety 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 extracharge.
· Downloadable software requires Internet Explorer 4.0 orlater
Starts at $29.95 per month
ChannelAdvisor offers packages for individual sellers all the wayup to enterprise businesses. The Pro package targets low- tomid-volume sellers and comes with customizable templates, a launchscheduler, 250MB of hosted image storage and customizablesettings.
Selling Manager Pro
One month free trial for new users; $15.99 per month
Auction software straight from the source, eBay's SellingManager Pro combines the abilities of eBay's free Turbo Listerprogram with inventory tracking, listing statistics, feedbackautomation, bulk listing, sales reports and templates. If youdon't need so many features, Selling Manager Basic is availablefree for the first 30 days, then $4.99 per month.
Starts at $8,000
Infopia's Marketplace Manager is a complete e-commerce solutionfor small and midsize businesses that have an auction servicescomponent. Besides the usual suspects like auction scheduling andinventory management, the program also assists with bulk e-mailcampaigns, coupon creation and automated post-sale management. Thecost is for a full installation.
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, UPSand USPS integration. A built-in spellchecker keeps your listingslooking professional and easy to read. Pricing varies with thenumber of auctions you run and whether you choose a flat rate orpay-as-you-go plan.
· Web-based; offline Windows version available
A one-time setup fee of $400; $49 per month (basic bundle withauction bundle added)
The Zoovy Auction Package has components for setting up, launchingand closing ads with a heap of automated features. Bulk listings,hit counters and the usual assortment of customizable templates andthemes are all within the scope of the program.
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