Whether you're an avid bidder sniping the hottest bargains, or one of the army of professional sellers plying your trade on eBay, you'll know that keeping on top of your eBay activity can be a headache.
But it doesn't have to be so painful.
Fortunately, there's a growing array of applications to make your life easier.
So where should you start?
Here are our ten favourite eBay apps.
1. Turbo Lister 2
If you're selling more than a handful of items, Turbo Lister 2, eBay's free listing tool should be the first application you master. It may not be the prettiest or most stable of programmes, but it's functionality outweighs the frustration of the occasional crash. Use the in-built HTML editor to design eye-catching listings and edit and manage your listings in bulk. Don't forget to synchronise your data before and after each session, customize your columns, and check any changes to listing fees.
2. eBay Companion for Firefox
eBay's free Sidebar Companion is a must-have if you're an eBay aficionado. With it's in-built Account Guard, it's safer too. An eBay spokesman told me "eBay Sidebar was developed closely with Mozilla, and can be downloaded as a plug in, or more uniquely as an add-on pre-added to the browser. We've had well over a million downloads and very positive feedback from users."
3. eBay Deal Finder & eBay Pulse
Deal Finder is eBay's free, surprisingly underplayed, all-in-one portal that makes finding a bargains a doddle. Search for items within a certain price range, those ending soon, or click on one of the popular searches. eBay Pulse also deserves your attention if you're a seller seeking to know what's in fashion, and who are the biggest sellers in your category.
Recently acquired by eBay's to replace their now retired Marketplace Research, Terapeak is a must for any eBay seller looking to glean valuable insights into what's selling, who's selling it, and for how much. Frooition's Andrew Main is a fan: "It is easy and intuitive to use and can effectively inform your product purchase decisions - helping you to run a better business." At around $30 per month it's a sensible investment for any successful eBay business.
5. Just Ship It
Just Ship It's easy-to-use interfaces allows you to download all sold items and produce invoices, labels and picking lists and reduces the time spent in packing and shipping your products. It works with the eBay API to pull sales and customer data so you can easily print invoices, labels, store customer data. It's also integrated with the Royal Mail PPI, which could save your hours every day. A no-brainer for £10 per month. Aimco Packing Partner is also another well-received solution.
6. Comsulting Bulk Relister
Don't have the time to master the complexities of Turbo Lister? Bulk Relister may not be an exciting application but it makes mass editing your listings (over 27 variables) in a painless task. Chris Dawson, co-founder of eBay blog TameBay.com enthuses: "if you just want to revise a few listings, Bulk Reviser does exactly what it says on the tin. It's a good tool - it's a very quick, easy and efficient way to bulk revise your listings' attributes". It's well reviewed, and the UK version is £39.95
Goofbay may not be as meaty as Terapeak but it's free and provides a selection of useful tools including Seller History which helps you gauge what a seller has sold and how much they have made, 'Negative Feedback Checker' which allows you to sort an ebay users feedback into neutrals and negatives and the 'Not in Title Checker' search for keywords. It also includes an auction sniper to help you snag bargains at the last minute. If you're hot on bid sniping, AuctionSniper is a very useful tool, too.
8. FrooitionBase eBay Store and Listing Design Tool
The most successful sellers on eBay know the value of a eye-catching, user-friendly listing and shop frontage. Frooition's new entry-level eBay store and listing design solution is just the ticket if you're on a tight budget. Like their professional eBay design service, it deals with all aspects of your brand on eBay and simplifies the process of getting listings looking professional and working effectively without flailing around with HTML. You can sign up for a free 30 day trial and it's £15 per month thereafter.
9. eBay Research Labs BayEstimator
Your listing title is probably the most important 'real estate' of your eBay listings and with eBay's Best Match algorithms, it's important to get the title right form the beginning. eBay Research Lab's BayEstimator is another of eBay's little-known gems which looks at the relative popularity of the keywords in your title, and estimate how well it may work. The only downside for UK users is that it's US based but the information it provides means it should be part of any seller's toolkit.
An unlikely, but very useful, inclusion into our top ten. To-do lists are all well and good, but if something needs to be accomplished six weeks in advance? If like me you need a little prompting now and again, LetterMeLater is the solution. Primarily used to schedule in advance when and to whom an email is sent, I find it a gem when using it to remind yourself in advance or set recurring emails. Now - what was I supposed to be doing this coming Valentines day?
Need more helping finding the right tool for you? Visit eBay's Seller Tools Finder.
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