Popular Auction Management Programs
While dozens of auction management programs have been developed for eBay users, listed here are the companies that provide the most popular tools. Many of these are available on a trial or demo basis so you can test them out (and don't forget to read user reviews). Keep in mind that most of these programs require ongoing payments or subscription fees, and many include per-transaction fees.
eBay offers a variety of web-based and desktop management programs, such as Turbo Lister, which allows to create listings in bulk; Selling Manager which allows you to monitor listings, manage feedback and email, print invoices, and print and labels; and Selling Manager Pro which does everything that Selling Manager does, plus manage inventory and provide profit and loss information.
In addition to these web-based tools, eBay offers desktop applications that accomplish similar tasks (Blackthorne BASIC, Blackthorne Pro and Seller's Assistant Basic and Seller's Assistant Pro). You can learn more about these Tools for Success at the eBay website, which also offers a comparison chart of eBay tools’ features. eBay can help you sort through its software options with its tool recommendations wizard.
One eBay tool that’s definitely worth highlighting is eBay’s Turbo Lister, a program that enables you to schedule, preview, and post many listings at once. Not only is the program useful for mid- and high-volume sellers, it’s free!
Vendio offers web-based and desktop solutions, including Sales Manager Inventory Edition, for eBay sellers of multiple units of the same item (also known as “multiple quantity selling”), and Sales Manager Merchandise Edition, for sellers of unique items, such as one-of-a-kind collectibles. Vendio, which reportedly services $50 million in monthly eBay sales (and acquired the Andale software tools company), also has separate customer management tools (Vendio Customer Manager); image hosting services (Vendio Image Hosting); and revenue, profit and loss, tax, performance, cost, and customer reporting tools (Vendio Reports). Like some other software vendors, Vendio also offers web hosting and gallery services.
Auction Hawk is one of the few web-based tools offered at a flat fee. Services include the usual image hosting, templates (providing smart layouts and backgrounds for auction listings), email, a feedback scraper (that scours your listings and reports on buyers who more likely to leave negative feedback), feedback management, gallery, inventory, and PayPal integration.
MarketplaceAdvisor offers a web-based, all-in-one management tool. Their services assist in listings, counters to record the number of visitors, gallery and image hosting, inventory management, email, feedback, and relistings.
If you plan on selling beyond eBay, for example, on Amazon and Yahoo, then check Auctiva's web-based and desktop tools. Auctiva’s software can track listings on all of the sites as well as assist in creating postings for these sites. All of the expected functionality is here, including inventory management, scheduling, image hosting, and counters.
InkFrog was one of the first companies to offer a lower-priced web-based auction management system for a flat fee. The company offers, among other services, unlimited auction scheduling, image hosting, inventory, consignment, automatic relisting of items after an auction ends, and templates for winning bidder emails.