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Tools for the Online Seller - Photos, Listing, Shipping

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As a solo entrepreneur our time is valuable. Often we need help with the day to day tasks of sourcing, listing and shipping. Here are some of the apps, online and mobile tools that I use to help me with my online selling (eBay and FBA - fulfilled by Amazon).

eBay
Taking photos - I upload with a wireless SD card straight from my digital camera to my iPhoto app on my Mac. I use the Eye-Fi card/app since it’s easy to set up and use. Right after snapping the pics, they will show up in iPhoto, no cables necessary.

Photo storage - I like Dropbox.com for photo storage. It can be accessed online and easy to sort and find photos you need in a hurry. There is a free account and a more robust paid account. It is easy to share pics between users.

Listing tools - I use a couple different apps depending on the circumstance. What is easier to list than books from an iPad? The eBay app is free and quick and easy to scroll through the different drop downs. You can scan the bar code on the back of the book and it will find the book, load all the info about it and you snap a pic, or even use their stock image. Set the price and in a couple of minutes, your listing will be live!

Auctiva - If you want to use many different templates depending on the type of item, then Auctiva may be for you. I have a tie template, coffee mug template, t-shirt template, etc. I select one of the templates and make a copy to edit and use for a new listing. It’s great for consignment sellers too. Create a new consignor profile and check their box when you are listing one of their items and you can see a list of their inventory. Auctiva is great for scheduling eBay listings in advance as well. You can pay for a whole year of Auctiva in advance to get a reduced rate! Or try a free 30 day trial to test it out!

Seller Vantage - This tool is a bit more robust than Auctiva for consignment sellers. One can write a listing and set it up to sell on eBay, Craig’s List and Amazon too! It will allow you to print on blank voucher checks to pay the consignors at anytime! The monthly cost varies depending on how many listings you do. I have just started the new year with new consignors and already LOVE it! I highly recommend it!

Listing Tools
I use both Profit Bandit (one time $15 cost) and ScanPower ($59.00 monthly - scanning and listing) for scanning bar codes and checking out potential pay-outs when selling with Fulfilled by Amazon. I use both and then compare their results for informed buying! You can type in the price you are buying it for in Profit Bandit and it will tell you what your take will be after all the Amazon fees, no math required! With ScanPower, you have to figure out if there is enough room for profit after subtracting the cost of what you want to buy. With either app you can see if there are other FBA sellers and decide if you want to compete with Amazon as well.

You can use the scanner in the eBay mobile app to see if others are selling a like item and for what price on eBay. The apps are on my iPhone 5 (Android has them too!) and work great with an unlimited data plan (I am grandfathered in!). You need to have internet connection to do this research. It wasn’t that long ago, people would write down the UPC and ISBN numbers, come home and type them into Amazon.com. We are spoiled now! It’s so fast, you can cover a lot of ground on one phone charge.

Shipping
One can use the straight forward eBay and PayPal apps to ship with, however there is another great app in eBay called Auctane. It is powered by ShipStation and versatile tool for the online seller. It will even import your Merchant Fulfilled sales from Amazon. With Auctane, you can set up multiple eBay user IDs for shipping and compare all the rates when you click the green dollar sign right next to the weight and size of the package. You can compare services and see exactly how much each will cost. Many folks forget to check the Flat Rate Box A to see a bit of a savings on smaller items. Auctane costs under $10 per month and I save that alone on one big shipping day!

Don’t forget to set up FREE UPS, FedEx and USPS accounts. You can order free supplies like pouches and 2-up shipping labels for your printer from UPS and all kind of boxes and envelopes for free from USPS.

There are many tools to choose from. Free trials are a great way to see if they are a good fit for you. Time is money when you sell online and these tools help me with all my daily activities like photos, listing and shipping.

Watch for my next article on keeping track of your expenses with two of my favorite tools: GoDaddy Bookkeeping (formerly Outright on eBay) and TaxJar (take the headache out of sales tax collection!)

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