eBay Reseller Guide: Auctiva
Many people often ask us to help them to set up their online store. My boss keeps telling me that we’re a wholesaler and can’t assist with that, but I’ve been looking into it and found a very handy solution that can take you from eBay novice to ecommerce mogul in 5 minutes flat! Setting up your eBay business doesn’t have to be hard…
Here at Chinavasion we really appreciate all of you ladies and gentlemen who are reselling our products over the internet, particularly on eBay.
In fact, drop shipping has been making so many waves recently that we’re getting more and enquiries about how to do drop shipping.
In case you’re still unsure, drop shipping is where you sell Chinavasion goods online and get orders for them. As soon as you receive an order, you then order the item from us and we send it directly to your customer. No fuss, no need to keep stock and no need to handle postage. What could be better?
If you need to know more about drop shipping please take a look at the drop shipping knowledgebase which has a stack of useful information about what to expect and how to get started with drop shipping.
In order to help you guys I’ve been scouring the net for easy ways to set up an eBay store and I’ve found a great one: Auctiva!
Auctiva? What’s That?
Auctiva is literally an: “eBay auction software providing eBay auction management tools, templates, image hosting, online scheduling, and an easy to use one page listing tool.”
Auctiva is a service which helps you to add listings (items for sale) to eBay. Nothing new there you may think, but it’s the way that Auctiva has many automatic functions that gives you benefits above doing this manually on eBay yourself. Let’s look in detail at Auctiva:
- One page listing: You can set up and launch an entire eBay listing from just one page on the internet! Just follow the on-screen steps and fill in your product’s information, template and pictures and then launch directly to eBay. Below you can see one of the steps, so just keep filling in the boxes with your info and you’ll soon have completed your listing. Easy!
- Templates: Choose from professionally made templates which are ready for you to just drop your product’s information into.
- Profiles: Allow you to set up a certain profile for each type of product you sell, so if you’ve got a new phone for instance, you can use your already-made ‘phone profile’ and just fill in its relevant new information rather than starting from scratch. Convenient and fast.
- Scrolling gallery: This is a really wonderful application. You can set up your own scrolling gallery to run along the bottom of your listings which shows up to 16 other items that you sell, thereby allowing you to hopefully sell more and really take advantage of your customers’ attention. Best of all? This is a free function available even if you don’t pay for its other services!
- Upload and edit images: This can be done directly in Auctiva which is really useful because it means that you have total control and access to your business anywhere, not just your computer at home or in the office. Your product images are held by Auctiva, so once they are uploaded you can get at them on any computer. Auctiva also resizes them automatically for you which avoids PS work and therefore saves time.
Below you can see the image-selection step for each listing. Click it and choose the image from your computer. It’s made very easy for you!
- Schedule listings for free: eBay charges you to do this, but Auctiva doesn’t. Case closed.
- Manage your listings: Auctiva gives you immediate information, in real-time, on all your listings past and current. You can see at a glance what’s popular, what’s selling and what isn’t!
- Email templates: Your customers will be automatically emailed with whichever details you deem to be useful, such as payment and postage options, upon ordering from you if you choose to use this helpful function. It’s also great customer service to do this, but you can avoid the time-consuming task of having to write out each email individually.
Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates…
Forrest Gump once claimed, “You never know what you’re gonna get.” This may be true in over-sentimental films where people with special needs are sent to war, but it doesn’t have to be the case when you’re looking on the internet for ways to start selling on eBay.
I totally understand that it can be daunting signing up for stuff online as sometimes you feel you’ve no one to get advice from or there is too much information (step forward eBay) which makes you start bleeding from the eyes; but I honestly liked Auctiva’s help section and ‘getting started’ tutorials for each and every function (and no, they’re not paying me to say this, but if you are reading Auctiva, remember me at Christmas time!).
Above you can see Auctiva’s own introductory video which is a little cheesy (sorry Joe), but does show how easy it is to use.
What’s The Catch?
As I mentioned Auctiva is not free, it costs from $2.95 per month (but this figure is affected by what and how much you use on the site). If you check on the internet you’ll see some negative comments surrounding its departure from free to paid service, but I suppose it’s natural that this would upset people who’d been using it extensively when it was free, but would mean then have to redo all of their listings on eBay or elsewhere if they didn’t agree to start paying.
Auctiva is only for eBay listings, so if you were planning on using eBay alternatives too it may not be the best choice for you.
There are opposing views on the forums about its speed when it comes to uploading your pictures onto eBay, some people arguing that there was occasionally a period of time where their listings were without pictures while they were ‘waiting’ for them to follow from Auctiva. However many people say that it is fine, so just keep an eye on this.
Auctiva was bought by Alibaba in August 2010. As of now there has been little ‘Alibabarisation’ of the site, but do be aware that if you become an Auctiva user you may receive mail or prompts pushing you towards Ali-express or related sites. If you do buy from here, please be careful to research the seller dilligently as there are pretty much no limits as to who can ‘sell’ on there. Read Gareth’s blog about Ali-express to find out more.
Time Is Money
I did sign up for the free trial in order to learn to use it and understand its functions, so my advice is to try the free trial yourself. It is, according to online forums I researched, cheaper than using eBay’s similar services.
I didn’t start an eBay business with it myself, so I can’t promise a cost-saving, but since you can use it for free for a month I suggest taking this time to see if it suits you and if it’s worth its cost in your opinion.
It is very easy to use and makes each step very clear, but make sure that (like with any service) you read through its help section thoroughly before proceeding and make sure you understand what is charged and what isn’t to avoid getting stung later. eBay fees do still apply too, so with Auctiva you’re paying simply for convenience and its marketing assistance.
I think someone who’s new to ecommerce would like Auctive because it allows you to create quite a sophisticated online store of your own with very little effort or know-how. It guides you through each step and you feel very ‘safe.’ Perhaps when you’re an ecommerce expert it wouldn’t be so crucial.