We use the inkFrog blog to provide lots of different kinds of information to sellers, including information on some the best strategies for succeeding on eBay.
With everything that we post, however, it can sometimes be a bit difficult to keep up—as the days and weeks fly by, still-very-current tips and tricks can get buried under a pile of more recent posts, leaving sellers to wonder whether we've covered a topic here at all.
So here are some of our most recent how-to posts all in one place—to help sellers to find and make use of all of them quickly.
Consistent branding is one key big-picture strategy for e-commerce success.
Big-Picture eBay Business Strategies
Before you get into the click-by-click strategies, there are some big-picture things that you need to do to ensure that you create a healthy, growing business.
Establish Consistent Branding Across your Online Storefronts. What it looks like when your eBay, Amazon, and Shopify brands match—and why it matters. Read the article! →
Easy Ways to Increase Your Professionalism. Looking pro is important for long-term growth and repeat business. Here's how to do it inexpensively. Read the article! →
How to Get Un-Suspended on eBay. Suspensions and mean that you have problems to address. But in the meantime, how do you get back to selling? Here are some tips. Read the article! →
Your positioning in eBay search results is going to become more and more important, so it pays to focus efforts there.
eBay Listing Strategies
Once you nail down the big-picture business basics, focus on these strategies to ensure that your listings are ranking in search and driving desire in shoppers.
How to Create eBay Item Descriptions that Lead to Sales. What to include in your item descriptions, and how to do it, to generate sales. Read the article! →
How to Create eBay Listing Titles that Rank and Sell. How to create eBay listing titles that are search-friendly and sales-friendly. Read the article! →
Rank Higher and Get Your Listings Seen in eBay Search. How to master eBay's search algorithm and propel yourself to the top of the rankings. Read the article! →
How to Enter eBay Item Specifics in inkFrog. How to use inkFrog to populate item specifics in eBay listings, and add your own as well. Read the article! →
Create Better Listings when Moving non-eBay Inventory to eBay. How to turn listings from other platforms into listings that will sell well on eBay. Read the article! →
Listing templates are an incredible, flexible inkFrog tool for driving growth in your business with minimal effort.
inkFrog Strategies for eBay Templates and Images
Once you have the business and listing basics down, you're ready to tackle specifics like beautifying your listiings using inkFrog templates and achieving perfect product images using inkFrog tools.
How to maintain Thousands of Listings with inkFrog Templates. How to use inkFrog's templates to manage, update, and maintain a large library of listings. Read the article! →
What to Customize in inkFrog Listing Templates. What customizations to make to inkFrog's listing templates before using them yourself. Read the article! →
Profitable Uses for the Photo Space in inkFrog Templates. What to do with all that extra space in inkFrog's designer templates—to increase sales and profits. Read the article! →
Use inkFrog to Create a Library of Holiday Templates. How to quickly and easily create a library of holiday-themed templates that echo your standard templates. Read the article! →
inkFrog provides powerful image editing tools to perfect your product photos—tools that are much easier to use than most other image editors.
Key Things You Can Do with inkFrog's Designer Templates. Great ideas for leveraging features of inkFrog's templates into extra profits and sales. Read the article! →
Save Time by Editing Product Images Inside inkFrog. How to get perfect eBay listing images quickly, using the right equipment and inkFrog's built-in tools. Read the article! →
inkFrog's Image Editing Tools, Step by Step, Part 1. What each inkFrog image editing tool does, with concrete visual examples. Read the article! →
inkFrog's Image Editing Tools, Step by Step, Part 2. How to combine operations from inkFrog's image editing tools to turn a losing image into a winning one, step by step. Read the article! →
How to Manage a Large inkFrog Image Library Efficiently. How to manage a library of many thousands of images quickly and efficiently in inkFrog. Read the article! →
inkFrog's folder system takes much of the pain out of eBay image, listing, and message management.
Other Time-Saving inkFrog Strategies
For established businesses, saving and making more cost-effective use of time are often the key concerns. These inkFrog strategies will save you time and help you to scale.
Use inkFrog Folders to Organize Images, Listings, and Messages. How to use inkFrog's folders feature to make life with eBay images, listings, and messages easier. Read the article! →
Use inkFrog Profiles to Quickly Create, Update, and Maintain Listings. How to use inkFrog's profile features to accelerate your listing management and updates. Read the article! →
Create Multiple eBay Accounts and Link them All to inkFrog. How to use multiple eBay accounts with one inkFrog account, and the benefits you'll see by doing so. Read the article! →
How to Use inkFrog Staff Accounts to Employ Virtual Assistants. How inkFrog's staff accounts feature works, and how it enables you to grow more quickly. Read the article! →
Use inkFrog Staff Accounts to Hire These Four Kinds of Employees. What kinds of employees you should consider hiring first, then putting to work under staff accounts. Read the article! →
With inkFrog's synchronization tools, becoming a multi-channel eBay, Amazon, and Shopify seller is easy.
Have inkFrog Automatically Leave Feedback for You. How to automate your eBay feedback using inkFrog tools. Read the article! →
Use inkFrog to Automatically Relist Unsold Inventory. How to configure inkFrog to automatically relist unsold inventory for you. Read the article! →
Use inkFrog to Move Listings Between eBay Accounts. How to use inkFrog to move listings between your eBay accounts with just a couple of clicks. Read the article! →
Use inkFrog to Get Your Amazon Inventory on eBay Quickly. How to use inkFrog to get your Amazon inventory up for sale on eBay quickly. Read the article! →
Use inkFrog to Sell on Both Shopify and eBay at Once. How to use inkFrog to get your Shopify inventory up for sale on eBay quickly. Read the article! →
Customize and Manage Your Synchronization Settings. What sorts of changes you need to make to your Amazon or Shopify listings as you import them for listing on eBay. Read the article! →
Video is just one strategy you should probably be adopting for e-commerce success in 2019.
E-commerce Strategies for 2019
The e-commerce landscape is constantly changing, and 2019 will be no different in this regard. Here are some things to know for the year ahead to help you to outrun the competition.
E-commerce Trends for 2019. Big-picture e-commerce strategies that are going to drive success in 2019, no matter which platform(s) you sell on. Read the article! →
Drop-Shipping Tips for 2019. How to survive and thrive as a drop-shipper in the crowded drop-shipping market in 2019.Read the article! →
Videos to Consider Making for Your Business in 2019. The kinds of videos you should be creating and using to promote your business in 2019. Read the article! →
Ready for More?
If you've read through all of these helpful articles, you're well on your way to becoming an inkFrog (and e-commerce) guru. Want more?
We're constantly publishing new ones—so continue to read the inkFrog blog until the next time we publish an omnibus index like this one!
eBay shoppers in 2018 expect generous return policies of they'll go elsewhere to shop. eBay is well aware of this fact—and as a result, has been pressing sellers to offer such policies for some time now.
Use the "International Returns Accepted" checkbox and options to set an international return policy that differs from your domestic return policy.
The trouble for sellers is that not all returns are created equal. Different items call for different return policies—and so do different buyers—if a seller is going to be able to stay afloat.
inkFrog enables sellers to create flexible return policies as profiles, and to make these policies different for domestic and international buyers on each eBay site.
Creating Domestic and International Return Policies
In the "Return Profile" area of the "Create New Listing" form, there are two checkboxes related to your returns policy for the listing:
International Returns Accepted
Each of these does precisely what its name suggests. Check the "Returns Accepted" box to accept returns from domestic buyers for the eBay site in question. Check the "International Returns Accepted" box to accept returns from international buyers for the eBay site in question.
In each case, if you enable returns, you'll then be able to also select:
Return window. Use the first drop-down list to select the time period within which returns must occur.
Refund method. Use the second drop-down list to select what the outcome of a successful return will be—a simple refund or the option of replacement (with a like item) or exchange (the value of the purchase applied to another item from inventory).
Save the return policies that you create as profiles to be used with other, similar products in your inventory.
Return shipping responsibility. Use the third drop-down list to select who will pay the shipping costs for the item being returned.
inkFrog's ability to provide this set of choices once for domestic returns and a second time for international returns enables you to manage costs and complexity to provide the best possible service to domestic buyers, without being constrained by the more costly realities of international returns.
Saving a Returns Policy as a Profile
Once you've made your selections on the listing form, you can save your returns policy as a profile to be used with other similar products in the future.
To do this, click "Save as new profile" once you've made your selections. You'll be asked to provide a name for your new returns profile, and also whether you'd like to link the profile to the listing you're creating.
In most cases, linking should be your preference—when a profile is linked to a listing, any updates to the profile in question will also update all of the live listings to which it is linked.
Using Your Profile with New Listings
After saving a returns profile, you can use it for any new listings that you create by clicking the "Link existing profile" button on the listing form, on the right side of the return profile area.
To use a saved profile with a new listing, click "Link existing profile" button in the listing creation form.
When you click the button, you'll be asked to select the profile to be used for your new listing from a list of the returns profiles you've already created. Select the desired profile, then click "Link selected" to apply the profile to the listing.
Once a profile has been linked to a listing, any changes to the profile will also update the policy in the listing—and in any other listings also linked to the profile.
Offering Returns with Confidence
By easily creating and using granular shipping policies that vary with the products that you offer and the locations of your buyers, you'll be able to offer levels of service that make you competitive for return-friendly items and shoppers without having to risk losing your shirt where generous return policies don't make sense.
That's a win-win for everyone.
Posted on December 10, 2018
Don't get stymied by your eBay return policies. Just create granular policies—for products and for shoppers—and save them for later re-use.
In some ways, it's harder than it ever has been to be an online seller—competition is incredibly intense, margins continue to fall, and the expectations of shoppers are higher and higher.
On the other hand, there's also never been a better time to be a seller—the level of professionalism that even small sellers can achieve is higher than it has ever been before.
Here are some of the things that small sellers are now doing to play right alongside far bigger companies.
With today's great smartphone cameras, inexpensive digital SLR cameras, and inexpensive lightboxes, even sellers that are just starting out and operating on a shoestring can put together studio-quality product photos that make products look amazing.
How to take advantage:
Making high-quality photos and videos is less expensive and easier to do than ever before. (Image: © StockRocket / Fotolia)
Get a recent smartphone or an entry-level DSLR camera
Get an inexpensive photography lightbox—they can be had for less than the price of a movie ticket and popcorn these days
Take advantage of inkFrog's photo editing tools to make your images perfect quickly
The same smartphone or DSLR gear used for better photography can also be used to create pro-quality videos, if you also invest in an inexpensive tripod and basic video editing software, then find a nice setting in your home or business environment.
How to take advantage:
Get an inexpensive tripod—no high-end features needed, just something to hold your gear
Get ahold of iMovie or a similar program for your computer or tablet and learn to make basic edits
Start producing basic social media and product videos that will help to build a loyal shopper base
Yes, anyone can advertise online these days, and it doesn't cost a fortune. Take a day to learn—then reach a new world of the shoppers that you want to target.
There was a time when global advertising was out of the reach of most small businesses, but in the present, any seller can reach any audience anywhere around the globe for very little money. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and most importantly search advertising with Google and Bing enable you to reach new shoppers anytime you like.
How to take advantage:
Set aside a few dollars (literally) to experiment with advertising
Pick a platform or two—Facebook and Google Ads are good places to start—and learn about them
Start running inexpensive ad campaigns to reach shoppers that'd otherwise never find you
Polished fulfillment experiences.
With eBay now offering eBay-branded packaging material along with easy-print labels, and Amazon FBA providing professional packaging as well, the delivery experience for even first-time sellers can match the best the industry has to offer.
Pair with simple bubble wrap and laser-printed packing slips or included business cards for an unboxing experience that's top-shelf.
How to take advantage:
Either get your own branded shipping materials or take advantage of eBay-branded shipping materials for the professional touch.
On eBay, get eBay-branded packing materials and an inexpensive food scale, then pre-print labels
On Amazon, take advantage of the FBA service
Use your own printer to create packing slips and marketing material to include in boxes
Smooth returns and exchanges.
The days of having to negotiate returns and exchanges by email—along with the embarrassment and goofiness that this generates in comparison to major retailers—are over. Instead, sellers on eBay and Amazon can now deliver a first-class experience to shoppers when problems arise.
How to take advantage:
Opt in to the eBay managed returns program
Be sure to handle any returns, refunds, and re-shipments promptly to preserve the experience
Don't Put it Off, Take Advantage
Even if business is going well and sales are coming in, don't put off taking advantage of all that the modern e-commerce ecosystem has to offer. No matter how well things are going, they go even better when you polish the rough edges away and take a step up to the next level.
This is especially true when each of the strategies above are so easy today to take advantage of—and when your competition is increasingly likely to be using them. So get started today!
Posted on December 03, 2018
Think you can't look like an established, high-gloss operation because you're just starting out? Think again. Try these easy strategies and look the part.
In our last post, we took a tour through many of inkFrog's built-in image editing tools to see what each one of them does in isolation.
Now we'll use a few of these tools in combination to really fix up—and dress up—an image. We'll start with the same underwhelming product image that we began with last time:
What are the problems with this image? There are a few:
It's got a yellowish-greenish color cast
The colors that are there seem a bit muted
It's lacking drama somehow; it's a bit flat
Let's see if we can take an image like this one and use the inkFrog image editor to make it just a bit more appealing. Here we go!
Edit 1: Enhance (Color Fix)
We start by using the "Color Fix" option of the "Enhance" tool to remove some of the yellow-green cast from the image, so that it's in more neutral tones. When we're done, we click "Apply" to save our changes.
Edit 2: Brightness
Next, we use the "Brightness" tool to increase brightness across the image. In fact, the background is light enough to begin with that we can make it disappear altogether with a big enough increase in brightness. Again, once we're done with click "Apply" to save our changes.
Edit 3: Contrast
The previous version was reasonable, but it was lacking just a little bit of "oomph." With a subtle increase in contrast using the "Contrast" tool, we make the dark areas just a bit darker, almost imperceptibly adding a bit of depth to the image. Then, we click "Apply" to save our changes.
Edit 4: Saturation
Now we use the "Saturation" tool to bring out some of the duller colors, like the blue of the glitter and the red of the motorcycle, so that they look like the figurine does in real life. Once more we click "Apply" to save our changes.
Edit 5: Sharpness
By increasing sharpness with the "Sharpness" tool, we are able to really show off the fine detail, scales, and glitter in the figurine, so that shoppers can see just how intricate it is. We click "Apply" again to save our changes.
Edit 6: Text
We didn't feature the "Text" tool last time, but we'll use it here to add a little label, just for fun. The exclamation point tells shoppers that we really love this product. Again we click "Apply" to save our changes.
Edit 7: Frames
Finally, we use the "Frames" tool to add a dark frame with rounded corners around our image, almost putting it into a little scene of its own. When we're done, we click "Apply" one last time to save our image.
The Final Result
It may not be perfect, but the final result is a good deal more appealing than what we started out with—and it only took a few seconds in inkFrog's built-in image editor to make these changes.
So the next time you're disappointed in the product images you download from your camera, take a moment to see if you can enhance them in inkFrog—and save yourself a bundle of time!
Posted on November 29, 2018
Watch us use inkFrog's built-in image editor to fix up an image, one step at a time.
Let's face it, photo editing isn't everyone's forte—yet getting photos right is a key part of being able to present products well and turn them into sales.
We've previously covered the inkFrog image editor as an overview, but we thought it might be useful to provide some visual illustrations to help users that aren't familiar with common photo editing terms.
Here are some examples of what each of the most commonly-used inkFrog photo editing tools actually does.
Our Original Image
Let's start with a basic product image. In real life, we'd set out to get the camera's exposure, white balance, and other basic settings a bit more bang-on than this before taking the photos—but for illustration purposes, this image will do just fine.
In our next post, we'll actually fix this image up completely by stringing multiple inkFrog editing tricks together, but for this post, we'll use this image to illustrate what many of inkFrog's tools do, one at a time.
Here we go!
The "Enhance" tool has three sub-tools. "Hi-Def" is the first of these, and it literally increases the definition visible in the image by lightening the edges of light areas and darkening the edges of dark areas.
"Illuminate" is the second of the options in the "Enhance" tool, and it's used to simulate dramatic lighting when your lighting is otherwise flat.
Enhance (Color Fix)
"Color Fix" is the last of the options in the "Enhance" tool, and is used to try to automatically remove a strong color cast. Notice how the yellow-greenish cast of the original image has been significantly reduced here.
Use the "Effects" tool to apply a variety of pre-determined adjustments to color and lighting to your image. What you see is what you get here—select an effect from the preview list whose look you like, then click it to apply the effect to your full-sized image.
"Frames" does exactly what you might imagine it would do—it draws a frame around your image. There are a number of different from styles to choose from, from wood simulations to film edges to this textured black frame. Click on each option to preview it full-size until you find one that you like.
"Stickers" adds little icons to your image. Select an icon (a "sticker") that you'd like to add, then click and drag to move it around or click and drag on its corners to rotate or resize it. (The black square around the sticker disappears when you click "Apply" to save your changes.)
Use "Orientation" to flip your image horizontally or vertically (the "Mirror" buttons) or to rotate your image clockwise or counter-clockwise (the "Rotate" buttons). Here we've flipped our original dragon image horizontally so that he's facing left instead of right.
The "Brightness" tool provides a slider that you can use to increase or decrease the overall brightness of the entire image. This can be used to turn light areas white, to turn dark areas black, or simply to lighten or darken the image overall.
The "Contrast" tool makes light areas lighter and dark areas darker, not just at the edges where they meet (as is the case with the "Enhance" tool's "Hi-Def" option) but everywhere. Images that look flat, weak, or washed out can often benefit from a boost in contrast.
Use the "Saturation" tool to increase or decrease the intensity of the colors in your image. Drag to the left to decrease color intensity, or to the right to increase it. Drag all the way to the left edge to turn your image black-and-white.
Use this tool to make your image seem "warmer" (more yellow) or "cooler" (more blue), particularly in light areas. Here the image has been made just a little bit cooler. Notice how the yellow cast has become a more green-blue cast.
The "Sharpness" tool enables you to either increase or decrease the degree to which the fine details and edges in your image "pop" as you look at them. Just be careful—adding sharpness is addictive, but it can also make your images look unnatural.
Use "Splash" to turn the entirety of your image—except for parts that you select—to black and white. When you start the tool, your entire image will turn gray. Then, use the brush to "restore" colors in just those areas where you'd like to have color back again.
Use the "Blemish" tool to hide little marks, bits of dust or debris, or other photo defects that you don't want visible in your photos. In this case, we've hidden dust spots on the dragon's horns and feet, and some of the stray glitter on a wing. Look closely—the effect is subtle—but it's supposed to be.
Remember not to edit out actual defects in your products—these should be visible in your photos so that shoppers understand they're there. Otherwise, you may be dealing with a return later when your shopper finds out that key details about your product weren't represented in photos.
What did we leave out?
It's tricky to do a post like this one because there are a lot of tools—yet the post is already really, really long. For this post, we've left out a few tools that most sellers know about or that are most easiest to understand or use without seeing them visually.
The "Crop" tool, which enables you to trim edges off an image by clicking and dragging.
The "Resize" tool, which enables you to resize an image if it's too large or too small for effective use on eBay.
The "Focus" tool, which enables you to blur all of your image but an area that you select, to draw shoppers' attention to that area.
The "Draw" tool, which enables you to simply draw on your image freehand style.
The "Text" tool, which enables you to type text over your image.
The "Redeye" tool, which enables you to click on red eyes caused by a camera flash to turn them black.
The "Whiten" tool, which enables you to whiten just certain parts of your image by brushing (clicking and dragging) over them.
Whew! That's a lot of tools available to you in inkFrog's built-in image editor.
You've now seen how a large number of them work—but you haven't seen them used together yet to really clean up and improve an image with multiple defects, like this one.
We'll do that in our next post.
For now, review the tools in this post and become familiar with what each of them does, so that you'll be ready to use them whenever the need arises with your own images!
Posted on November 29, 2018
Need some examples with real images to show you how to use the inkFrog image editor? Here you go.
Many inkFrog sellers have stores on multiple platforms—for example, a store on eBay, a store on Shopify, and a store on Amazon.com.
If this is you, ask yourself whether you've done what you can to brand your stores similarly across each marketplace or platform. Though at first glance branding consistency across all of your stores might seem like a ticky-tack issue, it's not a hard thing to accomplish.
eBay gives basic store subscribers two images and a text area to customize. Use them!
Why Consistent Branding Matters
Here are just a few of the reasons why consistent branding across each of your storefronts can benefit you:
Gift cards and marketplace loyalty. More and more shoppers are ending up with gift cards in their wallet, and eBay and Amazon gift cards can only be used on eBay and Amazon. Consistent branding enables a shopper to easily locate you on another platform and buy your products, whether the reason is gift cards or simple marketplace loyalty.
Authority, trust, and brand-building. Having stores on each major shopping platform, branded in similar ways, shows that your business is well-established and has a reality that goes beyond your merely being present on eBay, or on Amazon. This increases shopper trust, which can increase sales while enhancing the value of your brand.
With a basic Amazon store you get one image and a text area—but it can be enough!
More contact options and better customer service. Shoppers' ability to contact sellers varies from marketplace to marketplace, but there's no doubt that in some cases (say, on eBay) it's limited. When shoppers can find and identify you elsewhere, you can offer them more contact options—like a phone number or direct email.
Profit from marketplace promotions. From time to time, each marketplace runs promotions that offer significant discounts to shoppers, driving sales without affecting sellers' bottom lines. Being present and identifiable on multiple marketplaces means that shoppers can follow the discounts and buy from you on any marketplace—enabling you to benefit from these promotions.
On Shopify you have more control—but remember to echo your eBay and Amazon branding.
Repeat sales. By being present and clearly recognizable on multiple marketplaces, you're more likely to earn repeat sales from buyers as they navigate all of these factors—gift cards, promotions, convenience factors, and their own evolving preferences. If shoppers can find you wherever they happen to be shopping, you won't lose them as their shopping needs or preferences change.
It Only Takes a Few Minutes
Look at the examples above and consider—there are only two images used. Together, they took just a few minutes to assemble. It took just a few more minutes longer to insert them into an eBay storefront, an Amazon storefront, and a Shopify storefront.
If you're still muddling along with storefronts that use default or missing images or templates, you're missing a chance—every time a shopper visits you—to build your brand and the future of your business.
If that's you, take a few minutes today to bring your storefronts into sync!
Posted on November 27, 2018
There are real benefits that accrue to sellers who take the time to brand their eBay, Amazon, and Shopify stores in the same way.
We've previously shown how to efficiently manage very large image libraries efficiently using inkFrog, but we thought it might be nice to also provide help to users who:
If you're tired of scrolling through lists and lists of items in inkFrog, it's time to start using folders.
Need a simpler way to organize a moderate number of inkFrog images
Are looking for a way to keep their inkFrog listing library organized
Would like to be more organized about their eBay messages
inkFrog offers a simple, effective tool that can be used to manage your images, listings, and messages, all in the same way. In fact, it's one that most users are familiar with from their everyday computing life: folders!
What You Can Do with Folders in inkFrog
Using inkFrog folders, you can:
Create and name folders to hold images, listings, or messages
Move images, listings, or messages into or out of folders, in bulk
View and use one folder of images, listings, or messages at a time
Search within folders to further narrow your view images, listings, or messages view
Happily, folders are very easy to use in inkFrog and make for a quick, ideal organization system for any seller with more than a dozen or two items in their inkFrog libraries. Here's how to do it.
Creating a Folder
Folders exist inside your inkFrog image, listing, or message library. So before following the steps below, open one of these areas of inkFrog. Once you've chosen and opened one of these areas, the steps to using folders are easy:
- Open your list of folders. Click on the folder icon, then on "Manage Folders" (or, in your messages area, just click directly on "Manage Folders") to open the folder management tool.
Click "Manage Folders" to open your list of folders for editing.
- Click "Add new folder" to create a folder. In this dialog, you either can delete existing custom folders or add new folders. Click on "Add new folder" to create a new folder. When prompted, enter a name for your folder.
Click "Add new" to add a new folder. Use the trash can icons on the right to delete folders.
- Select items to move into your new folder. Select the items you'd like to move into your new folder, then click "Bulk Actions" → "Move to folder" (or "Bulk Actions" → "Library Actions" → "Move to folder" in the listings area) to begin the move process.
Select multiple items, then click "Move to folder" to move them to a new folder.
- Select a destination folder. In the "Move to folder" dialog, select the folder you just created from the drop-down list, then click the "Move" button to move the items you selected into the folder.
Select the destination folder for your move from the drop-down list.
- View the new contents of your new folder. To open your new folder for work and see the items you just moved there, click the folder icon and then select your new folder from the drop-down list. Your view will be updated to show the just contents of the folder you selected. Note the "Is in..." label above your items, which tells you which folder you're viewing. To exit the folder, click the 'X' on this label.
When you view your new folder, all of the items you moved are there.
Folders That Synchronize
One quick caveat bears mentioning.
The items and folders in your images and listings libraries are local to inkFrog, meaning that when you create folders and move images or listings into them, these activities do not affect your listings or images on eBay. The folder tools in these areas are there purely to help you to keep your inkFrog life organized.
The messages and folders in your messages area, however do synchronize back to eBay, since eBay's messaging system also supports folders.
We suspect that most inkFrog users will find inkFrog's messaging tools far superior to those on eBay, and as a result, won't ever even notice—but it's worth a mention that if you create a new folder, then move messages into it, you'll see these changes also reflected in your eBay messaging area.
It's That Easy
And there you have it—folders in inkFrog. There really is nothing else to it!
This simple technique only takes seconds to learn, but can save you gobs of time down the road as you build up libraries of images, listings, and messages—eliminating the need for you to scroll or search through endless lists to find the items you're looking for.
Posted on November 19, 2018
You can end up with a lot of images, listings, and messages in your inkFrog account. Happily, inkFrog folders give you a way to keep them all organized with ease.
When you sign up for inkFrog, you link an eBay account to your inkFrog account as a part of the registration process. But did you know that you can link several eBay accounts to a single inkFrog Professional, Unlimited, or Designer account?
You can! Inside your inkFrog account, visit "Settings" → "eBay accounts" and click the "Add eBay Account" button to begin the linking process.
Use "Settings" → "eBay accounts" → "Add eBay Account" to link additional eBay seller accounts.
You'll soon find that inkFrog is every bit as easy to use with several eBay accounts as it was with one eBay account.
The Benefits From Using Several eBay Accounts with One inkFrog Account
Why would anyone do this? Because it's a great option for many eBay businesses. Here are five of the most important benefits.
It makes running your eBay business much easier. Selling across several eBay accounts without inkFrog is a massive headache, requiring you to log in and out of each of your eBay accounts constantly in order to list, ship, create or edit policies, and so on.
Link all of your eBay accounts to one inkFrog account and you can suddenly do anything related to your eBay business, for any of your eBay IDs, in a single application. The savings in time and headaches are immense.
You can easily move products and listings between accounts. Many sellers use each eBay account as its own brand, and this means sometimes shifting listings from one account to another as strategies evolve. This is a huge, error-prone time sink; moving a single listing can take minutes. Moving ten can ruin a weekend.
With all of your eBay accounts connected to inkFrog, this becomes a simple task. End the listing under one account, then opt to relist it under another. It takes a few seconds to move one listing, and it also takes a few seconds to move a hundred or a thousand listings.
With inkFrog, moving listings between accounts—whether one at a time or in bulk—is a rapid process.
You can re-use your library of images, templates, and listings. Every image, template, or listing that you create or customize inside inkFrog can be quickly reused with any of the eBay accounts connected to your inkFrog account.
This means that all of the creative and marketing work that you do is multiplied—rather than having to do or upload your work again and again for each eBay login, you do it once and re-use it forever, right away, with any of your accounts.
Incoming orders and messages are each handled in a unified list. Without inkFrog, it's hard to stay up-to-minute on incoming orders and customer messages. If you're logged into and working on one account, you're not seeing what's happening on all the rest. You have to constantly visit them all, round-robin style, to stay current.
Link your accounts to inkFrog and you'll see all of your incoming orders in one list incorporating all of your eBay IDs. Messages, too—you can read and reply to all of your messages chronologically and seamlessly.
Imagine all of your messages and your metrics, for all of your accounts, in one place.
Better metrics that give you full totals. When you have multiple eBay accounts, it normally takes additional legwork to understand how your sales are going overall. You literally have to log into each account, pull out numbers, and then tally them yourself.
With inkFrog, you can see dashboard activity or analytics for all of your eBay accounts together, to get a clear picture of how your business is performing overall, without extra manual labor.
With this list of benefits, it's easy to see why most inkFrog users with several eBay accounts choose to link them all to inkFrog.
But How Does eBay Feel About It?
Every now and then we hear from a seller who wonders how eBay feels about sellers that have multiple eBay accounts and that link them all to inkFrog.
If you're one such seller, here are some facts to help clear the air:
eBay policies allow sellers to have and use multiple eBay seller accounts
For each account, you are expected to follow eBay rules and keep fee payments current
eBay wants sellers to succeed, and embraces tools that enable policy-compliant success
By linking multiple eBay accounts to your inkFrog Professional, Unlimited, or Designer subscription, you'll improve your ability to market and sell efficiently while also boosting your ability to provide timely and accurate customer service and order fulfillment.
What's not to love? If you're struggling to answer that question, it's probably time to get inkFrog now if you haven't already.
Posted on November 16, 2018
Have several eBay seller accounts? Have you linked them all to inkFrog? If not, you're missing out on serious advantages.
inkFrog's Unlimited and Designer plans offer you the capability to provide staff accounts to employees. Some sellers likely know immediately what to do with this capability, but for other new sellers, the uses are more fuzzy.
If you know that you're becoming the limiting factor to the growth of your business, yet you started out as a one-person operation and don't quite know who to hire and set up with an inkFrog staff account, this article is for you.
Here are four employees or contractors to consider adding to your business—and to your inkFrog account.
A listing and/or fulfillment assistant can help you to keep your products listed and your orders shipped on time. (Image: Sirinarth Mekvorawuth / Dreamstime)
1. A listing and/or fulfillment assistant.
The first kind of help you'll likely hire is likely to be either a listing assistant, a fulfillment assistant, or both rolled into one. This assistant:
Helps you to craft listings and take product photos
Helps you to post new listings and update old ones
Does the grunt work when you make changes to many listings at once
Helps you to package orders, print labels, and ensure that fulfillment happens promptly
A listing and/or assistant is a great first hire or first independent contractor because listing and fulfillment are the two tasks in which sellers most typically bog down and fall behind when they first start to see rapid growth.
2. A channel manager or marketplace specialist.
This employee is like the "listings" half of the a listing and fulfillment assistant, only with more hours and more expertise. They know eBay (in the case of an eBay specialist) or eBay and other selling platforms (in the case of a channel manager) inside and out:
How to keep tabs on competition
How to identify new opportunities and areas of unmet demand
What the hot niches are on eBay and/or other marketplaces
The listing practices and strategies that best present products to shoppers and drive sales
The tools and features on eBay and/or each marketplace that you should be using
They're there to help you to decide what you should probably sell, know how and where you should list it, and to create and manage the listings and branding of your business—to ensure that your inventory is up for sale effectively at all times.
3. A customer service manager.
Depending on the niche in which you sell, you may also find that as you grow, the demands of providing good customer service grow as well.
A digital marketing manager is like a techie and a marketing guru rolled in to one—perfect for e-commerce.
It can be frustrating to see orders on the rise and to realize that you're running out of time twice as fast because customer service tasks seem to be multiplying at the same rate. This employee:
Understands your business, products, and brand
Is a great communicator, loves people, and loves to make them happy
Has good basic business judgment
Spends their time responding to customers' questions, needs, and concerns
Customer service is a particular talent. As business grows, it can pay dividends to employ someone or find a contractor to relieve you of these customer communication and interaction tasks—enabling you to focus on inventory, listings, fulfillment, and strategy.
4. A digital marketing manager.
As your business grows, there are new, more technically challenging and marketing-oriented things that you need to accomplish. A digital marketing manager helps you to maximize the work done by you, your channel manager, and your customer service manager by:
Hire help, set up your inkFrog staff accounts, and put them to work. Don't let initial resistance keep you from finding the help that will enable you to grow.
Helping to coordinate the activities of your website and each of your channels
Building buzz for your brand, listings, and website on social media
Bringing in new shoppers via digital advertising
Identifying new online tools and services that can help you to grow
Ensuring that the online portion of your business isn't holding your growth back
A good digital marketing manager is a bit like a marketer and a techie rolled into one. They have the instincts and skills of a marketer along with the technical chops to operate effortlessly in today's digital, multi-channel, search-and-social-media environment.
Give 'em a staff account and put 'em to work.
If you're an inkFrog user with an Unlimited or Designer subscription who's growing a bit faster than you can cope with, yet you don't have any staff accounts yet, you may find that one of these people is exactly who you need to continue to grow.
So go out, hire them or put them on a part-time contract, get them an inkFrog staff account, and let them log in and start helping to make a difference in your business.
Posted on November 01, 2018
If you're an inkFrog Unlimited or Designer user trying to grow, here are four common small e-commerce business employees that you can hire—and set up with staff accounts.
Product image workflows can take a lot of time, particularly if you're concerned about representing your products well (which you should be). But you can be making things a lot harder on yourself if you're not taking advantage of the tools that inkFrog offers.
For example, too many sellers have an image workflow like this:
Take pictures with high-end camera
Transfer from camera to computer
Load into Photoshop
Edit contrast and color
Resize down for eBay
Upload to eBay or inkFrog
But you can shorten this significantly with a few camera tweaks and by using what inkFrog and your camera already have to offer. Here are some tips.
Are you spending time on long image workflows with heavy editors like Photoshop? Don't. Just use inkFrog.
Set your camera and lighting up properly.
Set up a small photography working space somewhere with a surface, backdrop, and lighting that will result in great product photos. Usually this means a bare, white background and diffused illumination from multiple angles.
Even better results can be obtained with an inexpensive, basic lightbox. Search eBay or Amazon for "lightbox," "photo box," or "photo tent" as your favorite retailer for options that start under $25 and go up from there.
Don't think that since you don't have a full-fledged studio, you can't do better than cluttered snapshots. Take twenty minutes to establish a clean, uncluttered area and to experiment with lights. You'll be surprised at what you can accomplish with things on hand and a little ingenuity.
Believe it or not, you don't need this.
Approximate it with a clean table and shaded lamps, an inexpensive photo tent—or even window light.
(Image: Nataliya Kuznetsova / Dreamstime)
Then, change your camera's image quality settings so that your images are sized properly straight out of the camera. Twenty or thirty megapixels is just too much for e-commerce work—you're not making posters or billboards.
Instead, set the camera for a horizontal resolution between 2,000 and 3,000 pixels and a medium or low quality (i.e. stored image size) setting, so that you don't have to resize and re-save later before uploading.
Upload straight to inkFrog and edit there.
Rather than inserting additional steps and heavy applications like Photoshop into your workflow, use the image editing tools built into inkFrog. Once again, you don't need to do gallery quality artwork for online sales, so there's no reason to get buried in Photoshop or other similar programs.
Notice the edit button to the far right of images that you've uploaded to inkFrog. Click it and you'll find most if not all of the image editing tools that an online seller will ever need, tailored for purpose and all in one place.
Pay special attention to these:
Enhance. If your image is "flat" looking, too dark, or the white balance is off (i.e. "weird" color or a color cast), use the Enhance option to fix up these basics and produce a photo that's closer to "correct" in terms of lighting and color.
Crop. Use this tool to trim out unneeded extra space around the outside of your image, so that only the product and important details are represented.
Orientation. Use this tool to rotate your images if necessary, either in 90-degree chunks or by clicking and dragging until you get the rotation just right and the image is perfectly straight.
inkFrog's built-in tools offer all the adjustments needed for most e-commerce images, without all the extra steps and baggage.
Very often, those three tools are enough to get you to eBay-ready photos, but if they're not, in the tools list you'll also find:
Brightness. Use this tool for more fine-grained control over lighting, to fix images that are too light or too dark for the Enhance tool to fix.
Contrast. Use this tool to make images either more dramatic or more "flat" by either accentuating or reducing the differences between light and dark areas.
Saturation. Use this tool to adjust how vivid the colors in your images are and to either brighten them or to reduce them if they're too strong.
Warmth. If your images have a yellow or blue cast to them and the Enhance tool isn't able to eliminate it with a single click, use this slider to get the whites in your image exactly white.
Sharpness. Use this tool to make your images either sharper or less sharp. Be careful not to over-sharpen images, as the results aren't pleasing to shoppers' eyes.
Draw and Text. Use these tools to add annotations to your images if they are needed. Just remember not to use them to add contact information, as that's against eBay rules.
When you're done making adjustments to each image, click "Save" to save the results directly in place, already inside inkFrog and ready for upload.
Fast, easy, and with great results.
By setting your lighting and camera up carefully to begin with, then uploading immediately to inkFrog and making any needed changes there, you'll speed your product images workflow up by a massive margin.
Loading Photoshop or another image editor doesn't seem like a problem if you just have two or three images to polish—but by image 100 (or 200, or 300) you'll be thrilled with inkFrog's image editing workflow—and the bunches of time it saves you.
Don't have inkFrog? Probably time to try it.
Posted on November 01, 2018
Do you dread product photography because your workflow is slow and cumbersome? Leave it behind and edit inside inkFrog.
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