Watch this video about initial setup and configuration suggestions for your inkFrog Open account:
Posted on September 19, 2018
Getting Started with inkFrog - Initial Account Setup
Relisting products once eBay listings have ended—while taking care to notice inventory levels, listing formats, and start and end times—is a mistake-prone annoyance that many eBay sellers would like to see automated. Naturally, inkFrog is happy to automate the relisting process for you, according to your preferences and rules.
Here's how to enable and configure automatic relisting using inkFrog.
Select the eBay account you'd like to configure for auto-relisting by inkFrog.
Then, move the "Auto-Relist Enabled" switch to the "ON" position to enable automatic relisting.
Click "Settings" → "Auto Relist" in your inkFrog account.
Select the eBay account for which you'd like auto-relisting to occur, or select "All" if you want auto-relisting enabled for all of your accounts.
Flip the "Auto-Relist Enabled" switch to the "ON" position.
Once automatic relisting has been enabled, new options will appear that you can use to customize just when inkFrog will automatically relist for you, and in what ways. Walk through the options that you see using the explanations below, to help you configure relisting to match your own needs and strategies.
Use the "Listing Status" drop-down list to tell inkFrog which listings should be relisted.
Select "Only Unsold" to have inkFrog relist only listings that ended without a sale, "Only Sold" to have inkFrog relist only listings that ended with a sale, or "Any Status" to have inkFrog target all completed listings for relisting.
Decide whether you'd like to relist ended listings without sales, ended listings with sales, or all ended listings.
If you have a stable line of products that generally never go out of stock, and want to ensure that at least one listing is always active on eBay for each of your products, select "Any Status" here.
If you want to ensure that every item in an inventory of single, unique items eventually sells, select "Only Unsold" here.
If you want to manually review listings that don't generate sales before relisting them, but would like listings that do generate sales to always be available to shoppers, select "Only Sold" here.
eBay Quantity and Total Store Quantity
Use the "eBay Quantity" drop-down list to determine how much inventory must remain at the completion of a listing for it to be listed again.
Decide whether you'd like to limit relistings based on inventory levels, or relist any listing that has ended.
Set to "Any" to relist no matter what. If the previous listing ended with item(s) still available, it will be relisted with the same number of items still available. If the previous listing ended with zero items still available, it will be relisted with one item (single item listing) available.
Set to "More or Equal" to set a minimum number of available inventory items for relisting to occur. After selecting this option, you'll be asked to enter a number. If the previous listing ended with this number of items or more still available, it will be relisted with the same number of items available. If it ended with fewer than this number of items available, it will not be relisted.
Set to "Between" to set a range of inventory available for relisting to occur. After selecting this option, you'll be asked to enter "Min" and "Max" numbers. If the previous listing ended with at least "Min" but not more than "Max" items still available, it will be relisted with the same number of items available. If it ended with a number of items available that falls outside this range, it will not be relisted.
The "Total Store Quantity" drop-down list serves the same purpose as the "eBay Quantity" drop-down list, but applies to eBay store items, rather than regular eBay listings.
Unless you see an obvious reason to select the "More or Equal" or "Between" choices for these settings, leave these set to the "Any" choice.
Set "Ignore End Early" to the "ON" position if you don't want listings that you manually end to be automatically relisted.
Ignore End Early
If "Ignore End Early" is set to the "ON" position, listings that ended early—that you manually stopped, in other words—will not automatically be relisted by inkFrog.
If you only tend to end listings manually when stock is no longer available or a problem with the listing is discovered, set this switch to the "ON" position.
Set the "Max Relist #" switch to the "ON" position if you would like to limit the number of times inkFrog will ultimately relist a product. You'll be asked to enter the maximum number of times that relisting will occur.
Optionally choose to limit the maximum number of times a product will be relisted for you.
Use this option you would like to see all of your inventory for a particular products sell out within a certain number of relistings to limit recurring eBay listing fees.
If you'd like relisting to continue so long as inventory is available, leave this switch in the "OFF" position.
Two options are available to help you to control the times at which relisting will occur.
Set the relisting hours switch to the "ON" position if you'd like to ensure that products aren't relisted during certain parts of the day. Since all eBay listings end on later day(s) at the same time of day that they were created, this option can help you to avoid having relistings that end during parts of the day when shoppers are unlikely to see them.
Optionally prevent relisting during particular times of day, to avoid listings that end during "dead" periods.
When using this option, select a range of "do not list" hours using the two time-of-day drop-down lists, the left one representing the start of the no-listing part of the day, and the right one representing the end of the no-listing part of the day.
Listings that would normally start during the time range that you select will instead be queued and then relisted as soon as the no-listing period ends—at the time you selected in the drop-down list on the right.
Use the "When to relist" drop-down list to determine how many days must elapse after a listing's end before it will be relisted.
Select "Immediately" to target relistings for the same day—that is to say, to have inkFrog relist as soon as possible.
Select "Delay after end" to have inkFrog wait a certain number of days after listing end before relisting. If you select this option, you'll be asked to provide the number of days to wait.
Select "Only on certain days" to have inkFrog wait for particular days of the week to relist ended items. If you select this option, you'll be presented with a list of days of the week, and asked to select days on which relisting will occur.
Choose whether to relist on the same day, after a wait of several days, or on particular days of the week.
Use the hourly and daily options together to have fine-grained control over when relisting will occur. For example, to relist only on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8:00 AM:
Select "Only on certain days" in the "When to relist" drop-down list, with the Monday and Wednesday switches in the "on" position.
Turn the hourly switch to the "ON" position.
For the hourly range, set the left drop-down list to "12:00 AM" and the right drop-down list to "8:00 AM" so that listings on Mondays and Wednesdays won't be created at the start of the day (i.e. at 12:01 AM) but instead at 8:00 AM.
Choose particular listing formats to be relisted, or "Any" to relist listings no matter their format.
Use the "Listing Format" drop-down list to tell inkFrog to relist only listings in a certain format—either fixed-price or auction format.
If you'd like inkFrog to relist both kinds of listings for you when they end, select "Any" for this option.
Save Your Changes
After going over the options outlined above to configure relisting to precisely match your needs, locate the "Save Settings" option near the top of your window and click it to save your changes.
Click "Save Settings" when you're done to save your choices and enable automatic relisting.
Listings will now be automatically relisted for the eBay account(s) that you selected, and if there are other accounts you'd like to configure for relisting, you can return to the top of the page, select a different account, and repeat the process.
With the options above, inkFrog gives you powerful, flexible relisting capability that can be sensitive to your inventory levels, best time(s) of the day and/or week, and the bigger-picture sales strategies that you employ.
Don't have an inkFrog account? Consider getting one now to get automatic relisting going for your own eBay accounts!
Posted on September 14, 2018
Need a way to automatically relist ended listings, while maintaining control over how it gets done? Here's how with inkFrog.
Many eBay sellers use multiple seller accounts to help them to market products and brands separately and to manage seller policies, inventory levels, and other details effectively on eBay.
If this is you, you've probably discovered that eBay doesn't offer a way to move listings from one eBay account to another. If you have an inkFrog Professional, Unlimited, or Designer account, on the other hand, the process is easy.
Here's how to do it.
Link Your eBay Account(s) to inkFrog
Inside inkFrog, click "Settings" → "eBay Accounts" to list the accounts currently you've already linked. If you need to link additional account(s) to inkFrog, click "Add eBay Account" and follow the steps provided to link each additional eBay account.
Find and add linked eBay accounts at "Settings" → "eBay Accounts" inside inkFrog.
Listings will automatically be imported from each eBay account you've linked to inkFrog, and you'll have access to all of them inside your listing library.
View the Listings That Need to be Moved
If you have lots of listings, scrolling through the long list in your listing library to identify which listings need to be moved can be painful.
Happily, you can filter your listing library view to show listings in a variety of ways, including by eBay account. To do this, click "Filter Listings" then select "eBay Account" and the eBay account whose listings need to be moved.
In your listing library, filter your view to show only one account's listings.
After clicking "Add Filter" to confirm your selection, the list will be narrowed to show only listings for the source account. You can add additional filters to help you to narrow your selection down even further.
Move Listings Individually
Now that you have a list of items that need to be moved, it's time to tell inkFrog where to move them. To do this one listing at a time, follow these steps:
Open a listing for editing.
Find and change the "eBay Account" drop-down to indicate that the listing should be associated with a new eBay account.
Slick "Save" to save your changes.
Use the listing editor and the "eBay Account" setting to change listings one at a time.
Move Listings in Bulk
To associate multiple listings to a new eBay account all at once, first select the listing(s) you'd like to move. Click the checkbox in the header, at the upper-left of the list, to select all currently shown listings.
Then, click "Bulk Actions" → "Listing Actions" → "Assign eBay account" to tell inkFrog that you'd like to associate the selected listings with a new eBay account.
Select the listings to move, then use "Assign eBay account" to move them.
You'll be shown a list of all of the listings you selected, along with a drop-down to select a new eBay account for each listing.
Change these one by one if moving to variety of new eBay accounts, or use the "Change All" row at the very top of the page to associate all of the listings shown to a new eBay account in one go.
Change listings one by one or change them all using the "Change All" drop-down.
It's That Easy
If you've become accustomed to performing this task manually using eBay tools, seeing how easy it is with inkFrog has probably inspired you to go and start making all the changes you've been putting off.
If you don't have an inkFrog account but you do have a bunch of listings that need to be moved, you should probably get an inkFrog account now!
Posted on August 31, 2018
eBay doesn't make this task easy for sellers—but inkFrog does!
Private label selling is big business on Amazon, and for many sellers the next logical step is to take their private label goods to the eBay marketplace as well.
Happily, inkFrog makes this process relatively easy and painless. Here are the basic steps involved.
Create a Branded eBay Account and Store
First, create an eBay seller account and an eBay store that match your brand, or change the name of your existing eBay seller account and store accordingly.
Be sure to set your eBay Seller ID to something resembling your private label brand.
Your goal is to make your brand stick on eBay by indicating—with matching seller ID and store names—that you're the brand's owner and exclusive retailer.
If someone else already has the name you'd like, keep trying with minor variations until you find one that is similar enough to your product brand that users will understand that the two are connected when they see them together in a listing.
Connect Your Accounts to inkFrog
If you created a new eBay account just for your private label products, either sign up for an inkFrog account or log into your existing inkFrog account and visit "Settings" → "eBay Accounts" to link your new eBay seller account.
If you created a new eBay account just for this brand, link it to your inkFrog account.
Next, link your Amazon seller account to inkFrog. This will enable you to import your product listings from Amazon and use these to create eBay listings. It will also enable you to synchronize inventory levels between eBay and Amazon.
Start by selecting "Store Connector" → "Add a Store" from the inkFrog sidebar. Select the Amazon option to start the process to link your store.
Link your Amazon seller account to inkFrog, to access your product listings and inventory.
You'll be asked to provide your Amazon seller name, to log in using your Amazon seller credentials, and to agree to enable inkFrog to access your Amazon data. Follow your nose through these steps until your Amazon account is successfully linked to inkFrog.
Import Listings and Optimize Your Listings
Now it's time to have inkFrog earn its keep. Import those dozens of private label products you've listed on Amazon into your inkFrog account, so that you won't have to manually create listings for each one of them on eBay.
Visit the stores area of your inkFrog account, then click "Import from store" to being the product import process.
Click "Store Connector" to visit your stores area, then "Import from store" to import listings.
Decide whether to import all of your listings at once, or to select just a subset of your products. There is no penalty for either choice; the best choice for you simply depends on how you'd prefer to organize the process of getting your listings from Amazon into eBay.
Either import all of your Amazon product listings or manually select those you want on eBay.
As you import or after you import, take the time to edit the titles for most of the newly imported listings in your library for eBay, and to ensure that each listing is in the shape that it needs to be in to rank well in eBay search.
Create and Apply a Branded eBay Template
With the data in your listings ready to go live on eBay, it's time to brand your listings with a custom template.
You'll need a Designer inkFrog subscription for this step, so if you don't already have one you should consider upgrading now. After all, your private label adds value to your products, but only if it's visible to shoppers.
Click "Templates" → "Designer Template" inside your inkFrog account to explore inkFrog's library of designer templates, find one that works well for your products and niche, and customize it for your own brand and store.
Customize one of inkFrog's designer eBay templates with your own logo and colors.
Feature your brand and logo prominently. Don't use manufacturer-supplied stock photos and phrases if you can avoid them, since your competition will probably be using them to, and that will tend to dilute the value of your label.
Once you're done customizing, apply your new listing template to the listings you previously imported. Click "Listings" → "Library" to open your listing library. Select the listings you'd like to connect to the new template, or click the checkbox on the left in the header to select all of your listings.
Then, select "Bulk Actions" → "Listing Actions" → "Assign Template" and select your new template to update all of the listings you selected to use your new, branded template.
Select all listings using the header checkbox, then click "Bulk Actions" → "Listing Actions" → "Assign Template."
Set up Synchronization
Your just about ready to push your listings live to eBay, but before you to, set up synchronization between your eBay and Amazon accounts to ensure that your inventory levels on both platforms are updated as sales are made on either.
Click "Store Connector" → Store Name to open the store connector for your Amazon store, then click "Settings" to open the settings associated with your Amazon store.
Configure inkFrog to keep your eBay and Amazon inventories synchronized to avoid fulfillment issues.
Make note of the options associated with syncing inventory data in particular. For automatic inventory management, most sellers opt to have inventory synced in both directions—so that both your Amazon store and your eBay store inventory levels are kept up to date at all times.
List your Items and Enjoy the Ride
You've done a lot of work! You just:
Named your eBay presence after your brand
Ensured that your eBay and Amazon seller accounts are linked to inkFrog
Imported your private label Amazon products into inkFrog
Optimized your listing data for eBay sales
Created a custom branded listing template
Applied your new custom template to all of the listings that you imported
Configured your synchronization settings to ensure sane inventory management
Now you're ready to take your private label products live on eBay. Here's how.
Click "Listings" → "Library" to open your listing library.
Select all of the listings you'd like to post for sale on eBay or check the box in the header to select all of your listings.
Select "Bulk Actions" → "List to eBay" to post the listings your selected up for sale on eBay.
Your new private label eBay products and store are up and running—and you're well on your way to becoming an eBay success!
Posted on August 31, 2018
Have a private label business on Amazon you'd like to see operating on eBay, too? Here are the steps to get you there.
It can be a lot of work to run an eBay selling business. As sellers grow, it often becomes necessary to hire one or several employees to help with the listing, customer service, and fulfillment duties that go along with eBay sales.
If you've reached the point at which you need to hire employees, you've probably discovered that there's a problem with hiring employees to help with sales—anyone that has access to your eBay account has access to everything associated with your eBay account.
This isn't ideal. Happily, inkFrog solves this problem by enabling you to offer staff accounts to your employees. With staff accounts, you can:
Give employees access to do eBay-related tasks for you
Do this without having to give them your eBay credentials or access to your eBay account
Control what each staff member is able to do and access for you
With an inkFrog Unlimited or inkFrog Designer account, you'll be able to hire help and to avoid the worry that comes with giving help full access to your eBay account. Here's how.
Visit Your Settings Area and Open the Tool
Log in to inkFrog and open your Settings area. In it, click on the "Staff accounts" option to open the staff accounts tool.
Click "Settings" → "Staff accounts" to access the staff accounts tool.
The first time you open the tool, you'll be asked to create a unique sign-in URL for your staff or virtual assistant accounts. Enter your store name or another brief word or phrase. This is the URL that your employees will visit to log in.
Enter a login URL for your inkFrog staff accounts.
Add a New Staff Account
Once you've entered a login URL for your staff to use, it's time to create account(s) for them.
Click the "Add user" button at the upper-right to add a new account that will enable your employee to log in and do work on your behalf.
Click "Add user" to add a new staff account.
Enter your employee or virtual assistant's name, email address, and (optionally) phone number. Be sure to enter a working email address for them—the invitation message for their new account will be sent to this address.
Enter your employee's name and email address. Check "Limit admin access" to limit their roles.
If you'd like your employee or virtual assistant to have full access to all of inkFrog's functions, activate the account and send their login invitation by clicking "Send invite" now.
If you'd like to limit their activity, so that they can only perform tasks that you select, check the box labeled "Limit admin access for this user" now. Checking this box opens a new preference panel.
Assign Permissions and Tasks to Your Employee
If you opted to provide limited access to your employee, read through the preference panel and check (or uncheck) privileges according to your needs and the tasks that you plan to have the staff member perform.
Check boxes for the inkFrog areas that the staff member should have access to.
Checking a box will give the employee access to the indicated feature. Unchecking a box will prevent them from accessing that feature. When staff members try to access an unchecked feature, they'll see a message indicating that they don't have access to it.
If a staff member tries to access a forbidden area, they'll see a denial notice.
You can check or uncheck boxes for:
Dashboard — This box controls the user's ability to view your inkFrog Dashboard.
Templates — This box controls the user's ability to access the Templates area.
Images — This box controls the user's ability to access your image library.
Messages — This box controls the user's ability to read and respond to your eBay messages.
Sold (Orders) — This box controls the user's ability to access the sold listings (orders) list in the Listings area of your account.
Unsold — This box controls the user's ability to access the unsold listings list in the Listings area of your account.
Live — This box controls the user's ability to access listings that are currently live for sale on eBay.
Create New — This box controls the user's ability to create new listings inside inkFrog—but not to actually submit them to eBay and make them active.
Submit to eBay — This box controls the user's ability to submit listings inside inkFrog to eBay and make them active (i.e. available to shoppers).
Edit/Revise — This box controls the user's ability to edit or revise live eBay listings.
Settings — This box controls the user's ability to change your inkFrog settings.
Applications — This box controls the user's ability to add new inkFrog tools and applications to your account.
In most cases, it's wise to prevent regular employees from accessing the Settings area of your inkFrog account.
Once you're done configuring privileges for the user you're creating, click "Send invite" to create their account and send an invitation for their new account to their email inbox.
Having Staff Log In
Once a staff account has been created, instruct your employee to check their email and follow the link that they find there.
They'll be directed to the staff area of your inkFrog account, and will be asked to choose their own password, which they'll use to log in to inkFrog from now on as they do work for you.
Listing Your Staff Accounts
You can visit the "Staff accounts" tool in your Settings area any time you'd like to see a list of your current staff.
Click "Settings" → "Staff accounts" to see your staff accounts. Click on name(s) to edit them.
Click on any account in the list if you'd like to change the name, email address, or privileges assigned to it.
Your Employees Do What You Want Them To—Not What You Don't
By creating staff accounts for your employees in inkFrog, you can give them the ability to perform the tasks that you need them to perform, without compromising your actual eBay account, and without the risk that they'll make changes to or access parts of your eBay business that they're not meant to interact with.
It's a great way to get help from employees or virtual assistants while preserving your peace of mind.
Want to try it? Get inkFrog Now!
Posted on August 21, 2018
You need to hire employees, but you don't want to give them complete access to your eBay account? inkFrog to the rescue!
While using item specifics fields isn’t exactly rare any longer amongst eBay sellers, putting serious time and consideration into item specifics fields still is.
It could, however, be to your advantage to put more time into your item specifics fields—or add some of your own—even if this seems at first glance to be a bit of a headache. Here’s why, and what you can do about it.
Item Specifics Are a Key Part of Search Placement and Discoverability
Item specifics cooperate with eBay’s "Best Match" search results to enable shoppers to “drill down” in their search results to find precisely the kinds of products that they’d like to buy. And contrary to what some old-timers may assume, shoppers do use this feature in search.
See all those search filtering options in the left sidebar? They rely on item specifics. No match—no sale.
If you’re haven't completed the item specifics fields that eBay is using in a particular shopper search, your item could be excluded from the shopper’s results—even if your product is precisely the one they’d have preferred to buy.
Just as importantly, your use of item specifics is generally thought to figure in to your basic search ranking, meaning that aside from whether shoppers will find your or not when they refine searches, your ranking may improve (or decrease) in relation to your use of item specifics when listing.
Item Specifics Present Details About Your Product Readably
Sure, you can present all of the bullet points and specs about your product in your item description, but there are several reasons to think twice before making this your policy:
- It’s harder to read. The item specifics data in eBay listings is already automatically formatted to look like a specifications sheet, and has been tested and demonstrated over years of use to be highly readable and understandable for shoppers.
Details might get “lost” in the noise. inkFrog's great visual templates are beautiful and compelling—which is great for driving sales. Fine-grained data about product particulars, however, really cry out to be listed in a simple, conspicuous, no-nonsense way—not embedded where they might be passed over or missed as shoppers are being wowed by images, illustrations, and colors.
Self-created product details in item descriptions are often harder to understand.
It’s less defensible in disputes. Item specifics are clear as day when presented to shoppers, providing rock-solid evidence of what your was promised, all in a format that eBay stands behind. Technical data in your own words, using your own formatting, somewhere or other in your description, is more fraught—and less likely to be useful or defensible in a dispute.
Specifications shown as the result of item specifics are easy to find, read, and understand.
How to Add or Enhance Item Specifics in Your Listings Using inkFrog
- Connect your listing to an eBay catalog product. Start by finding the eBay catalog entry for your product. In the first box on inkFrog’s “Create Listing” form, enter a product code—like a UPC or ISBN number—or a make and model. Find and select the product you’re actually selling from the list that appears.
Add item condition and other required, high-priority data. Scroll down to the top of the “Item Specifics” area and enter condition, make and model data, color data, or any other choices that are offered to you. Remember to describe your product accurately, in specific terms in each case.
Complete the required and high-importance items at the top of the section first.
Complete suggested item specifics fields. Scroll down to the collapsed item specifics fields. These are the “suggested” fields and can be used to provide additional information about your product and that eBay and shoppers may use in search refinement. Click fields to expand them, then select the option in each case that describes your product. Be sure to complete only fields that offer exact and correct options for your product. Don’t, for example, select “64GB” storage for your product if your inventory only offers 32GB—even if no “32GB” option is available. If no matching option is available, leave that item specifics field incomplete.
Click on suggested item condition items to expand them, then enter relevant details.
Add your own relevant item specifics if reasonable. Scroll to the bottom of the suggested fields list and use the “Add a custom detail” option to create an item specifics for any important product details not covered in suggested fields. You can turn this area to your advantage if you act astutely and with integrity. For example, if you offer a 12-month warranty but your competitors don't, you might add a field for “Seller Warranty Coverage” and enter “12 Months / 1 Year” there, so that shoppers see your warranty coverage “officially” represented in the listing.
Enter a barcode or a make and model, then select your product from the list.
Click "Add a custom detail" to enter your own item specifics.
Once you’ve completed the item specifics fields and added any of your own that are accurate and justified, complete the rest of the listing form just as you normally would.
Note that you can return to existing live listings and edit them to add item specifics as well, using the same steps outlined above. Changes that you make will be automatically sent to eBay and reflected in your live listings.
Take the Time to Add Item Specifics
Though item specifics fields can still seem like an afterthought to some sellers, they’re becoming more and more important on eBay, both in terms of your search placement and discoverability and in terms of shopper expectations.
Take the time to complete your item specifics data, to do it correctly, and to enhance this data with additional details that you think shoppers ought to know about your products. The likely result will be increased buyer satisfaction, fewer miscommunication-based transaction defects, and increased sales over the long term.
Posted on August 14, 2018
Item specifics aren't everyone's favorite thing to enter, but here are some good reasons to pay attention to them—and how to best make use of them in inkFrog.
inkFrog offers hundreds of designer listing templates to help you sell your products on eBay. These templates often have tons of space that you can use for photos.
For some sellers, all of this photo space feels like an immediate gold mine—they know just what to do with it. For other sellers, all of that space can feel bewildering. What should go there?
inkFrog templates can offer a lot of photo space.
Here are a few things you can do with the photo space in inkFrog templates that can boost your bottom line.
Cross-Promote Similar Products or Variations in Separate Listings
Making decisions about which product to buy is a part of the shopping process. As shoppers view listings, they are often trying to decide between several slightly different products or several variations on the same product.
The photo boxes in inkFrog templates are a great place to help shoppers to find and view other products you offer that they might like to buy, based on their interest in this product. If you offer other variations of the same product or other products that fill a similar need, feature them in your template.
Remember to link each photo to the relevant eBay item listing so that clicking or tapping actually takes shoppers there—and enables them to buy.
Cross-Promote Accessories and Add-Ons
For some kinds of products, related accessories are common, important, and often immediate follow-up purchases. In some cases, shoppers new to a product may not even realize that accessories are offered or necessary.
If you also offer accessories or add-ons for the product in a listing, feature the most commonly sold among them using the photo spaces in your template. Shoppers that know to buy accessories will appreciate the convenience of your links to them (and being able to buy from a single seller), while shoppers that don't know will appreciate the education that your listing provides.
Once again, remember to link the photos to the relevant listings for the accessories that you offer, to make it easy to find them.
Cross-Promote Seasonal Items
There’s always an upcoming shopping season to organize your marketing around, and the photo boxes in inkFrog templates offer a great way to “themify” your listings for particular events or seasons.
If you have other products that relate seasonally to the product in the listing—products for the same holiday, for example, or that are typically used at the same time of year—use the image boxes to promote those listings.
Use photo space to show winter goods in winter, Halloween goods in October, and so on.
Shoppers will appreciate the convenience of seeing many of your seasonal products in the same place, and having a collection of related seasonal images in your listings will also tend to make the listing more exciting and persuasive, showing enthusiasm for and awareness of the season.
Promote Your Store Categories
If you have a fairly sizable eBay store organized by category, you can use the image boxes on your listing templates to promote visits to particular category areas in your eBay store.
For each photo space, choose a photo that's representative of the entire inventory of goods that you sell in that category. Then, link to the URL for your store category.
Show photos of and link to the major categories in your eBay store.
Change the text under the image to match the name of your eBay store category or use the inkFrog editor to add some text under the image if there’s no space for text below each image already.
Show Additional Product Views
It may seem as though there’s no reason to add additional product views if you already have several product images at the top of your listing or in eBay’s image hosting area.
There are, however, other kinds of “product views” that can be useful to shoppers and effective in promotion. These fit well in the additional photo spaces in templates and can be added without overwhelming the the listing's primary product images. For example, views that show:
The product being used in common applications or situations
Manufacture materials, the interior of the product, or product disassembly
Key details scanned from product diagrams, manual pages, or other documentation
Instances of the product in stages of manufacture or in a manufacturing facility
The product paired with common accessories (if you sell these, see the section above on cross-promoting accessories; if you don’t sell accessories, remember to add a disclaimer saying that only the product is included)
You can use photo space to show many things that your shoppers might find useful.
All of these kinds of views can be added in such a way as to increase shoppers’ interest in your product and their knowledge of it, both of which lead in the end to increased sales.
These are a few of the ways that you can make use of the photo space available to you in inkFrog’s listing templates.
Remember, inkFrog templates exist for you to use and to customize, and they’ll end up as your item descriptions. Aside from eBay’s own rules, there are no particular rules about how you are (or aren’t) allowed to make use of them.
And thanks to the way in which editing your templates also updates your live listings automatically, it’s easy to try out different strategies over time or to update the ways in which you use the template photo space as your needs evolve.
With a little creativity, and a little time for customization, you can probably come up with uses that we haven’t even discussed here—and use them to increase your sales.
As an inkFrog user, you have access to great templates that offer endless customization—so get busy and make use of them!
Posted on August 14, 2018
There's a lot of photo space for you to use in inkFrog templates. Here are some ways to use it that can help to drive sales.
eBay's 2018 Fall Seller Update is out, and once again eBay is announcing far-ranging changes of which many sellers should be aware. Among them are:
Further expansion of the product-centric shopping experience
The ability to provide phone support to shoppers prior to the sale
The end of support for non-secure http:// content in item descriptions
Tracking requirements for item not received appeals
Fee increases, changes in item conditions, and a new labels experience
Here are the details you need to know about each of the changes mentioned above.
Product-Based Shopping Expansion
In the 2018 Summer Seller Update eBay expanded the number of categories covered by its new product-based shopping experience. Now eBay is announcing that the number of product-based shopping categories will expand once again.
The list of product-based categories is now quite extensive, and there are some general rules to keep in mind:
In many—though not all—of these categories, you must associate your listing with an eBay product catalog entry in order to appear in search.
Because of the way that product-based commerce works, one of the best ways to appear prominently in search is to offer the best priced item for a particular condition—the best new price, the best refurbished price, or the best pre-owned price, for example.
Product-based commerce continues to grow. Price your items to target links across the top.
To associate your existing listings with an eBay product catalog entry in inkFrog, follow these steps:
Open a listing or profile for editing. For a listing, this can be done by selecting "Listings" → "Library" → "Edit" (pencil icon).
In the listing you'd like to edit, scroll down to "General Settings" and find the keyword, UPC, or ISBN search box.
Begin typing either a product make and model or the product's numeric code from product packaging.
Select the matching product from the pop-up list that appears.
Save your listing. Updates for any live listings will automatically propagate to eBay.
Enter your product, then select a matching catalog entry to update your listings.
Pre-Sale Phone Support
This change is a remarkable about-face for eBay. After years and years of strict enforcement of its "no shared contact information" rule, sellers will now be able to share phone support information with shoppers prior to a sale.
There are, however, some caveats.
eBay is calling this a "pilot" program, so its permanence may depend on whether or not sellers abuse the privilege.
Sellers can't share a phone number themselves (in item descriptions or eBay messages), but must rather enable the sharing of their phone number in their eBay account settings.
The phone number won't appear prominently, but will be provided to shoppers that are actively seeking more information about the product in the listing, for example, by using the "Contact seller" link.
Sellers are still forbidden from using this contact to conduct and off-eBay sale; the feature is intended to enable sellers to answer questions for interested shoppers, thereby hopefully increasing conversion rates.
Sellers can now enable shoppers to phone them before the sale with questions.
End of Support for Non-Secure Content
Starting on September 15th, eBay will no longer support item descriptions containing references to non-secure (http://) content, instead requiring that all references to external content use a secure (https://) connection.
In practice, this will primarily affect sellers that host images somewhere other than eBay. Already existing listings will not be affected, but all new listings (including relistings) must be made using secure content or eBay will abort the listing process with an error message.
Two changes must be made for old external content to continue to be used:
The server hosting the content must be configured to enable https:// connections. In most cases, this will already be done for you—to check, try visiting an older image URL, replacing the "http://" with "https://" in your URL bar. If the image loads correctly, your server already supports secure connections.
HTML code in older item descriptions that do not use inkFrog's designer template library must be changed to reference "https://" URLs instead of "http://" URLs. For many eBay sellers, this will be the tougher job.
Fortunately, inkFrog users are able to make this change quickly and easily. Once you have verified that your server is able to handle secure connections, follow these steps to update your content:
Inside inkFrog, select "Listings" → "Library" to open the library containing all of your listings.
Check the box at the top of the left-most column, to the left of the word "TITLE" in the header row to select all of your listings.
Select "Bulk Actions" → "Listing Actions" → "Find & Replace" to open the find and replace tool.
In the "Find" box, enter:
In the "Replace with" box, enter:
Click "Find & Replace" to replace all instances of "http://" in your listings with "https://" instead.
Use inkFrog's search and replace tool to update all of your listings to secure content at once.
New Tracking Requirements
Starting September 10th, sellers will be required to enter tracking information for their shipped orders (or to use a label printing method that automatically submits this information) prior to the estimated delivery date provided by eBay to the shopper.
If this information is not provided by the seller before the estimated delivery date, eBay will no longer protect sellers in cases of "item not received" claims or allow appeals in these cases when decisions are made in favor of the shopper.
Going forward, be sure to enmter tracking information for every order you ship.
Most regular sellers already use pre-printed labels that automatically enter this information during pre-shipment, but if you don't already do this—now may be the time to start, both to protect yourself and to save the additional work involved in entering tracking information manually.
Fees, Item Conditions, and New Labels Experience
There are a number of other changes outlined in the 2018 Fall Seller Update, but three in particular are likely to be of interest to a wide variety of sellers:
Increased fees. Insertion fees for reserve price listings in most categories, for subtitles, for value pack listings, and final value fees in several media categories will increase in mid-September, in some cases dramatically. Check the list of fee updates to see whether any of these fee increases will affect you.
Changes to item conditions. The vague "New other" item condition is finally being replaced with something more conventional in some categories—the much more shopper friendly "Open box" condition. This change will automatically be applied by eBay to listings in Electronics, Home & Garden, Health & Beauty, and Musical Instruments. In Business & Industrial categories, "New other" will change to "Like new" instead.
New eBay Labels Experience A new label-printing experience to streamline fulfillment will soon also be available. The new experience will roll out in September and promises to be both more flexible and more intuitive than the old label printing experience.
For Complete Details
Though we've covered the highlights above, as always there are a sizable number of changes included in the latest seller update.
For complete details on each change, the conditions under which they apply, and the date on which they'll take effect, visit eBay's 2018 Fall Seller Update page.
There's a kind of misguided conventional wisdom going around right now about item descriptions. Since eBay is shifting toward product-centered commerce, this thinking goes, and since item descriptions are now often an extra click away, they don't matter any longer.
This isn't true. Sure, there are now buyers that may purchase without ever seeing an item description, but now you also know that when buyers do click, they're very specifically looking for more product information before making their purchase.
Even on the new product-based commerce eBay, some shoppers will want more details.
If you want to make the sale, it's your job to give it to them.
Templates Don't Get You Off the Hook
inkFrog offers hundreds of beautiful designer listing templates for use on eBay, but don't imagine that choosing a great template for your listing performs the same function as a well-crafted item description.
Depending on what you put into your templates, they can tell buyers either far more or, at the other extreme, not much more than what they already know about your product.
For best results, you want "far more" to be the case for your listings.
Even visual listings using nice templates need to provide detailed information.
Crafting a Useful Item Description
It takes care, thought, and at least a little bit of elbow grease to craft item descriptions that will help you to turn shoppers into sales. Here's a general outline of what you should include:
Complete product identification details. This includes not just the make, model, and possibly size information that you put in your listing title, but part numbers, variation identifiers, version or revision information, or anything else that will help a shopper to identify exactly which product is being sold.
Complete condition information. Not just one word or one sentence here, but enough detail to make the condition of the product and the packaging in which it will arrive very clear.
Meta and other useful information. Product specifications, use cases, preliminary help or support information, or anything else what will help your shopper to make a decision about your product are useful here.
Caveats. Anything that shoppers are likely to misunderstand or make mistaken assumptions about in your listing also belong here.
Summary of terms. Even though your shipping and returns terms are spelled out elsewhere in your listing, forcing shoppers to click away to see them makes your listing harder to use. If your terms are favorable compared to other sellers, you also want to foreground them rather than hide them in other parts of your listing.
The challenge is to include some or all of this information in such a way as to make it accessible, readable, and not overwhelming.
Let's take a look at two examples drawn from very different eBay categories. Here are the products:
Used Tamron 28-105mm f/4-5.6 zoom lens for Nikon mount cameras
New Enerwear men's trail socks, six pack
Let's tackle the lens first. Compare these instances of item description text, both for the same product:
Used Tamron 28-105 lens f/4-5.6. For Nikon mount. Great for portraits or family action shots. Lens is in good condition and takes good photos, all rings and mechanics work. No scratches or haze on glass. Rubber grips are in good condition, not worn or stretched. Uses 62mm filters, 2.8" when mounted and 4" when fully extended. With caps and hood. 100% working, buy today!
Used Tamron 28-105mm zoom lens for Nikon mount cameras. Great for portraits or family action shots!
Condition and Accessories
Shipping and Returns
Buy with confidence!
These two descriptions actually present much of the same information—but one of them is far easier to read. The description on the right actually includes several additional points, but adding these to the description on the left would make it even less readable.
The readability of the description on the left can be improved by making it shorter, but then critical information would have to be excluded. The takeaway? Formatting matters—and affects not just how clear a description is, but how much information you can reasonably include.
So that it's clear that the same concerns apply to new products, and to products in other categories, let's look at the other product we mentioned:
Enerwear 6-pack men's merino blended wool trail socks. Army green. Blister-free. Fits US men's sizes 10-13. Full cushion support, reinforced heel and toe. Great in cold weather conditions or for hiking, skiing, camping, or work conditions.
Enerwear men's blended wool trail socks, 6-pack—great for outdoor activities of all kinds!
Shipping and Returns
Once again, we can see the same balancing act on the left—include more information and the description becomes difficult to read. Include less information and it's still difficult to read, plus shoppers can't find the information that they need to make their decision.
The description on the right includes detailed product information, application information, and positive marketing copy—but isn't overwhelming.
The Basic Parts of a Good eBay Description
Based on these two examples, let's recap in even simpler, more basic terms what a good eBay item description contains:
Includes fairly comprehensive details, specifications, and condition information
Includes information about use or product application
Uses basic formatting like bold text and bullet lists to organize information
Is concise, readable, and well-organized
Whether you use visual listing templates or not, if you’re able to cover these points as you create your item descriptions, buyers that click on your description link will find the information they’re looking for.
As a result, they'll be more inclined to buy and more clearly informed about the products you’re selling—as well as the terms under which you’re selling them. The result? More sales and fewer headaches for you,
If you're new to selling on eBay, you're probably excited to get started and to scale. The last thing that you want to deal with as you ascend to new heights is an interruption in your ability to sell.
With that in mind, keep this list in mind. These eight things can lead eBay to either restrict your selling or to suspend you outright—so as you grow, do your utmost to avoid them.
Restrictions and suspensions can halt your growth in its tracks—so learn what to avoid.
Failing to deliver. Your listings are a promise—to deliver a particular item, in a particular condition, within a particular time frame. That's the selling business, after all. Hopefully it goes without saying, but if you fail deliver repeatedly on this fundamental responsibility, your selling will be restricted.
Having problem transactions. eBay can see most of the problems that occur in your transactions—negative feedback, late shipments, late deliveries, refund or exchange requests, and of course complaints to eBay customer service. Accumulate a few of these and your selling will be restricted.
Keep tabs on your seller performance level. If you see it falling, redouble your efforts.
Selling outside of eBay. Sales on eBay are how eBay makes money. That's why it's against the rules to offer an eBay shopper a sale outside of eBay—even if the shopper is the one that makes the request. Do this and your selling will be restricted.
Sharing contact information with shoppers. You're only allowed to to communicate with shoppers using the eBay message system, and you're not allowed to offer them other ways to communicate with you. If you share other contact information—phone numbers, sales floor addresses, email addresses, or non-eBay websites—anywhere on eBay at all—it will be detected and your selling will be restricted.
Only contact through the eBay message system, either via eBay or inkFrog.
Intellectual property theft. Profiting from others' ideas or intellectual property is forbidden on eBay. This means that you can't use another seller's photographs or item descriptions. It also means that you can't offer knock-off goods that are clones (or fakes) of legitimate products. Do any of these things and your selling will be restricted.
Listing banned items or committing a crime. There are laws about items that can't be freely bought or sold, and eBay rules on banned and restricted items that add further to this list. There are also laws that prevent you from saying certain things to other people—threats and harassment are good examples. Violate the law or any of eBay's product or communication safety policies and your selling will be restricted.
Study eBay's banned and restricted items policy for your niche, then abide by the rules.
Listing inventory that's new for you in large volumes. eBay knows, more or less, what you sell. If you sell a thousand pairs of socks and mittens , then suddenly list hundreds of thousands of dollars in diamonds, iPhones, or other high-fraud products for the first time, without a gradual transition, eBay may assume that your account has been compromised by fraudsters, and may restrict your selling.
Failing to pay eBay. When you sell on eBay, you incur fees, which are then billed to you. Fail to pay your fees in a timely manner and your selling will be restricted.
Accidental failure to pay eBay fees is a common reason for temporary suspensions.
The list above isn't comprehensive, but it gets us a lot of the way there. A ten-second summary version runs something like this. On eBay, if you want to continue to sell and grow, don't:
Fail to deliver
Fail to satisfy customers on the first go
Trade outside of eBay
Give shoppers ways to reach you outside of eBay
Steal images, listings, or ideas
Sell fakes or knock-offs
Break eBay rules
Break the law
Give the impression that your account's been hacked
Fail to pay your selling fees
It's not uncommon for new sellers to dislike one or several of these rules, but eBay's effectiveness as a marketplace (and sellers' ability to profit by selling on eBay) is dependent on trust. Everyone benefits so long as buyers and sellers alike trust the eBay marketplace.
All of the above practices put trust at risk, so eBay restricts sales or suspends sellers entirely when they occur. So even if you find some of these rules draconian, find ways to sell on eBay without breaking them. Millions of sellers already have!
How to Reverse a Restriction or Suspension
If you didn't find this list soon enough, you may find yourself on the wrong end of selling restrictions or a suspension. If your restriction results from a failure to pay fees, then the solution is easy—log into your seller account, ensure that your payment method is up to date, and pay your fees.
In other cases, things get more complicated. How do you go about reversing another type of restriction?
The simple answer here is that you'll need to contact eBay, come to understand what you did wrong, request reinstatement or the removal of restrictions, and follow the steps you're given by eBay to bring your account back into good standing. Start at eBay's holds, restrictions, and suspensions page and read the information there.
Then, scroll to the bottom of the page and use the contact options to reach out to eBay and ask for a reversal.
Visit the end of the holds, restrictions, and suspensions page for contact options.
You may be asked to provide various forms of identification, to sign documents, or to take other steps that eBay feels are necessary to ensure that you are who you say you are, that eBay knows who you are, and that you're an asset, rather than a liability, to eBay and to eBay shoppers.
The more complicated answer adds to this two caveats:
There are no guarantees. Your selling privileges are entirely up to eBay—and there is no requirement that they reinstate sellers following a restriction or suspension. For this reason, it's best to be humble and helpful as you try to go about restoring your selling privileges.
Registering a new account is a bad idea. eBay is surprisingly good at identifying sellers that register new accounts. Remember, they have tons of data on you—email, mailing, and IP addresses, cookies and browser identification, phone numbers, payment methods, product lines, listing content, and more. Get caught re-registering after a restriction or suspension and you're unlikely to ever be reinstated.
For these reasons, at the end of the day, it's best to follow the process that eBay provides to you, even if it seems frustrating or slow.
Even better, go over the list of don't-dos above and take them to heart before the worst happens—then work hard to ensure that you're never restricted or suspended in the first place!
Posted on July 30, 2018
If you're new to eBay, study this list of practices to avoid—so that you can keep growing and selling without interruption.
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