Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

Paul Somerson

There are some decent tools for bulk-loading (creating a lot of auctions in one gulp) and photo hosting at eBay—but the site doesn’t manage your auctions from start to finish.

Fortunately, sites such as CNet [cnet.com] and ZDNet [zdnet.com] offer a few dozen downloadable software packages that can help out quite a bit, and there are a handful of specialized auction management sites that will do all your heavy lifting automatically. The biggest and best management sites are AuctionWatch [auctionwatch.com] and Andale [andale.com]. Both are powerful, but AuctionWatch’s tools and related info make it a winner.

Downloadable auction assistant software can do 10 main types of things for you—tracking and management, record keeping, dealing with problem clients, chat and user contact, ad creation, searching, bulk-listing, bidding and sniping, history checking, and alerts. Some programs are very general and try to handle as many details as possible. Others are extremely specific, doing single tasks such as calculating auction fees or blocking deadbeat bidders from your auctions. Or you can do it the home-brew way. By using eBay’s resources, taking advantage of Microsoft Office tools, and tweaking Internet Explorer a bit, I can do everything I need to. Besides, the price is right.

Copyright © 2002 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Yahoo! Internet Life.