While it is easy to create single eBay seller listings from scratch, it becomes increasingly difficult, the more items you list and subsequently sell. Keeping track with all the pre-sales and post sales activities such as buyer notifications and feedback also becomes much tougher the more products you sell on eBay. The Selling Manager Pro is designed by eBay to provide a “one-stop-shop for creating and managing all your eBay listings and inventory.“
But does the Selling Manager Pro follow through on all its promises? Are you better off sticking with the cheaper Selling Manager? Or should you avoid the whole thing altogether and go for a different provider? All these questions and more will be answered below.
When growing your business on eBay, time becomes an important cost factor. With a great volume of auctions on eBay it is almost impossible to handle all transactions efficiently without using a specific tool like Selling Manager Pro.
Unfortunately professional online selling tools like Selling Manager Pro are not for free. The main question is ‘Is Selling Manager Pro worth your money’? or is it sufficient to use other online selling tools which you can use for free?
What does the Selling Manager Pro offer?
The Selling Manager Pro version offers a step up from the simple Selling Manager by offering attractive extras which promise to maximise selling efficiency, manage inventory, automate additional listings and relisting options, as well as provide automated Feedback and even monthly sales reports.
Particularly interesting in this regard are these points:
- An efficient listing tool enabling you to list and relist items automatically
- Generating feedback automatically once your buyer has paid for the item
- Providing several inventory control functions
- Reporting features to improve the efficiency of your business
If you are located in the United States, all this will cost you $15.99/month, after you’ve enjoyed your free 30-day trail of course 😉 For eBay sellers using the Selling Manager Pro in the UK is just £4.99 a month.
What are the alternatives?
For sellers with low sales volumes, you can simply use ‘My eBay’ and list your items manually. There are several free tools that help simplify the process. If you are selling just a few items a month then this is all you need to manage your auctions.
If you are selling medium to large volumes, then you can opt for Selling Manager, which is essentially a cut-down version of Selling Manager Pro. If you have just a single store, then Selling Manager is free to use. It includes several useful features that increase the efficiency of your eBay business.
Although Selling Manager is a useful tool, it lacks most of the advanced features of Sales Manager Pro. For medium to high volume sellers who wish to take advantage of sophisticated tools such as advanced reporting, automatic buyer notifications, and uploading and downloading data in CSV files, then this is the tool of choice. Some of the main features of Selling Manager and Selling Manager Pro are compared in the following table.
Comparison of Selling Manager and Selling Manager Pro
|Selling Manager||Selling Manager Pro|
|Sales management features||Keeps track of after sales activities you have completed||Ability to create and schedule bulk listings|
|Provides customizable email templates and feedback comments||Includes a listing designer tool for professional looking listings|
|Allows listing upload from CSV files|
|Bulk and automatic listing features||Bulk listing and relisting of sold and unsold items||Free scheduling of listings|
|Simultaneously generate feedback for multiple buyers||Automate feedback and post-sales emails|
|Manage multiple unpaid items and requests for final fee cancellation||Automatically email payment received and your item shipped notifications to buyers|
|Inventory control tools such as notification of low stock levels|
|Advanced features||Create profit and loss reports|
|Generate sales statistics for optimising your selling activities|
|Download CSV files of sales activities|
|Price||Free for single eBay store owners||£4.99 per month|
Are there any exceptions?
If you are a premium or anchor eBay store seller there is no charge for Selling Manager Pro as long as you maintain your subscription. Attention: You must subscribe to Selling Manager Pro on the same eBay country site where you opened your eBay Store!
Directly after you subscribe to Selling Manager Pro the view of your prepared, active and not successful auctions changes because they get copied into the new selling manager overview. This process might take a few hours.
Does the Selling Manager Pro deliver?
Whether or not the Selling Manager Pro really delivers on its promises is a tough question to answer. I have personally made great experiences with it, and so has this former eBay seller, but clearly opinions differ wildly here. Just take this debilitating verdict from reddit user and former eBay power seller axejeff:
“Selling manager pro constantly relists items that are not in stock, (yes I made sure automation rules were set properly) this has not been fixed up until the time of me writing this, and I find these monthly. I’ve called tech support regarding this several times over the years, and have since given up, because the service was always the same, a polite, well trained staff member, who had never heard of the problem before, who then took my information, and promised I was going to be taken care of and have the issue resolved. (And of course never heard from again). This has directly contributed to us losing tens of thousands of dollars over the years due to lost TRS discount, lost sales due to Best Match limitation, funds being held, and even selling limits.“
(You can find his full letter to the President of eBay here.)
Obviously, this is just one person’s account of the service, but it is important to note that even veteran eBay powersellers have had trouble getting the Selling Manager Pro to work properly.
On the other hand, this may only be true for eBay sellers located in the US, although Andrew Minalto has nothing but good things to say about the service, and he’s one of the most authoritative voices on eBay out there!
Time as cost factor and improved data analysis
Especially if you are selling medium to large volumes on eBay, it becomes hard to create exploitable data for analysing your business on a higher level. Think about monthly key performance figures, sales reports or listing tools for sold items.
For improved data analysis you often need to download system relevant data to get valuable informations that will help you to improve your business over time. With a growing amount of auctions on eBay, time efficiency becomes an increasingly important factor for being a successful seller.
With Selling Manager Pro you are able to create such data to optimise your performance.
Calculate the costs in detail
You can test Selling Manager Pro for a 30-day trial period for free. In this time you can learn everything about the additional functions the professional online selling tool offers. Ask yourself if you are willing to pay $15.99 per month as an american seller (UK sellers pay just £4.99 per month) or not.
Also calculate the costs per auction, for example if you are regularly selling 500 items on eBay per month the costs of Selling Manager Pro are only $0.03 (£0.01) per auction. It seems acceptable to pay such a little fee per auction if that facilitates your eBay management a lot.
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If you want to start making serious money on eBay, there is no doubt that you will need to find a reliable tool to help you automate the process of listing, selling and managing inventory. In comparison with other online selling tools, and other fees charged by eBay, the monthly cost of the Selling Manager Pro represents good value for money.
The fact that, for free, you can schedule your listings to start when you want them to rather than when you upload them is in itself worth the money. The usual fee for scheduling a listing start time is £0.06, so if you schedule 84 listings a month, you are already making a small profit.
Even if you don’t need some of the more advanced features of Selling Manager Pro such as P&L reports (very useful when it’s time to submit your tax return), CSV uploads, and stock checks, then you are almost certain to benefit from its time saving features such as its ability to automatically generate post sales emails and feedback. Just handling these manually can consume many hours a month so if you place any value at all on your time you will soon recoup the Selling Manager Pro fees.
Of course, it isn’t simply about the fees. Like all tools, there is a learning curve involved, and you will need to invest some time in becoming acquainted with all the features of the tool; but it isn’t too difficult and anybody capable of running an eBay business should be more than able to take it in their stride.
Selling Manager Pro is a sophisticated eBay web based selling tool designed to help medium and high volume sellers manage their sales activities. Yes, there are still some small issues with the service, but for the relatively small cost, I highly recommend you give it a try at least.
If you experience the same disappointment as some obviously have, I suggest you simply terminate your interest after the 30 day free trial.
With a low quantity of transactions on eBay it’s fully satisfactory to use free online selling tools like Selling Manager which give you a basic support to optimise your business.
But with a high volume of eBay auctions per month the use of a professional online selling tool like Selling Manager Pro makes sense. With this tool it becomes easier to create advanced data which will help you identify inefficient processes and visualise the key performance indicators.
Our verdict is that if you are selling medium or higher volumes and you want to streamline your eBay business, it is easily worth your money. If you schedule your listing start times, it can cost less than eBay scheduled listing fees, making the selling manager pro a powerful tip for selling on eBay.
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