eSellerPro

4 Things You Didn’t Know eSellerPro Could Do

A bold title, but I’m sure at least two of these four you were not aware were features in eSellerPro. There is a story behind each of these, let’s dive in and see what they are and if they can help you and your business.

There are three key parts of eSellerPro that I see, these are sales order processing, collecting orders from many channels and being able to process them in a single location and thus keep stock levels updated, which leads me onto the second which is the channel profile, which is flexible enough to be able to manage stock updates of 100% across multiple channels in about a 20-30 minute window, while worth an entire article on both, neither of these are in these four features. The third that I’ll cover next.

Revise Active Listings

It was the time of my sisters wedding and I had decided to take a few days out from my eBay business and how horribly wrong did that go! I had received a slap for doing something naughty in my listings (I forget what now, I think I broke every rule & policy going) and ended up spending the 3 days prior to the wedding manually revising listings.

Revise 1 or 10,000 live eBay listings

You know what I mean, going into several thousand listings, changing one line of code in the template I had made, it took a total of 7 or so clicks to make the edits, which isn’t a lot, but when there were soooo many of them I had square eyes by the end of it.

For anyone who has gone through this kind of pain, then you’ll know how much value is to be gained from having the ability to revise live listings on eBay. Not only can you revise the descriptions (essentially reposting the entire listing, but keeping the item number) you can change almost every other aspect of the listing too. Well you can change the title, when there are no sales, but when you have a sale(s) made on the listing, this becomes locked, besides that everything is fair game.

Stacking Keywords

In my early days at eSellerPro, I made a mistake, I accidentally entered the {{ItemDescription}} keyword in the item description tab and then saw some interesting results, what happened was that the item description got parsed (processed) about 40 times and went right-off the preview window. It hit me then, we could stack keywords inside of each other and what was a bug, was veto’d to never be fixed and classed as a feature (as all ‘bugs’ are :) ).

what was a bug, was veto’d to never be fixed and classed as a feature

What this means is that you can put keywords inside keywords, one of the best examples of this application is that you can create a drop down selection box of options in custom fields (another key part of eSellerPro, but I’m not going to cover here, think of them as like options or eBay item specifics that you design) that contains keywords.

So if you were to create a paragraph (another key part, again think of them as short snippets of text) called “Computer-Mice”, now in the custom field if you were to create an option called “{{Insert:Computer-Mice}}” (“Insert:”. is the keyword to bring in the paragraph). This now becomes an option that is available in the drop down box, you can then make the data entry to creating inventory much easier, instead of using cumbersome item descriptions, you can break these up and make miniature, specific descriptions for each product type.

You could then make several descriptions per product type, say “Computer-Keyboards” & “Computer-PSUs” and have slightly different descriptions for each, however make the process of adding them to inventory records easy peasy and crucially have three key factors included,:

  • Easily selected by lesser skilled members of staff
  • Easily imported against (as no cumbersome HTML descriptions)
  • Each key section of data that is displayed, held in its own mini description allowing for absolute control.

Neat eh?

Import/export layouts

It was becoming apparent that it was just impossible to include every field users wanted in the standard import & export sheets, plus this was compounded by Java having a 2Mb or so limit for processing excel based files (ended up being capped at about 2500 records), so an alternative needed be found.

The section you’ll find in maintenance called “Export/Import Layouts” (with a funnel image) is exceptionally powerful and exceptionally flexible too. Not only can you change the format away from the clunky & bloated excel format and use CSV, PSV or TSV, you can select which fields you want and also which field is the ‘key’ to import against.

This means that you can actively work on just the data that needs to be updated, include more records than is possible with the excel format and also use a different ‘key’ other than the SKU (Stock Number). Sometimes using the ASIN or Barcode might be needed when updating data from multiple sources, you can also use some of the advanced features to drop images, treat the stock as a delivery (*coff*, think fulfilment) and so on.

Note: There is a ‘script layout’, that I don’t believe actually ever worked to the degree that users needed, this would be to pre-fill certain parts of the data or run logical tests/alternations on the data that is being imported. This had a lot of potential, although can easily be worked around by processing import files outside of eSellerPro in the next step using other programming languages like PHP or Pyhon.

The key point here is that you can design your own import & export layouts, this is critical for the next feature.

Import Automatically via FTP

This one again comes with a story, bear with me! It got to the stage that the time it was taking to actually import the new inventory that was being created with a client was taking longer than it took to make the inventory in the first place, somewhat ironic as the inventory being created was in some cases exceeding 100 records. Also numerous issues were being found with the data being sent to Amazon, generally it was caused by inconsistent data being populated, so a solution needed to be found.

Import product data automatically from remote sources

The time being wasted importing data using the layouts mentioned above and the Amazon issues were both quashed by using FTP imports to import the data into eSellerPro.

There is a section called ‘Reference Data’ in maintenance (if you cannot see this ask eSellerPro support to enable this, also with the lack of screen shots, here ask for assistance in setting this up) that allows the collection of files via FTP. There are a couple of types, but the two big ones is that you can specify an export/import layout (as mentioned above a custom layout, so you only import the data you need to import) and an Amazon import layout.

The Amazon import is the export sheet you can get from the Amazon tab on an inventory record and if you populate this in-accordance with the amazon inventory creation sheets you get from Amazon, you can pretty much quash 90% or more issues with Amazon regarding data; Because IF you’ve done the homework and made sure that the data that is in the sheet is right, so when its sent to Amazon, the bounce rate for failures due to crappy data should be much much less and saved a whole heap of time waiting for files to import. Result.

Conclusion

The sales order processing and the channel profiler are topics I have been meaning to write about for some time, however between these four features found in eSellerPro, with some consideration, there are huge benefits of time, scalability and consistent data entry to be reaped.

Question is, did you know about these features before this article and would they be of use to you?

5replies
  1. Luke Dixon
    Luke Dixonsays:

    Hello Matthew,

    Thanks, I knew about revising active listings and import/export layouts.
    How you have described stacking the keywords sounds like quite a neat way of using them,

    The bit I didn’t know about (and sounds incredibly useful) is the importing with FTP. I don’t have the section ‘Reference Data’, but one called ‘Data Load’, do you know if this would be the be the same or is it different? It has information about ftp details and a drop down menu with all the custom import and export layouts.

    I’ve found the insights you give into eSellerPro to be very helpful, as I sometimes wonder why certain bits of it are the way they are (been using it at work, almost everyday for about 4 years now). Thank you very much for writing about it.

    Reply
    • Matthew Ogborne
      Matthew Ogbornesays:

      Howdy Luke,

      In eSellerPro both active listings and export/import layouts are normally covered. The ability to revise live listings definitely falls as #3 on the cool list for eSellerPro & stacking the keywords has almost limitless possibilities!

      “Data load” is not the section you need, ask eSellerPro support to enable the section called ‘Reference Data’ in maintenance (not in inventory, as there is a section called exactly the same in that section too, although you might want this to monitor the import file progress and file history) & I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the insights, there is a reason behind the way the different parts work, sometimes its a single customers request and sometimes it s a cumulative request for a feature/function and sometimes, I have no ideas :)

      Thanks for the comment,

      Matt

      Reply

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