Ex-eBayer Plans Multichannel Selling Solution

Blackthorne creator launches venture to enable listing on all marketplaces.

by Auctiva.com staff writer
- Feb 11, 2009

After being laid off by eBay, the inventor of a widely used listing tool for eBay sellers has started his own venture to help small merchants list on all online marketplaces.

John Slocum—who created Blackthorne Software—has founded SixBit Software after 10 years of listing on eBay. The new company was officially launched on Tuesday.

Blackthorne first debuted in 1998. At one point, the software was used in one out of 10 eBay listings. eBay bought the company in 1999, and Slocum and his crew became eBay employees. But last October, the auction giant let Slocum go.

That prompted him to start his own company with the help of two Blackthorne developers.

"While we are sad to leave, we are equally excited at the prospects and possibilities that are now in front of us," SixBit's Web site states. "Although we no longer work for eBay, our drive, ambition, experience and determination remain. We have been through many changes and each time, we have come out stronger. We're ready and eager to take on new challenges as we embark on our new adventure."

Slocum's new venture—which is not expected to be ready until next year at the soonest—will allow users to input their inventory so that it can be displayed on any marketplace.

There is no set schedule as to when versions of the tool will be available, however, the SixBit Web site has laid out a rough timetable for development.

"We'd love to be able to tell you exactly when we'll have something for you to look at, but we are just beginning our design work," the site states. "Within six to nine months, we plan to have a testable version ready that allows users to list items."

Six to nine months later the company aims to have a sales management portion ready. The final features will roll out six to nine months later, the company notes.

The company's site includes a discussion forum where visitors are invited to suggest features they would like to see included in the product.

No price estimates have been released so far.

About the Author

Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.

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