Ask the CEO: Will Auctiva Still Offer Free eBay Tools?

Jeff Schlicht answers this and other questions from Auctiva users.

by staff writer
- Dec 12, 2008

Your Auctiva Commerce storefronts seem to be getting a lot of positive feedback, and I hope that this platform turns out to be a viable way for eBay sellers to expand online. However, many of us also plan to continue using eBay as a sales channel. If Auctiva Commerce is successful in providing a marketplace that competes with eBay, how long will you continue to support and develop the free eBay listing tools?

—Channel Surfing in Chowchilla

Schlicht: As long as eBay remains a viable channel, we'll continue supporting it. The main risk to the average eBay seller right now is in eBay continuing to bring on Diamond-tier sellers—not individual Auctiva Commerce storefronts becoming so large as to make eBay a side business for us. But I like your thinking.

I would like to use your scrolling gallery on my new Web site. Is there any way to upload the text/HTML and link it to pages in my own Web shop—not eBay? I know you can get the code from your Auctiva Store in the store window, but what code do you have to change? I would also like to link my site to yours, if possible. It's a mail-order e-commerce site with Google-sponsored listings and pay-per-click.

—Standalone in Stratford

Schlicht: The HTML you get should be usable on your Web site without any changes. I've seen it done a lot of times just browsing around our customers' Web sites.

I primarily work on a Mac. I'm able to do a lot of my Auctiva functions on the Mac, but text in both the body of the listing and in Sellers Details is not possible—I can't get the HTML to show up—so I boot up my PC and finish creating my listing there. Seems like a double effort that really shouldn't be necessary. Is this a user problem (i.e., me not really understanding how to use my Mac—which is highly possible), or a short-fall of Auctiva?

—Two-Stepping in Tahoka

Schlicht: We support the Firefox Web browser on the Mac, but not Safari. Unfortunately, only around 10 percent of Web surfers use Safari and the cost to test our software with yet another browser would have to be passed along to sellers. Because Firefox works well both on Mac and PC, and because it enjoys closer to a 25 percent market share, we opted to support it, along with Microsoft Internet Explorer, rather than Safari.

Is it possible to set up an eBay Store via Auctiva? How do I do that and have it linked into eBay?

—Unsure in Utica

I have a hard time seeing how a company such as eBay—which owes its success to the sellers—can continue to be successful when it doesn't put sellers first

Schlicht: If you mean can you create listings in Auctiva to list to your eBay Store, then yes. We also allow you to select your eBay Store categories when listing your items. To list to your eBay Store, just choose the "Store" sale type at the top of the listing creation page.

With the help of your Web site, I have done very well and have become a PowerSeller. I recently bought a 12.2-megapixel camera. Now I'm no longer able to use your image hosting service, because the picture files are too big. I know I can turn down the camera, but I like to have the best picture quality available. Do you have plans to increase the capability of your picture services to handle the improved-technology cameras coming out today?

—Supersized in Singapore

Schlicht: No. Our supersized images are 1024 x 768, which is a full screen on most computers and gives people more than enough resolution to make a purchase decision. Additionally, you can zoom in on specific areas of an image to provide even more detail on an item (such as a date stamp on a coin) and include it as an additional image in your listing. Using larger photos in your listings adds to the buyers' download time, and they really don't need that type of resolution to make the typical purchase.

How do you decide what features to add to your eBay listing tools?

—Curious in Concord

Schlicht: We look at customer requests, message board suggestions, feedback from the support department manager, intuition, research, competitive analysis and the Auctiva Feature Center features-request tool on the My Account page. We constantly evaluate these ideas based on need (e.g., compliance with eBay changes), users' demand for features that would make their lives easier and the level of resources required to develop the feature in a timely manner.

You can ask Jeff your own questions by e-mailing him at "AsktheCEO" at the domain. Not all questions will be answered, but those selected will be published with Jeff's responses in future Ask the CEO articles. Due to the volume of mail we receive, Jeff will not be able to reply to you personally.

Please do not submit inquiries requiring an immediate response. If you need a technical issue resolved right away, please use the online form to file a support request and your case will be addressed by our customer support team.

To get more insights from Jeff about Auctiva, eBay and the business of selling online, follow him on Twitter.

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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