Last year we welcomed a miniature dachshund to the family. Unfortunately, she immediately began terrorizing the family’s garden gnome collection and they had to seek refuge in the shed.
When I was cleaning up the shed this spring, I rediscovered our collection of twenty dwarfs (what can I say, we like dwarfs!). We can no longer display them in the garden, so I decided to sell them on eBay.
Ideally I would like to use eBay software to help me with this process. I think the gnomes would get a better price if I did my market research in advance and put up great deals for all of the other gnome lovers out there. However, I have no plans yet to start a real business that will sell on eBay, so I look for it free Software that can optimize my sales.
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At a glance
Free is not always free
I know there is free eBay software out there because I previously used Turbo Lister. However, eBay has discontinued this old tool so I am looking for some other software that I can use long term. If my dwarfs sell well, I might make a business out of it.
What exactly do I mean by “free”? There are so many free shades out there these days that it needs a little explanation. The software I am looking for should be forever free, not just a free trial for 14 days before you have to pay.
Free plans usually have limits or come with ads or promotions for paid tools. This is fine, however, provided they have really useful, free features. After all, companies have to make money somehow, otherwise they won’t be around for long.
eBay Market Research: ShelfTrend
After making the decision to sell my Gnomes, I need to figure out what price to sell them for and which eBay marketplace I can get the greatest return on in the world.
This is where I need to find free market research and valuation software. The most famous name in this field is Terapeak but unfortunately they don’t have a forever plan so I have to pass them on.
A slightly different software is ShelfTrend, which is free to use forever. This allows you to search live inventory data from 22 global eBay marketplaces. When I select eBay US and search for garden gnomes, ShelfTrend shows 500 listings that best match those keywords. It’s a good start.
ShelfTrend lets you see who your competitors are and what types of products they are selling. You can follow up on this and only address one seller. In my market for Gnome, I took a closer look at top seller nanafind to see which products made them so successful.
It turns out that a happy gnome drinking a large pint of beer is a great product and sells 65 of the 71 available, but a helpful gnome with secateurs is not, as little more than a quarter of the stock has been sold. This gives me a good idea of what kind of gnomes are selling well, and which of my five I might have more trouble selling.
An important point here is to check the average shipping costs. If free shipping is the norm for your market, you don’t want to risk making your product unattractive by passing on your shipping costs. This appears to be the case in the market for Gnome as the vast majority of sellers have mean zero delivery charges.
There is an option to upgrade to a paid plan with ShelfTrend, which is $ 9.99 per month. You can filter your search results and search for data on specific brands. You can also download the data to a CSV for further analysis.
Learn more about ShelfTrend or other eBay market research tools.
eBay Title Optimization: Title Builder
When creating listings on eBay, title and category are two of the most important factors for SEO. To make sure I’m doing everything right I’ll be using the title generator.
First, I’ll generate my title by looking for two keywords. For my next little guy, I choose “Gnome Light”. Title Builder suggests a category and shows the most searched terms and the keywords most used by sellers in the category.
Choosing a category is very easy to get confused as eBay has over 18,000 to choose from. I would approach this part with caution and not just pick the first category that Title Builder suggests. Instead, search through some of the categories listed on eBay and see what kind of products are listed.
In my case, the top suggestion was Collectibles / Fantasy> Mythical & Magic / Elves> Gnomes, Pixies, but an eBay search showed me that this was more suitable for indoor figures rather than really garden-type gnomes.
The second suggested category of Home & Garden / Yard> Garden & Outdoor Living> Garden Decor / Statues & Yard Art turned out to be more appropriate, with dwarfs similar to mine being listed.
By selecting this category in the title generator, I now have two new lists of relevant words. You can delete the irrelevant words and rearrange the remaining words to create a suitable title.
From my choice of words I decided to give my entry the title “Garden gnome statue with solar-powered light”. This includes all the words that received a medium search volume plus a selection of the top words used by sellers of similar products. It is also important that the title length from eBay is less than 80 characters.
Learn more about Title Builder or check out other eBay marketing tools.
eBay Listing Design: Supreme Lister
Since some of the midgets are collectible, I want a professional set of eBay listings that reflect the quality of the items. I don’t want just a Times New Roman description on a white background! This is where Supreme Lister comes in handy.
After you have registered and logged in and selected “new project”, Supreme Lister opens another window. This is where you create your entry. I have encountered a few issues resulting from having the latest version of Flash Player installed and activated on my browser.
First you enter basic data like title, price, etc. You can also assign a category and enter your shipping and return information.
When you’ve done that, just go to the next tab. On the “Texts” tab, write your product description and upload your images to the media.
Be careful with the Design tab as the free design templates are hidden under the paid templates. If you scroll down, you’ll find a number of free options under the “Basic Designs” heading. I chose the “garden in the wild” option because it best reflects the natural habitat of my gnomes.
When you’re happy with your listing, you can preview it. If it looks good, click Finish. A loading screen will appear when eBay reviews your item and the item is listed on eBay.
Learn more about Supreme Lister or other eBay listing design tools.
Fast eBay listing: WowLister
Although the family’s collection of gnomes was hiding in the shed from the dangerous dachshund, not everyone knew about the gnome embargo, and I received one as a present for Christmas.
Since this guy is new, I’ll be using WowLister, a software tool that converts an Amazon.com product into an eBay listing. All I have to do is find the same product on Amazon, copy the url in WowLister, set the state of the item and list the gnome on eBay within 60 seconds.
The listing looks professional and is sure to save a lot of time. It copies the title, description, pictures and even categorizes the gnome exactly under Home & Garden> Statues & Lawn Ornaments.
I’ve had a few minor issues with WowLister. The first time I linked my eBay account, it returned a “Page not found” error (Update: WowLister tells me it has now been fixed). The second time, I got a message about eBay Global Sales Agreement acceptance that I had to review on eBay. That could just be because I recently didn’t sell using that particular eBay account.
WowLister has been great for selling new items, but I would advise caution with used items as eBay doesn’t allow images to be used on products that are not new.
WowLister paid plans but is free for up to 10 entries per month.
More information on WowLister or other eBay tools.
Mass eBay listing: Xpress Lister
Through my research, I have found that there is a good demand for new gnomes. Once I’ve sold my collection of twenty, I might consider jumping into gnome sales as a company.
eBay’s own Lister, Supreme Lister, and WowLister are all based on listing items individually. They are not very useful for creating lists in bulk. This is exactly what I want to do if I am serious about the gnome trade. So I checked out Xpress Lister, which allows you to create bulk entries by simply uploading a spreadsheet.
So if I were buying a large quantity of Gnomes from a wholesaler, I could just take the wholesaler’s table and use Xpress Lister to generate all of the listings at once. It also tries to automatically categorize each product, which, as we discussed earlier, can be challenging. The selected categories can be edited manually if they do not match the product.
Xpress Lister also offers a paid version starting at $ 9 per month that allows you to edit live listings and create new ones.
More information on Xpress Lister or other eBay tools.
My top picks
My mission to find useful free eBay software is now over and has proven successful. I’ve already sold four dwarfs so my search for these little folks to return is well underway.
Finally, I will choose my favorite tools. ShelfTrend is the only remaining eBay market research tool with a forever free plan. It takes a while to understand how the various reports are used, and there are frequent nags about updating, but the data provided is clear and very useful.
When it comes to listing tools, WowLister’s speed is unbeatable. If you want to list a small number of new products, this is a good option as you can get a detailed and visually appealing listing in 60 seconds or less.
I hope you found this useful. If you’ve used any of these tools, or found any other free eBay software forever, let me know in the comments below!
This post was inspired by Sam Carson’s classic 2007 story of the gnome trade. It was first published in April 2017 and updated in June 2020.
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