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Summary:

eBay has become ubiquitous nowadays for buying and selling stuff online. A lot of people rely on it to sell their old belongings and many use eBay as their primary business tool. eBay has released their web services so that developers can build applications which can […]

eBay has become ubiquitous nowadays for buying and selling stuff online. A lot of people rely on it to sell their old belongings and many use eBay as their primary business tool. eBay has released their web services so that developers can build applications which can integrate with eBay’s functionalities. One such tool for helping sellers to manage their eBay auctions is iSale on OS X. So instead of logging on to your eBay account everytime you want to put an item up for auction, you can upload all the auction information using iSale, including photos and all other options that you would use at eBay’s website. This is better in many ways – no fear of browser window closing prematurely, you can draft the auction details at your leisure.


iSale1


Main View of iSale


A pretty intuitive piece of software, iSale is simple to use from the time you start it and begin to set it up. I had received version 1.5.1 but I was notified during registration about a free upgrade to ver. 2.1, which adds several features. It is a 3-pane application, which resembles several Apple apps, like iTunes or iPhoto. The left most pane provides folder-based grouping of your auction, much like the playlist functionality in iTunes. The right pane shows the content of the auction selected in the middle pane.

The tight integration with OS X and iLife adds some welcome features. Photographs can be selected from iPhoto’s albums, and .mac account can be used to host photos and save money as well as to store and retrieve auctions. Photos can be captured through an attached iSight camera as well, adding more to the ‘Apple-ness’ of the app.

Creating an auction is pretty straight-forward but quite comprehensive in terms of the available options. Until the prepared auction is uploaded to eBay, it is stored as a draft which can be worked on later. Pretty much all the sections available on eBay’s website when creating an auction are available here. One glaring omission is that there is no option to create a single day listing, although this may not be a big deal to most eBayers. After creating an auction, you get a chance to view how it will look on eBay before posting. An addition to ver. 2.1 is the ‘Next Steps’ actions in the Sale Status section. These options let you do cetain tasks after the auction has ended, like marking the item as shipped.


iSale2

Preview of how your auction will look on eBay


iSale4

Next Steps for an auction

Something which may be of interest to constant eBayers is the Smart Groups, which lets you create custom groups of auctions, much like the Smart Playlists in iTunes. For a person like me, who doesn’t put up an auction more than once a month this is not much of a draw.Some extra perks are iCal integration, so you can set up alarms for auctions, and a Dashboard widget. The well prepared manual will come in handy to a novice software user.

As I mentioned earlier, not being able to setup a one day auction is a big drawback to many users, and would be a welcome addition. Another losing point for iSale is that it does not offer any customization of the auction design like eBay does, so you are stuck with just the basic design.

When comparing iSale with other auction management software, iSale does not have as many features. Most other software provide features like mailing label creation, inventory management, managing email communication with sellers, cashflow management, etc. However, they also cost close to $100 and are for the really serious eBayer. Still it would be nice to see some more management features in iSale instead of it being more of an ‘auction uploader’. A welcome feature would be leaving feedback after auction is concluded.

Overall iSale is a great application if you are a frequent eBay seller and definitely worth the price tag of $35.00. Otherwise, you may be better off setting up your auction in the
browser.

  1. Awesome, very informative review of a very cool product. I’m no seller, but I’ve got a couple of friends who are pretty heavy sellers who might be interested in this.

    Say, are you really selling that Mac Mini? :)

  2. the shaky kaiser » Blog Archive » things Sunday, October 16, 2005

    [...] back in England, I saw massive arbitrage opportunities on memory sticks, for example. Must check out iSale. Out soon – New Zealand 2005 – Inside The Lions Den. Watch us get tonked fr [...]

  3. Hey Chris, sorry but that was a fake auction setup. I am hoping to buy a mini myself, though now I have an eye on the new iMacs!

  4. Great review but I am wondering if you are able to change the text with iSale. Using Mac, the text editor toolbar does not display in eBay the only option is the write html code. I see in the sample auction it is just plain text. This is the function that is the most important to me. Would like to know before I purchase iSale. Thanks

  5. iSale does let you edit and format your text for the auction pretty well. You don’t have to mess with much of the HTML code unless you want to.

  6. take this as a warning. i am a garagesale user. i was quite happy until they unveiled the “pro” version. all the features i waited for seemed to be only available in the garagesale “pro” version on a subscription basis. so i looked around and gave isale a try. at first it was nice. no subscription but all the features i was waiting for. but the app is completely useless if you want to run it on two computers. the app is completely restrictive by calling home and lock you out. you have to buy another license for an expensive product. you can’t even use the app if you block the homecall with a firewall and you need an internet connection. but that’s not all. i mailed the developer and wanted to return the software. after a month without reply i gave up.
    this is one of my worst experiences with a mac developer. in the end garagesale shows real feel for customer needs. they killed the subscription model and made the pro version standard for all customers. btw. they reply on mails and are friendly folks. and the actual garagesale version has all the features i was waiting for. luckily i kept my license and now i’m a happy garagesale customer. good bye isale, nobody needs you..

  7. Randy Roberts Monday, January 16, 2006

    Not ready for prime time–
    Not only does the “copy protection” scheme make it useless, but also the unstable rendering. I tried to make some headlines bold to no avail,underlining works but italics do not. Sometimes my picture showed up in the upper left corner on the preview like it’s supposed to and sometimes not. Sometimes I got no preview but it displayed the xml code.
    Since I use a laptop on the road and a desktop the rest of the time, I need installation on two machines. No ifs, ands or buts about it.
    BTW-I can crack this thing in under an hour, the call home just keeps the good guys out.

  8. I just purchased iSale a little over a week ago. Upon installation there was a prompt that a new version was available and until this morning, there was a major bug in that version which prevented uploading to ebay. (We called equinox). This new version, as of 2/24/06, is 3.0.4. My question, and I think I know the answer, is why don’t I see a thumbnail of my picture when I search on ebay? I guess because I am getting my pictures for free from my .mac account, ebay is not about to give me a free thumbnail? I see that as a little drawback. And when I attempted to use a smiley face in iSale’s ”special characters” menu, it turned into a ? on the auction site on ebay.

  9. New I Sale Version 3.1 came out on this week
    within a few days a new version 3.1.1 was released to fix bugs
    After installing 3.1.1 the software would not open
    the download was successful. New software is wack.
    Beware – NO CUSTOMER SERVICE for this company
    PHONE SYSTEM ALWAYS BUSY !
    NO REPLIES TO EMAILS TO CUSTOMER SUPPORT
    DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME WITH THIS COMPANY

  10. Very needed information found here, thank you for your work

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