Multi-Channel: eBay Inventory Management


Introduction

If you sell products on eBay, along with one or more Bluepark sites, it is easy to consolidate all of your orders in one central Bluepark Order Manager. Ensure that at least one of your Bluepark sites is running the Enterprise Park package, this should be your "master" site. If you require an upgrade, simply send our support team an e-mail and we will change your package without disrupting your site.

Once you have created one or more eBay sales channels, our system will automatically ensure that any orders placed via your eBay product listings will also appear on the master site. You will be able to process the orders you receive from all sites via the master Order Manager. If you use our QuickBooks integration, you will also be able to export them into your accounting software.

Because all of your orders are stored in one place, the master site now knows exactly how much stock is available for each product. Any changes to stock on the master site, whether as the result of a manual change, a CSV or API update, or after having received or processed an order, will be reflected immediately on eBay and any other Bluepark sites.

If you wish, you can also create or update eBay product listings via the master site. You have complete flexibility to manage both eBay and your Bluepark sites in the way that best suits your business.


eBay Channel Setup

There are two prerequisites for selling on eBay. You must have an eBay seller account and a PayPal business account. You will also need to ensure that the two accounts have been linked together as eBay recommends.

The next step is to assign your eBay seller account to your Bluepark master site as a new channel. In order to do this, you will need to obtain your API access credentials for your eBay account, namely the eBay user token.

From the eBay Developers Program:

  • Create a new account or sign in to an existing one
  • In the Application Keys section, under Production, click on Create a Keyset (Auth & Auth)
  • On the App ID line, click on User Tokens
  • Under Get a User Token Here, click on Sign In to Production
  • Sign in to your eBay seller account
  • Click on I Agree to grant application access and link the user token to your eBay account
  • Copy the new User Token to your clipboard

From the Bluepark "Master" Admin Console Menu Bar:

  • Navigate to the Orders menu and select the Channel Manager
  • Click on the green Plus button to enter the Channel Editor and create a new channel
  • Set your own Channel Name and then the Channel Type to eBay
  • Save your changes to reveal more options
  • Set the Mode to Production and the Target Site to the country required
  • Enter the eBay API access credentials, being the User Token you obtained previously
  • Save your changes
  • Click on the green Back button to return to the Channel Manager
  • Click on the red Flag icon, toggling the colour to green and activating the channel

You have now created an active association between the Bluepark master site and your eBay account. This means that any new orders placed via your eBay account will automatically be duplicated on the Bluepark master site, in the Order Manager. All channel-related operations occur instantly, there is no delay involved.

Multi-channel orders from eBay should be processed via the Bluepark master site, enabling you to enjoy the benefits of centralised order processing on the master site.


Inventory Management

The default setting for a new channel is to synchronise both orders and inventory. Stock control is strictly managed via the master site, meaning changes made on the master site are reflected on eBay. The first stage is to create relationships between the products on the master site and your eBay account, based on each product's unique SKU.

From the "Master" Channel Manager:

  • Select an existing channel to enter the Channel Editor
  • Click on the Publish Products Now tab
  • Note the number of products currently assigned to the channel, initially zero

IF Your eBay Account Contains Products Already:

  • Click on the button to Assign Products Existing on Channel
  • The system will search for matching SKUs on eBay and assign any products found
  • Optionally, from Select Action or Fields to Publish, select Quantity in Stock and Save

This is the simplest way to assign products already existing on eBay to the channel. Once the matching products have been assigned, any changes made to the quantity in stock on the master site will automatically update the corresponding product on eBay. The manual update of the quantity in stock should not be required for general daily use, stock synchronisation is fully automated and instantaneous.

IF Your eBay Account Requires New Products Creating:

  • EITHER click on the button to Assign All Products to Channel
  • OR assign individual products to the channel via the Product Manager, the Product Editor or a CSV import
  • From Select Action or Fields to Publish, select CREATE / UPDATE and Save

This procedure involves creating the products you've assigned to the channel on eBay. It is particularly useful if you're setting up a new eBay account, or adding a product range which doesn't currently exist.


Product Listing

Once all of your channels have been created, and the relationships between the master site, eBay and your slave sites have been established, you will be able to list new products on all of your channels with ease.

In the Product Editor, simply assign the relevant channels via the Channels tab, then publish your product to create a matching copy on eBay and your slave sites. You can create or fully update any product at any time. The option to publish your products is also available via the Product Manager, where both assignment and publishing actions can be taken for selected products in bulk.

For advanced users, it is possible to customise the product data published to each individual channel. You are able to publish products to different categories, either by assigning category relationships via the Channels tab in the Category Editor, or at individual product level via the Product Editor.

In addition to categories, it is possible to customise the prices published to each channel at individual product level. Otherwise, create a user group with a selection of private discounts assigned and apply this to the channel, altering the prices of all products published. Alternatively, select an existing currency to alter all prices by the current exchange rate, ideal for any of your slave sites intended for use in different countries.

Finally, even product content can be customised entirely. Publishing options include replacing fields such as the product title and page content with alternative versions using the "custom data" product fields, or selecting an existing language template. The possibilities are virtually endless, providing you with exceptional flexibility.


Specific to eBay

There are some important differences between eBay sales channels and other Bluepark sites. From the Channel Editor, it is important to enter your PayPal account credentials. All eBay payments are made via your PayPal business account. Also, if necessary, it is possible to disable all automatically generated order processing e-mails from your Bluepark master site, instead relying on the standard e-mails sent from eBay.

Regarding VAT, eBay is essentially designed for individual sellers rather than businesses. For this reason, eBay does not apply VAT to orders. Consequently, if you are VAT registered, all prices exported to eBay must contain the VAT element built into the selling price. If you use VAT-exclusive prices on your Bluepark master site, it is possible to have the VAT added to your eBay prices via the corresponding option provided on the Publishing Options tab.

Regarding shipping, eBay uses a "flat rate" shipping model, with a charge per unit and an optional charge for any additional units. In order to easily assign the correct shipping charges to your products, it is possible to match an eBay shipping service with a Bluepark shipping method, meaning that the charge for shipping any particular item can be determined based on its weight or value. eBay enables you to define up to 3 shipping services per product listing.

Both listing and selling products on eBay incur fees charged by eBay. For this reason, some retailers prefer to raise their prices by a percentage to cover these fees. It is possible to do this within the channel's publishing options. You are able to specify the intended duration of the listing in days. However, should the stock level reach zero during this period, the listing will automatically come to an end, requiring the product to be published again. Otherwise you may be entitled to use the "good 'til cancelled" option, enabling listings to remain live indefinitely.

Every product must have an eBay category assigned, a default eBay category can be defined for the channel. This can be overridden at both Bluepark category and product levels. Additionally, if you have an eBay Shop, the Bluepark system will detect this and enable you to assign an eBay Shop category along with the mandatory eBay category.

eBay's "item specifics" are related to eBay categories. These are comparable with "attributes" and "options" on Bluepark sites. Some eBay categories require certain item specifics to be defined for their products, others have only optional or recommended item specifics. There is a link to view all of the item specifics associated with a particular eBay category directly below the category selection field. Should the terminology used between eBay's product specifics and your Bluepark attributes be very different, there is a powerful "find and replace" function to easily correct any differences.

The Channel Editor defines all of the default settings used to create eBay product listings. Because these settings will most likely not apply to all of the products you want to list on eBay, you are able to create multiple Channel Profiles which may contain customised shipping and publishing options for specific groups of products. These tailored profiles can be assigned at product level as an extension of the parent channel.