From The Editor | August 22, 2013

Inventory Tracking For eBay Sellers


By Bob Johns

Bob Johns, Robert Johns, associate editor

Many eBay sellers struggle to manage inventory on the site and are not able to put their entire catalog online.

eBay sellers can move a lot of inventory. And when you operate an eBay store, a lot of times there are limited quantities of that inventory. A lot of times, these are small operations that are operating out of homes and warehouses, which can also cause inventory tracking issues. This is where Brightpearl’s cloud-based Commerce Acceleration Platform comes into play.

Brightpearl has been selected by eBay as a strategic partner to help eBay sellers to easily list, update, and manage inventory for eBay stores. “Many times this platform displaces on-premise solutions, spreadsheets, and even pen and paper,” says James Scott, SVP, customer success at Brightpearl. “Many of these sellers are entrepreneurs and small business owners who built a business around something they are passionate about, but they did not get into it to track inventory, deal with customer complaints, and pack and ship merchandise.” Brightpearl is designed to help these customers succeed online.

Founded in 2007, Brightpearl focuses on helping SMB retailers pull together inventory, orders, customer data, and financial data to understand their business. “Many small retailers have trouble identifying what is actually making money for them,” Scott says. “We give them the data to understand which products they need to buy more or less of and what products are the most profitable.” Many existing systems are just accounting or just inventory. By incorporating data from all four pieces that Brightpearl provides, allows the companies to look forward instead of just back.

The eBay integration is making a huge difference. Brightpearl is fully integrated with Magento, the eBay-owned web platform. This is the same product that the majority of eBay sellers are using. “The key is understanding your in-stock position while also understanding the sales cycle,” Scott says. “You can’t be storing product that will not sell. We work with a customer who has 40,000 products they can sell, but only has 1,000 on eBay, because it was too hard to track and manage.” By implementing the Brightpearl solution, this retailer is able to list and manage this large number of SKUs easily. For a company of this size, this can result in triple-digit growth.

Some of the things the new eBay integration features are:

  • Creation, review of drafts and publishing inventory listings in bulk or individually
  • Creation of variation listings from product groups
  • Validation of listings and verification of listing fees
  • Easy addition of images to products
  • Simple setup of re-usable profiles for inventory listing data and shipping options
  • Automatic reconciliation with seller’s Paypal account

The product is not just limited to eBay. The Brightpearl solution can sync up inventory across multiple channels, allowing retailers to view profitability by product and channel. Additionally, consumer data is collected across channels to help the retailer get a 360-degree view of the customer. “Our goal is to help these retailers conquer the ‘growing pains’ associated with small businesses such as double-selling SKUs, running out of inventory, underpricing products in lower-profit channels, and promoting items to the wrong customers,” Scott explains. This solution can give a significant boost to retailers struggling to get more SKUs online while also giving them complete visibility into the position of each SKU.

“Many small retailers are not business people by nature,” Scott says. “They are passionate product advocates, but that does not mean they have the skill-set to run a business. Solutions like this give them the weapons and information to be better retailers and better business people.”