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What will you do without eBay’s Turbo Lister?

By Dan Wilson October 4, 2016 - 11:58 pm

We received a report today from a reader who says that you can no longer download Turbo Lister from eBay UK. It is apparently still available on eBay.com but the news serves as a useful reminder that Turbo Lister will be discontinued next year.

For many eBay sellers Turbo lister will have a been (still is) at the centre of the various tools you use on a daily basis to administer listings. And several correspondents have told us how much they will miss it.

On one level what we don’t know is eBay’s intentions for replacements. And we look forward to knowing in detail what the new functions are.

And we should also be cognisant of Turbo Lister’s failings. It’s an ancient bit of kit that really has been unloved for more than a decade. The design hails from circa 2001 and it could have been so much better. That said, it is still a vital helper for plenty of eBay businesses. In particular the bulk edit and amend functions are widely used.

Turbo Lister’s conception was in a pre-broadband age. (I recall working at eBay when it was launched.) The idea was that you could have an offline tool and build listings and add photos without a connection. In those late dial-up days you could then upload your listings as a batch when you were logged on. Nowadays, with all you can eat data and smartphones, that does seem a bit ludicrous. But back then we used to say: “Get off the internet, I need to use the phone.”

So, will you miss Turbo Lister? And what would you like to see replace it?

  • Andy R
    6 months ago

    The biggest problem with the withdrawal of TL is that is the only offline option for creating listings before uploading them.

    Ebay’s claim that the new hub replaces it with so-called enhanced functions is nonsense. There are no new tools in the hub. It’s just a facelifted seller page.

    But why has the TL download been withdrawn from UK Ebay but not from US Ebay, where it is still available.

    If you have an extensive inventory you could be facing costs of anything up to £100 per month to hire a third party tool.

    TL was far from ideal, but instead of just axing it, why not replace it with an improved tool.

    Ebay sellers pay enough fees and Ebay makes enough profit to invest a little in this.

    Or are sellers simply not worth it in Ebay’s view?

    • Steve
      6 months ago

      Plenty of other software out there that is far better than eBay’s own bug riddled crash happy Turdolister but good quality software is not free but the one I use starts at $20 a month and will handle unlimited listings and you can work off line to your hearts content

    • james
      6 months ago

      Turbolister costs money, it’s an ebay in-house program, ebay need to develop it.

      whereas ebay “partner” with the likes of, say, channel advisor, linnworks, whatever. ebay dont need to do any work, just charge their “partner” for the association.

      No sellers are not worth anything in ebay’s view. they’ve firmly established this point and hammered it home relentlessly.

    • Eric Brown
      5 months ago

      Andy,
      Most of the 3rd party solutions are more expensive than £100 a month, but I agree with Steve…Turbo Lister is outdated and there are much better solutions in the market. It’s a shame that eBay haven’t invested in Turbo Lister, at this point it’s better to shut down Turbo Lister than provide it a badly performing service and at an additional cost (!).
      I’ve seen an article today on Tamebay about the new integrations CrazyLister has with 3rd party solutions like Inkfrog, channeladvisor, solidcommerce and more so it may be a good combination to create good looking listings and upload them in bulk instead of the “TurboLister experience”

  • Sam O'levski
    6 months ago

    What is ludicrous is the pathetic broadband & wifi available in some parts of this country – not everyone has superfast broadband on tap 24 hours a day – I am actually amazed at the comment from tamebay, which implies we all have or can afford, the best in our area.
    I am in the main street of a small town, and cannot get a 3G signal – the local council are talking about improvements but that could take years, with refuse collections being cut due to a lack of money.
    Not every online ‘business’ employs staff and works from a warehouse with a high enough turnover to not notice the cost of the latest and fastest internet.
    I don’t want to pay for a landline to get internet, and so do all my online stuff at home, which is where turbolister used to be handy for fiddling around and getting listings prepared whilst at work.
    My only complaint about TL was the problems when swapping listings between ebay.co.uk and ebay.com, as the categories were different and it made for a fair bit of extra work per listing, so in the end I gave up the next time I had problems with it.
    Nowadays I still have to tell my children to get off the internet now and then when it’s going slow and I have something important to do online, so not a lot of change for some of us.
    I used to love the fact TL was long term storage for some items I might not repeat for a few months, and so could just list an old favourite without having to start from scratch.

  • Michael G
    6 months ago

    Turbo Lister is clunky and crappy, but at least it’s offline. I list 15-20 different vinyl collectables every day using TL; having to upload these items “live” will be a pain in the arse, and the time-lags between one item and the next will discourage buyers from multiple bids as listings come to an end. From my perspective, “Seller Hub” is yet another glossy-looking piece of flim-flam which does nothing other than present sales figures in a more complicated, cosmetically-different fashion (lots of lovely graphs etc – whoopee doo!); I have no idea why it’s being touted as a “replacement” for Turbo Lister, it has none of Turbo Lister’s functionality. In short, for me and many other small sellers, it’s yet more tiresome, pointless and useless deckchair-rearranging from eBay.

    • Sam O'levski
      6 months ago

      Why not save your listings in either drafts or scheduled, then just list them live any time you want to ?
      I have read that drafts are limited to about 20, but I often store a hundred or so in there and just choose the ones I want to list in auction a few minutes beforehand – you can bulk edit some things as well.
      If using scheduled, set the time as far ahead as possible, then remember to keep altering it every week until you’re ready to list them.

    • Jon Browne
      6 months ago

      I have over 7,000 items saved in Turbo Lister files. Turbo Lister works fine, why scrap it?

  • Roger C
    6 months ago

    Though a small time seller I use Turbo Lister as it simply makes sense to compile your listings without any interruptions, doing so off-line makes sense.

    It is well past it’s sell by date as a piece of software though and, as others have said, why didn’t eBay simply use a teeny-weeny part of the profit from Sellers to create a fresh replacement? If it is dropped many will use third party tools yet if they don’t keep fresh when will those be unusable due to eBays “text only” listing plans?

    Yet again eBay seem to make decisions for themselves alone.

    Have checked and it’s still able to be downloaded from this link :

    http://sellercentre.ebay.co.uk/turbo-lister

    . . and interestingly the file is called “setupUK.exe” . . so how useful would a download for the US then be?

  • Peter Graham
    6 months ago

    I find it incredibly frustrating that eBay don’t seem to understand the challenges they cause sellers by not providing efficient selling tools. Seller hub is nothing more than lipstick on a pig. They just don’t seem to understand what sellers need.

    If eBay can’t create relevant seller tools, they should actively encourage a third party market for seller tools rather than it be the wild west that it is today. No one wants to pay more but if the tools save me cost (via the opportunity cost of my time) then so be it.

    The comments about offline tools, whilst somewhat valid, are fighting a losing battle – the world has already chosen – SaaS removes any need for backups and is here to stay.

    Sellers can find some 3rd party SaaS tools that are free to create eBay listings which equates to a free (partial) replacement of TL.

    • Sam O'levski
      6 months ago

      Sadly, many people will have lots of free time and if they also have limited internet availability then turbolister was almost the perfect answer.
      I spend much of my day sitting in a shop waiting for a few people per day to walk through the door – business has gradually got worse over the past few years.
      To help justify being there, I used TL to create listings which I could then upload at home, saving me hours of work each day, as my typing speed is rather slow if I have to be accurate !
      I could get BT broadband in my shop, but might struggle to cover the cost via extra sales, and so the other option is to close down and sit at home using the internet all day long.

    • Mac
      6 months ago

      Sam, if the cost of getting broadband in the shop is a possible struggle then you are on a knife edge.
      Use a third party service if need to spend time doing offline listings.

  • Shaun Allison
    6 months ago

    I am less worried about the off-line development as I have got good broadband where I live. However what I need (and use a lot) is to load items in bulk. I have a complex spreadsheet that generates my ebay listings (mainly my vinyl collection) and then I upload via Turbo Lister or File Exchange. Nowadays it appears you can only subscribe to File Exchange if you are a business seller. I set up another account recently and cannot get File Exchange.

    What I need is a facility to upload items from a CSV file.

    At present with eBay’s (virtual) continuous free listings, my older items are on-line all the time, however if continuous free listings stop next year, then I need the bulk upload to reload items when there are free listings.

  • Jon Browne
    6 months ago

    I deal in back issue comics and magazines, and I cannot see how I could possibly list without Turbo Lister or something very much like it. I’ll take 100 photographs, do the first listing, then “duplicate item”, change the issue number and the photo, then batch upload. I still struggle to do 50-100 per day due to time constraints, and if I fell below that, I would no longer be viable.

    Seller Hub / SYL is useless for bulk listing like this, and as so many of my items are in the £2 range, it’s critical to have a tool which does this. As this is one of those things that eBay periodically announce that would break my business (compulsory free post, changing 16000 pictures, cancelling unsold listings after 16 months etc et bleeding cetera), I am hoping they u-turn as they have repeatedly after announcing things without any consultation with sellers. Yes, Turbo Lister has a bit of a dated look, but it’s completely fit for purpose, and without it, eBay can kiss my £1250 a month goodbye.

  • Andy R
    6 months ago

    If anybody from Ebay reads these posts, you’d better think again about withdrawing Turbo Lister.

    Either cancel the withdrawal or provide the much vaunted selling tools you promised (but failed to provide) in your shambolic and underwhelming “new” seller hub.

  • james
    6 months ago

    Turbolister is trash.
    it says a lot that we’re clinging dearly onto this pile of crap, because it’s the best ebay has to offer.

    i had to add 3 digits to a bunch of sku’s the other day. the kind of thing professional sellers need to do all the time for any number of reasons.

    Turbolister is my go-to for this kind of thing.
    I tried it with the online system instead, since i better get used to it before turbolister is withdrawn.

    4 HOURS!
    4 F**KING HOURS IT WOULD TAKE!
    HALF MY F**KING DAY TO ADD 3 DIGITS.
    ebay you really are complete f**ing morons if you think this is the way forward.

    would have taken 15-20 mins tops with turbolister, but without it, 4 F**CKING HOURS.
    umpteen site crashes, fails, not submitting, completely unable to do anything else in the meantime. absolutely rage inducting.

    its not acceptable.
    what i’ll be doing when turbolister leaves, is leaving with it. if the company cant find me another role outside of ebay, they’ll be finding a new employee.
    I’m not doing it.

  • Thomas Shearing
    6 months ago

    I don’t use TL to list to ebay as it can’t handle my shop html code, so I use Linnworks to list with.

    However it does seem crazy to remove a widely used tool. Ebay is the main beneficiary on getting items listed so you think that 1st they would provide the very best listing tools on the market for free. Continue to support legacy Tools such as TL as this boost there button line.

    Ebay has never cared about the professional sellers that are it’s life blood, this is prime example of that.

  • Gareth Barns
    6 months ago

    I hope eBay allow people to use tab delimited text files still when bulk uploading. I have everything stored in excel spreadsheets – I find it very practical to sort the information there, and then simply upload to TL.

    • james
      6 months ago

      that’s ideally done through file exchange, rather than turbolister?
      might need some formatting changes, but otherwise you should be mostly fine with what you have.

  • 5 months ago

    Hello everyone,

    My name is Chavi Rastogi, Founder & CEO – Wonder Lister. While I do understand the frustration many of you have on the announcement of eBay’s Turbo Lister going away, but I felt the need to assure you that you won’t miss TL once it is gone. Wonder Lister is the best alternative to eBay’s Turbo Lister. You will be able to Import all your Inventory Items via a CSV file that you can create by doing an Export from within Turbo Lister. No change to the CSV is necessary. Not only Wonder Lister has all the basic features of Turbo Lister, it has many many more and you would be delighted that they do exist. Bulk editing is far more superior, folders lets you organize your data, Grid Views are customizable so that you see only the columns you wish to see, you can edit directly inside the Grid, Scheduling will save you eBay fees, automation rules for Listing and Relisting will save you time, and so much more.

    For details on what all features are available, please visit our website:

    http://www.wonderlister.com

    Also, not only is Wonder Lister far superior to Turbo Lister, it is very affordable. Subscription plans start at just $5/month, do believe everyone out there using Turbo Lister would afford it for the enhanced functionality Wonder Lister provides.

    Many of you would have experienced while using Turbo Lister, that it hangs quite often, database gets corrupted, it was horribly slow and such othet complaints. All that would be history once you are on board Wonder Lister.

    In the end, you would be far better off with Wonder Lister than you ever were with Turbo Lister.

    If you do need any clarifications, please send me an email.

    Thanks,
    Chavi Rastogi
    Founder & CEO

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