I'm just as shocked as you are:
This is quite a coup for the Office Accounting marketing team. I haven't watched too many episodes of the Apprentice but it looks like Carolyn got a makeover. One of the other judges is Chris Capossela, who ran the Project team when I was there. He's a good guy so I don't see him playing the Simon Cowell role. I'd congratulate him on hitting the big time, but they misspelled his name in the article!
Note to CNN: Last name is Brixius, B-R-I-X-I-U-S.
There are several ways to customize the visual style of eBay listings created with Office Accounting 2007. Let's start with images:
You can add up to six images to your listing. Clicking on the Add link under a product image brings up a dialog that lets you upload and insert images. You can upload images from your computer or you can simply select any of your previously uploaded images. (You can also add images by selecting Online Sales -> Manage Online Sales and clicking on the Pictures tab. Here you can rename images, remove images, and organize images into folders. Managing images using folders is very useful if you have lots of images, or if you often list the same items.) The first image you select is used as the primary image for the eBay listing. The other images will be displayed at the bottom of the "Description" section. Ebay normally charges the seller for additional product images, but since we host your images on our servers you can supply additional images without running into extra charges.
It's not obvious, but the "Item description" field does accept HTML. This opens up many possibilities for customization. The "Item description" field is essentially the same as the "Enter your own HTML" tab in the Item Description section of eBay's "Sell Your Item" page. The same rules that eBay enforces about item description HTML are enforced by the Office Accounting listing wizard. If you try to insert HTML that eBay doesn't like we'll warn you about it.
The listing wizard supports a number of the standard eBay upgrade options. Note that upgrades often incur additional eBay fees.
Ebay has a "listing designer" section on its "Sell Your Item" page that lets you choose a visual theme and layout. The OA listing wizard does not support this; it uses the standard layout and does not use a theme. Ebay.com also lets you create HTML snippets ("inserts") that can be dropped into a listing; snippets are not currently supported. Even so, by using product images, HTML in the description, and upgrades it's not too hard to create professional looking listings using Office Accounting 2007.
A customer asked why eBay Motors item categories are not displayed on the listing details page. It's not a limitation of the Express SKU! The reason why we don't include eBay Motors categories is that we currently support listing to the main eBay site only. In the US, eBay considers eBay Motors to be a separate site and therefore does not include eBay Motors categories along with the standard item categories.
This article on the eBay site describes the issue in more detail. (URL updated on 6/20/2007.)
In this posting, Isaias wrote about listing items to eBay from Office Accounting 2007. I want to dig a little deeper into the listing process because I've noticed there have been questions about it on some of the eBay forums. Just to summarize, the basic flow for listing items to eBay is:
One obvious benefit of using Office Accounting to list to online marketplaces is that all of the tracking associated with listing and selling the item happens in one place, but another is how OA streamlines the process of listing items to eBay.
One way we do this is by using data from past listings to prepopulate new listings. If you relist the same product, the listing wizard will copy all data from the previous listing into the new listing. This means that in many cases you can skip step 5 and just list the item with a couple of clicks (three clicks to be exact; that hasn't been patented yet). If you are listing a different product, the listing wizard copies over many of the properties from your last listing in order to help you along. We don't copy over everything because some fields (such as costs) are not likely to apply to different products.
Here are the fields that the listing wizard prepopulates, assuming you have already listed an item to eBay:
These fields are not prepopulated:
We've tried to design the listing wizard so that the amount of manual data entry is kept to a minimum. If you have other ideas for improving the experience, I'd love to hear about them.
You can download a free copy of Office Accounting Express by visiting the ideawins site. I noticed we whittled down the download size to 208 MB -- it used to be 300+ MB. I'd be interested to find out how we got rid of 100MB (and what it was)!
Our team has been working on the online services portion of the product which allows small businesses to list their items to online marketplaces like eBay, handle orders from online marketplaces, and process payments. Rajat Taneja writes about the release in this blog posting. Isaias from the Office Accounting team has written a detailed entry about listing items to eBay (which I worked on). I'll have more to say about listing to eBay in the days ahead. Also: