What’s the difference between Inventory Automation and Full Automation?
Read more about how Inventory Automation works here.
Our Full Automation service includes all the benefits of Inventory Automation PLUS the ability to automatically route orders to your dropship suppliers and automatically sync back shipment tracking to your store and customer.
Read more about how Full Automation works here.
What are the inventory management tools?
Our bulk inventory management tools have been included in our Catalog Manager as the “Catalog Rules”. You can learn more about using the Catalog Manager and the rules that help you automate your product listings with the links below.
What is optimized sync?
Optimized sync pulls new data as often as it appears in the dropship supplier’s feed, to then be pushed as soon as possible to your store. How often the data is updated is dictated by how often the supplier updates their feed with new data. However, with optimized sync, you can be sure you are pulling this data as often possible.
Can I add my own supplier?
Yes! We can integrate with just about any supplier that provides the inventory data you need. Custom/Private integrations may have additional fees associated with the integration.
What is an integration?
An “integration” is the connection between a product source (dropship supplier) and your sales channel or ecommerce platform (Shopify, Amazon, Stitch Labs, etc.). Each connection made between 1 Source & 1 Channel = 1 Integration.
Does Inventory Source markup the product prices?
No, absolutely not! We are not “middlemen” like some other sites you might have reviewed. We help you find suppliers and manage their product information in the exact format you need for your website or marketplace listings. The profits from every sale are yours to keep. We do help you to control your own price markups with your automation and custom file account features, but we do not add any additional fees.
Why is it important to keep updated price, quantity and status for dropship products?
If you are asking this question, you might be new to selling wholesale dropship products, or you have not sold products in large volume. We often hear from people who have struggled for years selling products online. Then they find us, use our services and they realize how much real value our services add to their business. If you do not physically possess the items that you sell in your own warehouse, such as with dropship products, then what you are really selling is the product information to your customer and the sales and service you provide. Without accurate and high quality product information presented on your site, you do not have anything to offer your clients. The accuracy of the data on your site becomes part of your brand image.
Also, dropship suppliers can change their price for multiple reasons. If you put a product on your site at $50 with a $10 mark-up and they raise the price to $60, you just lost all profit. However, if you use Inventory Source, you set your price settings. As your suppliers raise or lower the prices they charge you, we can raise or lower your prices on your site with your price setting to protect your profit margin. Also, your site will be one of the FIRST online to offer the new price or new products that are added to their catalogs. This gives you the traffic when people search for this product. Let all of the other resellers try to succeed with less accurate information or spend hours every day updating price and quantity lists while you promote your site and process your orders.
Quantity and status updates are needed because there are few things that are more irritating for suppliers, resellers and most importantly customers then trying to complete a sale for an out-of-stock product. Your feedback on marketplaces and even customer retention will be severely damaged when a custom tries to complete an order for a product that you have listed as available, but the supplier has as out-of stock. That is why we update this field and can do this for you with the automation service or give you the daily details in a file download service.
Do I need to customize my website to use your service?
No. If you have an existing website and would like to use our services to load/update your product catalog we simply need administrative access to push the product data feed to your site. There are no other code changes to your site, just a simple XML push of product data into your product catalog.
Can I sell my own products as well?
Absolutely! Your business should be YOUR business. Our wholesale drop ship data services can integrate with your site or sales channels without impacting your existing products. We have resellers who make products, offer services and sell from small suppliers not in our network while letting us help them grow their catalog.
What do I need to get started?
In order to get started with us you will first need to create a free account here.
If I change my pricing rules, how long does it take to change on my store?
For customers on the Basic Plan, we typically update twice per day and your pricing will be updated on the next update. You also have the option to run an “on-demand sync” from your inventory feeds dashboard one time per day for Basic Plan users. Plus and Enterprise plan customers that have optimized sync can expect much more frequent updates through out the day as well the ability to run multiple on-demand syncs.
I’ve renamed and customized my categories, why do my products say “not customized”?
The “customized” and “not customized” labels are used to denote when you have changed a title, image, description, and other data found when clicking on a individual product and selecting “customize”.
To confirm if a category for a product has been updated you can click on it to see the custom categories (as seen below).
If my feed is already active and I rename a category, when will it update?
After you have set your feed to active and your first initial upload has run, any category name that was loaded at that time will not be overwritten with any changes you have made. This obviously does not apply to any categories that did not upload to your store in the first upload (because no products were set to load from that category).
Basically, the rule of thumb is that if you have loaded a category to your store once, no changes in the category mapping tool will overwrite that initial upload on the next syncs. You can request a “Full Upload” by emailing our support team in which we will overwrite all product data for all products including category names.
Why does Inventory Source recommend the Catalog Builder mode?
Catalog Builder mode allows you to…
- Easily select only the products you want to sell and quickly move them to your queue/catalog with the advanced search and bulk selection capabilities.
- Use the “queue” to move products in batches that you would like to eventually add to your catalog (and upload to your store) but would like to review and or customize the products prior to doing so.
- Customize product data before uploading to your store. It is a best practice as a retailer to modify and upgrade the supplier provided product data. Our Catalog Builder mode allows you to do this with each product individually or in bulk using our Bulk Product Customization File, found in the “Bulk” section of your Catalog Rules.
What happens when I switch modes?
Your catalog rules, product selections, customizations, and tags will not be lost if you choose to switch between the two different modes. You are fine to switch back and forth without losing settings however please note this will affect what products do or do not display on your store (if your feed is active).
If you switch from the Filter mode to the Builder mode, you will notice that your catalog will likely not have any products in it. In “Builder mode” you will need to populate your catalog by moving products from your “feed view” to your catalog.
Since switching modes has such a high impact on the products that will appear on your store we will automatically set your feed to paused. This will give you time to ensure that your catalog is populated with the products you want to sell before you set your feed back to active and your next sync runs.Please note that any products previously loaded to your store that are no longer in your catalog will be deactivated on the next sync.
How do I switch from Builder mode to Filter mode and vice versa?
You can switch by going to your “Catalog Rules” and clicking the “Controls” section and then the “switch” button at the bottom.
You will be presented with a warning message when switching modes explaining the effects it will have on your catalog.
When switching from Filter mode to Builder mode you will be presented with this message:
When switching from Builder mode to Filter mode you will be presented with this message:
Why does it take so long to load “Store Catalog”?
After switching to the Catalog Manager for the first time, it can take a minute or two for your Catalog to load all your existing products. You can navigate away from this screen and it will continue to upload. The second time you navigate to your Catalog, it will load much quicker.
Why does it seem that a lot of the product images are missing when viewing “Supplier Feed”?
You will notice that the Feed is sorted by “newest” products by default. These are the “newest” products added into the feed by the supplier. Many suppliers add in products to their feed before they have uploaded the images for them. As soon as images become available in the supplier’s feed we will pull them into your “Feed View” within a 24 hour period.
Push to eBay
I’ve manually added my supplier products to my eBay account. Why are they not updating?
Manually adding products to your eBay account will make it so Inventory Source cannot update them. One of the key benefits of using the Push To Ebay Tool is that a connection is maintained between Inventory Source and your eBay account. This connection allows us to update your products and ensure that the products don’t run out of stock.
Is there a “Low Quantity Filter” for the Push to eBay software like there is with your other software?
Unfortunately, no. There is no way to automatically mark products out of stock once the quantity reaches a certain threshold in the supplier’s warehouse. We do offer this with our inventory automation software. However, with Push to eBay, even if the supplier only has one product left in stock, our system will claim that it is still in stock on your eBay account. In rare cases, this can lead to an issue with a customer purchasing an item that is now out of stock with the supplier. It isn’t common, but it happens. The best way to check this is to know which items are sold quickly – with those items, check the supplier inventory levels occasionally to ensure they’re still in stock.
How many images are on each product? Can I add my own images to my products?
Currently, we only load one image per product. Our software is not designed to load more than one image. However, once a listing is active on eBay, you may log in to your eBay account and manually add more images. This can be a good option for popular products that are sold frequently.
Can I adjust the product pricing below the MAP pricing that the supplier has set?
MAP pricing is the “Minimum Asking Price” that the supplier sets. The supplier sometimes sets a minimum allowable sales price in order to prevent unwanted behaviors, such as resellers selling items at very low rates which can sometimes lead to the brand’s perceived value being damaged. Suppliers and manufacturers are very careful about managing their brands.
You cannot set the price below the MAP price using the Push ro Ebay tool. If you attempt to do this, an alert will display.
Why are my product settings not updating when I change batch level settings?
In the last question (see above) we discussed the three different levels of settings that can be set for products: Default Settings, Batch Settings, and Product Settings. These are important to understand for this question.
Batch settings are applied to products when the products are newly added to the batch. If you add a product to a batch, it will “adopt” the parent level settings. However, if you then change the batch settings (parent level settings in this case), then the product settings will not change. Our system does not update child settings when parent settings are changed. This means that you will need to remove the items from the batch, change the batch level settings, then re-add the products to the batch again in order to see the new changes.
It helps to have consistent products in batches. For example, if you are selling watches with a 40% markup, don’t put them in the same batches as backpacks that have a 20% markup. You want to separate the products out by type, category, and markup. That way if you want to change your batch price markup settings, you can do so more easily.
What is the difference between Default Settings and Batch Settings?
Every product you post on eBay has certain settings, such as payment settings, shipping settings, selected categories, and so on. With our different levels of settings, you can more easily control your product settings.
There are three different levels of settings:
- Default Settings – applies to all batches and all products in all batches.
- Batch Settings – applies specifically to the specific batch.
- Product Settings – applies specifically to the selected product.
This setup is a more powerful way for you to manage your listings. Otherwise, you would need to set these things for each individual settings. So instead of doing that, you can simply set your Batch Settings, and those settings will apply to all of the products in your account.
What does the checkbox mean when categorizing my products?
When you are categorizing your products to be pushed to eBay, you’ll need to ensure that your product reaches the end category. eBay’s product categorization branches out into different category and subcategories. When you see the check box next to the category listing name that is the final category level.
What should I choose for my category?
The best way to choose a category for your product is to learn how similar products are categorized on eBay. By doing a quick eBay search for similar products to the item that you want to sell, you can see how they are categorized. Then, once you determine the best category, you can select that category for your product.
Using FileExchange, can I manually bulk load products to eBay?
Yes, definitely. We have a different service for this. This is called our “Custom File” service. In order to manually load products to eBay, we have a service where we can create a Custom File for you. We will build a file that you can download on a daily basis to upload your products. You will essentially login to your Inventory Source account, download a file that we generate for you and then upload it to your eBay account. In this file, all your specific product pricing will be updated daily to reflect the pricing settings you’ve put in place.
However, please know that our Custom File service is slightly less efficient and more time consuming out Push To Ebay Tool. We developed our Push To Ebay software to make things more manageable.
Does the Push to eBay software automatically load the MPN, UPC and Brand to eBay when I push a product?
When you push a product up to eBay, our software sends these three values. However, if these values are not available in the product data from the supplier, then the software automatically sends a “Does not Apply” value for these fields. We do this in accordance with eBay’s suggestion in their documentation. However, if you have special access to this product information from the supplier, you can manually add it to each individual product in the Push To eBay software.
Is it possible to change to a different eBay account?
Yes. Just re-authenticate your account and switch over to the other account. Be aware that if you switch over to a new account, our software will sever the connection with the original eBay account and will no longer update the products in that account. Be 100% certain that you want to do this. Additionally, it’s advisable to end all of the listings on your original eBay account prior to doing this – otherwise you risk customers ordering items that are out of stock with the supplier.
Just know if you try to edit the products on your other account or list the products that you already have listed on your other account, you can’t relist them on your newly added account. Basically, you can’t list the products on both sites, you can only list different products on each site.
Unfortunately, there is no way to have one Inventory Source account connected to multiple eBay accounts. To accomplish this, you would need to have more than one Inventory Source account connected to the separate eBay accounts.
Can I use more than one eBay account?
You can only have one eBay account per InventorySource.com account. The reason is that our system maintains a direct connection to your eBay account to update those listings on a daily basis. If you connect to a second account, our system loses the original connection and your products will no longer be updated.
The only way currently to connect to more than one eBay account is to setup different InventorySource.com accounts.
What is the difference between “default categories” vs “store categories”?
If you are a current eBay user and are assigned a “store front” through eBay. In your eBay account back end you can form categories to categorize your items to your liking, these are called “store categories”. Our Push To eBay tool fetches the categories that you manually set in our store and you can categorize your batches in your specific set batches.
As well you can list your products in eBay’s default categories that are just their general categories that you can see online.
So one is to organize them how you wish on your eBay’s “store front ” site how you’d like. The other is for you to categorize them in eBay’s general.
You can do both.
Can I change the quantity of items?
You can change the quantity to whatever you want. You can do so by clicking “Edit Product Details” then going to “Price, Duration, Weight, Quantity, Dimensions. If you decide to change the However, there are two considerations with this.
First, if the supplier only has one item in stock but you’ve changed the quantity in the listing and customer orders more items than the supplier has in stock, then you are going to have a problem. You will need to cancel the order or only partially fulfill the order. This could result in a bad review from a buyer on eBay and maybe even jeopardize your selling privileges.
Second, no matter what the quantity in stock is – when the supplier quantity reaches “0” then our software will take your eBay listing offline. The purpose is to prevent orders that cannot be fulfilled – so this saves you a lot of time and prevents potentially unfulfillable orders.
Last – it is generally suggested that you don’t change the quantity of items. If you change it, you risk encountering more potential issues than there are potential advantages to changing the quantity. Only under very specific situations should you consider changing the quantity.
On my new eBay account, I get some Free Listings. Why am I currently being charged $0.30 per listing? Shouldn’t this be free?
Your eBay account will not be charged for free listings, however, you will still see the “$0.30 Listing Fee” note in the software. Our eBay software has no way of identifying free listings, so it simply posts the same pricing for each listing, regardless of their true fees.
Additionally, these listing fee’s are charged by eBay. Inventory Source does not determine which listings are paid and which listings are free.
Why does the quantity in stock not accurately reflect that of the supplier?
The listing fee you pay to eBay depends on the quantity in stock, in addition to other factors surrounding the listing. For example, if there are 500 items in stock, you’re likely going to pay a higher eBay listing fee than if there are only 5 items in stock. To reduce this cost to you, we automatically mark products to a quantity of 1. If our software did not do this, then you would pay significantly more for your listings. You are able to change the quantity to something else but the amount must be lower than what the supplier has in stock.
Several of our suppliers have products with thousands of items in inventory. This would be expensive to you.
Note: You can not change the quantity of those the prices of those that are Auctioned.
How can I offer free shipping?
Free shipping is a popular option on eBay. To offer free shipping, you’ll essentially be putting $0 in for the price, similar to this.
Keep in mind – this does not mean the shipping is free to you, the seller. Your supplier is still going to charge you a shipping fee. So if you offer free shipping, make sure you mark up your product pricing enough to cover shipping – otherwise you may actually lose money!
Why is my shipping option not showing on the item page on eBay?
eBay takes any shipping option that you place on a listing and automatically re-categorizes that shipping into one of many shipping categories. Some examples of shipping options are “One-Day Shipping”, “Standard Shipping” and “Expedited Shipping”. So even if your shipping option is “UPS Ground”, eBay will display this as “Standard Shipping. More information can be found on this eBay information page.
It’s important that you contact your supplier directly to determine which shipping options they offer. Once this is determined, you will then be able to decide which options you prefer to offer to your eBay customers.
Can I still add my own products to eBay?
Absolutely! You can certainly offer your own products on eBay and our system will not disrupt them. Inventory Source only focusses on updating the products listed on eBay that was posted using the Push To Ebay Tool.
Does Inventory Source update the quantity of the products?
Yes, we update eBay 3 times a day. So we do mark the products “Out Of Stock” when the product goes out of stock in the supplier’s warehouse. We do this for a very specific reason: eBay charges you for holding a high quantity of items. If your product quantity hits a certain threshold (like 50 items), then eBay will charge you more because they realize that your account is acting more like a “Store” vs just an individual seller account.
Therefore, when our software loads the products to your eBay account, we load them with a low quantity, typically “1”. Then, our system will still check the actual quantity with the supplier each day. If the item quantity hits zero in the supplier’s warehouse, our system will automatically mark the item “out of stock” on your eBay account.
How do batches work?
Batches are groups of products that are similar in type such as “backpacks”, “women’s perfume” or “fishing reels”.
If you’re selling “outdoor” products, create a batch with “backpacks” and put only backpacks in the batch. This will make it easier to track products and categorize them in a more organized fashion. As well as put them in a specific category on eBay so your customers can find it easier.
What if eBay has given me some free listings because I have a new account?
If eBay has given you free listings on your account, then you will not be charged a listing fee for those listings. When we post the listing fee, we do so because this is the default setting that eBay has provided to us. However, this listing fee does not consider the promotions/offers that eBay has given to you. So do not worry about being charged a listing fee in this case.