Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Software Review: iSale 5
With the economy slowing down, more and more people are looking to sell their stuff on eBay. Putting items on eBay one at a time is a pain. Serious sellers use software to prepare and optimize their auctions. iSale is one of the best apps for creating and maintaining eBay auctions and is a clear leader in taking advantages of all the nooks and crannies of the Macintosh Operating System. They are a two-time Apple Design Award winner and their credentials shine through in iSale 5.0.
Some of the new features in 5.0 aren't terribly compelling. For example, iSale 5.0 allows you to post your auctions on social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube. However, if you are posting on eBay, you probably already tried to sell your items via your social network, thus I don't see much usefulness in this feature. Expanded in 5.0 for users running Leopard is the integration with iCal. You can be notified when your auctions are going to end so you can start bugging buyers to pay you.Of course, like with any new release, there are more templates and backgrounds for your auction, which is nice, but not really worth the price of admission. People don't buy items based on how cool the template is.
The killer feature that makes 5.0 a must-have upgrade is the Research Assistant. If you sell on eBay, you probably already check for other auctions similar to yours as well as Google your item for facts to include in your auction. iSale 5.0 automates this function. Search for an item and it will scan a preset list of websites including currently running auctions on eBay. When you see an auction similar to yours, click "create auction" and iSale copies the pictures and text from the listing...even the category. Of course you'll have to worry about copyright issues, but you can easily tweak things to comply. If you only want to use part of the text from a website, the Research Assistant allows you to easily copy and past the text from within the program or save it into a clipping file for later. I easily modified the Research Assistant to include eBay completed auctions and Google groups so I can see what the going price was for something and possibly copy info as necessary.
My one complaint about iSale is it is a processor and memory hog. Even on my MacPro 2 Ghz CPU with 4 Gig of RAM, iSale seems sluggish. It would often take 70-120% of processor cycles and over a gig of RAM usage for just a few auction items. All these features come at a price and if I sell enough on eBay, maybe I can even upgrade the computer!
Equinux has a great trial version. They'll let you download the program and try three auctions for free. No reason not to try it and see if you like it.
Overall iSale remains a great program to sell items on eBay and the 5.0 upgrade's research Assistant is well worth the upgrade price of $25.00 New iSale users will have to pay $39.95 for a single pack of $49.95 for a five user pack.
Pros: Existing selling features combined with the Research Assistant make selling quick and easy
Cons: Memory and processor hog.
Four out of Five Dogcows
Article was republished by the Lawrence Apple User's Group 2.0 here as well as other groups listed on the right