FAQ

General

Does WP-Lister work with all eBay sites?

Yes, WP-Lister works with every eBay site, but only one site per installation.

What are the requirements to run WP-Lister?

WP-Lister requires a recent version of WordPress (3.6+) with  WooCommerce 2.x and without WPML or WPMU installed. Your server should run on Linux and have PHP 5.2 or better with cURL support.

Note: The following hosting providers are known to use extraordinary measures which keep resource intensive applications like WP-Lister from running properly:

  • dreamhost.com
  • zen.co.uk
  • netregistry.com.au

If you’re currently with one of these hosters, you might have change your provider to be able to use WP-Lister.

Do I need an eBay store or does WP-Lister work with any eBay account?

WP-Lister can be used with any eBay account – an eBay store with monthly fees is not required. It is recommended though if you intend to list more than just a few items per month as subscribing to a monthly plan with eBay will greatly reduce your listing fees.

How do I upgrade from the free version to WP-Lister Pro?

Upgrading to WP-Lister Pro is simple and seamless. Just disable the free version and upload the zipped copy of WP-Lister Pro in your dashboard at Plugins -> Add New -> Upload. All your settings, listings, profiles and templates will remain unchanged.

Listing Items

How should I list test products that do not show up in search results?

To prevent test listings from appearing in search results, please follow these requirements for test listings:

  • Use the Everything Else > Test Auctions category only
  • Put the word “test” in both the listing title and the listing description
  • Have no more than 10 test listings at a time

To learn more about this policy, visit http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/listing-no-item.html

Note: It is generally not recommended to use the eBay sandbox for test listings – you will be spending much more time working around sandbox specific issues than you would save on listing fees. The sandbox is intended for developers only and we can’t provide support if you’re running WP-Lister in sandbox mode.

Can I include a gallery of my other items as part of a listing template ?

Yes, you can use one of four Cross Selling Widgets: most recent items, items ending soon, featured items and related items.

I have multiple images per product and WP-Lister generates a nice gallery further down in my listing description. How do I get my additional images to the top, right below the main image?

This is intentional – images embedded in your item description are hosted on your website, while images within are hosted by eBay. eBay used to charge  for every additional image that is uploaded – but now allow up to 12 free images hosted on their servers using EPS (eBay Picture Service).

To activate this feature, enable “Upload to EPS” in your profile, which will upload your product gallery images to eBay.

Why do links in my product description not show up on eBay?

WP-Lister does remove links from product descriptions by default to avoid violating the eBay Links policy. Specifically you are not allowed to advertise products that you list on eBay by linking to their product pages on your site. You can disable this by changing the link handling option on the Advanced Settings page.

Can I have multiple listings of the same product on eBay?

The only way to have multiple listings of the same product and have WP-Lister sync the inventory correctly is to create multiple products in WooCommerce and manually distribute the total stock between them. You can hide the additional WooCommerce products easily by setting their visibility to hidden.

When I change the product name, why doesn’t the name shown on the listings page get updated?

The listing title is generated when a profile is applied the first time – that is, right after you selected your products and did the “prepare listing” step.

At this time, the title prefix and suffix are applied and any shortcodes such as [product_category] are replaced – that gives you the actual listing title when you view the Listings page instead of placeholders. And it allows some users to edit the generated listing title and as they like it before they actually list the item.

So while price, quantity, attributes, etc. will be automatically update when you change an item, the listing title will only be regenerated when you select the items and choose “Re-apply profile” from the pull down menu.

Can I manually relist an item on the eBay website?

You shouldn’t do this, as relisting an item will change it’s ID and WP-Lister might fail to import transactions for the new item properly. You should use WP-Lister’s relist feature instead.

If you have already relisted some items manually on ebay.com, please make sure that you click the “Update all published items” button in WP-Lister afterwards and tick all the checkboxes on your ended items (ideally by selecting the “ended” link and ticking the top checkbox to select all) and choose “update details from eBay” from the bulk actions drop down.

This will make WP-Lister fetch the current status and details from eBay for all selected items – which at this time still have the old eBay IDs from before they were relisted. That’s why doing so, you’ll see a message that WP-Lister has found manually relisted items and it wants you to update their details again. Yes, again – because the first run only let WP-Lister know “The item X has bee relisted and its new ID is now Y.” and only the second run will update the new item’s details.

I added new categories to my eBay store but they don’t show up in WP-Lister.

WP-Lister doesn’t get notified by eBay when you create new store categories, so you need to visit WP-Lister -> Tools and click on “Update eBay data”, which will update all categories, payment methods, shipping services, etc.

Can I use WP-Lister to list cars and other vehicles on eBay Motors?

As of now this is not possible. You can list parts and accessories on eBay Motors and even define parts compatibility tables for each product. But vehicles have very unique listing requirements and supporting these is currently not on the roadmap.

How do I get discount listing fees?

If you’re going to list a bigger number of items, you should probably think about getting your own eBay Store. You will pay a monthly fee to eBay, but you’ll get greatly reduced listing fees in return – plus your own storefront where you can create custom categories. It usually pays for itself as soon as you list more than 20-30 items per month.

Variations

I use products variations on my site but eBay doesn’t allow variations in the selected category. How can I find out in which categories variations are allowed?

To learn more about variations and allowed categories you should visit this page: pages.ebay.com/help/sell/listing-variations.html. There you will find a link to eBay’s look up table for categories allowing variations.

Why doesn’t WP-Lister seem to see the variations of my variable product?

If you prepare a variable product and WP-Lister can’t find any variations for this product, then please check if you have selected a value for each variation attribute. You can’t list variations where “Any <value>…” is selected. For example, if your attribute is “Color” then you need to create a variation with quantity and SKU for each color, you can not set it to “Any Color…”.

Why exactly can’t I use variations with “Any Color…” selected?

This is a limitation of eBay, which requires each variation to have a stock level value (quantity) – and an SKU in order to sync the inventory properly.

Let’s say you have a T-Shirt which comes in L and XL as well as red, green and blue. The L size costs 12.95 but the XL size costs 14.95. So you create a variable product in WooCommerce with just two variations – one for L and one for XL – but leave the color to “Any Color…” because the color doesn’t influence your price. Don’t do this!

eBay needs to know exactly, how many units of each variation are available. If you do it like this and give each variation (L and XL) a quantity of 10, then how should eBay know how many red XL you have, how many green XL, how many blue XL, etc. WP-Lister can’t know and so can’t eBay. That’s why you should always use the “Link all variations” feature in WooCommerce which automatically creates all required variations for the attributes you selected.

Anything else I should know about variation attributes?

Yes. For variable products you should not use “custom product attributes” (ie. attributes that are created on the product level). You should use “global attributes” instead which are created at Products -> Attributes and their type should be select. This is not only recommended for WP-Lister but required for some advanced WooCommerce features like Layered Navigation as well – and it will greatly reduce the your long term maintenance effort.

What is the difference between “splitting” and “flattening” variable products?

Let’s say you have 5 different variations of an item.

Splitting would create 5 separate listings on eBay – 5 times the listing fee but 5 times the visibility as well and WP-Lister Pro can sync the inventory status.

Flattening would list all of them as only one listing – with details about the other available variations attached as a list to the products description.
Note: Inventory sync from eBay to WooCommerce is not possible for flattened variations.

Why can’t WP-Lister Pro sync the inventory for flattened variations?

WooCommerce stores an individual stock level quantity for each single variation – so if you have a variable product with 12 variations, there are 12 individual quantities involved. While WP-Lister can merge these variations into a single eBay listing – and just use the sum of all individual quantities as total quantity – it can not “un-merge” it the other way round. When a flattened variation is sold on eBay, WP-Lister Pro has no way to decide which of the 12 different stock levels it should reduce.

That’s why flattened variations should only be used if you don’t require your WooCommerce stock levels to be updated automatically when an item is sold on eBay. WP-Lister Pro can only sync the inventory on eBay when the product is sold in WooCommerce.

Inventory

How does the inventory sync work?

The inventory sync of WP-Lister Pro is a background process that looks out for new sales on both WooCommerce eBay and automatically reduces the stock level quantity on the other platform. When the quantity reaches zero, the listing is ended or the product is marked as out of stock.

New orders from WooCommerce are processed instantly during checkout while new orders from eBay are fetched up to every 15 minutes so there might be a slight delay syncing from eBay to WooCommerce. This limitation will hopefully be lifted in the future.

Additionally you have the option to lock a listing which will enable instant inventory status updates when you update a product in WooCommerce, but other details like the listing title or description will remain unchanged. Imported listings are locked by default.

When you update an unlocked listing in WooCommerce that is currently published on eBay, WP-Lister will mark the listing as changed and will prompt you to revise all changed items. This extra step is required as this revision process is much slower than only updating the inventory status – and it provides an extra “safety net” allowing you to change your profile or template and first revise a few listings only to confirm that your changes achieve the desired result before you revise all listings which can take hours if you haven thousands of products.

What happens when I manually change a listing on eBay?

Simply put: You’re not supposed to do that. WP-Lister won’t get notified of your changes and will even overwrite them if you revise the listing from WP-Lister!

You have to keep in mind that when using WP-Lister, your WooCommerce catalog will become your “central database” where you should apply all your changes and where you create new products. You shouldn’t have to visit the eBay website anymore once you started using WP-Lister – at least not on a frequent basis.

How do I enable the inventory sync?

Inventory sync is disabled by default. To enabled it visit WP-Lister -> Settings, enable the Sync Inventory option and set the Update Interval to 15 minutes.

Can WP-Lister automatically create orders in WooCommerce?

If you want WP-Lister to create orders in WooCommerce automatically, you can enable the Create Orders option on WP-Lister -> Settings.

Keep in mind that WooCommerce by default sends out emails when a new order is created or its status changed. You’ll find multiple options to disable this default behavior on WP-Lister -> Settings -> Advanced.

Can I trigger the check for new orders manually – or from an external script?

WP-Lister uses WordPress internal task planner wp_cron to check eBay for new sales on the set time interval. You can also run this check manually by clicking “Update orders” on the orders page. Support for external cron jobs will be added in a future version.

We are also working on using the eBay Platform Notification system to get instant notification on any sale, but this will take some more time. As eBay states in their own API documentation, platform notifications are not considered “reliable”, so every application that uses them should frequently check for new orders anyway.

Locked Items

How does “locking items” work?

Only items that were imported using the importer add-on are locked by default. Listings that were created in WP-Lister are unlocked, but you can lock single or multiple items at WP-Lister -> Listings using the bulk actions drop down – or you can lock or unlock all your products on the tools page.

What does it mean when an item is “locked”?

“Locked listings” will have their inventory status – ie. price and quantity – updated instantly when you update a product in WooCommerce. All other details – like the listing title or description – will remain unchanged. Only imported listings are locked by default.

And how does it work for “unlocked” items?

When you update an unlocked listing in WooCommerce that is currently published on eBay, WP-Lister will mark the listing as changed and will prompt you to revise all changed items. This extra step is required as this revision process is much slower than only updating the inventory status – and it provides an extra “safety net” allowing you to change your profile or template and first revise a few listings only to confirm that your changes achieve the desired result before you revise all listings which can take hours if you haven thousands of products.

When should I unlock a locked item?

You need to unlock a listing if you want WP-Lister to change your profile or update your listing template on eBay.

Profiles

What is a “listing profile” in WP-Lister?

Profiles in WP-Lister work as a general template of various configuration options which are applied when preparing listings. Profiles can also be used to modify an item’s price and title: you can append and prepend text to your title and you can increase or decrease your prices – by a fixed amount or by percentage – or map product attributes to eBay item specifics and more.

How do I get started with listing profiles?

You should first starting with one profile – once that doesn’t throw any errors and achieves the desired result when you list a new product with it you can duplicate and modify the profile for other products which require different options.

If you don’t want to run into the limitations and restrictions that eBay puts on listing clothing and/or variations, then just start with a “simple” product – no clothing or variations. This will allow you to concentrate on the basic settings and options.

Can I change a profile after listing items on eBay?

Yes. When you change a listing profile after you listed your items, the items will be marked as changed and WP-Lister will prompt you to revise all changed items on eBay.

Taxes/Tax rate – what do I select if my prices already include 20% VAT?

You should enable taxes by selecting Taxes: “fixed tax rate” and enter “20” into the field “Tax rate (percent)” below.

Is there an option to enable free shipping?

Free Shipping is not an option to select from, but instead you have to select the actual shipping service you are going to use and just enter  zero (“0″) for “first item cost” in the shipping options box.

Additional Items – Does this refer to the additional cost in buying another of the same item?

Yes. It sets the additional shipping cost for any second or further item – from this listing (item). So it only applies if you actually list items with a quantity greater that one.

Misc

I installed WP-Lister on a staging site first and moved to the production site now. What do I need to do to activate my license on the live site?

When you have activated WP-Lister on a site / domain where you would like to move it away from, what you should do is tick the checkbox that reads “Yes, I want to deactivate my license for domain.com” so you can activate the same license after migration on a different site / domain again.

If you already deleted your old site and forgot to deactivate it, you can just log in to your account on wplab.com where you’ll see all your licenses and which domains they are currently activated on. There you’ll find a button to deactivate your license on a specific domain as well.

If I decided to stop using WP-Lister or want to start from scratch, how can I completely remove listings and settings from my site?

Visit WP-Lister page -> Settings -> Advanced and enable the Uninstall on deactivation option. This will remove all listings, orders and settings when deactivating the plugin. 

To remove your listing templates as well, please delete the folder /wp-content/uploads/wp-lister/templates/.

Can I update my inventory from a CSV file?

Yes, you can. WP-Lister currently supports these CSV import plugins:

http://www.woothemes.com/products/product-csv-import-suite/ (paid)
https://github.com/dgrundel/woo-product-importer (free)
http://wordpress.org/plugins/woocommerce-csvimport/ (free)
http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-all-import/ (free)

Updating an existing product from a CSV file will be very much like updating the product manually in WooCommerce: Unlocked listings will be marked as changed while locked listings will have their price and inventory updated instantly, resulting a slower import process. Please keep in mind that your products should have unique SKUs – for variable products, each variation needs to have a SKU as well.

Is there a way to check if my current listings comply with eBay’s image-size policy?

eBay recently updated their Picture Quality Requirements – now requiring every picture to measure at least 500px on its longest side. If you have listed products using smaller images in the past, you might not be able to revise them in WP-Lister until you have updated your product images in WooCommerce.

To check your currently active listings whether they match the latest requirements, there is an excellent online tool to do so at:
http://www.isdntek.com/ebaytools/ListingPhotoSizes.htm

Are you going to support listing to the Amazon Marketplace in the future?

Yes, we’re currently looking for beta testers for WP-Lister for Amazon. Contact us!

Debugging

I’m getting some error while trying to list or to verify an item.

WP-Lister can log all communication with ebay to the database to help debugging cases like this.

To enable this logging feature, you have to follow these steps:

  1. visit WP-Lister -> Settings -> Developer
  2. change “Log to database” to “Yes”
  3. click “Save Settings”
  4. now, you’ll see a new WP-Lister subpage called “Log” – and WP-Lister will log all communication with eBay
  5. repeat the verify action that produces the error now…
  6. visit “Log” – you should see the new log entry
  7. open this log entry by clicking on the request name (“VerifyAddItem” in this case)
  8. click “send to support” in the top right of the just opened window

Steps 1-4 have do be done only once to activate logging. After that, it’s quite simple.

Anything I should know about Fridays?

eBay recommends not to have auctions end on friday morning as they usually schedule site maintenance and updates at this time. This can lead to all kind of unexpected effects like items disappearing from search results and customers not being able to place bids – as reported here.

The recent issue which even prevented users from logging in and WP-Lister from listing new items was actually a scheduled maintenance that went wrong – more details here.