ChannelGrabber review by Georgina Davies

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Georgina Davies (georgiegirlsgems)

George was a full time eBay seller from 2002 – 2010. She sold horse & rider equipment before moving on to beads & jewellery making supplies. She took a year off from eBay to have a baby and concentrate fully on her madcowbeads website and relaunched her eBay shop this Summer. ChannelGrabber has allowed her to go fully ‘multichannel’ with relative ease.

ChannelGrabber

ChannelGrabber is a simple, web based solution that allows you to list stock in multiple sales channels and your own website and then monitors levels for you, avoiding overselling. It works with Amazon UK, France, Germany & Italy; eBay; play.com; easywebstore and EKMpowershop.

ChannelGrabber also has an easy to use listing uploader and an order management system that is very intuitive and merges orders from all channels, allowing for quick printing and processing.

I opted for the assisted set up because my technical know how (and patience!) is pretty low, and in hindsight, this was definitely worth doing. Not because ChannelGrabber is very complicated to set up, just because I feel that I would have never totally ‘made the leap’ and got round to it! The set up process went smoothly with few hitches, and then I was let loose to play with the system. Here’s what I found:

The Homepage Tab has a pretty graph of your sales, a list of ‘out of stock’ items, listing errors and listings ending within the next 24 hours. This is an adequate snapshot of what’s happening, and you can customise the graph a bit, to show monthly sales etc. The page is simple and basic. Small but useful additions would be links to the ‘out of stock’ items listed, and an ability to have ‘total sales’ for the month or week so far.

The Product Tab is where I spend the most time. There are filters by sales channel, quantity, SKU and also a search box. This means that it is very easy to locate products and to check stock levels all in one place. There is a breakdown of the product status across each sales channel (live / pending / inactive) and a big purple box warns you that there is no stock.

Stock adjustments here are updated on your other channels almost instantly and ChannelGrabber is now ‘eBay variant friendly’. This is a great time saving when I have deliveries, or do a spot stock count. I also find it very handy for reordering items. There is also a .csv upload tool and the ability to synchronise ChannelGrabber with eBay and Amazon. You can also export the inventory files. I estimate that the Product Tab saves me half a day per week – not just in pure ‘stock level’ management, but also in ordering times and general admin caused by overselling – not to mention the possibility of negative feedbacks!

I have had minor glitches with inventory management. These have invariably been human error with manual SKU input, and in one case, EKM had been very slow to update stocks on their system. ChannelGrabber were very helpful & patient with my queries.

The Order Tab holds all orders for all channels, allowing bulk printing and lots of sort / filter options. I don’t use this option because of the way my packing system is set up, but I can see the value in it to many businesses. I guess if my packing system didn’t work so well, I’d have an incentive to change to ChannelGrabber’s system. Part of my wish list here would be a packing slip, preferably with photographs. It’s not yet available, but when it is launched I think that would tip the balance!

The Repricer Tab is a new function that is currently an optional extra on a ChannelGrabber account. In essence this is a price tracker that allows you to win the buy box on Amazon. You can set your own parameters, adjust by price or %, be the cheapest, most expensive or right in the middle. The repricer checks the price every hour and adjusts to fit your rules. This is a really powerful tool for Amazon sellers.

Additionally, the ChannelGrabber team are approachable, friendly and realistic. They deliver on time and in a way that ‘non-technical me’ can understand. They really want ChannelGrabber to work for you and are keen for you to buy and use their product – but this doesn’t translate into the tense and pushy slick sales routines I’ve had the misfortune to experience elsewhere. This honesty and enthusiasm is very refreshing and was integral to my decision to run with ChannelGrabber.

Positives

Easy start. User friendly. Simple to use. Does what it says it will do. Great value for money (a no brainer at about £10 per week) Responsive customer service. Scalable up to a point. ‘Traffic light’ system highlights potential errors with items so that they can be corrected quickly.

Negatives

Sales analysis / figure manipulation is too basic for me to find useful. Works with limited webstores (they will develop on request) No packing slips – packing from invoices easily leads to errors.

Bristol Half Marathon in memory of Sue

George has dusted off her trainers and is running in the Bristol Half Marathon on September 11th with donations to Mind in memory of Sue Bailey. If you would like to make a donation, all are gratefully received.

33 Responses

  1. we need something that is site specfic to ebay which streamlines the listing process and can stack the shelves quicker ,

    not a program that is all singing all dancing jack of all trades for every site

  2. Is Channel Grabber working okay with EKM? Is your website with EKM, your sitemap looks EKMie.

    I have basic descriptions on eBay and more detailed descriptions on my website. Would I be able to carry on with different descriptions using Channel Grabber? My sales are too low at the moment to justify extra expense, but when things change I would try Channel Grabber.

  3. Oh – sorry, ref descriptions. Yes, you can use different descriptions for each channel. There’s a translator for amazon.de and .fr if required

  4. Hello,

    Where did the £10 a week come from?

    All I can find on the ChannelGrabber website is £100 for the first month (nice welcome for potential new customers…) and then £50+VAT per month from then on. Neither of those add up to £10 a week AFAICT.

    At that price it’s not a ‘no brainer’ – that’s a LOT of money to invest in something which doesn’t appear to offer a try-before-yo-buy route. I was very excited to read about ChannelGrabber but there’s no way I can commit to that sort of expense without trying it first.

    Amazon offer a month’s try-before-you-buy on their store offering, as do eBay and most other premium services (Kashflow et.al). What has ChannelGrabber got to hide?

    Thanks,

    Steve

  5. Dear Steve,

    I think what Georgie was trying to put across (and apologies if I am talking for her, this was an unsolicited review on Channelgrabber) is that at £50 a month, it works out to be £11.50 a week, hence saying about £10. Obviously you could break this down and say £1.60 a day which is a coffee from Starbucks a day.

    It is £100 for the first month to allow for us to assist you in setting up with Channelgrabber and allows for us to offer a very reasonably priced system monthly. We could absorb this cost in to a monthly fee but this would not reward customers who are with us for a very long time.

    We don’t offer a free trial for 2 simple reasons, 1, we don’t need to, Channelgrabber is growing at a rate that is very good for us and simply put, we do not need to offer a free trial, it wouldn’t sit well with our current growth, it is something we are aiming to do for after Christmas though when we can be more focused on helping people who just want to trial it get the most from the system.

    The second reason we don’t offer a trial is user aptitude. If we have someone trial the system who is not at all computer literate and they had difficulty with simple things then we would never know about it. Offering a webinar based look at our system means we can offer 1 on 1 sessions of up to an hour to show the whole system to someone while giving our sales guys the opportunity to have a nice little chat with each and every perspective customer.

    We don’t have anything to hide and would love to invite you to a webinar to show you through the system, just give us a call on 0161 408 0688.

    Kind regards,

    Daniel

  6. Dear Daniel,

    Thanks for the reply & clarification.

    I appreciate that the review wasn’t any of your doing but £11.50 per week+vat still comes in at around £14 a week. Splitting hairs? Maybe. 40% more than originally quoted? Perhaps… Again, not your review or quote I fully understand.

    Is the initial £100 optional? It slightly implies that either CG is (a) difficult to setup so users need a lot of hand-holding or (b) you’re saying your users are a bit daft. 😉

    Imagine if a hypothetical customer came to you with 20 years IT experience, six of those in e-commerce and online selling within the major markets – could that someone opt for a ‘just let me get on with it please’ plan and skip the £100. I’m sure CG can’t be _that_ difficult to understand or poorly documented so…. ?

    I’m genuinely **very** pleased that a UK company is growing so fast and offering the type of facilities that CG appears to (one in the eye for the big claims yet US-only offering from the likes of Vendio). But until some of the income derived form such meteoric growth can be put into allowing folks to try the service at their own pace for 30 days then I think I’ll hold off & keep an eye on your tweets for any update on that position.

    Shame – I was going to cancel my Amazon Pro Merchant account today and put the money towards CG instead.

    Thanks again for the speedy reply though.

    Steve

  7. Dear Steve,

    £50 is our cost to setup a new account, the other £50 is the first months payment. Maybe in the future we would get rid of this cost or come up with an alternative way to deal with setups but that is how much we charge so that we can personally assure that each setup goes as it should and to the high standards we like.

    Amazon and the like are happy to offer a subscription for free for a month because they take a percentage of your revenue. I would loath the idea of creating a Channelgrabber trial where we wanted a percentage of our users revenue as I don’t like this business model for us.

    But certainly keep an eye out for a trial, we are likely to start offering one in the new year!

    Kind regards,

    Daniel

  8. Sue thing Daniel, will do & thanks again.

    Amazon & eBay do take a slice of my revenue for certain, but they do a lot more promotion of my products than CG does. i.e; all of it versus none of it. 😉

    Also I’m not obliged to pay eBay / Amazon £50 – or anything else every month regardless (granted there are other **optional** costs).

    Regards,

    Steve

  9. I can’t understand why CG is being compared to Amazon or eBay?

    Did I miss something? I can’t see how they can be compared except in the broadest sense of ‘something to spend my business profits on’

    Who wants to write a review comparing their last office heating bill, with the printer cost for their business cards?

    😀 .. just ignore me, I have a sense of humour…

  10. Take a look at Linnworks – this is an excellent product. They have an online lister (Linnlive). Over the last 6 months they have vastly improved the service. Its great for mulitchannel, but with a real focus on eBay.

  11. We have been using CG with EKM and EBAY for around 5 months now and have been very pleased.
    If I had service off EBAY and EKM like I get from CG I would be a happy bunny.
    When I contact CG with a question I get a real answer. Ebay take my £300 per month + fees to get in excess of £1000 per month. I pay EKM £20.00 per month and had excuses by the bucket load when they couldn’t get my 25000 images connected to my store again and I had to do it all manually.
    I agree that we took a risk in jumping in without really knowing what CG was like but sometimes you have to take risks and I agree that a try before you buy would be a good idea but it’s only when you use things day in and day out that you learn how they work, as I have done.
    I suppose the thing that made me jump in was Daniel. I’ve had calls off all sorts of sales people and you can smell the BS a mile off. Daniel admits when he doesn’t know something more technical and finds out and lets you know. He talks plain real talk, he has sold on Amazon (I think).
    CG seems to be growing at an incredible rate and I hope they don’t end up being a faceless corporation like some others. BUT having spoken to Daniel for literally HOURS initially and Phil via tech support, I feel this is not the case. I have found bugs BUT they have been dealt with quickly. Things I have suggested have been listened to and some implemented. I realise these are only done if other people are going to use them otherwise it’s not worth the time and investment for a single customer but I have been listened to.
    I asked for mass tickbox deletes of products and got it. I asked for a CG – Ebay synchronise and I got it. I asked for another column on the deliveryimport csv for price, a csv export of all products plus quite a few more. I asked EKM to fix my 3d secure problems they had with Cardinal and even after repeated emails and wasted phone calls NEVER GOT it.
    Anyway I am getting off the point.
    I can’t tell if CG will be right for you but all I CAN tell you is that its great for us. They do have some youtube guides that I only discovered a short while ago and certainly worth a watch to give an idea of its versatility. I speak pretty plainly too and to be honest I am only writing this length of text because I feel it is warranted.
    ttfn

    Simon

  12. So many grumbles.

    It strikes me that Georgie has offered a considered review of Channel Grabber here. She likes it. Quite right.

    Channel Grabber think they do a pretty good job, according to others and themselves. That’s fair.

    Some others don’t want to pay for anything. Others pay for other services.

    I suggest:

    1) CG offer an inducement to Tamebay readers, so they try the service. Put. Money. Mouth. 😉

    2) Other eBayers, who use other services, should offer to write a review for Tamebay like Georgie. And encourage that service to offer an inducement to Tamebay readers. Like Channel Grabber 😉

    With millions of different ecommerce sellers, seller needs are amplified a million fold. Different services work for different sellers. Let’s not argue that one service fits anyone, all the time.

    dw

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