This morning I awoke to find an urgent email from a client of mine.  A long time successful eBay seller who has happily been using the Spoonfeeder Listing tool for years.  They had received an email stating that Spoonfeeder was being forced to shut down immediately.

I quickly verified that this was indeed a legitimate email, finding an article at AuctionBytes outlining the unfortunate situation.  As well as a discussion over at Tamebay.

I then set about to find a resolution for my client, who had contacted me from the airport after discovering this right before they were about to board a flight home.

Before I detail the resolution to this situation, I want to take a moment to offer my condolences to Gene Chandler, owner of GreatLakesSoftware.com which operates SpoonFeeder and all his customers – all of which spoke highly of the service and Spoonfeeders customer service.

In reading the article at AuctionBytes articles it’s clear that Mr Chandler did everything possible to avoid this forceful shutdown.

Moving Your Spoonfeeder Listings to Inkfrog

I immediately contacted Debbie Levitt, Marketing Manager at Inkfrog to see if they had developed a tool to import Spoonfeeder listings into Inkfrog.  I knew they had written a tool like this to import Auctiva listings and wondered if they had something in the pipeline.

At 7:00am Pacific time, Debbie told me there was nothing in the pipeline yet but...  By 8:00am Pacific time , Debbie had discussed the issue with Inkfrog’s CEO Greg Sisung and he had not only made the decision to have the importing tool created – Debbie assured me it would be ready for use later that day!

And sure enough by 3:00pm Pacific it was ready for use.

As of the writing of this post, Inkfrog is the only listing tool that has a direct importing tool from Spoonfeeder.  Time is of the essence here.  When the time comes (and it could happen this weekend) that Spoonfeeder needs to shut down its servers – you want to have your listing photos and your templates moved off their servers or you will lose access to them.

I’ve been working with the Inkfrog importer tool all day – and I am impressed with it.  It’s intuitive, easy to use and it works.

Ok – here’s what you need to do if you are a Spoonfeeder customer.

1. Register for an account with Inkfrog.  You can register for a 2 week free trial here.

2. Once registered go here to get the instructions for using the Import tool.

3. For my client, I both converted the live listings to be Imported into Inkfrog and saved a copy in the Inkfrog Library.  After you see the tutorial screen shots you’ll know what I’m referring to.

4. Depending on how many listings you have to convert/import, it will take a while at your desk to complete the process.

5. You’ll get some listings that don’t convert.  If you are not sure why they don’t convert, check with Inkfrog on that.  I’m still working that out for my client.  When I have further information I’ll update it hear.

6. Spot check your live listings on eBay.  Debbie Levitt explained to me that eBay sends over these listings as a big chunk of HTML code.  That means that some listings will NOT come over completely clean.  Think of all the different templates, styles, graphics, text and fonts that are used in any giving eBay listing.

7. Don’t expect it all to come over perfectly.  The Inkfrog tool is fast and good – but don’t expect every listing to convert perfectly.  So far I haven’t found problems with my client’s listings, but they have a couple thousand and I haven’t looked at them all yet.

8. Import first, fix problems second.  You want to get all your listings imported.  Then fix the exceptions.

Take it one step at a time.  No one likes for this kind of thing to happen – it’s unfortunate for all involved.  Keep focused and keep your thoughts focused constructively on what needs to be done to get your listings in a good place.  If chocolate helps, now is a good time to eat it. 🙂

-Lisa