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Yakov
(Unregistered)
08/26/04 04:13 PM
AW2000 2.2 Beta Version Review  

Dear Auction Wizard 2000 team,

I just reviewed AW2000 2.2 beta and here are some notes I made. Please accept
some criticism only as the way to upgrade AW2000 from "The Best eBay Seller
Tool" to "PRICELESS The Best eBay Seller Tool". I strongly believe that most
of AW2000 users will benefit from these suggestions and ideas and I will be
repaid for my time and effort if any of these will be considered and
implemented.
Thank you for your great work and please feel free to contact me if I did not
express myself clearly in some cases.


01. 21M download !!!
- Let's see if it worth waiting...

02. Checking for previously installed components???!!!
- That's not smart. Why don't they keep the path of installed
application in windows registry and get it from there, and ask me If
I'd like to install it to that directory or change it with "browse" or
just click "ok". instead of scanning 128000 files in 9000 folders on my
hard drive which takes about half an hour. What if I would keep my
AW2000 in c:\work\ instead of c:\program files\ it would scan my hdd
for couple of hours... :(

03. Quite fast install, restructure db.
- Good.

04. New logo!
- Promising.

05. All the same interface, Windows 95 icons.
- Boring. But that's OK. Let's look for new functionality and features,
that matters.

- There is still no convenient keyboard way to switch between program
windows. One-key/hot-key switch to each of "inv.items", "auct.lots",
"invoices", "ledger", "email" windows. Behavior or Ctrl+Tab is
unpredictable. I would expect it to work like Alt+Tab in windows, that
would be convenient.

06. Inventory items window.
- Oh, they split "committed quantities" to two separate windows: lots
and invoices that's good, but I'd prefer to see them one by the other
instead of one on top of the other, so I'd be able to see more items in
each of these windows.

- The other thing which is "must have" in these two windows is the
status of a lot and invoice. Because when I go through inventory and
decide should I list this item or not I have to know is any one of
these lots is an "off-line" lot.

07. Inventory items window/Auction info tab
- Can I have "Store category" select box longer so I wouldn't need to
scroll in it? Just a thought...Just a thought...

08. Inventory items window/Categories and Item Specifics
- I'd guess that "ebay category" and "ebay store category" will be the
same in 99% of cases. It would be so nice if I would have to choose it
ones and the other one would be filled automatically keeping the
ability to change it manually.

- Over 60% of my items fall into a category specifics for which has not
been implemented yet (...jewelry\rings...). :( Well, I hope it will be
done soon.

09. Inventory items window/Grid View
- Here is some serious "must have" stuff. FILTERS. I desperately need
an ability to apply filters on records shown in grid view. When I
create lots from inventory instead of browsing through 1000s of records
I need to see only those records which have (Qty.Avail. > 0). When I'm
preparing an order of merchandize I need to see only records with
(Qty.In.Stock == 0). I want to see only records with (inventory
category == "My eBay Store") and then sort them by Reference ID. I want
to see all records which have substring "xxx" in the title and then
sort them by Inventory category. etc....

10. Auction Lots
- I think that Reference ID should be shown on a main screen instead of
Additional fields, because it's the main identifier of a kind of an
item so it should be available at a glance.

- Couple of additional (maybe user defined) lot statuses would be
helpful. Sometimes when you perform mass operations on auction lots you
need some temporary "place" to put some of your items and "hold" could
be already in use.

- Customizable toolbar would be great. I never use first 9 buttons and
last 4. I would happily replace them with "update lot", "update all
lots", "list queued lots", "generate invoices", "user defined web
sites"...

- Here is a tricky one: (I will be talking about STOCK inventory
records) There is no way to detach auction lot from inventory record if
it was created based on one. Why to do that? I have two inventory
categories: "ebay", and "store", so I have two records in inventory for
the same kind of item one with inv.category="ebay" and the other with
inv.category="store". This way I can list similar items to my ebay
store and to ebay separately and have separate tacking for them. The
problem comes when I don't want to list some item to ebay any more and
I want to move it to the store. If I just change Auction Profile from
'ebay' to 'store' I will mess up my separate tracking of ebay and store
items in inventory. So that I have to copy Auction ID from "ebay" lot,
delete the lot, fix quantity in inventory record connected to that
"ebay" lot, find "store" inventory record of the same item, add one to
quantity, create "store" lot based on this inventory item, go to new
lot and paste Auction ID. And by the way, doing so make me loose track
of fees "collected" on this item.
It would be so much easier if I could just detach the lot in question
from "ebay" inventory record and attach it to "store" inventory record.

- !!!BUG!!! At least it's almost a bug. If I "duplicate lot" which is
connected to a stock inventory record newly created lot becomes
connected to the same stock inventory record and this operation CHANGES
quantities in inventory. At least it has to let me know that I just
committed one more item from stock.
If I could detach the lot newly created by "duplicate lot" from stock
inventory record I'd be able to use "duplicate lot" as a convenient way
to use one lot as a "template" of a new lot, and then change a picture,
title etc.

- As a conclusion ability to detach/attach an auction lot from/to stock
inventory record would be great addition to flexibility of AW2000 and
would be just in accordance with a "spirit" of AW2000.

- All I said about FILTERS for inventory items applies to auction lots
as well. I want to filter out all "online" items with the same
Reference Id and sort them by the "starting date". I want to see only
items listed last week to store category "xxx" and then sort them by
Reference ID. I want to see all "online" items with HighBidder ==
"yyy". etc....etc....etc.... Filters is one the basics when you work
with database. Isn't it?

11. Invoices
- Number of items in current invoice shown somewhere, in status bar for
instance, would be so helpful.

- Same thing about tool-bar. I'd rather see "notify winning bidders",
"print shipping labels", "leave feedback" buttons there.

- Very simple situation: My shipping is "X" for the first item and "Y"
for each additional one, and I do not use multiple item auctions(for
now). Is it possible that when more than one item are combined into one
invoice AW2000 would set "shipping cost" of the first invoice item as
"X" and "Y" for all following items. Now I have to do it manually for
each invoice consisting of more than 1 item. May be "additl.item ship."
field could be used to implement that.

- I would be happy to have "discount" field as a property of an
invoice.

- Ability to apply FILTERS on invoices is "A MUST" as well as on lots
and inventory records. I want to see all invoices of buyer "X" between
dates and sort them by shipping date. etc...etc...etc...

- If double click on payment record in "Payments" window would open
payment record form instead of ledger I would save a step. If Right
click on payment record in "Payments" window would give me "delete"
option that would be cool.

12. Ledger
- I've nothing to say about it besides that I do not use it, so why it
would be one of the main windows?

13. Email
- I'd be happy to be able to change an order of email folders.
- Add sender to address book on right click on email in the list.
- Text search in email body.
- Here is "MUST HAVE" one: buttons like "reply to message", "reply
using template" and "forward message" but for emails that I have sent.
So I will be able so send follow up email which would contain my
previous message, or just forward my own email to someone, and follow
up using template would be just great.

14. Reports
- I took just a brief look at reports and I see that all reports I
would be interested in don't have enough parameters which would let me
select only some type of records to be shown. It's pretty much the same
as situation with filters. I'd like to see invoice profit report for
one buyer, or one particular invoice by # I'd like to see inventory
items quantity in stock of which is 0. I'd like to see inventory Stock
Item Qty, but only for those records where Title has substring "xxx".
etc...etc...etc...
And as far as I understand report designer would not let me to form
conditions.

15. HTML template editor
- Right now I have to dance my html code around pieces of html code
inserted by AW2000. It would be so cool if there would be a way when I
can have only one page component and it's only my html code without any
code inserted by AW2000 besides fields like <#Title>, <#LotNumber>,
<#ShippingCost> etc.
Only the thing needed is to have a structure like:
<#Repeat>
<#LotImage>
<#/Repeat>
Which would repetitively insert block of html code inside of <#Repeat>
<#/Repeat> for each image of an auction lot.
Then for instance I can do:

<Table>
<tr>
<#Repeat>
<td>
<IMG SRC="<#LotImage>">
</td>
<#/Repeat>
</tr>
</Table>

and have:

+--+
|p1|
+--+
|p2|
+--+
|p3|
+--+

or I can do:

<Table>
<#Repeat>
<tr>
<td>
<IMG SRC="<#LotImage>">
</td>
</tr>
<#/Repeat>
</Table>

and have:

+--+--+--+
|p1|p2|p3|
+--+--+--+

or what ever else I will be able to think of.

16. General ideas.
- This is serious "must have" one: I think it would be really cool if
you would implement several simultaneous parallel http connections to
ebay and run for example update lots over them. It's guaranteed that on
DSL/Cable connection update will be 2-3 times faster. That would be
real time saver and it well worth it. Have you seen how it's done in
download managers? Check out "reget" or something of that nature.

- In program options/general/jpeg output quality, check box "original
quality" would be appreciated.

- The window shown after update of all lots is finished. What I do when
there were some errors? I scroll down 1000s of lines looking for
errors, write down lot #s of lots with errors, close the window, find
lots by # and re-update them manually one by one. What I would like to
see? A button "re-update erroneous lots" would be the best, or at least
list of erroneous lots opened in notepad so I can copy/past ## and
don't have to scroll looking for them.

- Why don't you show up on www.solutions.ebay.com?

Best regards,

Yakov.




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