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Magento/M2E Pro V's eSellerPro comparison/limitations
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gingebot

Excellent
October 28, 2013 - 3:27 pm
Member Since: October 28, 2013
Forum Posts: 43
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Hi,

Before I start playing with magento/e2b I was wondering if anyone had any insights in comparing m/e2b to eSellerpro, in particular the whole inventory management / listing area.

Some of the parts I am interested if magento has and how they compare are;

  • Suppliers – Production of purchase orders / booking in deliveries
  • Purchase order generation – auto reorder levels/quantities
  • inventory – kit items
  • eBay – variation listings
  • eBay – Postage templates
  • Courier rules – ie filtering orders to different shiping method depending on criteria (e.g. postal service selected on marketplace, wieght, cost, ship to location, etc)
  • Stock locations
  • Api support for updating inventory items from an external source

Thanks in advance for any info offered :)

Gingebot.

Gingebot.

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Matthew Ogborne

Founder
October 28, 2013 - 4:33 pm
Member Since: July 18, 2013
Forum Posts: 4565
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Hey @gingebot,

Thank you for asking this, it’s what me & Dave were discussing before, a like-for-like comparison. We were thinking of breaking it up into chunks, say order processing, stock control, listing etc…

But let’s dive in and give you good & semi-bad news.

Robin Fordham said

  • Suppliers – Production of purchase orders / booking in deliveries
  • Purchase order generation – auto reorder levels/quantities

Let’s start with the places I have not found decent (free or very low cost) solutions to. Supplier control & reordering.

This is an area that confused me to begin with, Magento has purchase orders, but they’re meant for purchase orders by customers, not purchase orders to suppliers & a recording system, that is not part of Magento so we will have to lean on a 3rd party extension here to manage this. As for which extension, pass.

We have got to the installation & setup, general guides, M2E Pro setup & guides documented and we’re halted at Order Processing right now as we’re waiting for a super-dooper order management extension to have some tweaks made for us and we’ll be good to roll onwards. This is a situation that is past this stage which is the reason why we haven’t got to it yet.

That doesn’t mean we haven’t been looking, there is an ERP extension for Magento that costs £500, it’s pretty good, but right now it’s not worth £500 as it’s missing a few key things and the despatch process is geared towards the USA rather than the UK and I know we can do better for a fraction of that. And literally as I saw the notification email about this post, I did a quick bit of research and I’ve just emailed the developer of an extension that is close to what you want, so I’ll know more in the next 24 hours.

Robin Fordham said

  • Stock locations

When it comes to stock locations, we have a super-simple method of handling these if you only need one location for a product, it’s called… wait for it…. “an attribute”, or as you’re an eSellerPro user, you’ll know these as a custom field.

Note: These are very similar to custom fields in eSellerPro, but differ in one key way, an attribute can be assigned to more than one attribute set, which is actually the much better way of using them. It saves duplicates for one!

For multi-locations, that same email to the developer mentioned above, will answer if I have found a solution for this. However for now, just note that these 3 features are not core features of Magento, you’ll have to pay for them (probably around £120) and we’ll look at viable options later on in advanced guides once we’ve got to that stage.

Now onto the easier ones :)

Robin Fordham said

  • inventory – kit items

In Magento they’re called “Bundles”.

In some ways they are not as advanced as what you find in eSellerPro, for example you cannot make sub SKU’s that are kits and then assign those sub skus to many products, we tried that and Magento just work like that out of the box (without extending Magento further).

And in other ways it’s more advanced, because dynamic pricing & dynamic weights actually work, plus Magento can auto generate stock numbers for you and the configuration options that appear on the Magento site are plentiful (select, multi-select, dropdown & radios, from memory).

These also work for M2E Pro as well.

Next!

Robin Fordham said

  • eBay – variation listings

Yep and they’re a lot quicker to create as well when using the Magento admin screens compared to eSellerPro.

Make the master product, press save and then then you have a tool to quickly create the variations. And of course you can do this via excel (but not suggested to use the Magento Dataflow import tool as it’s slow (and crap), Magmi is much faster & flexible (we’ll have guides for this)).

I have used this with 1, 2 & 3 variations myself and have seen a M2E Pro eBay listing with 5 sets of options.

We have dedicated a fair portion of the setup guides to setting these the right way with M2E Pro & Magento as I made loads of mistakes the first time around, plus I’ve now seen several other setups and they’re all using similar variations of what I did.

Robin Fordham said

  • eBay – Postage templates

As an eSellerPro user you’ll be used to profiles and templates. In M2E Pro they are called “Policies”, pretty much the same with a few very minor caveats.

Note: One area you didn’t mention here is “Paragraphs”, you can use Magento‘s CMS section for these and “Static Blocks” for repeatable descriptions/content.

Next!

Robin Fordham said

  • Courier rules – ie filtering orders to different shiping method depending on criteria (e.g. postal service selected on marketplace, wieght, cost, ship to location, etc)

I have given up trying to find a proper solution to this, so I am having a custom build Magento extension made for us that will do this properly. Postcode ranges, countries, weights and source shipping methods (eg from eBay or Amazon) will be in the first version. ETA, err pass, I need to document it first :)

The route that I have been ignoring is Metapack, this would solve the courier integrations, courier rules and documentation in one hit. We’re speaking with Metapack this week and yup, they have a Magento extension!

And that brings up to this one:

Robin Fordham said

  • Api support for updating inventory items from an external source

Magento has several API’s, see here http://www.magentocommerce.com…..ction.html and if doesn’t do what you want, you can make your own.

But….. when it comes to stock loading, if you have lots of products the API is probably not the way to go, that’s why I’m adding in a coding guide that will show you how to tackle this using 4 different methods and if you’re not a coder, lob them the video guide and say “I want method 4” (or 1, 2 or 3).

Does that help you?

Matt

"Selling an item online is easy, but making living from a business that sells online, well that’s something different entirely!"

Ultimo Magento Theme

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Matthew Ogborne

Founder
October 28, 2013 - 4:39 pm
Member Since: July 18, 2013
Forum Posts: 4565
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Oh and just to add to the last part about stock updating….

The original business we set this up for & how we found Magento + M2E Pro, they have 77,000 products updated every hour, (that’s menu option #4)

Matt

"Selling an item online is easy, but making living from a business that sells online, well that’s something different entirely!"

Ultimo Magento Theme

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gingebot

Excellent
October 29, 2013 - 11:37 am
Member Since: October 28, 2013
Forum Posts: 43
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That’s great thanks for the info Matt, really looks like something we could get on board with, as it almost ticks all the boxes and having an open source core code base means we can develop the extra parts we need. It really is prohibitive that we cannot work on ESPs core, so we end up having to tailor our business to esp or develop less than ideal middleware. I feel this is your biggest selling point and should really push the open source side and the fact users can develop and tailor it to their needs.

I am looking forward to getting on board, but it is getting really busy here with the build up to christmas, so your January launch seems like an ideal time to jump on board.

Thanks.

Gingebot.

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Dave Furness

Founder
October 29, 2013 - 12:38 pm
Member Since: July 19, 2013
Forum Posts: 4606
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Hi @gingebot

You have hit the nail on the head one of our core unique selling points is the fact we are working with open source code. It’s good to hear you think the same.

The January launch date was no accident, we know for 95% of businesses these next two months will be the busiest trading period of the year and it would be foolish for businesses to change something like software which could really affect your business.

Come January though after you get the big bill from the software company then the alternative will be ready for you.

Dave

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