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What Every Blackthorne User Should Know About SixBit Print

  • Blackthorne, Features, Features and Functionality
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If you use eBay Blackthorne to manage your eBay listings, we'd like you to know a few things about our new SixBit eCommerce Solution. Being the original designers and developers of Blackthorne, we have a lot of respect for the capabilities included in Blackthorne, but we also think SixBit takes those capabilities to new levels. We have a lot to offer and we're not ashamed to point out the lessons we've learned and enhancements we've added to SixBit. So, if you would like to know how we can improve your selling experience, please take a few moments to read the following pages.

The Next Generation

SixBit's eCommerce Solution, was designed and written by the same team that designed and wrote eBay Blackthorne. We were excited to get the opportunity to redesign a new solution to address some issues with the original architecture. If you are a student of selling tools history, you will know that this is actually the 4th time our team has overhauled a seller tool to take advantage of new technology. We'd like to think we've gotten a better result every time. SixBit simply follows that path into the next generation.

More Versions to Choose From

SixBit is available in three different editions. In addition to providing similar functionality found in Blackthorne's Basic and Pro versions, we've added an Enterprise Edition at the high end.

More Ways to Save

We've been working with eBay sellers since 1997. We've seen all the changes to the site and the fees and we are well aware of how difficult it is for sellers to make a profit selling online in the current economy. We feel that if we can save you at least as much as you spend on your monthly subscription, then we are truly helping to make small businesses in America more efficient while making them more profitable at the same time.

To this end, we've added integration with some 3rd parties to provide our users with discounted USPS Priority Mail and Express Mail postage as well as discounted shipping insurance. For example, you can purchase postage for a USPS Priority Mail small flat rate box for $4.94 which is a .25 savings over retail or a .15 savings over other electronic postage solutions. See our FAQ for more details. Also, you can purchase insurance for USPS packages for .99/$100 vs. $2.25 if you purchased insurance from the post office. Shipping Insurance for UPS and FedEx costs even less at .65 per $100. Our shipping postage FAQ has all the details.

Rewarding Loyalty

Word of mouth has always been one of our best marketing tools. We have always been very grateful to our customers who have spread the word about our products, and now we'd like to give back. We will be offering an Affiliate Program that will allow you to earn a percentage of the subscriptions of everyone you refer to us. As a member of the affiliate program, you will receive a link that you can include on your website, emails, etc. For each user who subscribes to SixBit from your link, we will credit you with 5% of their subscription fees for every month they are subscribed! This might not make you rich, but it can help pay for your subscription fees and will certainly help ease your burden.

Beauty and Power

Not only have we overhauled the user interface and made the program more intuitive and appealing, but we've also added the SQL Server 2008 R2 database engine. This is the most powerful, free database engine available and will allow for database sizes up to 10GB. We don't foresee any of our users reaching this limit. The best part is that the SQL Server installation is part of our installation, so you don't need to know a thing about SQL Server to use SixBit, and won't have to deal with the issues that Blackthorne has when using a SQL Server database.

We're Behind You

We want your business to be successful and will support you in every way possible to ensure your business doesn't come to a grinding halt when you have an issue. We've integrated our support system directly into the program, so now you can create support tickets, review the documentation and even ask questions on the chat board all without leaving the program. We're a small team and we know the value of personal service and will do everything in our power to make you a fanatical customer.

Better Inventory Handling

With SixBit, you are no longer required to enter just a single cost for your inventory. SixBit maintains a complete purchase history of all your inventory items. You simply record how many you bought, and how much you paid each time you acquire inventory, and SixBit will handle all the profit and loss calculations accurately for you. We also provide you with inventory loss statistics and even track inventory on Variation items, something which Blackthorne does not do.

Better Order Processing

In SixBit, orders can contain multiple shipments, which each can contain multiple sales. You can now easily split an order into multiple shipments and print separate packing lists and postage for each shipment. Moving sales from one shipment to another is as easy as drag and drop.

More Custom Workflow

We've added the ability to create your own custom statuses in SixBit. With custom statuses, you can mimic your workflow right within the SixBit process. You can create workflow statuses for creating items (i.e. "Description Complete", "Pictures Entered", etc.) or statuses for processing Orders (i.e. "Waiting for Engraving", "Waiting for Supply"). No matter how you do business, you can now keep it all organized with SixBit.

Better Image Handling

Images are now stored right in your database. You don't have to worry about sharing them across the network or making sure everyone has access to the image folder. Everyone who connects to the database will see the images and moving to another computer is as simple as copying your database.

Advanced Editing

We've added an advanced HTML and Picture editor in SixBit. You will use a state of the art editor to create your descriptions and our new picture editor to manage your pictures. Our picture editor allows you to reorder your listing pictures using drag or drop as well as automatically scale, compress, autocorrect or auto-watermark images as they are added to your database. You can even capture images directly into your database using a scanner or camera!

Better Grid Management

The grids in SixBit can load any number of records with virtually no noticeable difference in performance, and no paging required. You can now sort on all records in your filter, not just page by page.

Drop Shipping Support

With our Drop Shipper Addon Module, sellers who drop ship can greatly reduce the amount of time they spend managing their sales. Drop ship sellers can now indicate which inventory is provided by a drop shipper, and then when a sale is made, an automatic email order can be sent to the drop shipper. A special "Waiting for Drop Shipper" status will hold all the orders that are awaiting the input of tracking numbers from your drop shippers. Imagine how much time this could save you.

More Automation

We've added more automation to SixBit. You can now automatically have emails sent based on certain events. For example, a notification of items being shipped can be sent whenever you mark an order as shipped in the program. Also, we've incorporated the ability to have automatic random feedbacks sent when you receive an order. With just a few custom settings, you'll never have to worry about sending emails or leaving feedback again. In addition, we can even clean up pictures on your FTP site when they haven't been used for an extended period of time.

Secret Agent Man

The SixBit Agent is installed as part of SixBit and will keep your database up to date anytime your computer is on. Unlike Blackthorne's servant, the SixBit Agent runs even when SixBit isn't. You won't have any more lengthy waits for refreshes when you first startup.

Category and Item Specifics Improvements

Refreshing categories and item specifics are much faster in SixBit. We no longer keep and refresh a copy of all eBay categories. We retrieve categories the first time you use them, and then we only refresh categories that you have used in the past. Lengthy wait times for category refreshes are replaced by automatic refreshes by the Agent. You won't ever notice categories being refreshed again.

We've also greatly improved item specifics handling. You can easily add your own custom item specifics or add additional values to existing eBay item specifics.

We've revolutionized custom item specifics by introducing hierarchical item specifics. You don't have to add custom item specifics to each category anymore. If all the categories share a parent, you simply add the custom item specific to the parent and all subcategories will automatically get it.

By introducing "private" item specifics, you can now tie custom fields directly to eBay categories. If you create a custom field in Blackthorne, you will see the custom field on every new item. In SixBit, you create a private item specific that is tied to a category so you only see it for items in that category. Because they are private, you are the only one who sees them, and they do not get sent to eBay.

Ready to Grow

SixBit has been re-architected from the ground up to handle multiple selling sites. Our initial release is only for eBay, but we have designed and structured the interface to support multiple sites, which we plan to add as we continue to grow. We've already introduced support for bidStart, our second site, and are working on Amazon for next year.

But Wait, There's More!

In addition to the major enhancements I've described, we've also improved SixBit in a million little ways including:

  • Adding a Dashboard view so you can see how your business is performing at a glance.
  • An addon module for Drop Shippers to automatically email suppliers when an item is sold.
  • Adding integration with Endicia's Label Server (Dazzle no longer required)
  • Adding a Pick List
  • Adding an advanced tool to answer buyer questions using your own predefined replies.
  • Using familiar ribbon bars like in Microsoft Office
  • Adding a 3D flip view to look at your items just like you scan music in iTunes.
  • Adding Excel Style filtering
  • Items are no longer tied to duration and format, so there's no unnecessary duplicates of items.
  • No more database repairs required
  • Item specifics can now be used as variables in Descriptions and Emails.
  • Packing lists and postage always print in the order they were selected.

It Doesn't Cost Anything to Look

We know how busy you can be running a business online, and switching seller tools can seem like a big pain in the neck, but we hope that you will take the time to check out SixBit to see how it can make your life easier in the long run. We've done everything we can to make the switch easier including providing an import from your Blackthorne database and giving you the first 30 days free as a trial. If you need more time to evaluate, just let us know.

We all know the eCommerce world has changed. Maybe it's time for you to change too!

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