eBay has announced it will be ending support for its File Exchange program on June 15th but many sellers are concerned that the proposed replacement, Seller Hub Reports, does not yet have all of the functions of File Exchange.
Could eBay's Merchant Integration Platform (MIP) fill in the gaps?
What is MIP?
The Merchant Integration Platform (MIP) is an easy-to-use, feed-based selling platform for small businesses and enterprise merchants. It lets you easily and efficiently upload your inventory to eBay in bulk and then quickly and efficiently manage your orders. And, it's FAST. MIP can upload over 50,000 SKUs in just 30 minutes!
Who is MIP for?
MIP is for small business and enterprise sellers who want to sell on eBay. If you are familiar with feed files used with other marketplaces, such as Amazon or Google Shopping, you can start selling on eBay right away with MIP's standard CSV and XML feed formats. Even if you are new to feeds, the standard feeds provide a fast and simple solution for integrating with eBay. Custom feed formats can also be used for sellers who need more advanced capability.
- Supports industry-standard CSV and XML feed formats
- SKU-based inventory management
- Sell to buyers all over the world on multiple eBay sites with only one account
- Upload feeds, using the MIP GUI or SFTP command line
- Easily manage orders and order fulfillments
- Supports custom feed formats
- Supports multiple feed types (product, order fulfillment, etc.
- Reduced time to onboard
- Easily scale inventory as your business grows
- Automatic daily inventory reports
It looks like MIP offers listing management, order management, and Promoted Listings marketing management via CSV or XML file feeds that can be uploaded through the user interface or via FTP.
MIP isn't as well known as File Exchange and eBay doesn't seem to promote it much, though I'm not sure why.
I'll be digging more into this program in the next few days, but so far it looks promising as a possible solution for sellers struggling with the change from File Exchange to Seller Hub Reports.
One word of caution, if you decide to use MIP, you won't be able to use other third party listing tools or edit your listings individually within Seller Hub. Listings created with MIP will only be able to be edited/managed through MIP, so it's important to use the sandbox feature to test and make sure MIP will fit your business needs before making the leap.
Do not use MIP with other listing management tools. MIP cannot detect changes made to listings with other tools. Therefore, to prevent duplicate listings and process problems, when you start using MIP to manage your active listings, you must stop uploading, revising, and managing your active listings on all web flows, mobile apps, and third party tools. Use only MIP for all inventory management and order management tasks. However, continue to use eBay.com web flows for the following tasks: feedback, returns, and responding to buyer cases
For more details check out eBay's Merchant Integration Platform User Guide.
I'd love to hear thoughts from anyone currently using MIP and/or File Exchange - drop a comment below or contact me.