SWHelp:Bulk Uploader v3.0
The bidStart Bulk Uploader (v3.0) is a simple yet powerful feature that you can use to easily create listings in bulk. With our newly redesigned Bulk Uploader (v3.0), listing items on bidStart has never been easier. To list items, all you need to do is enter a few fields (using the simplest format; this is title, description, price, category and image) into a spreadsheet, upload your file, set default fields if needed, and then activate your listings. It's fast and easy, and anyone can do it. The format of the file you need to upload is called a 'comma separated value file,' or csv file for short. If you don't know what this means, don't worry about it. If you use a program such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Works Spreadsheet or LibreOffice's Calc (a free program you can download here: http://www.libreoffice.org) (formerly OpenOffice), you can easily save your file in the correct format.
The key new feature in the Bulk Uploader (v3.0) is Field Mapping. Previously, only files with the exact fields specified on the Bulk Uploader Fields List page could be uploaded. However, Field Mapping makes it possible to upload any spreadsheet file at all, as long as it's saved as a csv file. This is possible because once you upload your csv file, the Bulk Uploader will show you which fields were found in your csv file, and you can manually drag and drop your fields to match them up with our fields. This means that if you are able to export a spreadsheet containing your inventory from any program, database or website, you can directly upload that file to the Bulk Uploader (as long as you first ensure it is saved as a csv file)!
It's also not necessary to include any fields which will remain constant for all your listings in your csv file any more, because you can now easily specify default values for any fields not found in your csv file.
How to Get Started (Video Tutorials)
Before you get started, please watch the following introductory video: Bulk Uploader Overview Screencast Tutorial Video
If you are interested in the advanced options of the Bulk Uploader, please watch the following video: Bulk Uploader Advanced Features Screencast Tutorial Video
To get started creating listings, log in to bidStart and click on "Bulk Uploader" in the My bidStart area.
Creating Your File
Upload an Existing Database File
Already have a spreadsheet file which contains all of the information needed to create your listings? Great! Just make sure it's saved as a Comma Separated Value (*.csv) file and you're ready to upload! If your file is not in csv format, you should be able to open it in Microsoft Excel, or any other spreadsheet program, and save it as a csv file by going to the “File” -> “Save As” menu of your program.
Or Start with a Template File
To create your Bulk Upload file, the easiest way to get started is to use one of our templates. Just download any of the files below, open them in any spreadsheet program, fill in the fields and save the file (make sure if you are prompted for file type, you select "CSV (comma separated values)" or "Text CSV").
We offer several templates depending on the type of listings you are looking to create. You can also create your own template to use by adding any fields you want to your file. For a complete list of fields, as well as the values which those fields can contain, visit the Bulk Uploader Fields List page.
If you use any of the simple or extended templates, be sure to click "Click Here to Use/Expand" next to the Bulk Upload Default Settings heading on the Bulk Uploader page, so that you can set default values.
To get started download the most appropriate template for you listing needs below. Remember that certain fields may have specific values and formats which need to be used, and you can review what they are on the Bulk Uploader Fields List page. Also, please remember that you can always add any additional fields you would like to use to any template by simply adding the appropriate field to the header row (the first row):
- Simple Auction Listings Template (Local Images) - Includes Title, Description, Starting Bid, Category and Upload Picture Name
- Simple Auction Listings Template (Remote Images) - Includes Title, Description, Starting Bid, Category and Image URL
- Extended Auction Listings Template (Local Images) - Includes all the fields of the Simple Template, and some additional more frequently used fields
- Extended Auction Listings Template (Remote Images) - Includes all the fields of the Simple Template, and some additional more frequently used fields
- Simple Store Listings Template (Local Images) - Includes Title, Description, Buy It Now Price, Category and Upload Picture Name
- Simple Store Listings Template (Remote Images) - Includes Title, Description, Buy It Now Price, Category and Image URL
- Extended Store Listings Template (Local Images) - Includes all the fields of the Simple Template, and some additional more frequently used fields
- Extended Store Listings Template (Remote Images) - Includes all the fields of the Simple Template, and some additional more frequently used fields
To create Fixed Price listings, download any Store Template and enter 1,3,5,7 or 10 for the duration, instead of GTE.
- All Fields Template - Includes All Possible Fields
How to Include Images in Your File
One of the most important parts of a listing is the image. When uploading your items in bulk, there are two ways that you can upload your images. If you have your own website hosting and can upload your images, you can used the 'Remote Images' Templates, which allows you to use the 'Image URL' field, where you can enter the full URL to your image; for example: http://www.yourwebhost.com/images/yourstamp.jpg .
If you do not have your own web hosting, you can use the 'Local Images' Templates, which will let you use the 'Upload Picture Name' field, where all you need to do is enter the name of your image, including extension; for example: c3a-1.jpg . If you use the Local Images option, after you upload your bulk upload file, be sure to click on the Upload Your Images link on the Bulk Upload page before you activate your listings. This will allow you to select all the images on your computer which are needed for your listings. You will be able to upload them all at once, and order does not matter, since your file will already contain which image file corresponds to each listing.
If you want to upload more than 1 image for a single listing, you can do this by separating multiple images with a ; (semicolon). This will work for both the Image URL field, as well as the Upload Picture Name field. An example of this for the Upload Picture Name field would be: mystamp1.jpg;mycert1.jpg
Auction listings, Fixed Price Listings and Store Listings
You can create Auction Listings, Fixed Price Listings and Store Listings all in the same file. To do so, include the following fields in your template: Starting Bid, Buy It Now Price and Duration. For auction listings, set a Starting Bid, leave the Buy It Now Price blank (or higher than the starting bid if you wish to include a Buy It Now price as well), and for Duration enter 1,3,5,7 or 10. For a fixed price listing, do the same, but leave Starting Bid blank and fill in the Buy It Now Price. For store listings, fill in the Buy It Now price, and set the duration equal to GTE (which stands for Good Til Ended - Store Item). Note: When creating fixed price and store listings you can leave the Starting Bid blank, or set it equal to the Buy It Now price, whichever your prefer.
For the Category and Additional Category fields, you must enter the category code number of the category you wish to list your item in. A full list of category codes can be found on the Category Codes page.
However, in many cases you can omit the actual category code, and instead use a Magic Category code. Magic Category codes work with United States stamps, Non United States stamps, Topical stamps, United States Coins and Non United States coins. Magic Categories can save you time, by allowing you to enter the same Magic Category for different listings, and having the Bulk Uploader automatically pick the most appropriate category for you. For example in your file you can enter "3" as the category code for: "Austria # 55", "Ireland #547" and "Japan #2", and the Bulk Uploader will place each of these listings in the correct category automatically (Austria, Ireland and Japan). For full details, and an explanation of each Magic Category, and how/when to use it, please see the Magic Categories page.
Uploading Your File (Step 1 of 4)
Select Your File
Click on the "Browse" button on the Bulk Uploader v3.0 page (step 1 of 3) to select your Bulk Upload file, which you saved on your computer. Remember, that your file needed to be saved as a *.csv file. If you downloaded one of our templates, and clicked save, it would have been automatically saved as a *.csv file. (Note For Mac Users: When saving your file, if you have the option to save the file as a CSV (DOS or Windows) file, use that option, as the default CSV file format on Macs may not work properly).
Upload Your File
Once you have selected your Bulk Upload file, click the "Upload File" button. Note: Do not close your browser or leave the page until it is finished loading.
Field Map and Default Settings (Step 2 of 4)
After your file finishes uploading, you'll see a list of the fields found in your file, identified by the heading of each column. If you've used one of our templates, or followed our default field list, you can skip this step (as all the appropriate fields will be automatically mapped). If you've used your own database file, we'll attempt to map your fields where we think they best belong. It is your responsibility to review these mappings and correct them (additionally, both item title, price and category fields are required). You can easily do this by clicking and dragging your fields (highlighted in yellow) on top of our fields (highlighted in green/black). Once you have successfully completed mapping your fields to ours you can move on to the Default Settings. Note: See below for information on mapping several of your fields to one of ours (the Advanced Options section).
Loading Templates for Field Mapping
If you have previously used a file with the same format, and saved your mappings as a template, you can click on "Click to Use an Existing Field Map / Bulk Upload Template" to load a previously saved template. Once you click on the template you wish to use, the field mapping you previously saved (along with Default Settings) will be reloaded.
Select Your Default Settings
If you use any template which does not contain all of the available fields, you may want to set some default settings. To do simply fill out the Default Settings section. Note: Any fields which have a field mapping will be disabled, because the information in your csv file will overwrite these fields.
Loading Template for Default Settings
If you have previously used a file with the same format, and saved your default settings as a template, you can click on "Click to Use an Existing Field Map / Bulk Upload Template" to load a previously saved template. Once you click on the template you wish to use, the Default Settings you previously saved (along with the field mapping) will be reloaded.
HTMLize Your Descriptions
Entering HTML code into a spreadsheet can often be confusing and hard to work with. Thanks to our new HTMLize your listings, you can skip entering any HTML for your listing in the description field of your Bulk Upload file. Instead, you can just enter plain text for your description and then use the HTMLize your description feature on the Bulk Upload page (be sure to click "Click Here to Use/Expand" next to the Bulk Upload Default Settings heading if you do not see the HTMLize your description area). Here you can create an HTML template using our advanced editor, or just enter in your own HTML code. Then, all you need to do is include ::TITLE:: , ::DESCRIPTION:: and/or ::IMAGE:: anywhere in the HTMLize area or in the HTML source code. (Please note that the words are all in upper case and surrounded on both sides by two colons.) You can also include any of the fields found in your csv file. To do this, all you need to do is include you field name surrounded by an equals sign on both sides (for example: =Scott= , =Denomination= and/or =Grade=) and insert it anywhere in the HTMLize area or in the HTML source code. Please Note – If your field name contained any special characters or extra spaces it may have been formatted differently by our Bulk Uploader than you originally entered it. To ensure that you enter your field name correctly, please check how they are displayed in the Field Map section.
When you upload your listings, the descriptions will then be replaced with the HTML from the HTMLize area, and the title, description, image and any other fields specified will be replaced with the corresponding values for each listing. This way, you do not need to worry about entering HTML in the csv file you create. Of course if you want to include HTML in your csv file, you still can.
There are six advanced options you can set.
If you want to include more than one field from your csv file, or fixed text in the Title field for your listing, you can do so by filling in this field (which will overwrite the Field Map section for Title). To do this, all you need to do is include you field name surrounded by an equals sign on both sides (for example: =Scott= , =Denomination= and/or =Grade=). To include fixed text, simply enter your text in this field. Note: If your field name contained any special characters or extra spaces it may have been formatted differently by our Bulk Uploader than you originally entered it. To ensure that you enter your field name correctly, please check how they are displayed in the Field Map section. Additionally, at least one valid field must be included, or the Build Title will be ignored.
Build Image URL
If you want to include more than one field from your csv file, or fixed text in the Image URL field for your listing, you can do so by filling in this field (which will overwrite the Field Map section for Image URL). To do this, all you need to do is include you field name surrounded by an equals sign on both sides (for example: =MyImageName=). To include fixed text, simply enter your text in this field. This field should come in handy if your csv file contains the names of your images, all of which are located on your website, but the full url is not in your csv file. In an example like this, you could enter http://www.mywebsite.com/images/=MyImageName= in the Build Image URL field to construct the full url of your images. Note: If your field name contained any special characters or extra spaces it may have been formatted differently by our Bulk Uploader than you originally entered it. To ensure that you enter your field name correctly, please check how they are displayed in the Field Map section. Additionally, at least one valid field must be included, or the Build Image URL will be ignored.
Load Entire Inventory Add/Remove New/Sold
If you want to load your entire inventory into the Bulk Uploader (v3.0), and have the Bulk Uploader automatically remove any items no longer present in your csv file (or have a quantity of 0), as well as only list new items (not already listed and active on our site), select this option. Please note that this only applies to store items with non-blank private ids. Any other items (including auction items and store items without private ids) will not be affected.
This option is especially useful if you have your own website and you can export a csv file of your current inventory. Essentially you can sync your inventory here to match your website;s inventory, without needing to worry about ending individual listings, and/or duplicating listings.
Shrink Copied Images
This option will shrink your images to 200 x 200 pixels in size. This option should only be selected if you are instructed by our staff to do so.
Convert from eBay Categories
If you want to include eBay stamp or coin category codes in your csv file, select this option. The Bulk Uploader (v3.0) will automatically convert most eBay stamp and coin categories to our category codes for you.
Prices At: %
If you want to adjust all your prices to be a percent of the price listed in your csv file, fill out this field. For example, setting this field to 90% will reduce all your prices to 90% of the price indicated in your csv file.
Save as Template
If you want to save the Field Map and Default Settings you have created, you can do so by creating a template. Templates allow you to reload the Field Map you specified, along with the Default Settings you specified the next time you upload a csv file. To create a template – select a template slot to save to and specify a name for your template. Note: If you do not specify a name for your template, it will not be saved.
Starting Your Listings at a Later Date
From the Start Time section of the Default Settings on the Bulk Upload page, you can easily schedule your listings to start at a later date and time. Just set the date and the interval between listings. The first listing in your Bulk Upload file will have a scheduled date and time of the date and time you set on the page. The next listing will be scheduled to start at the first listing's date and time plus the interval you set. The next listing will be scheduled to start at the previous listing's date and time plus the interval you set, etc. Note: Your listings will only start at the specified date and time if you first activate them on the Bulk Upload page. If you do not activate them, they will remain in the Review, Edit & Activate section. Also, if you activate your listings after the date and time which is set for them, the start date and time will be adjusted to when you activate your listings.
Submit and Review
Click on the "Submit and Review" button once you have set your Field Map and Default Settings. Note: Your template will not be saved until you click on the "Submit and Review" button.
Review/Edit Your Listings (Step 3 of 4)
After clicking on the "Submit and Review" button, your listings will appear in a grid format for you to review, edit (by double clicking on any field except for the description), delete and activate your listings. All listings, including those which are scheduled to start at a later date and time must be activated, or else they will never be listed.
Review, Edit & Delete
The list of items will initially display a max of 50 items to allow the page to load quickly. Anytime you scroll to a point in the grid where your items are not yet displayed, they will be displayed in approximately 1-2 seconds. You can sort the grid by any column by clicking on the column heading. You can also edit most fields by double clicking in the cell. You can select individual rows by clicking on them once. You can use the Ctrl and Shift keys on your keyboard to select multiple rows (hold ctrl and click to select additional rows, and hold shift and click to select a range). Once you have selected one or more rows, you can click to Activate those listings or to Delete them. You can also click to activate or delete all of the listings in the grid. Note: If you use shift to select a range of listings, you will only select those which you have viewed on the page, and have been loaded into the gird. For example, if you have 500 items you cannot simply click on the first item, and then the last with shift and click delete, as only the first 50, and last few would be loaded if those are all you have viewed.
If your Bulk Upload file contained any local images (not URLs to images hosted on another website), you will need to upload these images to our website before you activate your listings. If you do not do this first, your listings will not have any images. To upload your images, click the link "Upload Local Images", follow the instructions, and return to the Bulk Upload page once you have uploaded your images.
Activate Your Listings (Step 4 of 4)
To activate your listings, you can either select individual listings, and then click the "Activate Selected" button, or activate all your listings at once by clicking on the "Activate All" button. Note: Activating your listings is not the same as starting your listings. If your listings were scheduled to start at a later date, they will start at the specified date, but they must first be activated. Additionally, you must let the page finish loading once you click to activate your listings. Depending on the amount of items you are activating, the page can take a very long time to finish loading.