Thursday, November 19, 2009

xstreet alternatives- Apez

I'm starting to test drive alternatives to xstreet, following today's awesome announcement. So far I've started with two, apez.biz and meta-LIFE:

Apez.biz is my frontrunner. It threw errors every so often, possibly entirely due to being overburdened with people flocking to it, and it caught up and fixed itself pretty well.

It uses a bit different listing system than xstreet, thank god. This does mean, woo hoo, learning curve. Step 1, obviously, sign up and snag a box through their procedure (it was painless, I 'ported over to set up my password while wearing lingerie to one of the list of places, it was deserted and no one saw my rumpled sexiness. p.s. Apatia Hammerer is to blame for the state of undress. And then I had the box sent to me while standing in my messy skybox server box corner).

Dumped the oxfords in the box. They sell pretty well, and they are _very_ multi listing dependent. They could be listed super easy (onrez was pretty easy!)...or eye stabbingly hard (xstreet). Then went to the website to try to figure out...what to do. The what to do was helped out by the aforementioned errors, which popped up as I tried to muddle through setting up the system and helped confuse things.

"vend" tab, then "inventory" shows your list. I got a bit lost in there, and went to "products" first (note: "catalogs", the next option, is currently not implemented). I created a new collection- with that option being at the right hand side it was less intuitive (eyes go left first. It's a super minor thing, and later it works), to put all the oxfords in to set them up together. I'm guessing this is how it's done, but it's just a guess. Back to "inventory" and clicked on the icon with the fairy wand, which now let me create a new thingie since I have a collection to put it in.


Bad things about listings:

There doesn't appear to be anywhere to fix the perms. So, it shows perms of box, which are probably none, not perms of contents, which usually are not.

The text interface for the description threw in lots of messed up characters when I was editing it, and it took a bit to find a way around the excess bullshit and crappy formatting. This may be due to copy/paste from xstreet listing. I went into the html view, because a) I know it and have more control, which continued to fuck me up with the special characters on saving, and b) I could play around with accepted tags. One really awesome useful tag that's not allowed? img. So....no images in your listings, oh people with logos and such at the bottom making things prettiful. Because yes, I was going to try that, but massively failed. Which is sadface.

No shopfronts, dammit. I liked that about onrez. Also, joint listings, branding, etc. would be nice, for side projects, partnerships, things like that. Maybe you'll get some of that ability with catalogs, who knows.

You can't select a bunch, and edit them all at once. This makes listing, even with the duplicating listings thing, take a hell of a lot longer, because I have to constantly click through and create new and wait for loading blah blah.


Good things about listings:

You can "duplicate" an existing listing and just change the bits you need to. It doesn't update the listing name when you update the object...which is not so good.

It _does_ carry images over so you can have the same extra alt views, plus you can pull down a drop down to access the other images you've uploaded on other items! Which is super duper awesome. I have only made one collection- if it doesn't limit by collection, that list will get unusably long, so we'll see if it retains usefulness at all.

It looks like you can view just the items in the currently selected box. THANK GOD. I can never find a damn thing in my xstreet list because there's too damn much of it.

Tags! Yay! And mini descriptions are neat. Ok, the downside to tags is I don't see a way to USE them other than just invisible search terms, but at least they're there, and will be useful for search terms.

Collections! YOU CAN SEE ALL THE ITEMS IN A COLLECTION AT A CLICK! For items that go together, colour alts et c. this. is. awesome.



Listing multiples of the same colour is still a little clunky as you have to click through to each item to change most of the stuff (onrez had that pop out thing that was REALLY useful, but the carrying info across thing is not bad), but still, head and shoulders above xstreet.

The look is slick- BUT it's white text on dark background. This looks cool...and is harder to read. I would strongly recommend the ability to choose stylesheets and have a nice crisp black text on white for people who aren't so wild about that. Me, I like the dark, but it's a well known _bad_ thing for usability.

p.s. I listed about half of them before I said "fuck this noise, I'll play more later." Still, even with going back and constantly editing all of them (because I was still fighting with formatting), it went way faster than xstreet. BUT nowhere near as fast as meta-LIFE.

4 comments:

Noirran said...

So far I'm liking Metaverse Exchange, you put items with all colors in one listing then the buy selects what color they want from a drop down menu and done. Once I figured out the interface it went easy from there.

Allegory Malaprop said...

That's theoretically on my list for today, if I get to it! I liked the sound of that feature from poking around their website when I was first starting to look around at things.

Noirran said...

yea and when you list the colors you can pick a primary and set the price and perms for it and it will ask you if you want the same perms and price for the other colors. So you do not have to do each one individually.

Snap Spitteler said...

Hi Noiran,
Glad to hear you checked us out;)you can upload pics for your webshop picks,the ones in the server are for your vendor pics or if you set the collection to public and set 10 or 20 or 30% reseller commision then anyone that has an apez vendor can resell for the % and you get more sales;) just ask in the forum or send a support ticket,would be glad to show ya the ropes.
Snap