A File Exchange Tutorial – How to Automatically Run an eBay Shop – The Hands-Free CSV Method

Jun 4, 2017 | Ecommerce


How to Automatically Run an eBay Shop – The Hands-Free CSV Method

In this tutorial I will show you the fantastic method of automating an eBay business. I picked this trick and a few other tricks up from forums and have included my own knowledge on bulk uploading eBay items using File Exchange.

You will need 3 things in order to automate your eBay business, which are:

  1. A dropshipping supplier that offers downloadable CSV files containing all the product information. 
  2. An eBay account with a good rating and a (free) subscription to eBay’s File exchange service.
  3. Someone from Fiverr or upwork who will work for $5 or less an hour.

1. How to Find a Dropshipping Supplier 

This is something you’ll want to spend some time searching for because not all dropship suppliers provide quality products. You may even want to test them out by buying from them. But what I’ve found are that many dropship suppliers will charge extra for supplying CSVs or product images, they will offer memberships etc. But a way of siphoning out the bad from the good is by using dropship directories. These are directories where both suppliers and dropshippers will sign up in order to network and share contact details.



The two most well known dropship directories are SaleHoo and Worldwide Brands.




I have written a review of both in my article How to Start Dropshipping in 1 Week. I use SaleHoo, one because it seems a lot less outdated than Worldwide Brands and two because it has great customer service who will find for you any type of dropship supplier you can think of, taking away the need to search for suppliers. You can just request to find suppliers who offer CSV downloads of ALL their product information, including links to images, this is what we want for the easiest dropshipping method. 

2.  Get a good eBay account rating and subscribe to File Exchange. eBay successful seller

Hopefully you’ll have an eBay account from buying items on there, and if you have a good rating with a little star, good for you! Anyone can change their personal account into a business account but if you have a star you’re already one step ahead. If for whatever reason you have a bad feedback rating, or you don’t have an account, then you can buy accounts with positive feedback, but I don’t think it’s worth the money. My advice is to create an eBay account, put up anything you can sell in your house, but make sure it all goes on sale at the same time. By doing this with a new account, you’ll be selling a lot of stuff and fast, which will get your selling account into good standards and build up your rating. 


eBay File exchange tutorial



File exchange is the only bulk uploading tool within eBay which can be accessed through a free subscription by any seller. It is another way of using Turbolister, but unfortunately Turbolister is being scrapped this year so there’s no point going into that. Let me first point out that I couldn’t find a single easy to follow tutorial on how to use File Exchange on the Internet, and so I’ve decided to guide you the best way I can. For some bizarre reason eBay only uses the phone for a method of contacting them for help but they were temporarily using email when I first started with my CSV files. It seemed much easier for me to send them the error message along with my CSV attached, sometimes they would correct it for me. But unfortunately eBay no longer has it, that being said they do have some savvy people on the help phone who direct you efficiently.

Products can be uploaded in the thousands through an excel spreadsheet. The input of information is through mostly group copying and pasting and then editing images and prices accordingly. If you are doing this on your own, then you could probably use some help for editing items individually. You can use people offering their services on Fiverr or Upwork to help you but pay close attention to their feedback score as they will have worked hard for good feedback and will not want to jeopardize it. 

eBay File Exchange has templates to download that you can work from. These templates are too basic and many adjustments and additions need to be made. You can save the templates so that you can use the same ones in the future to save time.

You will need to refer to this information:

eBay File Exchange Catalog Listing Template Instructions (pdf)

eBay File Exchange Advanced Instructions (pdf)

eBay File Exchange Basic Template Instructions (pdf)

Category IDs

Condition IDs by Category

File Error Codes Reference

Listing Designer Theme IDs

You can also edit the product description (HTML template provided by supplier) to include your own about section, but I have found a much easier method is to do it through eBay’s Manage My Store section.

All of the product’s information and images should be provided by the supplier found through SaleHoo. These are downloaded as CSV excel files so copying and pasting information is easy.

So to save you days and days of trial and error like I went through, I have supplied templates that will get you started easily. 

These files are arranged by country, including UK, USA and China. As the file will need to be changed according to which country the item is from. 

3. Paying a Worker

Editing individual cells takes a long time and it is very tedious. So as a nice solution to save our time we can pay someone to do it instead. I find a data entry specialist on Upwork or Fiverr who will work for $3-$5 (as long as their Country’s Exchange rate works out as fair) provide them with instructions, a video tutorial helps. I have a video and a Price Increase reference chart that I supply to workers as I only pay for the editing of my images and the prices. You can also hire someone to handle everything on your eBay shop like processing orders and providing customer service like answering messages. If you do this please choose someone with a history of work and high ratings displayed on their profile, as they will have worked hard to achieve that and will not want to jeopardize it. 

Important things to remember:

All of this information is important but these will really help –

  • Export files from dropship supplier’s website by category if possible. If you export by category you can import into eBay by category.
  • If something goes wrong, Google it. There is always a way around a problem, and it is how I learned everything I know, keep searching. 


Helpful Video Tutorials:

These videos really helped me, there aren’t many decent demonstrations for using eBay’s File Exchange out there, I had to watch many heavily thumbed down videos to get to these. 

File Exchange – How to create and submit a revision file – A Tutorial

How to Export eBay Sales to Microsoft Excel

How to Export eBay Sales to Microsoft Excel

 If Turbo lister is still going strong by the time you read this, then go ahead and follow this tutorial:

Turbo Lister – How to upload items to eBay – A Tutorial



And so as you can see you don’t have to put a huge amount of effort into setting up an eBay business. But that also doesn’t mean that there is no work involved. If you want success in beating the competition, you’ll need to keep repricing your items which means being familiar with File Exchange (if you want the process to be quick). And this article should provide you with all the information sources needed to start your business today. 





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