Ztail makes eBay easy

If you're not a power seller, here's a good way to quickly sell items on eBay and other services.

Rafe Needleman Former Editor at Large
Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.
Rafe Needleman
3 min read

For a pack rat like me, eBay is a terrible tease. When I want to use it to get rid of crap lying around my house, it's just too hard to use. I'm no Power Seller. I just want to unload my old Star Trek phone (link goes to some else's phone, not mine). But the potential $16 payoff makes it a poor use of my time: I'd have to take pictures, upload them, and create a listing without knowing what I'm doing. A new site, Ztail, looks like a very promising solution to this problem.

Ztail creates eBay listings in seconds. CNET Networks

Ztail creates online sales listings for eBay and other sites. You tell it what you're trying to unload, and it will format a nice listing with a picture of the product and its specifications. You set your own price, add text about the particular item's condition, hit publish, and you're done.

While my Star Trek phone wasn't in the Ztail database, other junk priceless artifacts I have in my closets were, in particular old cell phones, kitchen gadgets, and stereo equipment. It took me next to no time to create a decent listing for my old Ericsson T39 phone.

Whether or not anyone actually wants this old phone is another question, but Ztail lets you improve your odds of selling it by optionally multi-listing an item on the "Ztail network" of non-eBay sites: Google Base, Edgeio, Vast, and Oodle, for starters. You can also embed a widget on your own blog or put a link (but not a widget) on your Facebook page to sell your items.

The service is free to use, and the company will make money from affiliate traffic driven to eBay from the widgets users post on their sites. (Enough to keep the company going? I don't know.)

There are some snags with this early site. I ran into a bug when posting an item, for instance. There are also big missing features. You can't publish to Craigslist. (Craigslist aggressively blocks profit-seeking companies from riding on top of its service.) Also, there's no pricing guidance for items you're trying to sell. The team is working to add that into the product, though, and it will make the service a lot more valuable when they do. Because I have no idea what an Ericsson T39 is worth right now, and I really don't want to spend an hour researching it. (I recommend using Mpire (news) to check for historical pricing data on popular items.)

Despite Ztail's alpha-stage omissions and bugs, the site is worth using right now if you want to get rid of stuff you have lying around the house. It's not a good tool if you're trying to earn a living on eBay, but if you're trying to de-clutter your life, the site can pay you back nicely for very little effort.

See also vFlyer (review). And: Ztail on GigaOm

Here's a Ztail widget:

TEST POST Ericsson T39 Cellular Phone