I just go nuts while I do it myself. I have spurts of time when I get lots done and spurts where I don't want to touch it, so during that time I busy myself with other things that need to get done.
Did you try to contact manufacturers to present you with the information? I sell books, so I receive 99% of descriptions/prices/images from publishers.
I still have to enter the info into the site's DB myself, and I do it when I am in a proper mood :)
I do it myself too. But I find being lazy is a great motivator. I've now found a way to mix and match text blocks (in a way that doesn't offend visitors), so that I don't have to make everything up from scratch for every product.
I've separated the 'description' bit from the 'sales blurb' bit, and find that I can re-use the description part many times, and only have to adjust the 'sales blurb' bit.
I find it very hard to motivate myself to enter inventory-even though it's the life blood of an ecommerce site. Perhaps after typing the same adjective 973 times the mind walks the creative plank... In any case, it's really, really hard to do.
I'm trying to find a creative way to motivate my staff to do data entry without getting burned out. What I have so far:
50¢ per item entered towards an inventory purchase.
To maintain quality, and keep them from just throwing up as many products as they can, I'll limit the number I assign them to daily goals.
Any other suggestions/ideas?
Tedious indeed, but I hunker down and do it. X number per day. Some good music in the background and I'm set. I do have to reprimand myself when I get sidetracked on solitaire;-)
Do any of you that manually enter things have your prices/descriptions/specs/etc. in digital format? A simple script can parse that stuff and enter it in seconds. Even if you dont have any of it in digital format, some of you said you type the same stuff over and over, let the computer do that stuff. Thats what they are there for.
After kicking my butt over to the computer, I do it myself, usually once a month or once a quarter. That way, if there are mistakes, I know they're mine!
I guess it depends what type of site and who your supplier(s) are. I typically will develop a script to import whatever my supplier gives me, to my database. Usually they give a flat spreadsheet, and I write a script to insert/update my info.
Of course I don't get away scott-free of having to set my prices, write ad-copy or update images. I usually delegate some of the tedious stuff like getting the images though.
i dont mind it mostly because i know that nobody else is going to do it for me, and i cant sell anything i have not entered. It also forces me to review pricing (both mine and competitors) which i find even more difficult to motivate for
Though, before i set up my site for ecomm, i deleted the 'long description' option from the cart... and boy am i glad i did that!
My store pos system is a .net ap with an access db, my web site is php/mysql. Currently, there is no system in place to synch the two-any ideas? A system that would export a file from my store pos that I could then dump into my site would save months of time-but it's not a real well known pos system, so something would have to be custom built. Different category structure, some products not available online and vice versa, etc-would be a headache-but worth it.
Depending on the definition of "it" (clintonesque)
get yourself a cms - content management system. post it on rentacoder and have someone build you a gui front end to your db so that you can append items or paste data in from an access table. should be just a couple of hundred bucks....