Thursday, March 12, 2009

eBay

One of the things that drives sellers nuts on eBay (one of the many, many things - they're really driving the business into the ground) is that the site itself is flaky. They're always fiddling with things and they upload half-assed versions and they're always doing tests on live customers. They say it's to get data on which is more effective but from the customer's perspective the interface just changes oddly and then changes back and they have no idea what's going on. It just adds to the general level of flakiness.

Anyway, today's oddity was listing some items I got a big bold warning starting with "Thank you for participating in global trade on eBay. In order to begin selling your items on eBay sites not associated with your home country, you will need to take a few steps:" This is a message you would get listing on, say, the German site if you have a US account or vice versa. But I was just listing five items, popped open five identical windows, and got this on two of them. It was no big deal, I just hit reload and the message vanished.

But it's just typical - so typical that I knew it would probably just go away in a moment, and if not I could check the powerseller board, but this stuff doesn't inspire confidence when they're announcing they're going to totally change the way searching works in April. Again. Just like they do every year, and things get harder to find each time...

It's very frustrating because eBay was so great back in the day, and it's still a great way to find certain items, but it's always been despite their management rather than because of it and you would think after a decade of this they would stop this downward spiral...

Update: Later in that same listing session, another error...

We want to keep eBay a safe place to buy and sell, so we need a little more information from you to confirm your identity.

And then nothing - no requests for anything, no more text, that was it. I had to hit back a couple of times and go forward, and then I got the global message again, and hit reload on that, and submit, and my item listed...

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