Maybe frenetic is a better term? Ebay is hard at it again, making fairly significant site changes, apparently live in realtime from what I’ve seen.  This is truly a[nother] case of ad ridere, or is that ridere ad?

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Listings Changes

The first couple changes are this tab over the image which says n person is [or ‘are’, where n= more than 1] viewing this item per hour.”

(thumbs open for larger view in new tab or window)

There has also been slight variations of the verbiage reported, as noted on the ecommercebytes blog regarding this. I’ve seen at least a couple, among them was a tab which faded out, another which didn’t, and the “X” close button didn’t function.

The other thing is this “More Like This” tab, which stays fixed in place on the side of your browser. As you can see there isn’t any close button for that. These types of things… have been popping up on websites all over for awhile now. I find them annoying on any site. ymmv.

There were still plenty of listings I checked where the tabs were not present so clearly this is a test or in the beginning stages of sitewide rollout.

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When you click the tab, it retracts very slowly, you start to see some action. Then it opens a humongous panel which nearly completely covers the description of the item page you’re on. It also greys out everything else, another feature popular now on all sorts of sites. It may have taken well over a full minute or two for this to fully deploy. I didn’t time it.

In this example the seller added to the description twice, or else around 75% or more of the original listing description would have been covered

Look at that, 4 rows of other people’s listings, right there one one seller’s item page. Wow! LoLz! Dayam!

The sponsored ads from outside sites still live down at the very bottom of the listing along with an Ebay Mastercard ad.

Search changes

search_view_similar_in_ea_listing_eBay_20130501_ecFirst off, I see ebaY finally corrected having two of each category in the advanced search menu dropdown.

The next completely useless feature I saw was this “view similar items” button on search result pages. One on each and every separate result of the search.

When I clicked one, I was taken to a page where the first several where the identical results, followed by hundreds of less and less similar items, many of which weren’t even in the same universe as the item I originally searched for.

Moving on, I also saw where they brought back the “Buy it Now”,  auctions only, and “all listings” tabs to the top. But in realtime, I reloaded the page and it came back borked, as shown below. Subsequent searches reverted [back again] to those features being represented as checkboxes on the sidebar.

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I had to reload quite a few times to accommodate all the embedded scripting elements in order to see all the various ads and features.

I usually run with NoScript and AdBlock Plus universally blocking active content and other undesirables. Especially on a known dangerous site like ebaY. (and paypal too cough cough)

Unfortunately, many ebaY site features won’t all function without allowing javascript to run, (at least on ebay’s main domains like ebaydesc.com etc, so precautions such as those don’t or won’t really protect you too well on ebaY.

Let me just say, those pages are seriously bloated and loaded with all kinds of things. Eeek!

Also observed was this close X to search in title only? That showed a time or two, then *POOF*

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I’m not sure how many other changes and/or variations of all these things I saw, but it was more than just a few. Again, some even in realtime.

It sure looks like the ebaY community is being Beta tested live, without their expressed knowledge and/or consent, or a way to opt out, and they are paying for that beta testing ‘privilege’ with streamlined fees, lack of visibility, having their listings more-less hijacked, or maybe that’s more like denial of service? All this on an unstable and suspiciously silent site.

If you’ve been following along you know that ebaY’s Cassini search engine is, by all accounts, other than Wall Street and the accompanying rubber stamp financial news reporter world, a late, failed, flawed, and reviled project.

Luckily for ebaY, their members are well known for being thoroughly indoctrinated into the nonsense world of all things ebaY.  I suppose all the constant, glitches, site functionality issues, impromptu, willy-nilly changes, wild fluctuations in traffic, on the fly policy changes (and reversals) etc don’t register as classic signs that the site is broken or [gasp] hacked? They are a willing to dive into the depths of absurdity to avoid having to swallow the bitter, unsaid pill.

As an ebaY critic, I can’t let this all go by without poking a little more fun. ;p

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