Inkfrog Removes Analytics App from eBay Open Platform
By Ina Steiner
eBay sellers who use an analytics application provided through the eBay open platform were surprised to find it abruptly shut down this week. Third-party developer InkFrog.com had acquired Sellebrity Analytics just over a year ago, a "full traffic analytics suite that allows sellers to view and analyze their eBay traffic."
Sellers gave the Sellebrity app generally good reviews until the spring, when complaints of poor performance began appearing on the eBay apps review site.
eBay has closed its open platform to new developers as it concentrates on X.commerce. InkFrog founder and CEO Greg Sisung said he was removing the Sellebrity application from eBay "because it was too hard to keep up with the code." (Update 1:34 pm: Sisung clarified his remarks - "we were unable to continue supporting the legacy software," he said.)
The removal of Sellebrity leaves sellers few ways to measure traffic to their listings, since eBay has been unable to fix its own traffic reports provided through Omniture, and its Listings Analytics tool is also broken.
Sellers who wish to use analytics from InkFrog will have to subscribe to one of the company's subscription plans, which start at $14.95/month, to gain access to InkFrog Traffic.
Sisung explained, "We put this application inside inkFrog directly (using our own software) and it's called "inkFrog Traffic" now - So users can still use the application, only it's inside of our own inkFrog system/platform and it uses our own codebase which is much easier for us to support and much more reliable. We thought we could port it over to eBay app's without too much trouble, but I guess it's not that easy. So we made the decision to just shut it down and simplify it."
Sellers who used Sellebrity are not happy with the way InkFrog is handling the matter. "No warning," wrote one user, "Now I and other sellers are stuck with a useless link at the bottom of all (300) of my listings, the woman at Inkfrog, who answered my e-mail this morning told me that the ONLY way to remove the useless link (that now leads to an Inkfrog site) is to revise EACH listing one by one. Wow!"
Another user wrote, "The problem is all the links where the Sellebrity logo once was.. they have to be removed one by one... The links are now free advertising for Inkfrog... And all with no e-mail or warning."
Sisung confirmed that sellers would have to manually remove the Sellebrity banner at the bottom of every one of their eBay listings that links to the InkFrog website. "Unfortunately there is not an easy way to get Sellebrity banners off without using a tool. I would recommend users use a find and replace tool (many free ones in the app store) to remove the logos/banners," he said.
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About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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