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Sellers Pan eBay and Etsy iPhone App Updates

eBay and Etsy introduced updated versions of their mobile apps for the iPhone this month, but some people are giving them a thumbs down, as pointed out by EcommerceBytes readers.

“Have you looked into the recent eBay mobile app update,” a seller asked? “It was a total failure and has the worst reviews on iTunes. It has impacted so many sellers (and buyers too), and is most likely one of the reasons for the fall of Mark Carges.”

A review of the app’s ratings on iTunes shows the current version, released on September 2, received 1.5 stars out of 5, with 1,313 out of 1,594 users giving it one star (the poorest rating).

The seller also said the new app update contains a new privacy agreement. “The user must now allow eBay access to one’s personal data on their phone (contacts, calendar, etc), which to me seem outrageous,” he wrote.

While we can’t confirm the previous policy, the app links to the eBay privacy policy for mobile on this page, where it says the app does not collect information from your device’s contacts or calendar or other installed applications on your mobile device. If you download the app, be sure to look for any privacy policy notifications.

Etsy’s Mobile App
Etsy’s latest iPhone app updates have also received poor reviews. “I have not noticed any reporting on Etsy’s disastrous roll-out of the new App for Apple products on 9-3-14,” a reader wrote. “It has gotten 1.5 star rating, people are having to go to their browser, removal of reviews, along with seller shop and item views from the App dropping to nothing. Etsy has responded to sellers with their normal “you’re crazy there is nothing wrong here” attitude despite the ratings and reviews.

One of the issues was discussed on the Etsy forum devoted to technical issues where sellers were concerned about a lack of views after the new update rolled out. A moderator confirmed the issue, but explained:

We have identified the issue and it is NOT an actual decrease in views, but that we are not recording the views as we should. So all of you are getting the usual number of views, but the stats are not properly displaying them. We do apologize for the situation. We are working to get the issue resolved as quickly as possible.

The reader also pointed to reviews found on the iTunes App store. It now shows that Etsy rolled out another update on September 15th, but it too garnered poor reviews: an overall 2-star rating, with 25 of 38 people leaving it a 1-star review (the poorest rating).

While users acknowledged that Etsy made some changes because it wants sellers to use its selling app rather than this buying app, there were many complaints from buyers as well, including criticism about the inability to search within stores.

It appears the saying quoted by one iTunes reviewer about the eBay app may be true for both companies’ apps: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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 ina@ecommercebytes.com.