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Thu Jan 10 2013 11:25:14

eBay Feed Goes and Comes Back for Some Users

By: Julia Wilkinson

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Some eBay users got a puzzling email the other day with the subject, "Miss Your Feed? A Message from the eBay Feed Team" on Wednesday, Jan. 9. The email went on to say, "We wanted to take a moment to thank you for being a part of our eBay feed experiment! We really appreciate all of the feedback that you and other customers have provided to us so far. The amount of engagement we've seen from the eBay community has been very encouraging."

Apparently the Feed went bye-bye for a short while, but was reinstated when eBay "received many requests from our customers who are no longer seeing their feeds asking for a way to continue using them." Ebay reassured, "We've listened to your feedback! By clicking the 'View your feed' button below, you will be able to access your feed and begin discovering once again. Rest assured - any customizations you've made to personalize your feed have been saved and will persist once you begin using it again."

I am one of the people who received this interesting email, and I must confess, I get so many emails that I did not even notice the absence of the daily feed email, nor any Feed links from my home page.

But other eBayers noticed the change and were nonplussed, if not disgruntled: under the subject "Are feeds gone now as well?" on the eBay Stores discussion board, a user named Marty wrote, "After spending all that time setting up my buying feeds on the home page the feature seems to have evaporated. :( Is there any other place to find them like a link? I checked myebay but didn't see anything there? Or is this a rotational placement of some kind?"

He went on to say "I liked the Completed/SOLD, and the FEEDS, now both are gone," and added, "I wish they would have a little 'beta' sign next to a feature which is going to vaporize after a few weeks."

Another user said he could go to "ebay.com/feed and it will come up," but it did not for me nor another user. "Apparently it's being rolled across the site, and presumably phasing in and out," wrote the user. He described being able to click on one interest feed, and then saw at "top right next to the 'Tell us what you think' a pull-down menu to go between newly listed and ending soonest. This only appears AFTER you click EDIT and choose a feed to edit." He said the great thing about this is if, say, you like huge lots of rhinestone jewelry, you can set one to be Ending soonest (auction format), and another to be Newly listed (BIN format). Those options were not visible for me, however.

At any rate, the Feeds came back, per the email referenced above. But the whole thing raised questions in my mind: would it have been better to know we were part of an experiment before becoming one? What about the other eBay features that have come and gone unceremoniously, to wit, as per "Marty":

- "Ebay Local - announced in 2007, packed class at Ebay Live Boston. Everyone excited. A year later more announcement, then a lame one page thing sort by zip code, then it dies.

- Ebay Desktop - Gone.

- Ebay Global buying hub (also really cool finally get to see stuff worldwide the way it should be) now also gone.

- Ebay Feeds, announced in October I believe, rolled out, disappeared, came back, worked with ebay.com/feed now nothing and no announcement. They made a big deal about this and their "Pinterest-like feed."

- Global shipping - announced, not really good communication; and from what people are saying the customer service reps are not up to speed about the rules and how it works etc."

He added, "There are lots of good things that die either because of poor deployment, the back and forth nature of here it is/isn't. And poor customer service rep uptake."

But, the good new for Feed fans is, it seems to be back. (Another user speculated that may have been in no small part due to his writing "'bring the feeds back!!!!' about a million times haha."

(By the way, eBay is soliciting feedback on the Feeds from the "Tell us what you think" link from the "My Feed" screen).

Did you notice the Feeds going and coming? Do you like the Feeds? What about those other ephemeral features; how do you feel about them? The eBay Global Buying Hub, for one, does sound cool; I have to confess I don't think I'd seen it, but I'd like to. Should they bring it back? Post a comment here!




Comments (10) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Feed Goes and Comes Back for Some Users   eBay Feed Goes and Comes Back for Some Users

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Thu Jan 10 15:11:34 2013

While on the phone with CS for another reason, I asked them about the missing ''feed''.

I was told it would be back for those 'with windows 8 or higher'.

Then I was amazed to see emails telling me it was back - I am not running windows 8. I was a bit worried that they were phish emails because they do not appear in eBay messages.  So I guess the ''feed'' is back.

I rather like it when set up with some of my searches. When I'm being lazy I can just look at the ''feed'' for a mixture of photos of my routine searches. If I saw something of interest, I could hit ''watch'' to screen it further at a later time from my watch list. And I did make a couple purchases of items I first saw on the ''feed''. So I guess its intended purpose worked with me.

As far as the ''global buying hum'' - too many unanswered questions for me to bite.

eBay Feed Goes and Comes Back for Some Users   eBay Feed Goes and Comes Back for Some Users

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 10 16:03:14 2013

The main PROBLEM with ''the Global Shipping Program'' as they call it is that you HAVE to use it for ALL your Internationals if you opt-in. How about letting sellers TRY IT OUT on the international dea;ls that make them nervous- like to Brazil, or internationals with ZERO FB. Once you OPT-IN we know from past experience that it would be almost IMPOSSIBLE to get out- WHY NOT let sellers CHOOSE IF THEY WANT TO USE IT for SPECIFIC nervous deals but we will not sign up because we will not be able to OPT-OUT and we would have to use it for everything international which we are not going to do.
Ebay is already ALL OVER OUR DEALS and they are supposed to be JUST A VENUE.
Mass Howler

eBay Feed Goes and Comes Back for Some Users   eBay Feed Goes and Comes Back for Some Users

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Thu Jan 10 18:59:28 2013

@Basset, I suspect they meant "Explorer" 9 because I am not aware of a version of "Windows" greater than the recently released "8" ...

Regardless, I've seen no sign of "Feeds" on the AU site other than the old saved searches emails ... Just what are the "ebay Feeds"?

eBay Feed Goes and Comes Back for Some Users   eBay Feed Goes and Comes Back for Some Users

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Thu Jan 10 20:08:22 2013

Phil - I was kind of scratching my head at the ''or higher'', too, but I bet you are right, he probably meant IE 8 or higher.

The feed is a Pinterest like view that you can have on your (not sure what they call it  - Opening Screen?) The one that opens up when you click on the eBay logo.

At first there are default views, most likely based on searches you have done in the past.  There SHOULD  be a choice to customize your feed somewhere.

To individualize it, you can choose from your saved searches or add new searches for  items of interest. Then, if all works as planned, your page will be full of nice size photos of things you are interested in with new items appearing as they are listed.

If you mouse on a photo you get a button to save it in your watch list, or to open it up to view the listing. I find it quicker to save in my watch list then screen it later. I find it fairly useful to do a quick scan throughout the day of my routine searches.

My feed is based on ''newly listed'', so my items appear in a dated order. If new items are incoming, a message appears at the top while you are on the page & you can refresh it.

Hope that explains it, sorry if I'm clear as mud - someone else might do a better job describing it.  

eBay Feed Goes and Comes Back for Some Users   eBay Feed Goes and Comes Back for Some Users

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Fri Jan 11 08:29:51 2013

Honestly? These days, I'm so disconnected from eBay that I hadn't noticed.

eBay Feed Goes and Comes Back for Some Users   eBay Feed Goes and Comes Back for Some Users

by: edwatt This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 11 12:13:07 2013

I have been selling on ebay over 10 years.  I have not a clue what a "feed" is.
Bassett tried to explain it, but I don't get it.  As a seller, what does a feed do for me?

eBay Feed Goes and Comes Back for Some Users   eBay Feed Goes and Comes Back for Some Users

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Fri Jan 11 15:55:03 2013

Well, I still can't find anything on it; then, is that not typically eBay? ... clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk ...

eBay Feed Goes and Comes Back for Some Users   eBay Feed Goes and Comes Back for Some Users

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Fri Jan 11 17:51:28 2013

@edwatt -

It may be most useful for buyers. I use it as a visual search for items I'm looking for, usually clothing or misc for my household. Even obscure DVD's.

My saved searches are long term & I don't really run them on a regular basis. So, the ''Feed'' brings some of these items in front of my eyes more often. It is easier to peek at it a few times a day than it is to sit an actually look at a search list - which I still do because I'm not sure all items make it to the ''feed''.

The term I've heard used about Pinterest and I think it applies here: Visual Marketing.

Benefit for sellers? Well I have purchased a couple items I found first on the feed. So if I am an example, it CAN lead to sales.

I imagine it would be useful for the sellers who buy things on eBay to re-sell. Some of the best deals are (or used to be) a well priced buy-it-now that will get snapped up in a short time frame.
 
And I have seen my own store items appear in the feed. It gives me a quick scan on how the photo looks, etc....



@Philip

It is in Beta still. It is possible it is not available for your area?

eBay Feed Goes and Comes Back for Some Users   eBay Feed Goes and Comes Back for Some Users

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Fri Jan 11 18:10:47 2013

@Basset, you are probably right, not available in my area. Still, I get daily email notifications of all my saved searches, so I imagine that the result from that process is similar ...

eBay Feed Goes and Comes Back for Some Users   eBay Feed Goes and Comes Back for Some Users

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 12 01:31:02 2013

@PHILIP COHEN--

I use the Saved Searches emails also--but--I have had plenty of times when an item does NOT show up on there that I find using either a "directed search" ie "Green small widget" or a "Category search" ie "Widget" and just go thru as many as I can in the time I have.

I often find widgets this way that do NOT show up in my "Saved Searches"---which is pretty dang annoying!  OR--they show up for the first time so close to close of sale that I don't have time to really LOOK at them before I need to decide to buy or not---which if I were the cynical sort I might think IS ebay's point---if I see something juicy I might just bite FIRST and either decide later NOT to pay for it ----and ebay lives for buyers who don't pay and the seller figures it is not worth it to file and get FVF's back---or at the very least ebay gets to keep the "Float"--


Or I can pay and examine the item at my leisure and then decide to use the Infinite Return Policy that ebay also loves and then they AGAIN get to KEEP that Float Fund sailing along.  

But in Real Life I am not the cynical type as you can tell.

I am in the USA and an active buyer and have NO idea what these "Feeds" are about;   how to GET them;  and what they might DO for me as a buyer.  As a seller I would like to THINK that my items are showing up there but--HOW WOULD I KNOW if I can't SEE them????

If anyone knows HOW to get to access and view these---could you please let INA know and ask pretty please if she would make a presentation of it?  Thanks!



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