Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Jan 20 2014 13:54:01

eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch

By: Ina Steiner

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It takes significant amounts of money and effort to get shoppers to visit product listings. Knowing that a visitor may not be quite ready to hit the "Add to Cart" button, most ecommerce sites have created "wish lists" that let shoppers save listings for later review. Merchants do this so as not to miss out on potential sales from the traffic they worked so hard to get.

On eBay, the feature is called Watch List (eBay Wish Lists are part of its social "collections"). To its credit, eBay has improved its once spartan Watch List to try and catch up with more robust cousins on sites like Amazon. eBay even has a notification feature to alert shoppers of Watched List items that are scheduled to end soon.

However, sellers have been reporting problems with eBay's Watch List over the past week or so - and it would not surprise me if this was one of those chronic glitches eBay is known for. As one seller wrote a week ago, if sellers are having problems, "then most likely other buyers are as well, and sellers should be aware of this possibility."

Today a reader told me when she clicked on "Add to watch list" (either of the two links on the item detail page) - it doesn't get added to her list.

There were also reports of other users having problems, including this buyer who wrote on the eBay discussion boards yesterday, "For some reason, for 2 days I have been having technical problems while trying to view auctions. I can't put anything on a watch list or in my cart ( I have no limit), I have no zoom option on anyone's auction and can't bring up any pictures in auctions except for the first one that the person has. Any idea why these odd things would suddenly be happening? Please help!"

On another site, an eBay employee acknowledged the Watch List problem was a known issue it was working to resolve as soon as possible - that was 5 days ago.

If a shopper clicks on the Add to Watch List button on a product listing so they can come back later, but isn't successful, that seller has lost out on a potential sale.

What a waste of the resources it took to drive that shopper to the listing.




Comments (23) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch   eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Mon Jan 20 14:18:11 2014

"On another site, an eBay employee acknowledged the Watch List problem was a known issue it was working to resolve as soon as possible - that was 5 days ago."

eBay speak:
Resolve as soon as possible = Sometime this millennium.

Working feverishly = Add an additional week to the above.

Perminate Link for eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch   eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Jan 20 14:53:51 2014

I am guessing here, but here goes.

Java is a background software program that helps pages render in users browsers.

By default, Java is set to automatically update the program.

Java released an update a couple of weeks ago that seems to coincide with the sudden onset of these problems.

One of 2 things is possible here.

Either the Java update has a bug, or eBay's pages are poorly coded and the latest version of Java is not rendering eBay's antiquated code.

I am betting the issue is with outdated eBay coding.

Perminate Link for eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch   eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Jan 20 15:58:13 2014

Ebay no longer has any feet left to shoot.

Perminate Link for eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch   eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch

This user has validated their user name. by: NaruMessenger
Web Site

Mon Jan 20 16:29:10 2014

If the shareholders knew how much of their money eBay is throwing in the trash they would be livid!

Perminate Link for eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch   eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 20 17:22:38 2014

''eBay's pages are poorly coded''
We hold this truth to be self-evident

Perminate Link for eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch   eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch

This user has validated their user name. by: ebayisajoke
Web Site

Mon Jan 20 17:25:51 2014

eBay's pages are poorly coded, their own Java Applets are also poorly coded. Anyone that knows what they are doing can see the files. I just laugh now at all the glitches. I suggest they stop hiring indians from the Philippines to code their site and start doing it in house. Bwwwaaa ha ha ha ha..

Perminate Link for eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch   eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 20 20:38:34 2014

Rather than fix anything, eBay just seems to pile more junk on top of the old junk.

Perminate Link for eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch   eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch

This user has validated their user name. by: Don Wagner

Mon Jan 20 21:07:27 2014

eBay seems to have a very poor process for testing code changes and modeling the steps an ACTUAL user follows when trying t use eBay.  

Perminate Link for eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch   eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 20 22:25:17 2014

Is this a big surprise to anyone????

Perminate Link for eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch   eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 21 00:24:26 2014

We will now be told that it is not IMPORTANT that we HAVE Watch Lists as surely ebay knows so much BETTER than US what WE want.

There.  I fixed it.  

Perminate Link for eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch   eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 21 00:35:31 2014

Who needs a Watch List? Cassini knows what you want before you want it. Cassini knows you want something even if you don't want it.

Perminate Link for eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch   eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch

by: Mimi This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 21 01:07:03 2014

I mainly use the watch list for items that I may plan on selling. So its more  a selling tool for me.  

Perminate Link for eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch   eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Tue Jan 21 01:17:28 2014

As glitches develop more buyers leave forever. The idiots in San Jose do not understand basic eCommerce and that having a correctly running and easy to use and navigate site is THE most important thing if you are trying to sell items.
Studies have been done on this but they do not care as long as the sellers keep throwing money at them to list. The coding has been bad for years and as each new update comes along eBay sinks deeper in the abyss. It is a shame and as Ming says they are now walking on stubs becasue they have shot their feet off. LOL

Bill

Perminate Link for eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch   eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch

by: LinneyPinney This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 21 01:23:53 2014

Cassini knows what everyone wants so that it knows what to hide when a search is initiated.

Perminate Link for eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch   eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch

by: pcwnow This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 21 08:48:37 2014

I would be more willing to bet the problem is with Java. Right after the update, I was having major problems with Pitney Bowes and printing my shipping labels. On the first computer I updated, I couldn't launch Chrome for the first day. There are still a number of sites I visit I can't comment on . When doing research, I found numerous articles and ebay forum discussions from summer of 2012 where people were having the exact same problems and the overwhelming majority of them said they just updated Java and had the same problems in the past.

Perminate Link for eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch   eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch

by: songe-d-automne This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 21 09:59:10 2014

I had that problem. I had about 10 things I wanted to watch and I would click "add to watch list" and they did not show up on my watch list.

However, if I went to "all lists" on the sidebar it did show the items.  

Perminate Link for eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch   eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Jan 21 10:05:24 2014

Just sounds like business as usual to me.

Perminate Link for eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch   eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 21 11:04:35 2014

I've long been quietly fascinated by the sheer level of programming incompetence demonstrated on eBay. (Probably the highlight was when a newly-revised Shipping confirmation screen came up with the word ''Successful'' misspelled, but I digress... :-)

Their latest botched software release is for some kind of alert pulldown menu at the upper right of your screen, symbolized by a small bell icon. Roll over that with your cursor, and all kinds of weird and wonderful (but not correct) things will happen.

Most commonly, I've noticed that the countdown timer for items shown in the pulldown reminder list there is two minutes faster than actual time. Thus reminders for auctions ending in the next two minutes will in fact show as being ended already. You have to remember to zoom over to that listing anyway and get your snipe in, regardless of what the reminder is claiming.

I saw a completely-different coding botch this morning: the reminder icon told me that I had lost the bidding on an auction that ended last night. In fact I had won it. (I could go into more detail here on how the failure occurred and how they could improve their code, but they have shown no interest in the past for any input on how to correct their errors.)

eBay has a persistent habit of releasing website code with no apparent testing or peer review. It's amazing that a company of this size is so consistent in falling down, with poorly-designed, poorly-thought-out and poorly-executed coding for what is their main product, the forum in which they hope to make their money.

Perminate Link for eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch   eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch

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

Tue Jan 21 11:37:07 2014

Did Maynard Webb really “fix” eBay, as he claimes?

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140113202351-37225230
-how-we-fixed-ebay-lessons-from-the-crisis-management-trenches


It appears not … http://bit.ly/1bPOSNj

Perminate Link for eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch   eBay Squanders Traffic with Watch List Glitch

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Tue Jan 21 12:51:38 2014

"Did Maynard Webb really “fix” eBay, as he claimes?"

The replies 'ol Maynard received to his article were less than charitable...

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