Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Mar 9 2015 23:49:02

eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay - the home of the unique, the used, the refurbished. Is it possible to shop for those kinds of items on a tiny screen? 

Users are about to find out. Apple announced the brand new Apple Watch, and among the apps that will debut with the product is the eBay shopping app. Here's how it describes the app:

"The world's largest marketplace is now closer and more convenient than ever. eBay for Apple Watch helps you stay on top of the auctions you're watching. It can send outbid notices and other notifications directly to you, so you can react immediately."

eBay sellers are known for their detailed descriptions accompanied by numerous photos showing items in great detail, including (and especially) any flaws a piece might have.

While a watch can be handy for keeping an eye on things you've already seen on a larger screen, will wearers of the Apple Watch get sloppy and bid on items they don't examine carefully and grow to regret? After all, eBay is making it incredibly easy for shoppers to return items to sellers - can you fight an "item not as described" claim if the buyer truly didn't see the description?

The Apple Watch comes with many of the same apps as on the iPhone - watch, calendar, weather app, phone, mail, Siri, and more. It also includes the Passbook ("Passbook lets you keep your boarding passes, tickets, and loyalty cards right on your wrist, and alerts you when it’s time to use them. You can also choose which credit or debit card to use for Apple Pay.")

The Wall Street Journal did a run down on some of the 40 apps already announced, such as the one for retailer Target: "This app knows where you are in any Target store and tells you what aisle to find the items on your shopping list. Creepy or useful?"

About the eBay app, it wrote, "Shopaholic? Then be careful with this app. It lets you track of auctions you’re watching and bid away."

The Apple Watch begs the question, just how small a screen can you shop on?




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Readers Comments

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

Tue Mar 10 05:34:13 2015

Like almost everything else that has come out of eBay is the past eight years, this is a joke!

Still, we have to keep up with every new gimmick, no matter how absurd any application may be ...

The only question is, is this one of Johnny Ho's final jokes, or is this more of what we can now expect from the chief headless turkey designate, Devin Little?

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas  

Perminate Link for eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?   eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Tue Mar 10 06:55:10 2015

I quit wearing a watch completely because time was readily available on my cell phone.  I don't own a watch.  Sorry Apple (and anyone else) I don't plan to buy one.

By osmosis, I won't be getting that eBay app.

Perminate Link for eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?   eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Mar 10 07:17:47 2015

I am sure that there are those who have to have the latest and greatest, and who will be willing to pay for the upgrade of the latest and greatest every year.  I'm thinking that the same folks who were drawn to Google glass will be drawn to this, or the see and be seen folks.   From what I understand, the price is exorbitant and the battery life is about 18 hours. (Please correct me if I am wrong.)  I'm not sure why anyone would need an Apple watch but marketers can convince prospective buyers that they need anything.

I can hear the eBay buyers now "I'm sorry, but the item does not appear as it did on my tiny Apple watch screen".

Perminate Link for eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?   eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 10 09:00:12 2015

''will wearers of the Apple Watch get sloppy and bid on items they don't examine carefully and grow to regret?''

Of course they will and the sellers will get dinged with even more ''item not as described'' returns.

Perminate Link for eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?   eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 10 09:53:11 2015

Does it have vibrate? LOL

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Mar 10 10:42:28 2015

Now we understand the bigger picture of why eBay was testing listings with hidden descriptions.

eBay seems to believe that mobile devices will replace desktops and laptops as the driver of future eBay volume.

Seems to me that eBay needs to take a better look at their defect policy for sellers.

It does not seem right that items purchased without viewing descriptions on mobile devices, or now, the Apple Watch app, should be exempt from SNAD claims.

Buying blind should not be something sellers become penalized for.
If buyers are going to be completing purchases without reading seller descriptions, this amounts to a fundamental change with the process of selling on eBay, and eBay's management needs to take steps to better protect their sellers.  

eBay needs to create a process whereby items purchased without the buyer having viewed the description are able to return the item, but there needs to be restrictions placed on those returns.

First, items purchased without the buyer viewing the description should be excluded from opening an SNAD claim. Given they blindly purchased the item without reading the full details. The case can be made that the buyer ignored details important to the purchase which, if they had read them, would likely have kept the buyer from completing the purchase in the first place.

Second, sellers should be protected by eBay from receiving any defect ratings, low stars etc.. involving mobile transactions. Blind buying and subsequent returns should not reflect negatively on the seller in any way shape or form.

Third, buyers should be required to pay return postage costs for all returns items returned purchased on a mobile device where they did not or could not read the description.

Given the nature of this fundamental change, eBay needs to evolve and motivate buyers to accept a greater level of responsibility for the purchases they complete on mobile devices instead of penalizing sellers for buyers poor purchasing decisions.

Then again, eBay is desperate to show sales volume increases at any cost, so it is likely they are only focused on driving higher levels of completed sales - even though a significant portion of those sales will result in returns.

Perhaps, it is time for Wall Street to compel eBay to account for the dollar value of returned goods across their platform so that investors get a more accurate view of the true transactional volume generated by the marketplace.

After all, brick & mortar retailers must account for their returns, so eBay should be no different now that they are to become a stand alone marketplace.

Perminate Link for eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?   eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?

by: Enough Is Enough! This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 10 11:48:17 2015

This will be even more of a disaster than ebay Mobile.

The small item description ''blurb'' directly below the price is a great idea, and decreases the problems of a buyer not reading details before bidding or purchasing.

But it is nowhere to be seen on ebay Mobile. This increases the amount of NAD and SNAD claims, which equals more order defects.

Of course, this is what ebay wants- more defects means less Top Rated sellers and the accompanying 20% discounts, and more money in their bank account.

Perminate Link for eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?   eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?

by: brokentoys19 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 10 11:54:53 2015

Does it work in outer space?   ;D

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by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 10 11:57:25 2015

Sure, as long as there is a disclaimer with mandatory check box which states that buyer has read full description and that buyer must abide to all of the sellers terms and conditions.... ha ha

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by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 10 12:55:56 2015

This "mobile" crapola is quickly approaching absurdity.
It's not unlike the teeny-tiny cell phone Ben Stiller used in Zoolander.

Perminate Link for eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?   eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?

by: dreamweaver149 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 10 15:13:24 2015

Every seller knows that buried in the user agreement is a paragraph that states that a buyer must have fully read the entire listing, and it is their responsibility to have done so!  OK I am paraphrasing but that is the gist of it....
I don't understand why eBay can't just shift the "Buy now" button on BIN's to the bottom of the listing, underneath the description. Thereby negating any excuse for not reading a listing......
For items in an auction for it to start at the bottom and once it is bid on apprears at the top to make further bids....
With all the changes eBay has made, it cannot deny that it is very experienced in making changes, so this should be only a tiny task for it's super-duper program section....
Andrew.

Perminate Link for eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?   eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Mar 10 15:27:04 2015

I don't know what the statistics are concerning the age of buyers in relation to the devices they use to buy online, but I have to think that using a smart phone, or smart watch, to buy has to skew young. I'm an oldster, and even with my strong prescription glasses it's hard for me to read web sites on my phone. I wouldn't even think of buying something unless it was via my computer where I can actually see, and read about, what I was getting. So who are all these mobile buying apps targeted toward? I thought younger people, who would be more likely buy via a smart phone, didn't have a huge amount of disposal income?  

Perminate Link for eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?   eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 10 18:49:41 2015

Doubtless this "app" will have been churned out by the same worthless hacks who can't keep the eBay site running reliably - ie. the "crack" IT crew over in the Third World He// Hole!

Perminate Link for eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?   eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 10 18:51:48 2015

Poster "brokentoys" asks if the app will "..work in outer space." - I guess we'll have to ask The Hoe as he's a genuine Space Shot!

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by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 10 20:30:53 2015

Every time I think ebay has found every possible way to fail, they come up with yet another hair-brained idea.

This is absolutely ''A Recipe for Disaster''...for sellers :(

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by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 10 22:06:36 2015

What happens if the battery in this one blows ? They have priors , Im just saying.

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by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 11 00:17:12 2015

personally i think the apple phone is going to bomb.  the tiny screen will make it unattractive to most smartphone addicts.

Perminate Link for eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?   eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?

by: tb This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 11 00:42:03 2015

Where do they have the time to create a special app for this? Their "regular" site is barely usable. It's riddled with bugs (File Exchange Reports has been down for more than a week, bulk editor hangs up left and right...etc).

As far as this watch, I certainly won't be getting one, but there are enough sheeple out there that will be waiting in line for it. Enough to where it will be considered a hit. Apple could come up with the iTurd and people will be in line overnight ready to lay down $600 for it! It's comical.

Perminate Link for eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?   eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 11 01:00:42 2015

No worries - people are already ruining their eyesight with their addiction to mobile phones - they won't be able to see that teeny tiny screen, anyway.  

Perminate Link for eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?   eBay App for the Apple Watch - A Recipe for Disaster?

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 11 01:20:06 2015

@tb---

I expect that Apple will be "in charge"  of actually building any app FOR this hell spawn.  After all--they HAVE to know that ebay is not capable of building and running any program more complex than a dollar store solar calculater!

And they don't let their software go out to ANY other venue.

That said---I spent the past several days listening to Leo LaPort and Co expound on the Apple wartch;  looking on line at things related and listening to others chat it up==or down!

I am NOT an Apple fan;  just had a bunch of road trip time on hands and a husband who was curious.  My son has the Motorola 360 so we were also interested in how that stacks up.

No price has been announced BUT there is a strong rumor that the 18k version---which may--or may NOT--be "real gold"---may sell for OVER $10,000.  It may--or may NOT--be made of a gold-ceramic composite--which means--it's NOT real gold. One comment on the Apple site said it had a ceramic BACK which makes the amount of gold even less;  but did not address if the bezel was true 18k SOLID GOLD.

The other ones were--um--interesting;  but really what Apple DID was "steal"  the Cartier Tank Watch and put it on a diet. Even down to the jeweled crown--which I gather is HARD to use.  And the incredibly TINY app icons ON the screen--the guy I saw demo'ing it was barely able to get his finger ON the weird little beach-ball images.  Stupid looking and hard to use. And the screen is ALWAYS going to be covered in finger prints--I hate watch faces that are gooey.

The only thing remotely interesting is some sort of "Haptic" tapping app that gives you a tap on your skin to alert you to a message of some sort.  Big whoop.

And they are STILL made by slave labor in China--please to not forget this!

As far as these people with more money than brains--do they not realize they already HAVE a time piece--in their POCKETS?

If I was going to spend that sort of money on a time piece it had better NOT become obsolete after a year. It had BETTER have a battery that can keep it RUNNING for an entire 24 hour DAY. And it had better be something I would be proud to pass on to my kids.

Something tells me Apple meets NONE of my requirements.

And the BEST they can do is--partner with----EBAY?????

This MUST have been a joke app added by some trickster in Shen Zhen.  

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