AE Monthly

Articles - June - 2011 Issue

eBay:  Progress for Books from the Bottom-up

Ebay ss-1

Scanning listings is quicker with larger images

The book buying experience on eBay continues to improve.  eBay of course sells almost everything and the revisions and additions on the eBay mother-ship are not for books alone but for the site overall.  Nevertheless, the recent changes add efficiencies that improve the eBay book-buying experience.   If history is any guide however these changes will primarily stimulate ‘listers’ to list rather than browsers to buy.  That will be a shame.  Unfortunately many would-be buyers feel the site is too complex and the rewards too small and infrequent to merit the time the site requires.  I respectfully disagree.   It’s clearly worth the effort.  Let’s look at the most important change.

What is primarily different is that an understandable image is now a visible part of each listing in searches.  This reduces the number of items on results pages but permits the eye to scan both the text and images quickly for potentially interesting material.  Passing your cursor over the ‘Enlarge’ link for any item increases the image size instantly.  Moving the cursor away closes the image.   I run targeted searches and check a thousand or more listings twice a week and have always had to read the individual listing texts to identify the no more than 5% of matches that are possibly relevant to my interests.  With images that require no clicks and can, if necessary, be instantly increased in size, I can identify the obviously uninteresting quickly and theoretically spend more time on the potentially interesting.  The net change is increased efficiency.

The presentation I’m speaking of is reached through the general search at the top of eBay pages.  Once the results appear I then select [--] Include Description [for broader results] and [--] Auctions only option [to focus on material in play].

Depending on your browser and site settings you may see something different but, as far as I can tell, the images are larger and quicker than previously.  

AE Monthly


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