Updates from September, 2007 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • dbinkowski 7:40 pm on September 25, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    More Ebay data stolen, but look – free listings! 

    A Romanian hacker has once again gotten through the dreaded Ebay security and posted 20 pages of members’ credit card information on an Ebay forum before the company realized what was going on and pulled the plug on the board.

    Not only did they post the actual credit card numbers, but also the 3 digit authorization codes as well.

    But hey, you can’t be perfect — so offer Free Listings! Yep, Ebay coincidentally offered a Free Listing sale today — which means you can save a buck and turn over your credit card information to a company that doesn’t take security seriously.

    digg_url = ‘http://davidbinkowski.blogspot.com/2007/09/more-ebay-data-stolen-but-look-free.html’;

  • dbinkowski 2:41 am on September 8, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Friday evening fun on Ebay 

    Remember back in the day when browsing Ebay used to take hours of your time? Well, since it’s height of popularity it appears most of the world’s useless junk has traded hands enough times to make the current stuff boring.

    I mean, we’ve all seen the “creative” listings that make “The Pulse” on Ebay, the Jesus Pancake, the guy who took a picture of an item naked, etc. Entertaining for a few seconds, sure, but not enough to make me come back regularly, though.

    One buyer has taken leaving feedback to new heights. “Weird Al” captured it perfectly in his parody of the Backstreet Boys “I Want It That Way” called “Ebay”:

    Just check my feedback
    “A++”, they all say
    They love me on Ebay

    Well, one person has taken leaving feedback to new heights. Have a good laugh here, let me know which is your favorite!

    digg_url = ‘http://digg.com/tech_news/Friday_evening_fun_on_Ebay’;

  • dbinkowski 12:07 am on August 28, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Ebay encouraging Sellers to scam retail stores 

    An email/newsletter went out recently to Ebay Power Sellers, encouraging them to stock up on holiday items for their Ebay Stores by purchasing brand new items from brick and mortar stores. The article, entitled “Sourcing for Profitability”, had a tip called “Returns means low risk”. Yep, you read it right – Ebay is telling its Sellers to buy from offline stores, and if they can’t sell it on Ebay to use the return policy and take it back.

    Their words, as re-posted on their forums:

    “Returns mean low risk — When sourcing at retail check the return policy ….. You can always return the inventory if you find it does not sell …..”

    As noted on the Ebay forums, what’s to stop people from pulling the same stunt on Ebay sellers?

    digg_url = ‘http://digg.com/business_finance/Ebay_encourages_Power_Sellers_to_scam_retailers’;

  • dbinkowski 5:26 pm on August 24, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Own a piece of history – the world’s second unlocked iPhone 

    George Hotz is running an Ebay auction for the world’s second unlocked iPhone. His blog details the ten steps it took to do it. This second (his person phone is the first) phone can be yours (currently) for a mere $2,175. Better yet, you could just follow the steps on his blog, unlock it yourself and only pay cost at the Apple Store.

    Congrats, George!

    image by George Hotz

    8/25 update: George has pulled the listing because he felt too many bids were fraudulent.

    digg_url = ‘http://digg.com/apple/Second_unlocked_iPhone_available_on_Ebay’;

  • dbinkowski 10:04 pm on July 4, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Ebay opens up Kijiji to compete with Craigslist 

    Move over free sex classified sites, Ebay’s coming to your suaree and bringing the punch. They’ve opened up a site called Kijiji to the U.S. to compete with Craigslist, the other big free classifieds site and property which Ebay holds a 25% stake in.

    As the NY Times notes, Kijiji is the #1 classifieds site in Canada, Germany, Italy and Taiwan. Also of note is that there aren’t any plans to integrate the listings into Ebay and that the site is free.

    I don’t see how they’re going to continue with a free site, unless they swallow their pride and start serving up Google ads. Oh, how sweet would that be?

    There is room for another service, however, because of the faults of Craigslist. Namely, I have visitors coming to my blog because of a post I did about searching all of Craigslist and how those who’d create the search were served with cease and desist notices from Craigslist. If there’s anything that open source and the phenomenon with giving up control (especially of your code) is that programmers will create and the community will evolve your service in the way they want to use it. Forcing people to search by specific cities is just one of the site’s gaps. The lack of usable graphics, as the Flash map found on Kijiji’s homepage, is another. The trifecta is completed by the fact that a lot of listings on CL get flagged as spam or inappropriate by competitors (just ask those of us who’ve listed musical instruments).

    Update: One missing fact from this post is that Kijiji already has 220 U.S. cities listed on it.

  • dbinkowski 3:37 am on May 6, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Ebay bought Epinions, still not sure what to do with it 

    Ebay’s purchase of Epinions has a lot of sellers wondering what the hell is going on. To be more specific, Ebay is now asking buyers to rate sellers based on multiple factors, including accuracy of item description, communication, speed of shipment and “reasonable shipping charges”, which is completely arbitrary.

    Apparently Ebay used the European Union as their test market for this new system. And power sellers aren’t happy about the changes, asking that they should have been included in the testing within the U.S. market. As a business person it makes sense to include your stakeholders prior to rocking their world.

    What’s even stranger is that even with the acquisition of Epinions, it appears that Ebay really has no idea what to do with it. In Emanuel Rosen‘s “The Anatomy of Buzz” he points to Epinions as a valuable resource for unbiased product reviews, especially as it relates to larger purchases. For no reason I’ll point you to a photo of me with Emanuel that needs Photoshopping, taken from the San Francisco WOMMA conference in June of 2006.

    Given that Epinions scenario, it would only make sense to have a standard format and truly integrate the two sites. Starting a completely separate Ebay ratings system from Epinions devalues the other, not to mention that there is no cohesiveness between the two – Epinions only requires an overall rating, not broken down into categories.

    I understand the value of owning millions of consumer reviews, but owning something just to own it makes absolutely no sense.

  • dbinkowski 7:06 pm on April 4, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Ebay forces sellers into broken app 

    Ebay announced the launch of TurboLister 2 (TL2), with today being the end date for version 1.0. The only problem is that TL2 is buggy and crashes. A lot.

    A few excerpts from the Ebay forums:

    “After numerous crashes,lost listing, lost hours, lost time & money, ect back in January- I switched back to turbo lister one and proceeded to have THREE MONTHS of crash free listing. As we’re being forced to use Turbo Lister 2, I switched back this week and while sending 500+ listings last night- of course it crashed and I lost 100 of the listings (permanently). Reinstalls and various methods of database recovery didn’t work- It looks like Turbo lister permanently erased/lost the data base for one of three of our ebay accounts and all the listings. The user file won’t even open without turbo lister crashing.”

    It gets better…

    “I’m fed up with the lack of any type of Ebay competence when it comes to these matters. I’m fed up with ‘we’re unable to recreate the problem- (ie- it’s you, not us.) It looks like I’m forced to switch to one of the off-line 3rd party listing software programs… Looks like we should be due to yet ANOTHER fee increase as ebay lost at least 1,000 in auction fees due to this crash from me alone. I can only guess the amount of revenue they’ll lose overall due to their stubbornness / inability to at least let users remain with the stable turbo lister 1 …..”

    And better…

    “I agree ! Turbo Lister 2 has serious bugs and I’m losing time and money by screwing around with it. I have 3 computers, to spread around the risk. My new Windows Vista system, can’t upload photos from TL2 and it’s not WV it’s the TL2, that’s the problem.

    One of my older computers downloaded TL2, but can’t open the prg, to do any work ! Nice going ebay !If ebay is forcing us to use TL2, then they should roll out a prg, that actually works !

    Did anyone here me shreiking thursday afternoon, over TL2? Emptied a few trees of birds…near my house. “

    Ugh. Now they’re not the first company to pull this kind of crap, but talk about potential for a company to step in and pwn the market. Yes, I said pwn, n00b.

  • dbinkowski 1:25 am on February 22, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Ebay accounts hacked globally 

    The Ebay boards are buzzing with this news: Over more than 700 fake Buy it now listings have been made from existing accounts through a phishing scam on the Ebay Motors site. Yikes.

    Apparently users were sent questions about existing items and asked to respond by clicking the “Respond Now” button in the email, which took them to a page asking for them to log in. Change your passwords, folks!

    Update: the page was an actual user’s “Me page” on Ebay. Double yikes.

  • dbinkowski 11:27 pm on February 13, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Ebay taking on Craigslist 

    Ebay announced re-launched their classifieds system today. It’s essentially lead generation tool that people are saying is more expensive than PPC (pay per click) advertising, say, through Google. It might also help for Ebay to actually tell their sellers that this feature is available:

    “Despite this, many eBay sellers appear to be unaware of Ad Format, something that might change now that eBay is renaming the feature,” according to a post by Ina Steiner at AuctionBytes.com.

    The biggest difference between that and Craigslist is that Craigslist is free to list and there are no transaction fees. But other than that it’s a stellar idea. 😉

  • dbinkowski 3:28 am on January 16, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Ebay, meet AJAX. AJAX, meet Ebay. 

    Today the format for listing items on Ebay has changed; rather than having multiple screens for the process, by using AJAX they’ve simplified the process by allowing you to search for the category rather than scroll through several, and once selected putting the usual 5 step process into one dynamic screen. Helpful? You bet. I was able to list a Polo sweater in a minute. Try selling some crap stuff you’ll never, never wear again stuff today and see for yourself.

    • Tonja 3:28 pm on January 16, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Dude, those are some sweeeeet pants.

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