No RSS in eBay?


I'm trying to pick up a Newton Messagepad 2100 (still by far the best PDA ever created) via eBay, and was trying to find a way to track the item I've bid on via RSS so I can keep up to date on the auction.

But, eBay doesn't offer an RSS feed for item auction notification? That seems like a HUGE oversight! It's such a natural fit - I use RSS for notification from other things like Subversion, Basecamp, Tracks, etc... eBay would just fit into that. Every time something changes on an item, or on my watchlist, or my bidlist, there should be an entry in an RSS feed for me to monitor.

Or, have I just missed something obvious?

Update: Wow. Is eBay ever poorly designed. Waaay too cluttered. Stunningly ugly. It's still got text rendered as images for some of the key areas, which is a decent enough option to make sure it looks good everywhere, but they did the rendering on some fugly system that looks worse than what Safari does with real text. If you're going to go to the effort of pre-rendering text so it looks good, at least antialias it so it doesn't look like it was coughed up by Windows 3.1!

And, sure, the eBay app does a heck of a lot of stuff, but the controls have been totally NASCARed, looking like the design team sat in a room thinking up all kinds of widgets that absolutely had to be less than one click away. Why not use some intelligent javascript/xhtml to selectively display these widgets? Things like the auction tracking options could be disclosed when you click a "Track this auction" button, which would provide you with the email, IM, and perhaps RSS auction tracking controls.

There's a lot of required functionality, but 99% of it does NOT have to be only 1 click away. Also, it doesn't appear as though much filtering has gone on for search result controls. It's possible to sort lists by the Picture column. What does that mean? How do you sort by a picture? By dimensions? Number of pixels? Average brightness of the image? If it's a "only show items with a picture" control, that's what it should be designed to do, not simply repurposing a columnar sort.

Man. The more time I spend in eBay, the more my eyes bleed, and my brain aches. This is one of the biggest/most successful sites in the history of the internet, and they obviously don't care much about the actual experience of regular users. I'm sure that once you take the 3-day "eBay Power Users" workshop, the cluttered UI is much more desirable. But for the rest of us, it just hurts...

Case in point: Change the email address for your eBay account. You have to provide a credit card to verify something (what? that you're an actual person? that you can afford to use eBay?), and then it sends an email with a verification link. That's all that should be required. Prove that the email address is really associated with someone that has control over this eBay account. Why on earth do they invoke a credit card validation? I'm borrowing Janice's eBay account, and provided MY visa for verification, so it has nothing to do with testing identity. Silliness. The process involved several very clumsy steps that didn't need to be implemented that badly. The company has revenue that equals many small countries, but they apparently/effectively don't spend much on visible portions of the app...


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Last updated: September 29, 2022