December 28, 2004

eBay's Want It Now

It's WebSwap (anyone else remember that 1999-era startup that raised $14M in venture money?) all over again, only this time the idea's been dusted off and given a new name, "Want It Now" by none other than eBay.

Some initial thoughts:

  • I like that posting is simple and extremely easy -- it's like typing an email. Just a block of text, pick a category, a subject, boom, done.

  • At least with the Safari browser on a Mac, the font is way way way WAY too small to be readable on the actual Item View pages for Want-It-Now items

  • I am very surprised that for commodity products there's no integration with the half.com UPC code databases --- if there is a particular CD that I am trying to find, or a rare book, then I ought to be able to type in the ISBN or UPC like one used to be able to do on half.com. Having such a capability would make it a cinch to find stuff.

  • I wonder if there's a My eBay "Watch List" capability for things I "want now"...

  • Browsing Want-It-Now is weird. It's unclear if the results are "haves" or "wants". It seems all are wants. But what about haves? Maybe a "have" is a standard eBay seller (I guess it is, just double-checked), with an item listed in the conventional eBay way. That's an unfortunate limitation if true. I oughta be able to post a big long list of stuff I have that I want to get rid of, without going through the whole eBay Sell Your Item process. Mighty unlikely that's gonna happen, I guess.

  • Another thing that's missing from the product offering: an RSS feed and some AdSense-style Javascript. As a Want-It-Now buyer or seller, I ought to be able to post, say in a sidebar on my blog here, a list of my "haves" and a list of my "wants", all automatically updated on a regular basis. The RSS feed would be handy for sellers to track if there's any interest from buyers in certain things you might have, and from buyers to be alerted (outside of pesky phish-laden, spam-ridden email) that things you want are finally available for sale.

Posted by brian at December 28, 2004 04:47 PM

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