Do you remember “sniping”? It was the term used for the process of firing in a bid at the last second on eBay, the intention being to prevent the system from accepting a higher bid in an auction from a competitor.
Using software provided by third parties, this was an extremely useful way of ensuring that you won a particular auction while you slept, or were at work, as the software could be programmed to send the “snipe” on schedule.
Since eBay blocked this practice, however, winning an auction that ends when you’re away from your keyboard has proved much tougher – which is where mobile apps come in.
Available free from the Windows Phone apps + games service, the eBay app doesn’t only let you purchase, however. With eBay installed on your device, you can browse, buy and sell, making great use of your handset’s camera and keyboard!
Buying and selling are the key aspects of eBay, and this app offers camera integration as well as search filters, enabling you to specify a category, condition, price ranges, postage options, and even completed and sold listings.
Essentially the app offers the complete eBay experience, also handling messages, with the added facility to save searches, pin them to your Start screen and even scan barcodes so that you can check prices with similar items on eBay.
Various settings are also available, such as selecting which eBay site to use, and configuration options for the notifications which are pushed to your Start screen. Outbid notices, best offers, item ending, and messages can each be enabled or disabled. This is useful, as the tile doesn’t handle toast popups when pinned to the Start screen – instead, notifications appear across the top of the display.
Ease of Use
What is great about this app is that it is just so easy to do what you want, quickly and efficiently. Want to search for something? Great – the search box appears when you open eBay. Need to check messages or leave feedback? No problem - the options are also listed on the first screen.
A swipe to the left will reveal some recently searched items (once you’re signed in, of course), while a swipe to the right takes you to the My eBay screen, where your watched items and those you’re selling and bidding on are listed. Everything is where it should be, organized so that it all feels “right”. The developer’s embracing of the Windows Phone UI is a good example of how things should be done on this platform.
The following walkthrough should illustrate just how simple it is to buy and sell on eBay with this app.
Buying & Selling Walkthrough
Want to see how easy it is to buy and sell? These walkthroughs will demonstrate. I’ll begin by purchasing a micro HDMI to HDMI cable.
Launch app, tap the Search box, enter “micro HDMI cable”, where the results display all available options. From here you can swipe left to break the search results into Auctions and Buy it Now, or drag the ellipses menu and select Refine to add your own criteria such as a price range. With a suitable price found, tap the item and check its details. Here you can choose to Watch or Share via the ellipses menu, swipe left to view the details or tap the Buy it Now/Place Bid button to start the process of buying. A purchase can be made within 30-60 seconds, depending upon the speed of your Internet connection!
Selling is, of course, slightly different. I have a copy of a book I no longer want, and I can start selling by swiping right two times from the main eBay screen. By selecting List your item you are taken to the sale template, where the title and description, category, format, duration, and item location are all added, along with payment and postage options. Using the Add photos button you can launch the camera and snap the item you’re planning to sell, or select an image from your phone’s gallery.
Obviously the amount of time it takes to sell an item depends on the amount of detail you want to add, but you’ll find this as easy (if not easier) than creating a listing through your desktop browser!
A great app, this eBay tool does have one shortcoming. For some reason, there is no spell check/auto-suggest option when typing messages.
This is doubly perplexing as the facility is included when you create a listing, so hopefully it is something that can be resolved over subsequent updates.
All in all, however, this is one of the top apps for Windows Phone. If you use eBay and have a Windows Phone 7 or Windows Phone 8 handset, this should be one of your first choices for installation.
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