Updated a few months ago, the eBay on iPhone app lets you keep up with your buying and selling activity, as well as looking for new items, while on the move.
I’ve been testing out the app to see how effectively it works for mobile..
The home screen gives you a handy summary of the number of items you are watching, selling on, while clicking on these links will take you direct to the relevant part of My eBay.
This page, for example neatly sums up the items in my watchlist with the current bid status and time left on the auctions:
This is fine if you have a relatively small number of items in your lists, but for eBay users with more items the ability to split lists into categories would be useful.
Other features missing from the My eBay section are the ability to view messages from other eBayers, feedback info, and latest invoices.
However, it is a useful tool for monitoring your eBay activity, and the stripped down mobile app is far easier to use than accessing the standard internet version of the site via Safari.
If you actually want to search for items on the auction site with this app, it becomes harder though, as eBay has not provided nearly enough filters and options for refining your search to make it manageable.
For instance, don’t even think of searching for a popular item like the iPod, as this is the likely result; 53,000 results.
Now, there is a ‘refine search’ option but this only provides four options for trimming down the number of results returned:
So, after selecting ‘mp3 players’ and auction only, there are still more than 1,800 results to go through:
This is not enough refining when you can only look at 25 results at a time on a mobile device, so more options are needed to make the search experience worthwhile.
What eBay’s mobile app also doesn’t offer is the ability to actually pay for items via mobile, which would be good for business for the auction site.Also, the process of bidding via this app can be pretty slow, depending on your mobile network, which makes last minute bidding wars tricky.
Still, if all you need to do is just monitor and keep in touch with your eBay activities, this app does have its uses. For any serious eBay users and especially shoppers, more features are required.