eBay Takes a Page Out of Pinterest's Playbook With Feeds

Years ago eBay shopping was a regular part of my life. I'd often scour thousands of listings for hours at a time for a myriad of the rare and the mundane. If I rarely bought anything, I still satiated a consumerist's desire to windowshop. But somewhere down the line eBay lost me, mostly because the great deals dried up and the scammers became more prevalent. eBay is looking to shake things up and tempt us back with a new site redesign which modernizes the experience and adds more than a pinch of Pinterest, the site where I've migrated for windowshopping, to the user experience...

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The biggest change besides a refreshed logo is the implementation of eBay Feed. After logging in and being offered a selection of recommended shopping interests (I was offered the perplexing trio of "Zima" (yes, the malt liquor beverage), "German musical steins", and "Pfaltzgraff" (gesundheit!). You can enter your own choices to further fine tune your feed.

From that point on, every time you check into your eBay account, your front page will look awfully familiar if you're a Pinterest regular. A stream of recommended choices are served up, a la Pinterest's boxes feed interface. Click on any auction box and a pop-up with price, "View Item", "Watch", and social media share buttons appear. Additionally, your feed is continually updated with items as you browse, the equivalent of IKEA's "store maze you'll never leave" experience.

Is this an improvement for eBay shoppers or just the feature equivalent of keeping up with the Joneses? I can't say yet, since I've yet to bid (and win) anything to get a full sense of the new eBay. But I'll give the granddaddy of online auctions a fair shake again, as the novelty of the Feed does seem to make online window shopping easier...and I've found a great listing for a case of deadstock Zima.

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