eBay Watch: You Can Now Own a Greenspan

This week: eBay's Turbo Lister gets an update; Terapeak keeps rolling; and you, too, can own a Greenspan - as long as you refinance your home.

Many eBayers have no idea there are a plethora of tools out there to make their lives easier when listing items for sale. One of the more popular tools is eBay's own Turbo Lister. This week, the company announced a new and improved version now available for download - and, as always, it's free.

Gui Bastos, of eBay's Product Marketing team, told users this week, "Over the past year we've been doing a lot of research into how we can improve Turbo Lister and make it even more effective. We're happy to announce that an early release of this new, improved Turbo Lister is now available. We'd like you to try it out and tell us what you think."

"A few highlights of the new Turbo Lister include:

  • Easier listing process - Now you can create listings within a single page. You can also customize the options you want to see on the page, allowing you to look only at the fields that you use.
  • Enhanced editing capabilities - Now you can edit your items directly in the main inventory list. Change the prices, modify the title, and make other quick changes from the list view without having to open another window.
  • Faster performance - We've also made some technical changes to the new Turbo Lister to make it faster and more reliable."

You can download the new version of Turbo Lister here.

Users need to be warned, however, this is a public beta and many users are finding numerous bugs, according to posts on eBay's Turbo Lister forum.

Let's just say stability seems to be an issue...

Can You Pay Me Now?
Finextra.com is reporting that PayPal is aggressively working towards an instant payment tool via mobile phones. The new product is reportedly called TextPayMe.

"Person-to-person payments outfit PayPal has started recruiting business and product heads for a new mobile payments 'start-up' unit. The payments subsidiary of online auction house eBay has posted ads on job boards for a business manager and a senior product manager in the 'PayPal Mobile' group.

In the ads, the company describes PayPal Mobile as "a dynamic, young 'start-up' business unit within PayPal dedicated to bringing value-added mobile payment services to consumers and merchants."

PayPal has been eyeing the nascent market for mobile micropayments for some time. The company is understood to be keen to work with device manufacturers and wireless operators to provide PayPal as an integrated payments option for mobile content and gaming. The imminent arrival of TextPayMe, a new PayPal-style person-to-person payment service that allows users to send and receive funds using SMS text messages, appears to have injected a new sense of urgency to this effort."

Speaking of PayPal, the eBay subsidiary announced this week that it would be charging a fee - hence, lowering its interest rate - for money market deposits beginning next month.

According to Reuters, PayPal "will start charging a fee to manage money that customers have on deposit in its PayPal money market fund, the company said in a letter to customers that was sent out this week."

Starting March 1, the fund will reduce the yield it pays on those deposits by one-quarter of 1 percent to help pay expenses for managing the money, said the letter that PayPal sent to customers via e-mail, said Reuters.

Currently, PayPal pays a generous 4.38% interest on funds held by users.

Take a Peak
Terapeak, a popular eBay research tool developer, announced the official launch of an advanced eBay closed listing "Research API" that the company says can be used to analyze over 300 million closed listings on the eBay.com platform.

Terapeak says its Research API provides access to a variety of Terapeak research on eBay sales statistics including, but not limited to: Sales, listing, and bid totals, average price for the past one to three months, listing success rates, listing pricing data, listing type, hourly analysis (sell-through rate, average price, etc.), listing durations and sample listings.

Terapeak CEO Anthony Sukow, in a written statement, said, "The Terapeak Research API provides clients with the broadest coverage of eBay data available with no maintenance, monitoring or additional analysis needed. The API is another channel we are using to enhance the eBay community through quality research."

Auction of the Week — Farewell Greenspan

We're still stumped over this one. While we certainly admire great artistic talent, there are some deals we see that make us go "Hmmmm..." How much would you pay for a painting of former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan? Well, apparently some people will pay a heck of a lot.

According to a listing we found this week, "Over the last two years artist Erin Crowe has created nearly 50 paintings and sketches of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Today, on his final day as Fed Chairman, in front of the cameras at CNBC world headquarters, Erin is painting her final Greenspan portrait. Included with the painting is a DVD chronicling Erin's on-air creation."

How much, you ask? $100? 10,000? Nope. Bidding is up to an incredible $122,177.

While we want to make as much fun of this auction as possible, we can't this time. The truth of the matter is that 100% of the proceeds go to a good cause: Autism Speaks. This painting may not be a rare Cezanne, but it's certainly interesting and supports a worthy charity.

Devin Comiskey is the Managing Editor of ECommerce-Guide.com.

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