Hack 81 Keep Tabs on the eBay Community


Use the Forums, Announcement boards, and New Feature Previews to keep up with the eBay community.

eBay is constantly revising their web site, policies, features, and associated fees; as a seller on eBay, you have a vested interest in how these changes shape your business. Since even the most minor changes can have an impact (positive or negative), you should stay connected to the eBay community to ensure that you're aware of potential problems and prepared for upcoming changes.

  • General Announcements Board.


    Go to Site Map News & Announcements for previews of new features, new category announcements, policy changes, and updates to eBay's various tools and services.

  • System Announcements Board.


    Go to Site Map News & Announcements System when something on eBay stops working, to see if there's an explanation here. Scheduled maintenance and unscheduled outages are also documented on this page.

  • Calendar.


    Go to Site Map Calendar for a listing of this month's workshops, tradeshows, "Share your Wares" events, Street Faires, eBay Live conferences, and eBay University seminars.

  • eBay Community Newsletter.


    Go to Site Map News & Announcements Newsletter to read "The Chatter," a monthly e-zine produced by eBay staff members, complete with articles, announcements, and even a Member Spotlight.

  • Discussion Forums


    Go to Site Map Discussion, Help and Chat Discussion Boards to discuss nearly all aspects of eBay with other members. Among the roughly 70 specialized forums are "Checkout," "Search," "International Trading," and my favorite, "Soapbox."

    Use the boards to ask questions, offer help to other eBay users, and voice your opinions (and objections) regarding eBay policies, changes, and trends. For instance, when eBay's controversial Checkout feature was introduced (see [Hack #49]), eBay's then-new Checkout forum was crammed with thousands of complaints from members (including several makeshift "petitions" started by particularly outraged sellers).

    Forums are comprised of threads, each of which starts as a single message. Any member can start a new thread or add to an existing thread. When new threads are created or old threads are updated with new additions, they're moved to the top of the list.

    Some people post to their own threads to move them to the top in the hopes of invigorating them, which is why you may occasionally see a post with nothing more than "Bump" in the message body.

    When eBay staff members post to a forum (and they do), their names are shown in a pink-colored stripe, which is why you may occasionally see references to "Pinks" by some of the forum regulars.

  • API Forums.


    This is a special section of the forums for those working with the eBay API, discussed in Chapter 8.