Finally, after all of these years eBay is moving ever so slowly to real time auction tracking. eBay Countdown is the company’s latest feature which uses a slick flash interface to help you track the auctions you are watching in My eBay or have previously bid on. The real-time countdown lets you know how much time is left on your auction down to the second. The biggest benefit is you don’t have to keep constantly refreshing during those heart-pounding final moments. The auction price updates in real-time and shoots up an audio and visual warning to let you know if you are still winning or were just outbid. This can get pretty exciting if you are following a popular auction in the final minutes! If you need to put in a quick bid at the last minute to stay on top you can use the minimum bid button for a one click bid snipe at the next increment allowed. Quick access to photos and shipping information also comes in handy when you are on the fence about a fast-approaching auction.
One of the more stranger options is the ability to choose a character to represent you and a victory message for when you are the high bidder. While fun, I’m still left scratching my head about why you would want to create a virtual facade for yourself. They also include desktop shortcut links which come in the form of exe files whose sole job is to add an icon link to the eBay Countdown pop up window. Couldn’t detailed drag and drop instructions work just as well? Downloading an executable file to put an icon on my desktop seems rather silly. And where is no Adobe AIR support so I can’t launch this as a separate application. The ability to bypass my already crowded browser tab-bar would make this a killer app.
The eBay Countdown web application is a great addition to the online auction giants toolkit for bidders. If you weren’t constantly looking up items to try and scoop up a sweet deal, like I do, you probably will now. The real-time information is a joy to have for serious auction tracking making eBay that much more addictive.
If you want to open the countdown app in a seperate tab rather than an annoying pop up window, just use this link http://countdown.ebay.com/countdown/start.jsp