Better late than never: eBay India has launched a mobile version of its website (in Beta) at http://m.ebay.in, and an SMS based price check facility. The mobile site has been customized to work on smart phones and feature phones and will let users browse and search through 400,000 live product listings, filter them on the basis of price, compare prices, check out daily and weekly deals and buy products using a credit or debit card.
No Registrations – No ‘Sell’ Option
The mobile site is simple and at present allows only Buying. What’s interesting is that it doesn’t ask for login details or registration, making it easy for buyers. Although after a transaction, the user gets an Order ID, we don’t know how he will check the status of the order without registering. Maybe, eBay will automatically register the user and send the registration details via e-mail. The mobile site does not feature user logins, so it is of little use to existing users who want to track orders or sell products. Maybe this is because the site is in Beta.
Why Premium SMS?
One can also search for best deals on eBay for a particular product through SMS by sending ‘EBAY <Product Name>’ to the short code 567678. The return SMS will offer two best price deals for the product, but we find it odd that Ebay has chosen a premium SMS code for price check – it is looking at its mobile site to drive usage, or as a means to make money via Premium SMS.
What We’d Like To See Ebay Do
– The ability to sell via mobile
– The ability to track orders.
– A BlackBerry app with Push alerts for order status or an iPhone app with location based listings will be interesting, giving users the ability to set alerts for, say, a specific product at within a specific price range.
– An Indic Language site