eBay takes on Pinterest with “Collections”

eBay takes on Pinterest with “Collections”

By on Apr 16, 2014 in Reviews |

If you use eBay a lot you may have noticed links for “collections” nearby the links for adding an item to your watch list. What’s this all about I hear you ask. Well, eBay are getting in on Pinterest’s action, that’s what.

Collections are a new feature to arrive on the UK and European eBay websites. You may be used to using the watch list, and creating several lists to organise items you’re keeping an eye on. Collections is a very similar idea, except that collections are public and have a much more enticing visual design – much like Pinterest.

It seems that eBay is hoping that the trend of people sharing the things they like, whether it be through Facebook likes or Pinterest pins, will help drive sales on the Internet’s de facto auction house.

This has been coupled with the much more social design to eBay’s user profile pages – and here’s a link to my eBay profile. It is now possible to ‘follow’ other eBay users, and get updates on their activities. Additionally, individual collections can be followed to. Arguably, the latter is the more useful tool for someone trying to fine tune their “product stream” (my term) to a particular range of items.

It’s an interesting move, and it could pay off, but it might not. I think it will depend on whether people’s urge to curate and share things is so great that they’ll do so wherever they can, including with eBay.

The possible fly in the ointment is that eBay is now so old in ‘internet years’ that its users will probably have a set pattern of behaviour. At least the addition of collections isn’t jarring and intrusive. If you don’t want to use it, it doesn’t get in your way, but it’s there if you want to give it a whirl.

Certainly, if you have found yourself going and buying items you’ve seen on Pinterest or Fancy, then having the same kind of curated content built into eBay will certainly streamline the process.

Here’s a list of the collections I’ve curated so far:

I like how eBay have designed the system, but my one annoyance is that items that are no longer available remain within collections. I can see a case for this being useful, but it can also mean that collections end up filled with ‘zombie’ products. So there should probably be an option to at least hide unavailable items.

Disclaimer: I have been a paid member of the eBay Influencer network taking part in the pilot scheme with UK/Euro eBay Collection