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eBay Companion for Firefox

July 27th, 2007 at 5:00am — Rating: Firefox pointFirefox pointFirefox pointFirefox pointFirefox pointLink

The most Fireday reviews viewed were hands-down the eBay-related extensions such as the eBay Buddy, eBay Ends, Biet-O-Zilla, and ShortShip. However, I would consider this the granddaddy of eBay add-ons since it was created by eBay. Let's get started...there's a lot to cover with this extension.

Installation

The add-on was extremely easy to install and the common procedure of restarting Firefox was necessary.

When restarted, you receive an opened sidebar with a web page to welcome you to the eBay Companion add-on. Click on the Connect button in the sidebar and log into the eBay Companion with your user id and password. When verified, the add-on displays a tabbed interface in the sidebar with an Active tab and Ended tab.

To close the sidebar, click the eBay button at the top of your toolbar. The button toggles the sidebar on and off. If you click on the drop down, you receive a context menu with the following options: eBay homepage, buy, sell, my eBay, community, provide feedback, open sidebar, disconnect companion, and options. The first six options are strictly bookmarks to the eBay web site where the remaining options provide additional functionality to the eBay Companion.

Features

Ok, let's get started on the features.

First up is the ability to monitor your auctions while you're browsing the web. Let's say you are watching a new car and you've added it to your list. If the auction price or particular action changes in any way, you are immediately made aware of the change by the big eBay button in your Firefox browser. The eBay button will start to flash making you aware of the changes in your list. Open your sidebar to look at what changed. This is definitely a big help for eBay-ers.

eBay users will find this next feature particularly important. You have your eBay Companion sidebar closed and you have an item ending soon on the auction block. An alert box will appear by scrolling up from the bottom right hand corner of the browser notifying you that the auction will end soon. The alert box is similar to ForecastFox when it notifies you of the temperature and condition outside. If you've lost particular auctions before because you were surfing too much, this feature is worth the download alone for you hard core eBay-ers.

The intelligent refresh is a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest auction bids. Similar to the eBay button notification, the intelligent refresh will update only when there are changes to the auction items. Or if you can't wait, click the refresh button and you are good to go.

The add-on also incorporates quick access to removing items from your eBay list so a trip to the web site isn't necessary.

Configuration

The configuration options are available in two locations in Firefox: On the pulldown menu next to the big eBay button and, of course, the add-ons dialog through the Tools pulldown menu.

eBay Companion Options Dialog

The options dialog box contains an Alerts tab section, an Account Guard tab, and a More tab. Even though it has enough configuration options, it feels like something is missing from it.

One downside to the extension is that there isn't an option to change the intelligent refresh duration. It would be great if there was a way to set the refresh update to every x minutes.

Conclusion

If you use eBay, I would highly recommend this add-on for Firefox since it's a natural fit and since eBay built it. The eBay Companion add-on provides all of the functionality of eBay and empowers the user with extremely helpful features when bidding, watching, and/or selling.

On a side note for you Firefox add-on and eBay developers, has anyone thought of creating a Turbo Lister add-on to Firefox. If so, you would have the perfect suite of applications for a power eBay user.

This week, a rating of 5 out of 5 is given to this extremely useful eBay add-on.