Shoestring Theory

Currently documenting the house that is eating our lives, we will return to regularly scheduled programming in a couple of more months

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Automatically revise eBay listings to remove email addresses and links (and many other things!)

September 11th, 2011 1 Comment

With eBay’s upcoming mandatory ban on certain contact information and links in listings, particularly email addresses, we’ve been faced with a Sisyphean task: Manually revising well over 2000 listings to remove multiple email addresses and “contact us” links from them. There are at least 2 revisions to be made for every single listing. Optimistically, I […]

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Subtle change removes valuable info from PayPal’s Seller Protection Policy?

June 4th, 2010 1 Comment

Update: All of the following information is still correct, but I did do some more digging through the eBay forums and found some other people who have all been having the same problem for the last week. You can read some here. I think one thing that people are still missing is that the status […]

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I’m not perfect anymore, and that brings me down

January 21st, 2010 2 Comments

We finally got our first negative feedback on eBay this morning, it’s been highly traumatic. Tens of thousands of eBay transactions, almost 7,000 feedback received and five years of history without a single negative. And I’ve probably earned a few over the years that were never left. We try to treat our customers with respect […]

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Prostores and eBay sync/multi-channel inventory features reviewed

November 21st, 2008 No Comments

This is a bit dated, as the ProStore features I’m discussing were released in the spring, but I was late picking up on them. My previous disappointment in some ProStores features hadn’t led me to be a quick adopter on some of their changes. I was also delayed further by activating the two features below […]

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eBay coupons, great idea, just wish the implementation was better

October 30th, 2008 1 Comment

Since this spring, I’ve received several coupons from eBay, ranging from $5 off shipping up to 10 percent off one purchase (up to $100 off). I think I’ve received a total of 6 coupons, give or take one. I’ve had problems getting two of them two work, both of them were 10 percent off ones. […]

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Update: More thoughts on Upromise

September 16th, 2008 No Comments

Awhile back, I posted on joining the Upromise program. To update, I am still very happy with the program and would highly recommend it to anyone who is saving for college or trying to pay down student loans. It’s been about nine months since I joined. In that time, I’ve picked up $204 in rewards […]

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PayPal, heroin and eBay Australia, oh my!

May 8th, 2008 2 Comments

Among all the changes happening to eBay worldwide, one of the most startling announcements has been that eBay Australia will require that PayPal be used for virtually all transactions in Australia (except for items picked up locally). eBay Australia is hosting several Q&A meetings with eBay users to discuss the new policy. According to, […]

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eBay wants you to look for a new job?

April 22nd, 2008 No Comments

Screen capture of eBay home page. Today’s 10 cent list fee special is sponsored by Monster. So, apparently eBay is encouraging you to look for a job on Monster. I guess that makes sense if eBay’s news policies are driving you off the site. This seems like a really odd marketing partnership for a site […]

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eBay introducing its own affiliate network, dropping ValueClick

March 18th, 2008 1 Comment

The Register is reporting that: eBay is dropping ValueClick’s Commission Junction as the manager of the affiliate programs for eBay’s auctions and sites. Monday’s announcement came as the Federal Trade Commission announced ValueClick would pay a record $2.9m to settle charges it engaged deceptive advertising and failed to secure sensitive customer data. About 100,000 […]

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German group demonstrates security flaw in eBay

March 13th, 2008 No Comments

AuctionBytes has an in-depth piece up on a security vulnerability in how eBay handles scripts in auction pages. A German watchdog organization,, demonstrated the exploit this week. The vulnerability allows scammers to capture a wealth of information about an eBay user that visits an auction with the malicious script in it: By loading the […]

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