There are many, many third-party add ons to eBay. With most of them, even if they’re no use to you right now, you can see that they might be useful to someone, sometime. But occasionally, there’s a service that’s so annoying, you really wonder why anyone would create it. Auctionthanx is one such service.
The premise is fairly simple: Auctionthanx pick up all your bidders’ email addresses from your eBay account, and send them an email thanking them for their bid, reminding them of other items you have for sale and asking them to opt-in to your mailing list. It does nothing, in fact, that I can’t do myself by adding you to my favourite sellers and opting in to your eBay email marketing – except that taking all of that off eBay allows sellers to promote off-eBay sales to their eBay customers.
It makes theoretical sense as part of an eBay seller’s marketing strategy. But as a buyer, I found it infuriating. It crossed a line in what I’ve agreed to in being an eBay buyer: I accept that I’ve signed up to receive email from eBay (even that crap that SMP automatically generates) and Paypal, but I haven’t agreed to receive any email from a third party on your behalf. I agreed to receive email about one transaction, but the decision as to whether to turn that relationship into something more permanent ought to be mine. If you want to continue contact after our eBay transaction is over, you need to sell me that idea in a much more positive way than “thanking” me. I don’t particularly like automatic discount services like My Store Credit, but at least there was *something* in that for me. This is nothing but legalised spam, and I hate it. The transaction about which I received it was a BIN, but it seems that Auctionthanx even emails your non-winning bidders. This is just too much.
One small tweak could, perhaps, rescue this from being a complete pain in the arse, and that is the ability to opt-out ones eBay IDs from the “service”. I’ve examined Auctionthanx’s website extensively and I see no such option. I truly hope they introduce it soon.