eBay mothballs the eBay Apps Center

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If there’s one criticism that’s deservedly leveled at eBay it’s that they don’t support third party developers enough. Without third party tools it would be almost impossible to run an eBay business of any size, and certainly a multichannel business would be a nightmare to administer. eBay need to strongly promote the ecosystem of developers that support the site but have a habit of mothballing promising projects and not maintaining them.

The eBay Solutions Directory is way out of date, full of broken links and companies which no longer exist, and hidden away so much so that most sellers don’t even know that it exists. In fact the out of date solutions directory was the sole reason that Tamebay first published the eBay & eCommerce Tools & Services Guide

Now today we discover that eBay has grandfathered the eBay App Center which was only opened up to all sellers on eBay.com in March 2010. It eventually appeared on eBay UK with a single app – a research tool powered by Terapeak. eBay are keeping the site open for existing developers but are no longer accepting new developers to the program – if you want an eBay app you’ll have to sign up for X.com.

eBay Apps haven’t been the success that they could have been. I’ve spoken to a number of developers over the years including several who were amongst the first to sign up and launch an app. Many were unhappy with the lack of focus put into promoting the apps to eBay users and, apart from the tab in My eBay, they’ve been pretty much ignored on the site for the last year. There was a considerable development cost in migrating apps onto the eBay App Center platform and for many the payback just didn’t happen.

Having said that thousands of eBay users have signed up to use eBay apps and many are still happily paying for the services so it’s a shame to see them go. I’d have used several of the apps if they’d been available in the UK (and in fact have used the Froo listing design app because they made it available off-eBay for UK users). I guess this means that we’ll not see any new apps for the UK and never see any of the existing US apps migrated to the UK site.

Of course the writing was pretty much on the wall from the launch of PayPal Apps which then became X.Commerce. However X.Commerce has still to get off the ground as far as eBay users signing up for apps goes. Until it reaches a stage where users can simply sign up for apps without needing to also subscribe to a Magento Website and until there are enough live apps to make the platform attractive it leaves a gap in the market for developers and a gap for eBay sellers who just need a simple app to help run their business.

Via Auctionbytes

2 Responses

  1. That’s true… eBay what do you do for your app’s partner?
    We have a lot of projects out of the box


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