Friday, December 31, 2010

JoyBidder interviewed by ABC Radio National

I was interviewed by reporter Hagar Cohen from ABC Radio National on JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper software. The interview was on air on Dec. 29, 2010 on Radio National Breakfast program. If you missed the program, here is the link to ABC Radio National web site, where you can either listen online or download MP3 file. Les Howard, one of JoyBidder Pro users, also shared his eBay sniping experience during the interview. Actually, Ms. Cohen also interviewed several other JoyBidder Pro users, however, due the length of the program, only Les's interview was included.

Thanks everybody responded to the interview and happy new year to all JoyBidder users!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Are eBay engineers smarter than 5th grader?

I guess most of them are smarter than 5th grader if not by much, but definitely not all, at least 2 of them are dumber than you would possibly imagine. Here is the proof. See the screen capture below.

The label says "shop by top 4 deals" on the up-left corner, while there are 5 items in the list on the right. See the highlighted section in the screen capture.

Then you would ask why this has to be a carefully coordinated work from at least 2 engineers. Here is the deal. You need one dumb developer to invent this "4 equals 5" nonsense first, then you need another even dumber quality assurance engineer to give a green check before it meets public eye.

Anyone wants to join eBay, please make a note of this. You see, next time you talk to eBay recruiter, bring this article with you, and confidently tell them you are more than good enough to replace these two dumb ass.

Seriously Disclaimer: I am not referring specific to any eBay engineers, if you think you might be one of two dumb ass showcased here, you have the right to remain silent, or reveal yourself by commenting here. Or even better, link this article to your LinkedIn profile.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

eBay Auction Sniper Free Edition 1.6.9 is public on AMO

The following files of JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper Free Edition 1.6.9 have been made public on Mozilla Addon web site (AMO).

Mozilla Addon editor has tested this update on Max OS X with Firefox.
Firefox user can now install this update and try it out on the latest beta of Firefox 4.

AMO's review process is the most rigid of all software download sites. Not only they will test the software, the editors will also review the source code. I understand why they are doing this to protect Firefox user from malicious software, and I feel good when my software has been reviewed and approved by a fellow programmer. However, this comes with a cost. It just takes time to clear the review queue. It is getting much better now or so they claim, most of the update will be reviewed in 3 days, while new submission takes a little longer. It used to be weeks, what a big improvement considering that!.

3 to 5 days of delay might be okay for most of the Firefox extensions, but doesn't allow me to quickly release fixes in light of random and inevitable eBay changes. That is one of the two reasons that I choose to host the Pro edition eBay sniper Firefox extension on, so I can release updates whenever I see fit. If you are interested in knowing the other reason for self-hosting, read it on.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

JoyBidder is now compatible with Firefox 4

JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper version 1.6.9 is released. It is compatible with Firefox 4, for those who cannot wait for the official release of Firefox 4, you can now try JoyBidder 1.6.9 on latest Firefox 4 beta. Please report any bug or compatibility problem.

Since Gecko 2 SDK is not officially released yet, the binary component that allow JoyBidder to wake up from sleep is disabled in Firefox 4.

Firefox 4 is 3 times as fast as Firefox 3.6, so JoyBidder Firefox extension runs faster as well. Desktop application user will have to wait for next year when Gecko 2 SDK is released.

Looks the same, but feel faster

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

call of duty black ops first week ebay price

Do you want to know how much Call of duty black ops sells during its first week on eBay? Here is the research I did. Enjoy.


Price Trend

Volume Trend

Sell through rate is very high and auction price is almost the same as Buy It now price, which means the demand is very high.

Price average is at around $58, with daily lowest under $50. Use eBay deal search tool such as this and our auction sniper software, it is not difficult to get one at $55. Use eBay bucks and affiliate program, you can save 4% off. So your take home price is $53 including shipping, which is better than retail which sells at $59 plus tax.


1. The price discussed above including shipping already.
2. Nov. 15 volume is not complete, since this study is done on this day.
3. The summary and chart are produced by JoyBidder Auction Analytic software, which is currently available as public beta in JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

You can get xbox kinect cheaper on eBay

Major retailers are announcing that Microsoft xbox kinect is sold out quickly. Even Amazon sells used ones at $200. Can you get a better deal on eBay? Absolutely YES! Here is my study.

Sales Summary

Price Trend

Top sellers

Volume Trend

Sell through rate is not high, which means there is plenty of supply on eBay.
Price average is at around $195, with daily lowest at $150. Use eBay deal search tool such as this and our auction sniper software, it is not difficult to get one at $155. Use eBay bucks and affiliate program, you can save 4% off. So your take home price is $149, which is better than retail, which sells at $149 plus tax.

  1. The price discussed above including shipping already.
  2. Nov. 10 volume is not complete, since this study is done on this day.
  3. The summary and chart are produced by JoyBidder Auction Analytic software, which is currently available as public beta in JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper.

Monday, October 11, 2010

JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper Pro for Mac OS X

Ever since the release of Free version for Mac, I have been asked by quite a few Mac users about the status of Pro version. And I kept telling them that it is being worked on and will be ready soon. Some even paid the registration fee which I have to refund. The point of shareware is that, you try the software first,if you like it, purchase it, otherwise, delete, remove or uninstall. Although I was really encouraged by the eagerness of Mac users that want to use the Pro version, I was dismayed when I found out that I lose money every time when issuing refund through PayPal.

The Pro version for Mac starts from version 1.6.4. It has lots of changes and bug fixes over the previous version, see release note for more detail. You can go to to download the dmg file.

Here is a screen capture with JoyBidder icon sitting nicely in the dock. Enjoy while waiting for the download to complete.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper Free Edition for Mac is released for public

JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper Free Edition for Mac is released to public. The release build has fixed several bugs. If you are currently using the beta version, please go to JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper Free Edition page to download the latest build.

You can also download from or

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mac OS X: JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper Free Edition Beta Release

JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper Free Edition for Mac is released for beta test. Mac OS users, who don't use Firefox browser, can now snipe eBay auction for free.

JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper Free Edition is a desktop software to monitor and snipe eBay auctions. Support instant & snipe bid on 22 eBay sites with multiple eBay ID. Track item status and price with visual/audio alert. View essential information including shipping, location, seller, item activity log and photo. Extensive configurable options. Although easy and free to use, ideal for casual eBay buyers, it doesn't have the advanced features of Pro Edition

Sunday, August 1, 2010

JoyBidder is officially Powered by Mozilla has recently approved the use of Powered by Mozilla logo for JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper. The site is also listed in Mozilla web site.

The logo is available for individuals and organizations that use parts of the Mozilla code-base in their application or product. JoyBidder uses Gecko and XULRunner, which are the core Mozilla technology that Firefox Web Browser is also built upon.

Because the use of Mozilla technology, not only JoyBidder can run on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux (The standalone desktop version for Mac OS X and Linux are currently being developed), but also JoyBidder can employs the same features as you would find in Firefox, such as version update mechanism, secure login manager, Growl notification on Mac OS X and more.

Monday, July 19, 2010

JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper Free Edition is now Public at AMO

JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper Free Edition is now Public at AMO. This is quoted text from the email AMO sent to last Friday.
Congratulations! Your nominated add-on, JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper Free Edition, has been reviewed by a Mozilla Add-ons editor who approved your add-on to be public.

Since last year, I have been revising the Pro Edition to meet AMO guidelines, so that it can be approved to be public. I even disabled auto version update alert, since extension cannot do that if it is not approved public by AMO. Today, lots of users are still using 1.4.6 because they are not aware there is new version available. I was hoping once the Pro Edition is approved public, the auto update issue will be resolved. However, in the end, I was notified that because Pro Edition is a shareware, AMO will not approve it. This is a quite shock. It might be more helpful if I was informed of this a year earlier during the first review. Now with all my efforts, it hits a hard wall.

At the time, I almost want to give up, since the newly released Windows desktop version is doing well, and I am planning to work on Mac desktop version. During the same time, browser market is not looking good for Firefox. IE8 is bundle with Window 7 holds steady. Chrome is gain popular every day. More people are buying Mac with Safari as the default browser. Inside Mozilla, there is uncertainty among addon developer community as the development of Gecko 2 and JetPack.

After much debate, I finally decide to build a free version, this is how JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper Free Edition comes into being. I consequently rename the shareware version as the Pro Edition.
Now the Free Edition is approved public, I feel I finally got a closure and will move on to other things I want to do with JoyBidder.

Here are some of them in the near term:
1. host Pro Edition on my own server, so that it can provide version update alert
2. release Desktop application for Mac

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Apple iPhone 4 16 GB is sold as high as $1925 on eBay

Apple iPhone 4 is released today. It is in such a high demand that an Apple iPhone 4 16 GB was sold as high as $1925 on eBay. On averaging it sells at around $800, a $600 profit from the $199 pre-order price.

This is the only thing that cheered me up today when mortgage rate hit all time low and Wall Street has suffered another significant loss due to fragile recovery fears.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How much used iPads are selling on eBay

Beside just released the JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper Free Edition recently, I have also been working on an eBay Sales Data Analysis tool for a while now.

Since the tool is almost done, I wanted to run some tests on real eBay data. I am really interested to know how much used iPad 16GB is selling on eBay, so I set up a scheduled search in JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper Pro Edition. To save some electricity and mostly spare my aging computer, I have JoyBidder running in sleep mode, so it only wakes up computer every 2 hour, search eBay and import any newly ended iPad 16GB items to JoyBidder and then back to sleep. Although I only had it running two days, I am already getting some interesting results. See charts below.

used iPad 16GB Daily Price Trend

used iPad 16GB Daily Volume Trend

You will notice some interesting stuff here:
  • Both price and volume have a big rally during the Father's Day
  • Once in a blue moon, there is some incredible bargain on eBay. Some used iPad 16G were sold under $300. (This is the total price including shipping). Here is one of the link if you are suspicious of any wrong doings.
Something useful
  • The eBay sales data analysis tool will be released as a separate purchasable module of JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper Pro Edition for a very affordable one-time fee.
  • You can use JoyBidder Pro Edition to run scheduled search to find bargain or rare items.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

JoyBidder Free Edition is released

The Free Edition has a much simpler user interface and only support sniping one auction at a time. Because its simplicity and free of charge, it is ideal for casual eBay buyers who usually don't snipe multiple items during the same time. Click here for more Free vs Pro feature comparison.

The most obvious reason of releasing the Free Edition is to promote the Pro Edition and web site. However, I have another reason of my own.

Most of my registered users are savvy eBay buyers and some of them are eBay sellers who makes a living by buying/selling on eBay. They understand how a good auction search/tracking/sniping software can save their time and money. Since they make money on eBay, the small amount of registration fee is never their concern. In fact, lots of my users have told me that I have priced JoyBidder way too cheap. But for casual eBay buyer who buy from eBay occasionally and only snipe one item at time, they will very unlikely use many advanced features or buy the software. The more advanced features I added to JoyBidder, the more I tailor to savvy eBay users and the further I alienate from the casual users. There has to be a simpler product for those casual users.

Compare to Pro Edition, this is much simpler, isn't it?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Schedule automated search with JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper

Starting from version 1.5, you can save your search when you add items to a group from eBay search result page. You can then run the saved group search with one click or on a scheduled interval. The items found by the search are automatically added to the group. If the items are added through a scheduled search, the item description is bold typed, just like how new emails are bold typed. This is done so that you can easily spot and review them later on. You can also choose to play sound alert or send email alerts when new items are found.

Save the search

Run and schedule searches

Besides the ease of quickly re-run the search and import, there are other usefulness you might want take advantage of.

Search BuyItNow bargain:

Create a scheduled search for BuyItNow items with the price range you want. JoyBidder can find the items and alert you before the deal is gone.

Search Rare Item:

Create a scheduled search for rare items. Let the search run on the clock. When the items are found, you will be alerted.

Sales/Price analysis:

Want to know the average selling price or is the price go up or down in the last several weeks. You can create a search for completed items. JoyBidder will run the search on scheduled interval and collect information, such as quantity sold, quantity available, price sold and etc. You can then use the build-in Price Trend chart to see the trend of the selling price. You can also export the data to Excel for further analysis.

(Heads up: In the next major version update of JoyBidder, probably 1.6.x, we are planning to introduce a full suite of data analysis tools into JoyBidder)

Version 1.5 is not yet available through auto-updates or from 3rd party download site yet. If you don't want to wait, you can get from JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper web site.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper windows application is released

JoyBidder eBay Auction Sniper windows application is released. You can download it from here.

The version of windows application starts at 1.4.0, one major version ahead of the latest version of Firefox addon. Although two different installation packages (.xpi for addon, .zip for application), application and addon are the same product with the same features (well, almost the same, read on).

The major changes from 1.4.0 from 1.3.10 is embedding a web browser into JoyBidder and opening web page in user's default web browser. It also allow adding auctions by drag-and-drop eBay urls. These features are essential for users who don't use Firefox.

Firefox users can run addon or application as their choice, although addon is recommended due to better Firefox integration and much smaller installation size. The license you purchased can be applied to both addon and application, however you can not run the addon and application at the same time on one computer, and they don't share the same data files.

Because the application installation file size is almost 7MB, my current hosting service doesn't support download file of such size, so I host the file on Microsoft Live SkyDrive. (Although I don't like IE much, I am not a Microsoft hater. I do enjoy and use lots of their products and services. And SkyDrive is among the top of the list that I will recommend to others.)

With JoyBidder eBay Auction windows application, any windows users can use the software to manage and snipe eBay auctions, regardless what browsers you use.

I am interested to know if there is a need to port the application to Mac, since lots of Mac users don't use Firefox.