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There's An App For That (on eBay)

Everybody knows that mobile is where technology is going and already is. I've written about the negative impact of the smartphones on face-to-face communication or the lack thereof. I've even gone so far as to host a monthly live event to combat what I believe is a ever-widening chasm of human disconnection.

All that aside, apps --- when they do what they are supposed to do and then some, are pretty darn fly.

Most businesses worth their salt have gotten with the program and tied their commerce activities to an smartphone application. You can take a peek at this infographic to get an idea how pervasive mobile commerce has become.

Years ago when I first began selling on eBay I can't even begin to explain how time consuming and exhausting the process was. Being an Average Joe trying to pay down a couple bills and not a rabid Power Seller it was miserable. But I did what I had to do.

On a recent trip out to eBay headquarters in Palo Alto I got to meet some of the minds behind the eBay Mobile arsenal of apps and they are on it --- clearly aware of what will make the selling and buying experience easier and actually fun.

First and foremost is the Papa Large of them all, the original eBay Mobile app. It is cross-platform and turns your device into a mini point-of-sale machine. As a shopper you can scan bar codes to comparison shop and thanks to a nifty integration with PayPal you can securely make purchases in app and have them delivered just as if you were at your computer (you have to have an account with eBay and PayPal, of course). It gets "fun-ner" as a seller. Scan a UPC code of a product you are looking to sell or enter it manually and this app will auto-populate your listing, you can also select photos on your camera or take them right there on the spot to add to your listing. What was once an hour or two ordeal is now a 15-20 minute exercise (if that long), once you get the hang of it.

So if you are like most of the human race, you own an iPad. One of my most horrifying discoveries upon becoming a proud owner at the start of the year was that little issue of iPhone apps not being optimized for iPad screens. Well the eBay for iPad App is the fix for this and does everything that the eBay Mobile app does, just bigger and easier on the eyes and depending on your skill with touch keypads, it's a more realistic typing experience.

Not my cup of tea personally, but if you are a fashionista and on eBay you will be hard pressed not to use the eBay Fashion app. From the iTunes store: "With eBay Fashion, you can browse and buy from the world’s largest selection of new, designer, branded, and vintage merchandise, with millions of listings for clothing, shoes and accessories. The app’s Fashion Vault offers exclusive, limited time sales on clothing and accessories from today’s leading designers, with built in notifications.

And now, a new way to discover fashion on eBay when inspiration strikes. See a beautiful sunset? Snap a picture and use the eBay Image Swatch feature to find dresses, skirts, tops and coats the same color of the sunset. From designer to vintage, eBay Image Swatch finds fashion that matches your inspiration. The options are endless and so is our inventory. Your photo. Our fashion."

For the men. This is 100% my cup of tea. Hey a man can dream, right? Seriously, the eBay Motors App puts the eBay Motors marketplace in your pocket. Window shop, "kick the tires", dream, or if you've got it like that make a purchase.

The eBay Instant Sale app provides a convenient, simple way to get cash for your electronics or recycle them for free. With this app you can determine the value of late-model and even non-working electronics. Inside the app an offer is made and if you choose to accept you will be provided with a shipping label and postage and the funds will be deposited into your PayPal account once eBay is in receipt of the item and it has been inspected. To see Instant Sale in action, please read my article, Selling Your iPad2.

"Watch with eBay" lets you easily find items related to what you are currently watching on television. eBay is the first company to offer a tablet shopping experience that surfaces a vast selection of inventory relevant to what you are watching on TV. You have to watch the video to believe it.

All of the above apps and how to use them are available at the eBay Mobile site. If any of this is new to you, please check it out and boost your mobile productivity today.

Disclosure: As a member of eBay Parent Panel I must disclose that I am being compensated for this posting. However the opinions and expressions contained within this post are 100% my own.

Thanks for reading! To learn more about me, you can read my story.

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