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bravosixx stuffs eBay affiliate cookies in eBay listings
Jul 31st, 2008 by estreet

eBay seller bravosixx has multiple eBay listings that stuff eBay Partner Network affiliate cookies. Here’s one: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300246242550

Bravosixx is using the HTML object tag to force the cookie. Tracing the header info when the eBay listing loads, you can clearly see this http header roll by:

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=1&
campid=5336016432&toolid=10001&customid=

eBay’s response to this junk is to ban all active content starting in 2009. No Javascript or flash. Only a subset of html tags will be allowed. I imagine the object and iframe tags will be blacklisted. See eBay’s active content plans.

Bravosixx is also a pulser. This listing for a “Real live ghost! Trapped in a box!” has 1,135 watchers.

You can see the latest watcher count on this page: http://watcher.esellerstreet.com/?page=watchitem&ebayID=bravosixx

Cookie stuffers on eBay are annoyingly short-sighted. The trick never lasts. They will get caught soon and it makes my job of complying with eBay rules more difficult.

My blog’s domain is now WatchedItemEndingSoon.com
Jul 22nd, 2008 by estreet

I just changed the domain for this blog to WatchedItemEndingSoon.com (from WatchedItem.com). We’re getting ready to use WatchedItem.com for a new dynamic banner maker site.

WatchedItem has been a long time in the making. Have you heard the rule for developing a product? “Quality, low cost or fast. Pick two.” I picked quality and low cost. Conserving cash is key. When your cash burn rate is low, you can make mistakes and continue to make corrections indefinitely.

WatchedItem is a free service that creates eBay seller banners and automatically updates the banners with the latest listing information. It’s shows the seller’s profile and info on their listings something like this:

The beta release will include a watcher counter that you can embed in your listings. This will make it a lot easier to show how popular your listings are. Your listing’s watcher count will be updated every 5-15 minutes.

I chose a dynamic image over flash because flash takes so long to load. This pushes the workload to my server rather than bogging down the user’s page loading time. Amazon S3/EC2 and GoogleApps are driving down the cost of servers resources. Yippee!

Now I hope I didn’t jinx the project by blogging about it. We’re about 75% done and my developer, Vitalii, is getting married in August.

Anyone want to volunteer for the Beta trial?

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