The eBay Toolbar (Internet Explorer)(Click to download)
If you’re an Internet Explorer user, the eBay Toolbar brings eBay one step closer to one-click nirvana. Web-savvy users are no stranger to add-on toolbars, and the eBay toolbar is everything you might imagine and more. Visit the eBay Toolbar page to download and install the toolbar on your computer. After installing the toolbar, you’ll gain:
- An eBay icon that will connect you to eBay’s front page instantly.
- A search box that can be used to search eBay directly from anywhere on the Internet. (When you first install the toolbar, this will be a Yahoo! search box because of a partnership between eBay and Yahoo!; click on the small red ‘Y’ icon to change the search box to an eBay search box.)
- A “My eBay” drop-down button that gives you immediate access (via a quick menu, rather than having to load web pages) to your favorite searches and sellers, items you’re watching, bidding on, or selling, as well as to the sell your item form and tools for leaving feedback.
eBay Buttons for Google Toolbar(Click for buttons)
Whether you’re using Internet Explorer or Firefox, if you’re using the Google Toolbar in your browser, you can augment by adding an eBay button to it. To add an eBay button, visit visit Google Toolbar's list of eBay buttons and select one that has the functionality that you want, or visit eBay's buying tools page and click on the "eBay on Google Toolbar" link. After installing the eBay version of the button, you’ll gain:
- An eBay icon on the toolbar that will connect you to eBay’s front page instantly if no search term is typed into the Google search box on the toolbar.
- The ability to search eBay instantly by typing the item(s) you’re shopping for into the search box on the toolbar, then clicking the eBay icon.
- Quick access to eBay’s the Chatter blog, with lots of the latest eBay news and gossip, straight from the insides of eBay.
Firefox Companion for eBay (Firefox)(Click to download)
If you’re a Firefox user and want the quickest, deepest access to eBay possible, things get even better with the Firefox Companion for eBay, which ties your browser even more closely to eBay. Visit the Firefox Companion for eBay website to download and install the companion. After installing the companion, you’ll gain:
- An eBay icon on your main toolbar with quick drop-down menu access (click on the small down arrow to the right of the icon) to eBay’s home page, shopping categories, selling form, your My eBay pages, and eBay community tools.
- An entire eBay sidebar (click on the icon itself to open the sidebar) providing a host of functions without having to visit the eBay website or load eBay pages:
- An eBay search box a the top of the sidebar that helps you to perform instant eBay searches.
- A list of item summary boxes, with images, showing all your current and past buying, bidding, watching, and selling activity, item by item, with current prices and statuses.
- Quick access buttons in each summary box to enable you to perform the “next step” for the item in question—whether the next step is to place a bid, buy it now, or mark a sold item as sent.
- The ability to use a drop-town list at the top of the sidebar to sort the list of summary boxes by status and type.
- Right-click abilities for each item summary box providing quick links to view the feedback of the item’s buyer or seller, ask your trading partner a question, see a seller’s other auctions, visit the item listing in question, or sell a similar item.
- A summary, near the bottom of the sidebar, of the number of messages currently waiting in your eBay mailbox, along with a quick link to visit them.
The Browser Highlighter(Click to download)
If you’re a heavy comparison shopper that often shops eBay auctions, one final tool called The Browser Highlighter might interest you, whether you use Firefox or Internet Explorer (though it is only available to Windows users). Visit the homepage of eBay’s The Browser Highlighter to install the tool. Once installed, you’ll eventually gain a whole host of features that are best summarized by reading The Browser Highlighter FAQ.
The most interesting of the features currently offered by The Browser Highlighter, which is under development and is thus not yet complete, is a “Compare on eBay” button that will be added prominently to your search results on a number of popular online shopping searches such as Yahoo! Shopping and Google Product Search. When it appears, the “Compare on eBay” button will display a pop-up window providing a list of eBay search results for the same type of item you’re shopping for, giving you the ability to do quick side-by-side price comparisons. Eventually you’ll also gain quick access to other eBay services, like the ability to initiate Skype calls quickly to the phone numbers displayed on many web pages, or interact with PayPal or StumbleUpon quickly while shopping online.