BINSniper and Firefox 57 – Updated

As you may be aware, the Mozilla teams have decided to yet again re-engineer the Firefox add-on system.  The change was scheduled to occur in version 57 of Firefox released today.  You may see an update pending release.

Many users will not be moving to Firefox 57 due to the incompatibility with many popular add-ons. Many of the new WebExtensions can run under Firefox 56, so Mozilla’s rush to ban legacy add-ons was not really necessary. But they have other reasons.

You may also consider installing two versions of Firefox. You may also disable automatic updates.

This change to the WebExtensions system will cause a great many add-ons to stop working with no path forward for compatibility.  Some developers have even chosen to drop Firefox add-on development entirely as a result of the constant design direction changes for extensions at Firefox (the fourth in as many years).

The current 3.x versions of BINSniper will not be compatible with the new releases of Firefox due to the significant changes in the way Firefox handles add-ons and features that they chose not to support in WebExtensions.

Current versions of BINSniper will continue to work with older versions of Firefox from v39 – v56.

A new release, the BINSniper Sidebar add-on, is under final testing now.  The new version will be similar in features to previous versions.  The sidebar option is expected to be the same, but the streamer bottom bar option will no longer be available.

We are also in the process of developing a browser-agnostic web-based version of BINSniper that should work with most modern browsers and not require you to go thru the extension process. This version will support several modes, including a streamer mode (bottom panel) and a full page mode.

Viebuy.com is not affected by the Firefox changes, works with other major browsers, and provides similar features.

Watch this site for more information on the new releases.

 

Item display order vs the eBay website

When using VieBuy and BINSniper, the order of items in the lists can vary from the eBay order.

Age Sorting

When set to sort by age, items are resorted to chronological order by age.  This mode matches the Newly Listed sort on the eBay websites.  The apps will also flag newly arrived items with a star.

Here we see the items sorted, with stars next to the newly received items:  Because the starred  items are out of order, it means that they were created earlier, but not published to the website and data feeds until a couple minutes later.

Look at the Frederique Constant Slim…  line.  This item was just received, as indicated by the star, and inserted into the sorted list below old items.  This is what happens at the eBay site. The inserted item could appear on page 2 or page 3 of the website list in fast categories.

Note that, because of the delays, newer items can be published on the eBay site in a different order than they are created.

Arrival Sorting

When sorting by arrival, the newest items are displayed first and flagged with a star.  The new items will always be first.

Here we see the same items using arrival sort.  The newest item is at the top, the times reflect how long the item has been published on eBay (not how long ago it was created):

Again, look at the Frederique Constant Slim…  line.  Now it appears toward the top of the list in the order it was published by eBay.  This sorting mode is not available at the eBay websites.

This is a cause for confusion for some users of the apps when trying to compare items sorted by arrival with the eBay site which is sorted by creation time.   When you set the eBay site for Newly Listed sort, you will see new items at the top of the list only if they are published immediately or in slow moving categories where other items can’t jump ahead.  But in many cases, new items that are delayed will be inserted into the item lists based on their creation time and appear further down the page.

Here we see the same items again, at the eBay site with the Newly Listed sort:

While it appears that the first item in the list is the newest, it is in fact one of the oldest.  The third item marked #1 was the first item displayed on the website (the oldest).  Then item #2, #3 etc.   Item #8 was the last item of the group to be published (the most recent), but it appeared on the eBay site at around 17:37.   Because it was created at 17:35, it gets sorted to the bottom.

You can see this process happen if you load the eBay pages, record the results,  reload the page, and compare the new results to the old results.  You’ll find older items are inserted further down the page.  If you don’t reload and compare, you might assume that the items on the eBay site are arriving earlier because of how they are sorted.

Using VieBuy and BINSniper allows for arrival sorts which show the items as they are published, and you don’t miss those hidden items that don’t appear in a timely fashion.  We recommend using arrival sort in all cases.

 

BINSniper 3.4.2 Release

3.4.2 update is now available via Firefox add-on updates.

Bug Fixes:

  • Filters can now be saved properly.

This update also includes:

  • Search buttons have been added to the Settings->Filters screen. You can search Auctions or Buy It Now items based on the filters you have entered.  This feature uses the keywords, channel, categories and prices to configure a search and displays the results on the eBay site.  You can use this feature to check items that may have been listed while you were not running BINSniper.
  • The eBay logos have been removed from each item list line to save some screen space.

Outstanding issues:

“Display auctions ending in X minutes” setting is not functioning as desired.  This option has been adjusted to allow settings up to 99 minutes, but setting a higher value causes more auctions to be filtered out. This will be corrected in the next release.  Use a low value in the meantime.  2-4 minutes is recommended.

 

 

BINSniper 3.4 and VieBuy 3.4 Releases

VieBuy 3.4 is now active at viebuy.com

BINSniper 3.4 is now available via the Firefox add-on installation process.

New Features

  • A new “All Channels” option is now available for search site-wide on any eBay site.  This feature allows you to use one filter across the entire site where items may be in more than one channel.  Using this feature can improve search delays.
  • Upgrade alerts and other system status messages will now be visible at the top of the VieBuy and BINSniper screens.  Notices of new features and releases will appear on the screen in both apps.
  • VieBuy has rotating tips at the top of the screen.  These can now be disabled in the Settings page.  The tips provide answers to common questions and are updated with information on new features.

All Channels

If you are running the same search in multiple channels, you can now select “All Channels” to search all of eBay without any category restrictions.

Channels are a friendly shortcut to searching categories. So if you are searching items that will only appear in one channel, you should continue to use the specific channels.

For example, if you are searching for iPhone 6 smartphones, you should use the “Cell Phones & Accessories” channel.  But if you are searching for a wide range of items related to frogs for your eclectic frog collection, you should use the “All Channels” option rather than create multiple filters.

In general you want to create as few filters as possible, while targeting the filters as much as possible.  This will give the fastest and most accurate results.

The “All channels” feature should not be used as a general replacement for all searches.  Single category searches are generally faster.

Note that if you enter category number in a filter while using “All channels”, only the selected categories will be searched.

 

BINSniper 3.x and VieBuy Update

New faster (and slower) processing

A new filter processing system was installed on March 28 that changed how often filters are updated and how fast new items are delivered.  We apologize for the delay in posting this information.

This change addresses a performance problem caused by a small number of users who configure a large number of filters (in some cases over 100 filters).  At times, other users were negatively impacted and experiencing delays.

The majority of users, who have a small number of filters configured,  are already seeing faster updates as a result of this change.   Users in active categories are updated as fast as once per second.  In slower categories, updates typically usually run under five seconds.  Remember that eBay delays may impact actual delivery time of new items.

For those few users running a large number of filters, your performance will now be degraded.  In some cases updates may be running as infrequently as every 5 minutes in slow moving categories.  This is in addition to eBay delays.

An even smaller number of users were heavy consumers of system resources, but not buying at all,  have been blocked completely as they were just leeching from everyone else.

How to get faster updates

While in the past, we have recommended creating separate filters for different channels and products, this recommendation has now changed to suit the new system design.

You should consolidate filters wherever possible.  The fewer filters you have, the faster they will update.   Each user now has their own filter queue and filters are processed in round-robin fashion.   The more filters you have configured, the longer time there will be between updates of an individual filter.

Update:  New All Channels option now available.

Version 3.4 and above provide a new option to allow filters to span all eBay categories on a site.  While channels are still preferred for performance and convenience reasons, the new “All channels” option will allow those users that are configuring the same filters in multiple channels to further consolidate these filters and get better performance.

 

BINSniper 3.3 Released

Version 3.3 has been released.  This is a bug fix release.

  • Fix for disappering right-click context menu in item lists after resizing columns
  • Toolbar icon is now optional. The icon will no longer be auto-installed on the main toolbar. To access the icon, use the Firefox View Toolbars -> Customize option and drag the icon to a visible toolbar.
  • It is no longer necessary to have the toolbar icon visible, but since most program functionality is easily accessed thru the icon, you will find easiest use by putting the icon in a visible location or in a commonly used toolbar.

You can get the new version direct from this site here: http://auctionbucks.com/binsniper.xpi

It is also available from the Mozilla Add-ons page at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/binsniper/versions/

Docs are here: http://auctionbucks.com/binsniper

BINSniper 3.3 is now approved and available as a signed extension via Firefox auto-update.   Another lightning fast approval from Mozilla.