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® 3.0 Released

We’re happy to announce the new BINSniper 3.0 system.

Requirements

This version requires Firefox 29 or higher.   Prior versions required Firefox 13.

 

Performance Changes

Throttles and speed controls have been removed.

All searches now run simultaneously at top speed. All items are streamed to your browser as soon as they are received from the feeds.

 

 

The new system fetches items using our server farm and streams only the relevant item content to your browser. This is on average a 95% reduction in bandwidth and processing time. Your browser will no longer continuously fetch and parse items for each search, but will wait for new items to be sent from the server.  This is more mobile-friendly and should provide the fastest access to items while also reducing the processing time on your device.

 

Changes at eBay

As previously posted, eBay has migrated their systems to a new platform that is delivering new items in batches. The eBay sites are now using the same data feeds that we use.

It is important to be aware that while new items may have starting times 10-20 minutes in the past, they are just being posted on the eBay sites too.

BINSniper displays a star next to new listings so that they can be identified even when they are being batched. A new sorting option has been added to allow you to select sort arrival time or start time. Start times reflect the time of record (when the listing was submitted to eBay), arrival time reflects the time the items was sent to the feeds, posted on eBay sites, and arrived at your browser. Arrival time is the default and works best with the new batched system used by eBay.

 

Feeds and Channels

BINSniper 3.0 introduces channels which correspond to top level eBay categories on an eBay site. For instance “US – Antiques” will only contain items from the eBay.com site in the Antiques category its sub-categories . By focusing your searches on the types of items you want, you receive more targeted results.

 

From Searches to Filters

The new design necessitates some changes in the search concept. Your search filters need to choose a channel to monitor. If you need to monitor multiple channels, you can setup multiple filters. The filters subscribe you to a channel and listen for matching items.

Due to some limitations in the eBay data feeds and the design changes in the system, some search features in BINSniper 2.x cannot currently be supported in BINSniper 3. These are:

  • Excluding multiple quantity listings is not supported at this time.
  • Subcategories are not automatically included when filtering by category number. Subcategory numbers need to be specified. More details in the docs about this.
  • Filtering by Seller Type (business/private) is not supported at this time.
  • Max Distance for Postal Code searches. You can now enter multiple postal codes instead or even postal wildcards.

The new system adds the following search capabilities:

  • Items are selected from top level categories (channels) and specific categories.
  • Items can be filtered by the country they are located in. Use this to exclude foreign sellers.
  • Full wildcard support of keywords. To find bluetooth,  you can use wildcards like: blue*, *tooth, or *luetoot*
  • Global seller exclude list that allows you to exclude specific sellers from all filters. Think of this as a permanent block.
  • Search results can now be designated to appear in specific panels in the streamer display
  • Multiple Postal Codes can now be specified in filters. Ending wildcards are supported.  e.g. 902* finds any postal code starting with 902.
  • New selections: free shipping, returnable, best offers, top rated, worldwide shipping, store items, and variation listings.
  • Filter out seller by feedback scor and/or percentage.
  • Auctions without bids can be excluded.

 

New Keyword Search Features

You can now search using extended search syntax, including wildcards, boolean search and negative searches. Complete details are in the user’s guide.

Here’s a simple example:      ipad -blue*

This finds items where the title contains “ipad” but does not contain any word starting with “blue”. So blue cases and bluetooth headsets would be excluded.

 

UK and EU users

Server selection has been removed, and all users are now hosted by the US server.

Since bandwidth requirements have been significantly reduced in the new system, overall operation should be faster for international customers.

 

Get the Addon

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

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

And available thru automatic updates once approved by Mozilla.

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

 

 

VieBuy 3.02 – Now delivers ending auctions

VieBuy 3.02 has now gone live

What’s new:

Auctions

The items feeds now include auctions that are ending in a few minutes. By default, auctions are enabled and only auctions with bids are shown. You can show all auctions, show only auctions with bids, or disable auctions on the Settings page. You should use the Arrival Sort option with auctions for best results.

Auctions are identified in the lists by a gavel icon next to the time and the text “Auction:” in the item title

 

Try it out now at: VieBuy.com

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

 

Disable BIN Filtering in BINSniper

We are recommending that everyone disable the BIN Filtering option in BINSniper.  This option is interacting with the new eBay process of batching items and may be preventing new items from being displayed.

As we previously posted, eBay is now batching items and publishing them on a delay that ranges from 0-15 minutes. Items are published to the feeds and the website at the same time. If your BIN filter is set below the delay time, the items won’t appear.

You should disable the feature or set it to at least 20 minutes.

 

The option will be removed in BINSniper 3.0  (coming very soon).

 

VieBuy 3.0 Now Available

We’re happy to announce the new VieBuy 3.0 system.

Updates:
We will be monitoring the system and making adjustments. Please post any requests here.

The following adjustments have already been made:

  • Dec 8 – The 100 char limit on searches has been increased to 500 char.
  • Dec 9 – eBay DE categories added
  • Dec 9 – Support for extended characters added
  • Dec 9 – Generic searches for diacritics added – find “nuvi” or “nüvi” by searching for “nuvi”
  • Dec 23 – Improved bandwidth and client performance.

 

What’s new:

New Display formats

The display has been modified to be more compatible with various browsers and devices.

Tiled View shows item images and details.

Table View is similar to previous versions and displays only text rows.

Image Only View shows just  thumbnail image and the price and is color coded by listing age.

There are also automatic and manual sorting options to configure the display to order items by price, listing age, or arrival time.

 

Improved bandwidth usage and consolidated data feeds

Items from multiple feeds are now delivered to your browser as they arrive. You no longer need to choose RSS or Data Feeds.

In previous versions, to do multiple searches you had to open multiple browser windows. Each window fetched items separately from eBay and bandwidth usage would scale accordingly.  The new system is designed to allow multiple searches to run at the same time with no increase in bandwidth when the program is idle. You only receive the items that match your primary search criteria.

Your browser will no longer continuously fetch and parse items for each search, but will wait for new items to be posted.  This is more mobile-friendly and should provide the fastest access to items from both feeds.

 

Support for multiple searches

You can now configure filters to monitor eBay categories on sites in the US, UK and Europe. Each filter can monitor a different channel. You can also setup multiple filters for a single channel. The results from all of your filters are merged into a single display.

 

Search by Channel

VieBuy 3.0 introduces channels which correspond to top level eBay categories on an eBay site. For instance “US – Antiques” will only contain items from the eBay.com site in the Antiques category its sub-categories . By focusing your searches on the types of items you want, you receive more targeted results.

 

New Search Features

You can now search using extended search syntax, including wildcards, boolean search and even exclude items by negative searches. Complete details are in the User’s Guide.

Here’s a simple example:      ipad -blue*

This finds items where the title contains “ipad” but does not contain any word starting with “blue”. So blue cases and bluetooth headsets would be excluded.

You can now search by item condition. Exclude new or used items, damaged items, etc.

Category number searches are still available. So you can further select item within a channel using the sub-category numbers.

Filter item by seller feedback score or percentage. This can be used to exclude inexperienced sellers, problem sellers, or power sellers.

Select items by country and/or postal code and only receive locally listed items. This is a good way to avoid duty charges.

You can select items by seller ID, both to include or exclude.

 

Global Seller Exclude List

In the Settings tab, there’s a global seller exclude list that allows you to exclude specific sellers from your results without having to enter them on every filter. Think of this as a permanent block.

 

Try it out now at: VieBuy.com

The User’s Guide is here: http://auctionbucks.com/viebuy

BuyVie (UK version) users are now redirected to VieBuy.com. The new system can support UK users and the bandwidth improvements should result in a faster experience.

 

eBay Feed Changes

Data Feeds
eBay recently migrated their data feeds to a new system and severely reduced the speed at which items are added. They appear to be batching items, so some items will be very new while other with be minutes old when they hit the feed.

According to eBay, their websites will use the same data feed source, so items should appear in BINSNiper and VieBuy at the same speed as they do on the website.

In testing we find that items may arrive around 10-12 minutes after being listed, but will appear on the website at the same time. This also means that items will tend to arrive in groups rather than singly.

In practical terms, the new changes to the eBay servers mean that you will typically see items that started 0-15 minutes ago appear in the list with the majority being either less than two minutes old or around 10 minutes old. If eBay improves this batching behavior, the items will appear earlier in your results.

 

RSS Feeds
RSS speed is not yet affected by the data feed changes. We have also observed that RSS Feeds are not complete. Many items are never delivered via RSS but then later delivered by the Data Feeds.  The RSS feeds are also now delivering some items that are 12 hours old which should not be included.

 

Updates to deal with this

VieBuy 3.0 addresses these issues and filters out outdated items.

BINSniper 2.X is unaffected by the RSS issues, since it doesn’t use RSS, but is experiencing delays due to the data feed changes. BINSniper 3.0 now under final development will use our new data feed technology and should correct these issues and bring order to the galaxy.

 

The Future

eBay has made at least one public statement indicating that the they plan to do away with RSS feeds entirely. This may not end up being the case, since many webmaster tools such as WordPress plugins depend on the RSS feeds. But if RSS is eliminated, VieBuy will continue to deliver the data feed. Since everyone would then be on the same data source, timeliness should not be impacted.

 

Update  June 2015

Our stats indicate that RSS is no longer delivering items early.  We’ve stopped delivering RSS items to VieBuy and BINSniper 3+.  This allows faster processing of the data feeds.