In New Zealand we don’t have eBay. Instead a smart couple of Kiwi brothers started TradeMe.co.nz and captured the market. TradeMe gets huge percentage of the national web traffic in NZ. If I remember correctly it is one of, if not the, top domestic site for traffic.
Anyway, I my opinion the user experience at TradeMe outstrips eBay in nearly all areas. TradeMe is feature constrained, elegant and useful. eBay is useful but it is far from elegant. eBay is terrible. eBay’s web design is chaotic at best, downright confusing at worst. It is also god damn hideous. The main problem I think is that it has suffered from a huge amount of feature creep and uses have become dependent on old behaviour.
The site badly needs to be redesign an much of the old cruft needs to be kicked out. Only problem is that this would probably alienate a huge percentage of their user base. Lots of people depend on eBay for their livelyhoods. I don’t envy the jobs of the UI guys at eBay.
However, as a relative newbie seller on eBay here in Australia the site is just damn confusing, messy and buggy. I spent five minutes last night trying to figure out why all my prices had changed until I figured out that I was on ebay.com instead of ebay.com.au and it was converting my prices into USD. All just because the bloody links in the notification emails send you to signin.ebay.com instead of ebay.com.au. This is just plain stupid and I would class that as a bug in their mail sender.
Another thing I hate about eBay is that listing an auction costs! WTF? Listings should be free. eBay must make millions daily in listing fees alone.
Enough bitching, I have some crap to sell…