What does this site do?

This site tracks new listings as they are posted on eBay. It enables speed-buying on the front end of the listing. That is, it lets you find underpriced and rare items as quickly as possible after they are listed on eBay. You set the price and keywords and the site shows items that match.

As new items are listed, they replace older items in the list. As items are sold they are removed. Only listings that you can buy right now are shown.

VieBuy.com (US) vs BuyVie.com(UK)

eBay provides two ways to get item information: the data feeds and RSS. The data feeds are hosted by special services on ebay.com, while RSS is hosted on the individual eBay country sites. eBay sites may be located in the same place, on the same server, or may be distributed on content delivery networks for performance reasons. When you request data from eBay UK for example, it may come from different servers depending on whether you are located in the US or the UK or elsewhere.

There are two mirrors of this site. One for the UK/EU (BuyVie.com) and one for the US/Canada (VieBuy.com). This is the UK Server. The two sites provide the same capabilities and run the same code, but one is physically located in the UK and the other is in the USA. Two servers are provided so that you can get the fastest results possible.

Selecting the server geographically closest to you may improve performance. Switching between the RSS and Data Feeds as a data source may also provide some improvements. Speed may vary by time of day. For instance, during busy times of day, transatlantic data connections may have heavier loads and tasks may take longer to complete. Due to time zone differences, networks and servers in one country may be faster than those in another country.

RSS feeds are generally faster if you have a high speed Internet connection, but may be slower if you have DSL or another slower speed (under 1mbps). Using our sites, there are four combinations of paths to get the eBay data:

For users outside of the UK and USA, choose the closest server.

The screen

VieBuy's screen will look different based on your search criteria and how active the selected items are on eBay. Initially, the listings are displayed in order by age. As new items are listed they replace older listings. If an items sells, or you remove it from the list, it will be replaced by new items. Items may arrive out of sequence. To help you identify the newest items, VieBuy colors them red. As items age, the color lightens to orange and then yellow and then white. Here we see an active search on the left, and a less active search on the right in wide screen mode:

screenshot fast category   screenshot slow/wide category

Generally the more active a category is, the more red the screen will be. iPhones are extremely popular items and there are always new listings being posted. Toy cars have a smaller market, so the display is not as active for that search, so more listings will be white, but new listing will be indicated by red and orange colors.

You can adjust the update speed using the speed selection drop down. You should set this to the slowest speed that suits your need. This conserves your resources and eBay's.

Items are not sorted, so new items may pop into the list at any location. Sorting the screen while VieBuy is running an active search would cause items to move around the screen while you were trying to click on them. VieBuy keeps the items in the same position until they are sold, removed, or replaced by newer items. If you want to sort the screen, just refresh the page. You should let VieBuy handle the updates and focus on the red items to see the latest items.

To adjust the screen width, use the width mode icons at the top of the screen:


Speed Setting

The speed setting is how long the program will wait between requests for new items. It defaults to 60 seconds. The actual update time will be the delay plus the time required to fetch the data. You can adjust the speed to your needs. The speed setting is not sticky, so you must select it after you configure your search and click Go. When you change the speed setting, it immediately takes effect.

Data Sources - Performance

The program has two operational modes that determine from where new items are loaded. The first uses eBay's data feed to load new items. The other uses the eBay RSS feeds. When you select a data source, you are selecting the source for new items. If you are located in the US, your best choice is the data feed, regardless of which eBay site you selected. This is also the default. If you are located outside the US, you will likely find the RSS feed source to be quicker in loading new items. Our testing indicates that RSS feeds loaded directly from the target site are faster outside the USA. This is likely due to replication delays between eBay sites and the data feed's database. Feel free to try both options to find out which is more efficient for your circumstances. They may perform differently at different times of day, on different days, with different searches, and depending on your connection speed.

Country Selection

There are two country selection dropdown lists. The first is used to select the eBay site where the items are located. The second selects the site where you will be sent to purchase or view items. If you are shopping in your own country, select it in both dropdowns. This will show you items that can ship domestically and may be extended to show items worldwide that can ship to you as well. eBay continues to change the rules on this.

Country Selection w/ Different Countries

eBay's systems have some restrictions on how items can be selected. In RSS mode, we can't select items that are located in another country and also select only items that can ship to your country. If you want to do this, use the Source:DataFeed option. This will pre-filter items for location, but results in fewer results being returned. You may initially see an empty list. The list will fill over time. Broadening your search will show more results.

Real-time Updates

In this example, VieBuy has been running for 10 minutes or so monitoring the keyword "phone". Two new items have been posted during the last few updates and are shown in red. One item is one second old. At the same time, another item in the list has just sold and is switch to grey and marked Sold. This item will be replaced by the next item retrieved.

screehshot new items inserted

In a very active search, you'll see sold items rapidly replaced; for slower searches, sold items may linger. Fixed price items and auctions that have the Buy It Now option are included in VieBuy's display. Auction items that receive a bid (exceeding any reserve price, or 50% of the BIN price in some categories) lose their Buy It Now option. VieBuy will grey these out as well and mark them 'Auction'. They will be replaced as needed by new items.

In the example above, the first red item is 19 seconds old. New items remain red for 30 seconds before fading. When eBay is very busy, and you are monitoring slower categories, updates may be delayed. Popular categories tend to update quicker when the system is very busy. You may see items appear that are more than 30 seconds old on occassion. During less busy times, you'll see items appear more rapidly.

It is possible, for some searches, that the majority of items get replaced on every update. This indicates that your search is too broad. For instance, if you search for "black", hundreds of items are listed every minute. If you find this hard to deal with, search for something more specific or limit the search to a category or price range.

Statistics

Also in the above example, the second red item is 1 second old. This short time frame indicates high performance on the connection to eBay and good performance on the eBay servers. This speed is affected by your computer, your connection to the Internet, your ISP's performance, which site (VieBuy/BuyVie) you are using, eBay's performance and the load on the eBay servers. When things are running slower, new red items will appear with higher numbers. This is normal during busy times, such as weekend afternoons. In extreme cases, new items will appear orange.

VieBuy displays statistics at the bottom of the screen. They show information about your connection to eBay. You can use these stats to determine how fast items are being updated using the selected site and feed.

Data feed response time - Last: 683ms  Best: 683ms  Worst: 1554ms
New item lag time - Last: 12sec  Best: 12sec  Worst: 58sec
Delay is set to 1000ms, Country: US

The response time, shown in milliseconds, is how long data requests from VieBuy to eBay take to complete.

The new item lag time indicates how old new items are when they reach VieBuy. This is delay time between the time an item is listed on eBay and the time it was delivered to VieBuy by the data feed or RSS. Lag is equivalent to the age of the newest item fetched during the last update. This time is given in seconds, rounded down to the full second. In this example items are arriving 1-102 seconds after being listed on eBay. This lag time includes the update time from the first line. Long lag times can be caused by your connection, but are typically delays on the eBay backend. Longer delays will occur during busy times at eBay. Lag times may be higher or lower depending on the data source you select.

You may see cases where the last lag time is high, and the new items coming in are color coded orange while you have red items on the screen. This indicates that newer and older items are coming into the data feed out of sequence. This is normal behavior. VieBuy makes it easier to identify the actual newest items by color. Items that are edited by the seller do not affect lag time.

With sparse categories and very specific searches, there may be less than 20 items displayed. When there are more than 20 items, older items may appear on the screen if there are fewer than 20 recent items available. If an older item moves up into the top 20 because newer items have sold, it will not be included in the lag time stats.

The statistics shown are specific to your computer and may be impacted by other applications and other network activity. Our servers relay data for the RSS feed and may impact RSS performance.

What's hot?

The top categories are electronics, cell phones, PDAs, cameras, fashion items. Check out eBay's pulse page for the top items or visit RNOE.co to see the most watched and top selling items on eBay.

Getting updates without having the window open

VieBuy is intended for interactive monitoring. The window must be opened to the site, but it can be minimized. If you'd like a tool that works in the background and alerts you when new items are listed on eBay, try BINSniper, our Firefox add-on. BINSniper allows you to setup multiple searches and configure a variety of alerts.

Compatibility with Browser add-ons

VieBuy is resource intensive, but will work with most modern computers and browsers. However, if you are running specialty browser add-ons that manipulate HTML tables or process large amounts of data from the screen you may see performance issues while viebuy updates the onscreen listings. To correct this, disable or pause the add-ons while running VieBuy.

Troubleshooting

If you are running in RSS mode and the items ages keep flipping back and forth between two values, check that your computer's clock is set correctly. RSS mode uses the computer clock to calculate the age of new listings. You can get the current time from eBay's site: eBay official time US, eBay offical time UK or use the "eBay official time" link at the bottom of your preferred eBay site.

If items are flipping between sold and not sold, it may indicate a delay in the current feed. Try switching feeds. This problem is normally temporary, but during eBay outages may last for days.

Revisions

V0.8 - 13 Oct 2010 - Beta
V1.0 - 07 Apr 2011 - Added RSS capability for UK users
v1.1 - 16 Jul 2011 - Fixes to lag time calc, improved handling of updated items.
v1.2 - 20 Sep 2011 - Defaults adjusted, RSS default, 10 sec
v1.3 - 04 Feb 2012 - IE8 warning added. Adjusted form layout. Immediate speed. Sound. Loading indicator.
v1.3.1 - 05 Feb 2012 - Fix country targeting so countries land on correct eBay site.
v1.3.2 - 05 Feb 2012 - Fixed excess RSS alerts when two items have same time.
v1.4 - 10 Mar 2012 - Wider screen format.
v1.5 - 22 Mar 2012 - Tweaks for BuyVie/VieBuy conversion. UK server launched.
v1.6 - 28 Mar 2013 - Reduce eBay traffic. Offer flag in RSS set to match data feed mode. Timestamp removed in RSS mode
v1.7 - 29 Mar 2013 - Now autocorrects for local timeclock variations in RSS mode.
v1.8 - 2 Apr 2013 - Internal fixes
v1.9 - 6 Sep 2013 - Internal fixes
v2.0 - 7 Dec 2013 - Separated items from landing site, changed layout, added help screen, location targeting