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EBay Patents 10-Click Checkout (steve-yegge.blogspot.com)
337 points by timruffles on July 22, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 40 comments

"The newly-patented buying system guides users through an intuitive, step-by-step process of clicking 'Buy It Now', entering your password, logging in because they signed your sorry ass out again, getting upsold shit you don’t want, continuing to your original destination"

If that were a real patent, GoDaddy would owe Ebay millions.

And monster.com.

and VistaPrint.

What I find most depressing is that you hear such moronic examples of patents that on reading this title a tiny part of me was thinking "well.. maybe..".

Not sure if that says more about the patents system or my awakeness, I hope the former.

I was hoping they really did it just to show how rediculous the patent situation has gotten.

To be fair, it's completely non-obvious, and innovative.

Mostly because nobody in their right mind would consider that many steps to be a good thing, but still...

Yeah, but what if someone comes up with a 9-click checkout?


With an IMDB reference, this could go the other way.

"Our checkout process goes to eleven!"

No No No. Who checks out in 9 clicks?!?!

Oh he's so good. I hope he's back.

Ebay is frustrating. They haven't changed the functionality or even the fit and finish of their site substantially for about a decade. They're still the de facto leader in online auctions but I feel as if they're slowly being bled by a lot of more specialized sites (amazon, craigslist, etsy, etc.)

Actually eBay have made changes through the years - it is just that all of them are bad. The move to favour large corporate sellers, and to only give feedback as a buyer completely broke the "swap meet" feel that eBay had. Buying and selling on eBay is just not fun anymore.

The problem is that there is no real online replacement - the auction space is hard to disrupt because in auctions the largest marketplace is, at face value, the best marketplace.

I know I have gotten to the stage where I will Freecycle something before I sell it on eBay, and from reading the forums out there, I am not the only one.

Fantastic! I used to do lot via the eBay platform as a "Power Seller", and I always thought they were a most bizarre company: one part incredibly innovative, one part money-grabbing corporate and one (big) part terrible UI/UX designers. Glad to hear nothing has changed....

> one (big) part terrible UI/UX designers

I had always assumed that eBay couldn't/wouldn't change their UI because their users are not techies and would be more confused by change than the terrible UI they've already learned. Users have learned how to do what they want, even if they don't understand why.

For example, my parents know that to watch DVDs, they need to press button X on remote #1 and then button Y on remote #2. They just don't know why.

A bit like MYOB, for anyone who's been unfortunate enough to have used that program.

I bid on something on Ebay for the first time in years this week and although I didn't win and make it to the infuriating checkout process, I was still amazed at how frequently I had resupply my user name and password. When you go back to a site like Ebay you realize how far some other parts of the web have come in promoting user-friendliness and how much some sites are being left behind.

It must be kept in mind that some parts of the web are subject to much more fraud than other parts.

But I actually think it's the volume by which eBay asks for your username and password, that opens them up to fraud.

It should be a security gateway that prompts the user to get ready for some secure transactions. But it is asked for so many times that it becomes an afterthought, "Oh, eBay is asking for my password again." It asks when you want to view My eBay. It asks when you want to save an item for later. It asks when you place a bid. It asks again when you check out after winning.

Then you get a phishing email, you click a link, it asks for your password. Users give it up without a second thought because they're so used to providing it.

Conversely, Amazon, another site which is very good at separating you from your money, only asks when money is on the line. I can add to Wish Lists without logging in again. I can rate things without logging in again. I can write reviews without logging in again. The only time Amazon asks for my password is when I'm placing an order, or making changes under My Account. And they even have an express lane setup for making orders with PayPhrase, that doesn't ask for my login again, just a PIN.

On eBay, a bid is considered a contract to purchase, so it's probably a good idea to verify your identity before bidding.

As they should.

But not when I just want to watch an item, or see the items I'm watching.

I had a co-worker that worked on an eBay system called "Dark Side". It would monitor user behavior for seemingly innocuous behavior (pre-crime?) and predict which users may "turn to the dark side".

Ebay has harnessed the power of Precogs?

Man, this space is ripe for disruption.

You can see this is happening through self-organizing communities on Facebook and other social networks. Search for the "for sale or swap in ..." Facebook groups and you'll see people engaging in a much more social and local based bartering system. Extrapolating from the single data point of my wife's experience, it's much quicker and easier than eBay to buy and sell stuff locally.

That's a craiglists disruption, not eBay.

I honestly couldn't tell if this was satire or real for a while. It looks like satire, smells like it, tastes like it but it really isn't. EDIT: It really is satire. Some damn good satire, had me fooled.

It doesn't help that it's called "10CLICKFU".

"..its collections and incarceration arm PayPal.." didn't give it away?

I've had money both forcefully collected and incarcerated by paypal. Seems reasonable to me.

me too. I didn't know if ebay was trolling the patents office or if the writter was making fun of ebay. I had to search for the patent number to find out.

Has anyone tried to patent the 1-touch checkout for touchscreen devices?

For a minute there I though this was going to be a real attempt at challenging amazon's 1-click buying patent by patenting the non-1-click approach. This was funnier though.

End patents.

I'd much rather use Amazon's 1 click instead.

One click and the item is at my house the next day.

This is one of the least interesting comments I have ever read. Please explain your thought process for future generations.

When I saw this in my RSS feed, I thought it was spam, the text being so strange.

His last three posts have been satire. I'm hoping he gets back to content as good as http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2008/10/universal-design-pat....

Dead link

... ?

Didn't amazon did something similar? All of this patents are so closely linked if someone sues, it will start a war..

Look at the Apple vs HTC case..

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