Having just completed a series on eBay for this magazine, what do eBay do? They change the item description page so that some of the description and illustrations in those articles are now out of date.
Not to be outdone, this article covers the essential changes. However, this article is designed on the assumption that you have seen the previous ones in the series, if not perhaps now would be a good time to order some back issues! (Good idea - ED)
Basically the layout of the item description pages has changed and they have become dynamic, changing in design and content depending on whether you have bid for the item or not.
Above is the original layout and below is the new layout if you have not bid on the item. Notice that the seller information is now grouped on the right hand side and the "watch this item" link has been moved up nearer the top of the page. If you bid on an item you are automatically considered to be watching (tracking) the item whereas previously it was considered as entirely separate.
The "bid history" link mentioned in the third article in the series has now changed to become a link via the number of bids that have already been made. Hence to see the bid history you now click on the number of bids, listed by a "history" label rather than a "bid history" link.
The dynamic element operates provided that you are a registered user and have signed in. If you have not bid on an item you are viewing then you just get a "Hello <username>" message at the top as shown in the screenshot above ("Hello mikechoo" for me).
However, if you have bid then you get an additional message depending on whether you are currently the highest bidder or whether you have been outbid. These are each shown below.
You have been outbid
You are the highest bidder
Notice the prominently placed bid entry box if you have been outbid, surely some sort of psychology to make it easier to continue bidding. Of course, if you are the highest bidder the bid box is not put prominently by the greeting.
If you win the item then you get the panel shown above which includes details about progress on the transaction as well as links to help it to take place.
The postage (shipping) and payment details now come below the item description although there is a link to them roughly where they used to be. A button to place a bid is now directly by the current price rather than just at the end of the item description, although a box to place a bid is still at the bottom even though there is now that link button. The screenshot below shows the details for the electron described above.
That just about covers the main points, other alterations can probably be sussed out by scanning a page and becoming familiar with changes in links and positioning. The changes probably represent an improvement but it can initially be off-putting to find things have moved around.
By the way, nice to see there are still people around wanting to buy old Electrons.