Posted by: GW7AAV | June 19, 2009

Do they want me to buy from their advertisers or not?

Radio Classified

They call themselves “The place to buy and sell amateur radio equipment on the web” but Radio Classified obviously don’t want me to buy anything off their advertisers. They want you to register before you can even see if it is worth registering for. I have an almost an aversion to selling radios and I have equipment that I will probably never use again, but “you never know” so it is packed away in case I need it, so the chance of me wanting to see anything is close to nil, I might however want to buy something. What sort of person cripples the popularity and usefulness of a sales forum by stopping the casual browser?

Junksale

Junksale used to be the boss when it came to buying and selling used gear, but oh dear me what a mess it is now. The green on light grey text with XXL lettering is painful to read and leaves you almost snow blind trying to read it. Add to that the flashing adverts on the page which could easily trigger an epileptic fit and it makes for a very unpleasant viewing experience. A fussy header and the sponsored ads and other little boxes make the whole thing a mess. In their favour at least you do not have to register to view the advertisements, but they shot themselves in the foot by not importing their registered user list for the old site. Regular users seem to have given up and the number of classified advertisements is well down on what it has been historically. Sorry LAM but it seems like you and your web designer have tried hard and come up well short. LAM’s own web site is actually a little better but almost as annoying with everything too big and flashing ads.

G3CWI’s Amazing Online Flea Market

“G3CWI’s Amazing Online Flea Market” is simple and straightforward and in the light of the above could be the best of the bunch. No need to register means that an advert gets maximum exposure and the occasional spam ad that sneaks under the radar get quickly deleted by Richard. However the problem with this site is the host, Bravenet that is a nightmare for the end user if you do not have ‘pop-ups’ blocked. I have no problem with Firefox with the add-ons I have installed but if I get the site up using Internet Explorer at work I am bombarded by pop-ups and pop-unders and have to spend ten minutes closing the damned things down every time I change page. Several of these advertisements have been known to crash the browser. However most annoying of the lot are a couple of banner ads that appear at the top of the page, if you move the mouse over them they speak or play music, which can be a little embarrassing if you are having a sneaky look at the adds when you should be working.

eBay

There is always eBay; unfortunately they too have messed up. I really think the new look is not as good as the old one and the search preferences I use have been hidden away in the advanced menu. I always look at Radio Equipment/UK only /Used & Finishing in the next 24 hours and Radio Equipment/UK only/Posted in the last 24 hours. I have had to save these searches, which were easy to set up before however now you have to get up Radio Equipment and then click UK Only, which reloads the page, then Used, which reloads the page and then go into the advanced menu to select Ending in the next 24 hours. You used to be able to click these selections all in the sidebar and then Search. It all seems like a backwards step to me. Another thing that I find bonkers is that by default searches comes up as ‘Best Match’ but it never is the best match and can mean that you get something up with 29 days to run first and then ten pages in you find what you where looking for which would have previously come up first with one minute to go and find you missed it, eBay you screwed up!

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