VisibleOffice announced the release of their new free service Gumshoo, an eBay search tool aimed at combating eBay fraud. eBay is a great place to shop for products, but lets face it, sometimes you come across dishonest sellers that try to scam you, the buyer. I’ve been caught in a scam once before (with a cheap phone clip, thankfully) and it is not a happy time. Gumshoo helps you avoid fraudulent items on eBay by giving you accurate search results and showing you alerts that could warn you of possible scams. If you shop on eBay, I found that it does help and you would be doing yourself a favor by searching with Gumshoo.
Why should you use Gumshoo? I personally don’t shop on eBay a lot, but after making a few searches, I immediately found the service very helpful, easy, and informative. It was also comforting to read that one of the guys behind Gumshoo used to work for eBay as well. Gumshoo has a very clean interface for searching and viewing of results. Just enter a few keywords and Gumshoo will filter out junk and find possible misspelled results. The results are layed out in a nicely organized page and in my opinion, it is easier to look through then eBay. You will also notice that when you make a search, it detects possible misspelled items. What is nice is that these items aren’t going to get mixed within the other results, but they will be split into its own area on the bottom of the page making it easy for you to view. So, I’m happy with the results. Everything is nice and clear and the results are accurate on my search term. But, how do I know these items are safe? This is where the Gumshoo listing analyzer and alerts kicks in.
When you view an item from Gumshoo’s results, it will notify you of any alerts using their listing analyzer. You view an item just like you would eBay, but this time it will show a bar at the top of the page. When first opening the page, it will say that it is analyzing the data. Once it finishes, it will show four icons and inform you of any potential troubles. Clicking on the alert area will slide down the bar showing you more details, like you see in the above screenshot. This is where things got really interesting, and of course, helpful. It will give you alerts about seller’s having more then average negative feedback, shipping charges more then average for the item, warnings of keywords that are common in scams that appear in the item you are looking at, location alerts on items being in foreign countries, and more. For example, I was looking at an iPod and it brought up an alert saying that the keywords, “western union,” were found in the item description and said that the keywords are often found in fraudulent or misleading listings. Now, tips such as these don’t mean to immediately skip the item and look for another one. It alerts you of possible problems and just means that you should take a good look and make sure of everything before making an order.
Gumshoo also has some other helpful features. As I said, it filters out junk listing. But what exactly are these junk listings? Gumshoo says that junk listings are the results from ebay that are “Work at home scams, ‘FREE iPods’, information only listings, and others.” They simply look for the most common one and hide them so you don’t have to look through them. Another filter that I found interesting was the accessory filter. This is quite helpful and simply, when checking the box to exclude accessories, it will ignore items that come up as accessories for your search. For example, if you are to search for an iPod, you will not see iPod car chargers with the hiding of accessories, just the iPod’s themselves. You will also notice that Gumshoo saves your search terms, accessible on the main page and when you search, so you can easily refer back to them at a later date.