If you've used eBay for any period of time, you probably already realize that you can watch eBay auctions that you're interested in, and that whenever you bid on or post an auction listing, eBay tracks that auction for you in My eBay. If the auction's status changes, eBay notifies you of this change.
Among other things, such notices can tell you that an auction you are watching is about to end, whether you've been outbid on an auction by another bidder, or when you've won an auction. You can also receive an IM or text when a listing you posted has finished with a winning bidder, or when a listing you posted has finished and did not sell.
By default, eBay sends these and other types of notices to you by email. These notices aren't for everyone, however, and even for those who do like them, email isn't always the preferred place to receive them. eBay's notification system is flexible and allows you to modify your settings to suit your preferences.
Deciding How Each Notification Arrives
Once you've added a mobile phone number and/or an IM name to your eBay account, you can decide whether to use email, text messaging, or IM to receive each type of notification that eBay sends. Just follow these steps:
On the preferences page, you'll see various types of auction status changes listed (getting outbid, watched item about to end, etc.) along with the type of email delivery currently selected. To change the method of delivery for any of them, click the "Edit" link on the right edge of the page.
On the page that appears, you'll see the same list of notifications, this time with checkboxes for email delivery, text message delivery, or IM delivery. Check the method of delivery you'd prefer for each type of notification. If you'd prefer not to receive notifications for that type of status change, uncheck all of the boxes. Click the "Save" button to save your changes when you're done.
If you're also an eBay seller, return to the preferences page described above and click the "Show" link to the right of the words "Selling Notifications." Once again you'll see a list of notification types and the methods that can be used to deliver them. Click "Edit" if you'd like to change any of these.
On the edit page, check the method of delivery that you'd prefer for each type of selling notification, again unchecking all of the boxes if you don't want to be notified about any one particular type of event. Click "Save" to save your changes when you're done.
You can also modify your communications preferences to determine how other eBay members can contact you, and for what reasons, and whether eBay can send you general promotions or other information.
Now that you've asked eBay to send you buying and selling notices via text messaging or IM, you'll no longer have to check your email or visit the eBay website just to see how your auctions are going.