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eBay revamps look with new home page

The leading auction site is testing out a new front door that it plans to debut in coming weeks with added links to specialty sites and theme pages.

eBay's putting on a whole new face.

The leading auction site has begun testing out a new home page that it plans to debut in coming weeks. The new look removes eBay's usage and auction statistics and adds links to new specialty sites such as eBay Business Exchange and theme pages such as its Chinatown area.

"We believe the new home page will better highlight all the new and exciting things happening at eBay," the company said in a note to users on its announcements board. "It will also keep our front door fresh and exciting for you. And a new home page will help draw more new users into the eBay marketplace."

The new home page comes as eBay users are already balking over the company's recently relaunched automotive area. The new eBay Motors has been criticized as being difficult to search and hard for sellers to list items.

The new site plays up eBay's local trading and international auction site. In addition to Chinatown, the site also includes links to Fashionorama and Comics-o-rama and eight other theme pages that highlight auctions of everything from Elvis-related merchandise to collector clocks and watches.

The company planned to debut the new home page on May 2, but decided today to postpone the launch to run more tests, company spokesman Henry Gomez said.

"We haven't figured out a new date for the launch," Gomez said. "We're going to hold off to check on a few features."

Earlier this year, e-commerce leader tested out a new home page of its own. Although the company has tinkered with its current page by adding new store tabs and a new personalized column, the Seattle-based company has not yet changed to the test design.

eBay redesigned its home page last June about the same time that the company suffered through several prolonged outages. Although users wondered whether the two events were related, eBay denied any connection. However, the company switched back to its original look after the difficulties.