Lately I've been really impressed by some of eBay's latest Web gizmos, including their auction-sharing widget that's got both a standalone embed, and even their less-than-stellar Facebook app. There's also their Adobe AIR application that's both beautiful and useful at the same time. The one thing that I think needed some work was their search tool, which the folks at GetItNext seem to agree with. Their eBay search tool helps sort through results before you even see them. In essence, it's trying to overcome the inherent clutter that's come of eBay since the service became immensely popular.
If you had used eBay in its early days, the search experience was completely different, and searching for a cell phone would often actually give you handsets as the top results instead of faceplates, phone chargers, stick-on crystals, etc.
The best way to really see the difference between the two search tools is stacking them up against each other with a smattering of identical queries. All in all, I was pretty impressed with GetItNext, as it managed to come up with fairly similar results, but often the GetItNext results had less junk. Even better, GetItNext will include the shipping price in each result to help you avoid some of those great deals that have a less than great, or ridiculously high shipping price.
There are a few other search options that make GetItNext worth taking a look at. The first is a "find a deal" tab, which will sort out items with zero bids and less than four hours left in the auction. There were some gems in the bunch, but inherently items that have no bids aren't always the best--which made for some of the aforementioned novelty items that nobody wants to buy. The other tool is the bulk items search, which is the more interesting of the two. This will narrow down your searches to items with lots, or several items at once. While you can accomplish the same thing in eBay's advanced search, there's much less digging involved, and it's a fairly interesting exploratory experience looking at what people are trying to get rid of en masse.
All in all, I like what I see with GetItNext, but I'd be interested to see what eBay junkies think. Between this and the Firefox extension, you could get some serious auctioning done, and there's clearly no shortage of tools out there to help you spend money on eBay. Considering what's been done with to improve the way we browse Craigslist as well, some of these third-party solutions can end up being really useful, and I'm happy to throw GetItNext into that bunch.