News & Information

Toolhaus is pulling the plug. All things must pass.

Since 2004, Toolhaus has provided the "eBay Negs Tool," based on a simple concept: Remove a user's Positive feedback, and just see the Negative and Neutral feedback. Loved and hated by buyers and sellers alike, the Negs tool has spent fifteen years trying to keep up with eBay's ever-changing world of rules for feedback and public/private information. Toolhaus added (and removed) other tools through the years, but the Negs Tool was always the most popular.

Most recently, eBay changed the way it shows feedback - specifically, "old" feedback, the info for people with multiple pages of feedback. Page One is easy to see, but Page Two (or Page One Hundred) is much harder. When you're a person sitting at your computer, clicking through pages, you don't see this, but when you're the Toolhaus Negs tool, you see that this has been made near-impossible. Life is change, but computers can't always keep up.

Now for the personal part: I don't care anymore. I used to care - I've been an eBayer since November, 1998. My feedback rating is 1527 (FB received: 1822), so I'm no "newbie," but I'm also not a full-time buyer or seller. I have made multiple Zero-Second Snipes - I have no idea if those are even possible, these days.

I don't care anymore. I don't buy or sell on eBay (much) anymore, and I don't spend any time worrying about someone's FB. I still try to stick with the Body Temperature rule: If the seller's feedback isn't above 98.6% positive, don't bid.

The Toolhaus Negs tool hasn't been useful to me for years, but it's been useful to other people, some of whom have supported Toolhaus, so I've worked to keep it going for them. It's also been an interesting challenge to me, keeping my web-programming skills alive as I struggled to recover from the ever-changing world of eBay. I'm doing Science, and I'm... done.

Aside: Did you rely on Toolhaus, without paying for it? Shame on you. Don't send money now, it's too late.

So, as the eBay Difficulty Rating went up, and the Personal Interest Rating went down, we reached that crucial point, and it's time to say Goodbye. I truly loved providing a useful tool, and I truly loved both the positive and negative feedback that Toolhaus received. But now I'm done, and I wish you all well.

   - Win Bent (whbjr)

In case you wondered: The Negs tool was first created in 2001, for personal use, then shared with friends who helped debug and improve it. It was deemed ready for the global community in 2004, which is when came online.

Here's a Trade Secret about Toolhaus: We use the techique known as Screen Scraping. Because of our underlying requirement to remain independent of eBay, we never became a "partner" with direct access to feedback data, so we relied completely on their public data. If you can't see it on an anonymous computer, we didn't show it; if you can see it anywhere in the world, we saw it, too.
Screen Scraping

Song References:
All Things Must Pass - George Harrison
Live and Let Die - Paul McCartney
Crown of Creation - Jefferson Airlane
I Don't Care Anymore - Phil Collins
Still Alive - Jonathan Coulton
I Will Always Love You - Dolly Parton

Last Modified 27 May 2020