We’ve discussed the trials and tribulations of eBay Account Assistant on here before. For those just tuning in, EAA as I will lazily call it, is a very useful free downloadable program that imports all your eBay sales into QuickBooks automatically.

It is a very basic program but it worked and it worked well. I don’t ask for more than that. It saved me a lot of time and work and was free.

Old download eBay Accounting Assistant + me = love.

Then eBay announced with much fuss that they were getting rid of the download version of this program and replacing it with an online only version. This new program would work with not only QuickBooks but also Sagefire (cool for people with Sagefire but not of interest to me). It would also have the capacity to import PayPal shipping transactions and eBay purchases.

I was excited about the ability to import PayPal shipping but I was otherwise skeptical. Why can’t we just add the shipping import ability to the already perfectly good program we have now? Why do we have to muck with stuff that works?

Then this new online version was delayed again and again.

Then when it finally launched, it was a buggy mess, crashing browsers left and right.

Then, miraculously, it worked for a while. A little while. Well, it kinda worked.

The PayPal shipping, eBay fees and purchased imported just fine but the program couldn’t import any sales transaction that was international or combined shipping because it would have a fit about shipping costs being different than what the item was listed at. This was stupid but they had added a little “Beta” icon so I figured they were working on it. So, I still used the download program to import my sales and only used the online program to do shipping and purchases since they worked fine.

Then, on June 10th, 2009, all data stopped updating. Literally, the online program had all sales, shipping and purchasing data from before that date but nothing from beyond it. No matter how many times you re-set it up, reconnected or otherwise mucked with it, you couldn’t force it to update the data again so it became rendered useless.

Then shortly there after, eBay botched up the link to it so that the “Launch Accounting Assistant” link took you to the eBay homepage. So you couldn’t even look at the thing to say, “Yup, still busted.”

On a side note, thankfully, the download version had remained active through all of this so you can still use it. I am only interested in this online version because I’m afraid they will try to take my download program away and I will be forced into using this mess.

So I go to look at this today and witnessed two miracles. After weeks, eBay has finally fixed the link so you can actually access EAA again (miracle 1) and, despite the fact that sales, purchase and invoices are all still stuck in that magical wormhole that is June 10th, 2009, PayPal shipping has updated (miracle 2). Now, granted, it has only updated in so much as they gave me only shipping data from the last month (Oct 5th to Nov 5th) but considering this was a lifeless dead page a few days ago, it was still astonishing.

Of course, trying to look at these new transactions yeilded a few java errors but still.

But indulge me for a moment, if you will. I was comforted by this because, for the first time in quite literally months, it looked like someone from eBay actually looked at this page and loaded this program. It’s still a disasterous buggy mess of a failure but it is somewhat comforting to know that an actually human being is at least marginally aware that this thing is busted and is working on it. Before it felt like they had just given up on it.

As for me, I will be clinging onto my old download version with my life. Sure, I’d love a shiny new online version. If it worked. But if this busted mess is all you can give me, I will take a pass.

For now, new hotness IS old busted.