Okay, I have been thinking about this. Here is my idea.
When you go to list an item, first you pick the category.
Then you get a box, for the first pair. Select photo, size, details, and make the payment / shipping terms. You fill it out, and then you hit next. Payment and shipping terms are automatically added to each pair you add from there on out. Then you can add another pair. Etc. Then, in the forum, it shows up - So and So's Shoes for sale. There is a + next to the thread title. You click it, and it expands and shows each individual listing. Or, you can click on the So and So's shoes for sale title, and view them ALL AT ONCE in a thread that adds each individual item together into a conglomerate post. Sweet! You allow everybody to have one of these threads for each category. This would sort stuff out easy, but still allow you to view all of somebody's wares of a specific category at once.
OR, there could be a link (VIEW ALL) next to the seller's name to view all of their listings regardless of category on one page.
Then, if you add a new item to your category, it adds to your index page.
I think this would address the following issues:
Ease of listing: For each category of item, you can keep adding items and it would remember all your terms, etc and it would simply be a matter of clicking through and uploading a different photo and typing in details for the item. No different than before.
Ease of browsing: People that want the bazaar like feel of old SF can click the Category Thread title to view all of the seller's wares in that category, or they can click VIEW ALL to see all of a seller's wares in ALL categories in one big thread like before.
Threads would take up less space as only the titles would be visible, photos would only be visible when a thread is clicked to be expanded. Or, somebody could always change their default browsing setting to view all threads automatically expanded.
This is kind of convoluted but it's 4AM, so hopefully somebody gets this idea.
Oh, and RE: Restoring the Sense of Urgency (TM) for buyers - I think my idea would help this a lot, as it would make all of a seller's items visible much in the way they used to be. But some other potential ideas would be:
SF Selling hotsheet - A page of only items added in the past hour (this is probably easy to set up as is, but if there were a link to it, people might use it). Or notifications when your favorite seller adds a new item.
Special buying privileges - not sure how this would work, maybe long time members get to view listings 10 minutes before everybody else can? Or make it so sellers can make their FS threads viewable to their favorite buyers before the general public. Some form of exclusivity.
I'm going to think on this some more tomorrowEdited by mainy - 7/20/11 at 1:48am