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TAGnotes Thur 15 Jun 2000 Vol 2 Number 91 Issue 173

From: The Auction Guild <tagn-@theauctionguild.com>
Date: Fri Jun 16, 2000 3:46am
Subject: TAGnotes Thur 15 Jun 2000 Vol 2 Number 91 Issue 173

The Auction Guild Notes for Thursday 15 June 2000
The eBay Linked Banner Ad Issue continues to be a matter of grave
concern in the OAI. Please educate yourself on this issue, and if you
object, let eBay know. There is a VERY informative thread on the
subject of DART and how it works at this link.
If you have any ideas or suggestions on this or any subject please
email us at tagn-@t...
eBay will be down on Fri 16 June between 01:00 PT and 05:00 PT
for regularly scheduled maintenance. Because of this, Search
updates will be 12 to 15 hours behind on Friday and Saturday.

There is a very long post on the announcement board about
advertising and tracking bug usage, and how eBay uses these. They
say they use them for site navigation, to track whether they have
served you an advertisement, and to analyze page flow and usage.
Some cookies and tracking bugs are internal to eBay and some are
from third parties such as SuperStats, DoubleClick, and LinkExchange.
They claim that they do not permit these third parties to collect
personally identifiable information about you from cookies or web
bugs on the eBay site. This means that you remain anonymous to them
and therefore they cannot associate you with your activities on eBay
or with any information that they may have collected about you from
other web sites or real world marketing databases.

They claim - QUOTE
We have not authorized Doubleclick to collect any personally
identifiable information from our site or your activities on our site
and we have called DoubleClick and confirmed that fact. We also have
a software management tool that allows us to check the site
configuration for the DART network. We checked our software and
confirmed that DoubleClick does not collect any personally
identifiable information. The DoubleClick cookies that are in place
currently are used to display the advertisements and check how often
the image is served and what image is displayed.

If you go to our search page and enter a search term such as red fire
truck you will see in the source code a line that will contain
kw=red fire truck. The search term becomes the keyword for our code
to search our web site for search term items. We do associate banners
with keywords, however our policy is to not serve up banner ads that
are directly competitive with the search term you enter. This is a
new policy based on your feedback in recent weeks.

DART Source Code.
This code is the visibility=hidden code. This is standard DART code
that allows for the page to load without waiting for the banner to
load first. It allows the page to load quicker and the banner ads
to load after the initial page has loaded. It also calls up the image
from the servers where it is stored. Without this code in the tag,
the page would load with a black bar in place of the banner until the
banner loaded, instead of having it blend with the page.

The DART number in the source code of our pages
("ord=8184334" for example) is used to defeat the caching of
and is not a User Id number. The number may vary but is used to
pull information from DoubleClick on the type and size of the banner
we have chosen to display on that page.

Web bugs are 1 x 1 clear gif pixels that are placed in the web page
code. We use web bugs for many of the same purposes we use cookies.
We also use them to track the migrations of users from one page to
another on our site. The information collected is in aggregate form
and not personally identifiable.

Discussion Board Cookies.
Our service provider for the discussion boards uses session cookies
to facilitate the functionality of their service. These cookies allow
their service to operate more efficiently.

We do not permit these third parties to collect personally
identifiable information about you from cookies or web bugs on our
web site. The source code and DART text can be very long and very
confusing. It takes a strong background in HTML and programming to
fully understand the code. We understand that your privacy is
important and that is why we have a detailed privacy policy
describing how we use your information. Our privacy policy also
requires us to notify you of changes to the policy, either by email
or by posting on the announcement page. ENDQUOTE

They go on to say that they will continue to use cookies. And they
will also use them to implement and deter fraud and other trust
and safety violations. They also feel they need the advertising
revenue to help cover past investments in technology and the
customer support organization. Also the revenue generated from
advertising will help pay for future investments in marketing and
advertising campaigns.

TAG's take on this is that you need to thoroughly educate yourself
on cookies, invisible gifs etc, and use the readily available software
that prevents such information harvesting. This will help prevent
eBay or others from selling your information. The way the current
user and privacy agreement are written, eBay can do just
about whatever they want with your personal information, and this
stated policy is not worth the cyberspace it is written on. If it
is not in the user agreement it does not count, according to eBay
itself. These protections are NOT in the user agreement, they are
just transient announcement board pacification policy statements.
eBay has proved itself on several occasions to make a statement
about "long standing policy" that they have just to decided to
enforce, and we feel they will do it with the advertising,
tracking and cookies also. They have through subterfuge, and half
truths included items in the user and privacy agreement by slipping
them into place, without the required notices..

eBay has had problems with emails received on or after 29 May to
a number of Customer Support addresses, resulting in delays in
the delivery of email to Customer Support. eBay has rerouted the
emails and corrected the problem, and are addressing the issue and
backlog in the following ways
* They are slowly adding the backlog of emails to the current flow
responding as they can.
* They are monitoring all eBay email addresses to try to ensure
that they are properly processing incoming emails.
* They are trying determining how best to handle the older email
(sent prior to May 29).

eBay Online Payments (a service provided by Billpoint) has
a new system called Instant Purchase starting next week.
Buyers can pay for items immediately after a listing closes,
directly from the View Item page. To support this, eBay is
changing the Sell Your Item form and the View Item page.
* On the Sell Your Item form, the seller can enter a fixed
shipping, handling, and insurance price, an additional per item
shipping price (for Dutch auctions), sales tax, and a return policy.
** During the auction, the buyer can see all of this information on
the View Item page.
*** Immediately after the auction, a "Pay Now" button will appear
on the View Item page, and the buyer can click to pay for the item.
**** The seller will not need to send a Billpoint invoice.
This service is optional for the seller.

Sell Your Item
In the Billpoint section of the Sell Your Item form, an Instant
Purchase option will be added. Sellers can specify a fixed shipping,
handling, and insurance price, an additional per item shipping price
(for Dutch auctions), a sales tax percentage, a state to charge sales
tax in, and a return policy.

To view the new Sell Your Item form, go to
To view a sample View Item page (shown during an auction), go to
For more info on eBay Online Payments go to
The Billpoint double listing feature ends 16 June.

eBay is holding a pilot program it calls eBay University. These free,
half-day classes are supposed to help you learn the basics of trading
on eBay. Experienced buyers and sellers will teach classes. You are
also supposed to get tips for growing your online business at eBay.
eBay University will be held on Sat 24 June 2000, in San Diego.
For all the details go to:

* * * * *
Yahoo Auctions Keep track of What's New at Yahoo Auctions
To see the base information and latest offers use
this link – http://www.auctionguild.com/generic.html;
* * * * *
Amazon Auctions Pro Merchant Subscription Accounts increase on
or about 1 Jul 2000 from $9.99 to $39.99. To cancel your account so
you don't get charged for the next month, Click on Your Account,
then find Your Auctions and zShops Settings under Your Account
Settings and Preferences. There, you will find a link for canceling
your subscription. If you cancel your subscription and wish to
enroll again, you will incur the full set-up charge again.
To see the base information and latest offers
use this link http://www.auctionguild.com/generic.html;

Listings based on a combination of actual counts in 13 of 19
categories and extrapolated counts in 6 of 19 categories
as of 3 June 916,277
* * * * *
OAUA keep current on the Banner ad issues and other issues
important to OAI users. JOIN the OAUA today.
* * * * *
If you would like an Auction House or Service Provider added to
this list, please email us at tagn-@t...
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