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TAGnotes Friday 1 Oct 99 Vol 1 Number 19

From:   <ta-@xxxx.xxx>
Date: Sat Oct 2, 1999 3:22am
Subject: TAGnotes Friday 1 Oct 99 Vol 1 Number 19

The Auction Guild Notes for Friday 1 Oct 1999
eBay- Had a bug show up in their Mister Lister bulk loading utility,
but were able to correct it five hours after it was reported. They have
published the October issue of their monthly newsletter, which can be
found at this URL-

eBay has revised Article 7 of the new user agreement that takes effect
27 Oct 1999. Unfortunately, this revision still gives eBay very broad
brush ability to make it say whatever they want it to, and use it to
continue their practice of arbitrarily applying ambiguous rules to
users they want to remove from their site, when no real violation
The new Article 7 in full with analysis between ****    ****
7. Our web site contains robot exclusion headers and you agree that you
will not use any robot, spider, other automatic device, or manual
process to monitor or copy our web pages or the content contained herein
without our prior expressed written permission.
**** It makes harvesting of user email addresses and info a violation.
It also prevents a user from copying photos and text from another user,
and using it for their own auctions without ermission. They also claim
a need to protect the integrity of the eBay site and their users
information. These are eBays stated reasons for this text.
Unfortunately the language prevents internet wide auction search engines
from accessing eBays listings, forcing all buyers to come directly to
eBay to search and would also allow eBay to prohibit any auction
management and bidding software without notice if they choose to do so.
It would also allow them to NARU (not a registered user) a service such
as The Auction Guild for monitoring, copying , reproducing, altering,
modifying, creating derivative works, or publicly displaying content
from their website.
*    *    *
Quoted from the announcement board titled Clarification of User
Agreement- eBay must have the ability to disallow certain types of
monitoring and copying of our site in the interest of protecting the
integrity of the eBay system and Your Information. Section 7 is written
in somewhat general terms because we cannot anticipate every type of
device or process that might use Your (and our) Information in an
unauthorized way. At this time, however, we consider use of the
following types of software to be permissible: bulk upload/listing
software (e.g., "Mister Lister"), automatic bidding software, and
auction management software, which enable users to keep track of their
own personal bidding and selling information at eBay.
*     *    *
It is not sufficient for eBay to say on their announcement board, or for
a member of the eBay staff to say in an email response -we did not
intend this- as intent has no legal standing. They need to incorporate
by reference the specific items they are protecting eBay and their users
from. Since they have incorporated by reference 16 times already in the
new user agreement, one more clarification incorporated by reference
will not be a detriment or hardship to the users or eBay.
You agree that you will not use any device, software or routine to
interfere or attempt to interfere with the proper working of the eBay
site or any auction being conducted on our site. You agree that you will
not take any action that imposes an unreasonable or disproportionately
large load on our infrastructure.
**** A completely reasonable clause****
Much of the information on our site is updated on a real
time basis and is proprietary or is licensed to eBay by our users or
third parties. You agree that you will not copy, reproduce, alter,
modify, create derivative works, or publicly display any content (except
for Your Information) from our website without the prior expressed
written permission of eBay or the appropriate third party.
**** A clause that is a virtual GAG rule for all registered eBay
users.This clause in particular needs specific clarification as to
exactly what is permissible and what is not, and be part of the
incorporation by reference. ****
Though much of this is repetitive of our first discussion of these
issues, eBay has not sufficiently clarified Article 7 with this latest
change of the wording of the article. They need to rewrite it again.
* * *
Gold's- Nothing new since Vol 1 Number 14. Though there is no
announcement on their board, they are supposed to start charging
final value fees on auctions from 1 Oct 99. All basic listing fees
will be free for the month of October, but they will continue to
charge for special features.
* * *
Amazon.Com – Just a reminder that the entire site has changed including
the user agreement, and we strongly recommend that you go read the new
site information.

There were several issues in the new user agreement that are an
important change from Amazons previous policy, and what is currently
standard practice across the auction industry, along with some
clarification needed for some of the new services. We called Amazon
directly to get this clarification.

Advertising – Is not permitted on auction or zSales listings. Up until
now sellers were able to have clickable links to other places on the
web, as long as those places did not have items which were for sale on
Amazon at a higher starting price, or was a link to another Auction
Site. Many sellers have links to their web sites, organizations they
might belong to, newsletters, family members web sites, etc etc.
Amazon is now ONLY allowing clickable links to information specific to
the item for sale. No other clickable links are permitted. A seller
may include a URL for another site, but that can not be a clickable

Payment and 1 Click services - Sellers who are approved for 1click
payments, can opt whether or not to use the 1 click option on a item
by item basis. Sellers pay Amazon for Amazons new payment service,
and the fees are deducted before the seller receives payment from
Amazon. It is permissible for sellers to require the buyer to pay the
cost of those fees in addition to postage and handling fees. If the
buyer was buying this item directly from you using their charge card,
you would be prohibited from recovering these fees directly, by your
Merchant Account agreement with your bank. Since the buyer is
actually purchasing from Amazon an electronic credit (electronic money),
to pay for the merchandise, and not the merchandise directly, the
seller, can recover these costs.

A seller would have to include specific information
about these fees in their terms of sale. They could recover all the
1click fees, or just a portion of the fee. For example- A seller has a
widget on auction, and is willing to accept 1 click payment. The fee to
the seller for use of this service is 60 cents plus 4.75% of the total
cost of the sale including shipping and handling. The seller would add
either to the item description, or the customer service and shipping
policy section on the listing page a statement such as – For the
convenience of my buyers, I am willing to accept 1Click payment for this
item and related fees. We only charge actual shipping cost, never a
handling fee. We do require any buyer opting for 1Click payment to add
to their high bid price and shipping cost, the 1 click fees of 60 cents
plus 4.75% of the total price including shipping cost. I will include
the actual amount of these fees in my after auction email to you, after
you have emailed me your shipping information. Help Guide-
Has links to buyers guide, sellers guide, the account and community
* * *
Boxlot -Current free digital camera selectees by user ID must
respond by midnight Left Coast time (PDT) of day next to name-
Contest was supposed to have ended on 30Sep99. The last drawing
was supposed to be 12:01PT 30Sep1999, but once again it appears
that they have extended the contest. We are guessing that they have
a certain number of cameras to give away, and since the only ways a
winner can find out they won, is to subscribe to TAGnotes, or go to
the boxlot.com site within the two day response limit, the response
rate is poor. http://www.boxlot.com/
* * *
Honesty.Com – Is up and running normally.
* * *
If you would like an Auction House or Service Provider added to this
list, please email us at ta-@f... or TheAuction-@onelist.com.
If you have any info you would like to have added to this list,
email us at ta-@f... or TheAuction-@onelist.com.
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