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TAGnotes Thur 10 Aug 2000 Vol 2 Number 117 Issue 199

From: The Auction Guild <tagn-@theauctionguild.com>
Date: Fri Aug 11, 2000 4:09am
Subject: TAGnotes Thur 10 Aug 2000 Vol 2 Number 117 Issue 199

The Auction Guild Notes for Thursday 10 Aug 2000
OAI Sellers AND Buyers - Add diversity to the Online Auction
Industry - VOTE. For more information go to
If you have any information, ideas or suggestions please
email us at tagn-@t...
eBay reported at 19:20:03 on 9 Aug that they were down. At
19:57:52 PT they reported that at 19:15 PT, they had a hardware
failure on their main server. They came back on the backup
system at 19:57 PT. These outage times appear to be accurate
based on subscriber email and OAI board reports.

On 10 Aug at 06:58:08 the system failed again. At 07:30:51 PT
eBay reported that the system stabilized while they were trouble
shooting and that Seller Search and View Bids were intermittently
unavailable. At 09:49 they had problems with their CGI 5 server,
that impacted listing items. This was reported at 10:09 fixed as
of 10:00PT. At 10:29:57 they posted that they had problems with
Item Descriptions for items listed between 09:00 and 09:30 PT
on 10 Aug, so if you listed an item during that time, check the
listing to see that it is correct. At 14:19 PT My eBay, Seller
Search and View Bids stopped working, and they reported at
16:59PT that My eBay, Seller Search and View Bids had
intermittent unavailability since about 14:50 PT today. In addition
the Sell Your Item function was slow. At 20:28 eBay reported
that Title Search had intermittently not been working since
19:39 PT. At 20:52:53 they reported that at 20:00 PT, both
Title Search and Descriptive Search became unavailable. At
22:00:36 they posted that Title Search and Descriptive Search
were currently available. They claim the problems were fixed at
about 21:55 PT. Most of the times seem relatively accurate, but it
appears to TAG that the extent of the outages and failures were
under reported by eBay. TAG feels eBay is doing this specifically
to be able to deny refunds of FVF's, listing and feature fees.

Users reported an outage that started at 14:19 PT that
was still out except for a few functions being intermittently
available as late as approx 16:00. At 19:19 reports of intermittent
outages and very slow access continued to be posted on the
OAI boards. Inability to list, or listings taking hours to post
were still being reported as of approx 21:00PT.

eBay will be down for regularly scheduled maintenance on 11Aug
from 01:00 PT to 05:00 PT. They are postponing the planned
changes to: Antiques & Art, Musical Instruments, Jewelry,
Gemstones and Tickets scheduled to rollout tonight in an attempt
to do maintenance to help resolve the constant outage problems.

At 21:24:33 on 9Aug eBay posted about the problems causing their
lack of availability. They have been making changes to the system
to allow for expansion, but the changes resulted in unavailability
of My eBay and Seller Search during high traffic periods. There
were a number of fine-tunes that had to be made, as well as code
issues that had to be addressed, to resolve these problems. They
believed at 21:24 on 9 Aug that these problems were fixed, but
were soon proven to be mistaken by the continuing problems that
followed this post. eBay also experienced three hardware failures
in the last 10 days that resulted in system downtimes. During each
failure, they went to the backup system. They hope changes they
make to the system during their regularly scheduled outage will help
fix some of the problems. They continue to claim that system
stability is their number one priority. eBay posted on 10Aug that
The root cause of this morning's problem was that they ran out of
space on a critical database table, the part of the system that
stores and accesses item description information. This caused a
traffic jam on their front end, which manifested as an inability to
list items. To fix this situation, they increased the database and
brought Sell Your Item back online. Unfortunately this patch was
also a very short-lived fix, as the ability to list was a problem
for the entire day.

eBay 9 Aug posted that they on 8 Aug temporarily isolated the
functions within My eBay to allow use of My eBay while they
fixed it. You can access My eBay though some functions may
unavailable. If a function is not available there will be a link
to another part of the site that provides that function.
For example, if the Selling function of My eBay is unavailable,
you will be directed to the Seller List through Search. This too
was of little avail as My eBay continued to crash completely
throughout 8, 9 and 10 Aug.

Through email correspondence and postings on the OAI boards,
TAG has received the information that several sellers who have
requested refunds of listing, feature and final value fees, have
been denied refunds by eBay. eBay, in a major policy change,
is now denying refunds unless the auction ended during a hard
outage (no functions available) AND the time period was one
posted on the announcement board. TAG has shown how
inaccurate the announcement board has been during these weeks
of outages, where even eBay customer support reports differ
from what eBay says on the announcement board.
In another policy shift, eBay has responded to sellers requesting
refunds, that the seller back out of the completed auction. This
from an email from eBay customer support. QUOTE - However,
if you feel that your auctions which ended during our site outage
earlier were compromised, you do have an option. What you may
wish to do is contact the high bidders in your auction and advise
them that due to eBay's technical problems, you wish to relist the
item for auction. Please note that if you choose not to sell your
item to your high bidder, you may be subject to negative feedback
from your high bidder. - ENDQUOTE . TAG sees this as eBay
shifting responsibility for THEIR failure to provide the service
they are PAID to provide, on to the seller, who is now risking
their hard earned reputation, because of eBays refusal to accept

Approx 4.56 million current listing
* * * * *
Yahoo Auctions has a special rebate offer on auction Special
Features. Starting at 3:00pm ET, Monday, 14 Aug 2000, all
auctions that CLOSE after this time will be eligible. Sellers
receive a 50% rebate on the final cost of featuring an auction,
if the auction closes with a winner. The maximum rebate per
auction is $25. This rebate amount is automatically credited
to the seller's account to use for payment to feature future
auctions. Yahoo's feature system is based on bids. You bid
for placement and the minimum fee for a featured auction is
$0.10 per day. The higher you bid, the higher your auction
placement. for more info on the rebate go to
For more info on Feature costs go to
For more info on how to feature your item go to

Basic site information http://www.auctionguild.com
Go to OAI Site Basic Details from left side toolbar.
Current extrapolated listing count 2.04 mil
* * * * *
Amazon Auctions Basic site information
Go to OAI Site Basic Details from left side toolbar.

Listings total 850254 (probably inflated by approx 2% due to listings
appearing in multiple category totals) 6 categories Extrapolated,
13 Actual, 11972 with bids    http://www.amazon.com
* * * * *
Golds Auction is redoing their home page. To see a mock up of
what the page will look like go to
They are also adding the following features to the site
The ability to sort feedback by negative or positive comments
The ability to sort listings by heading fields
Name Search - This feature will enable you to search by name
when a mystery payment is received
Session log in
Optional listing enhancement - Highlight your auction
Optional start time / date when listing your auction
Increased usability of all searches
Increased Title field to 50 characters from original 45 for auction

Currently approx 9976 listings 215 with bids
* * * * *
OAUA Keep current on issues important to OAI users. Be part
of setting the industry standard for excellence.
JOIN the OAUA today. http://www.oaua.com
* * * * *
If you would like an Auction House or Service Provider added to
this list, please email us at tagn-@t...
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