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TAGnotes Mon 9 Oct 2000 Vol 2 Number 145 Issue 227

The Auction Guild Notes for Monday 9 Oct 2000
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suggestions please email us at tagn-@theauctionguild.com
ebaY after experiencing continuing intermittent problems with
search on 7 and 8 Oct, ebaY's listing and relisting services went
down at 18:08:15 PT on 8 Oct. Users got cgi5 error, server reset
messages, and a message thanking them for using the feedback
forum. Bidders could not get bid confirmation pages, and sellers
could not pull up bid history pages. At 19:03:12 ebaY posted
that some members were experiencing intermittent slowness and
may receive error messages while accessing areas of the site. Most
notable. said ebaY, was the slowness of the Sell Your Item page.
At 21:39:32 PT ebaY posted that the problems were fixed. On
9 Oct, ebaY worked well most of the morning, with only minor
glitches, up until 13:45:04, when cgi5 slowed down to a crawl.
At 18:00:05 users also started to report problems with ebaY pic
services, with image uploads hanging up about one third into
the process. There were also user reports of more problems with
the listing pages timing out when trying to complete listings.

If you feel your auctions were negatively impacted by the outages
or intermittently inoperative search feature, request a refund by
going to the form at http://cgi3.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?
Send -
* The item number(s) of the ended auction(s)
* The specific fee(s) charged for them
* Your seller's email address or User ID
* The phrase, GIVE CREDIT in the Subject line
This can also be accessed from

ebaY Australia will start charging listing fees starting 19 Oct 2000.
ebaY AU has been charging FVFs. From an ebaY email QUOTE -
Experience from other eBay sites (such as the UK and Germany)
has shown listing fees substantially increase the success rate for
sellers! - ENDQUOTE. TAG felt it had to share this bit of ebaY
altruism with our subscribers.

ebaY is doing a Halloween promotion on their Home page and
throughout ebaY as part of the ebaY on ebaY promotion. Every two
weeks, ebaY will feature two categories to introduce items on ebaY.

ebaY has yet another long post about their Picture hosting service
and they are encouraging users to choose a photo hosting
preference. For information on eBay Picture Services,

Third party software developers and image hosting services
might have problems with these changes so ebaY is encouraging
them to use the following Sell Your Item pages

There are a couple of SPAM emails out that appear to have come
from ebaY, using ebaY logos, and other information. ebaY did not
send these emails. One message says - Congratulations Ebay user you've
won -- click here to receive your tickets. The second email appears to
be directed particularly at AOL members. It offers participation in
commercial opportunities.

ebaY recommends you protect your credit card and password info,
and TAG goes further and advises
1. Do not give out your credit card information via email EVER.
ebaY will never request that you submit your credit card information
via email, and neither should anyone else.

2. Do not give out your password to anyone via email. In some cases
third party service providers need your password to provide services.
Make sure the service provider posts exactly how your password is
protected, and email the service provider if you need clarification.
ebaY and TAG also encourage you to change your password on a
regular basis. To change your ebaY password, go to
In addition ebaY urges users to check the URL of any page that
requests your User ID and password. Some scammers have falsified
pages to make them appear to be a part of eBay by stealing their logo
and navigation bar. Though illegal, this is not hard to do. URL should
have an address such as www.ebay.com.

ebaY is holding its latest session of ebaY University on Saturday
and Sunday 28 & 29 Oct in Las Vegas. To register and for more info
go to http://pages.ebay.com/university/

ebaY is planning on offering the ability to list in two categories at
some undisclosed time in the near future. The cost to list in two
categories is double the listing fee (excluding home page featured).
Final value fees will not be affected. For instance, if a $5 item is
listed with the gallery feature, the cost to list will be $1.00. To
calculate the fee, take the total fee - $.25 for insertion fee + $.25
for gallery fee and double this fee to get $1.00. This feature will be
available in all U.S. categories, with the following exceptions
Dutch listings are not eligible for this feature.
eBay Motors is not eligible for this feature.
List in 2 Categories is available within the Real Estate category but
not outside the Real Estate category, so you can't list in Real Estate
and another non-Real Estate category.
List in 2 Categories is available within the Adult categories but not
outside the Adult categories. Both categories will have to be in the
Adult category. For more info go to

Third party service providers will also have to adjust their software
to accommodate this latest change. TAG sees this as just one more
way for ebaY to increase fees, another avoidance of fixing what is
already not working (search, indexing, completed search, feedback
system, reoccurring outages and site instability) and a way to inflate
the site listing numbers, by counting every item listed in two
categories, twice. This provides great stockholder eyewash, but
does little for those sellers trying to survive on ebaY.

Since ebaY feedback system does not work well, or is intermittently
down try this convenient Feedback tool http://www.vrane.com/ef.html

ebaY Contact Information can now be found on the TAG website
Approx 5.24 million current listing
MedVed shows 5.33 million a first - higher figures than ebaY is
showing. http://www.quotetracker.com/cgi-bin/cal.cgi?EIND
* * * * *
Yahoo Auctions is claiming 2.5 mil auctions in the USA and 4 mil
if the international sites are included
Basic site information http://www.auctionguild.com
Go to OAI Site Basic Details from left side toolbar.
Yahoo site map
* * * * *
Amazon Basic site information http://www.auctionguild.com
Go to OAI Site Basic Details from left side toolbar.
Amazon listing numbers for 26 Sep, 12 of 19 categories actual
counts, 7 of 19 extrapolated counts. Total listings 1,094,439
* * * * *
BidBay has free listing until 31 Oct. They have many contests
running. The site is attractive, has a variety of listings including
a separate section for $1.00 no reserve auctions. Bids, unfortunately
are scarce. http://www.bidbay.com
* * * * *
ePier - another well designed site with free listings. Has approx
8303 current listings with 56 bids.
* * * * *
Honesty.Com continues to suffer with problems. A post
on their boards lays out their latest outage for repairs. Counters
will be unavailable from 02:00 until 03:00 CT on 10 Oct. Images
will not be affected. They are also investigating the problems with
the ebaY Multi-Add and uploading issues some are experiencing.
* * * * *
AuctionFlow is another entry in the management software service
providers. This attractively designed site, provides a full range
of auction management tools for both sellers and buyers. There
are also links to news, and articles of interest to OAI/OTI (online
auction and trading industry) users.
* * * * *
X.Com is not accepting new accounts. The message posted on their
site says "Thank you for your interest in X.com Online Banking. At
this time, X.com Online Banking is not accepting new accounts. Please
consider X.com's PayPal service for your online payment needs (PayPal
is not an FDIC-insured service). In TAGs view, given the upcoming
very high fees scheduled to go in effect in Nov. there are much better
bargains out there in cyberspace for FDIC insured bank accounts.
* * * * *
Payment Alternative is a new payment system, and the offers
international payment options now. Users get $10.00 for every referral
who signs up for the service. There are currently lots of site glitches
and problems.
* * * * *
TAG recommends that no matter what third party payment system
you use, if it is not FDIC insured do not leave any more money in
the account than you can afford to lose. We highly recommend that
you associate these third party cyber payment systems, with an FDIC
bank account, totally independent from your analog bank accounts.
Practice safe money management, and prevent loses by having good
firewalls between your online and real world banking systems.
* * * * *
This is something new and different in person to person, and small
business to person, online trading. SmoothSale, launched today,
combines selling and instant messaging to form an international
souk/marketplace/bazaar/flea market/storefront way of selling.
Sellers and buyers can communicate one on one, negotiate deals,
learn more about their trading partners and the products being
sold. The special software program download button provided by
the site can be placed almost anywhere online, on your web page,
in your emails, and as of now (pending further clarification) ebaY
has even given the okay for it to be added to ebaY auctions. The
button lets folks know when you are online and available to chat
about your product and negotiate a sale. Sales can also close in
the absence of the seller. SmoothSale claims that 30% of sales
close successfully when their one on one live negotiation method
is used. There are live manned person to person demonstrations
available on the site 8am to 8pm PT Mon - Fri, a flash demo, and
some of the most attentive customer service it has been our pleasure to
experience. We had a 15 minute turn around from email sent to
requested change to our account today. We realize this is easy
when you have a small number of users, and much harder to
maintain when your users number in the millions, but the attitude
and business ethic of the folks running the site is at least starting
out right. There are currently approx 5000 items listed for sale
on the site by 150 active sellers. These sellers have been doing
the beta testing on the site and found out about the site by word
of mouth. There are still a few rough spots, but it appears the
site owners are open to suggestions and change. In TAGs opinion,
this looks to be one of the most interesting and innovative additions
to the OAI/OTI since Half.Com launched. According to the site info,
there will be no listing fees, a flat fee of $30. per month (waived
for charter merchants) and a 2% transaction fee (or 1.5% for charter
merchant members) of the total final invoiced amount of each item,
merchandise or service sold via the SmoothSale Service. Members
who sign up now are considered Charter Merchants.
*******VOTE******* VOTE******* VOTE********
The Million Auction March wants to move you to VOTE.
List your items on V enues O ther T han E bay
For more information go to http://www.millionauctionmarch.com
New Auction Houses, Sales Venues and Service Providers are
joining daily. All are offering incentives and specials to the OAI.
* * * * *
If you would like an Auction House or Service Provider added to
this list, please email us at tag@theauctionguild.com
Not just a venue
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