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TAGnotes Wed 27 Dec 2000 Vol 2 Number 178 Issue 260

The Auction Guild Notes for Wed 27 Dec 2000
Happy Holidays to ALL our Subscribers and a Happy,
Healthy and Prosperous New Year to all.
ebaY posted on 26 Dec at 14:04:37 PT that completed title search is
behind by approx 5 days, and is current through 21 Dec. They hoped
to update it on 27 Dec through 26 Dec, but as of this printing it was
current through 25 Dec . Completed items can also be found by item
number, from Seller Search and Bidder Search.

ebaY users reported being defrauded by a couple of ebaY sellers to
the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Attorney's
Office who then worked together in investigating both cases. As a
result one fraudulent seller was arrested and the other indicted . Both
were selling computer equipment which they took money for but
never delivered. For the Troy Wolverton article go to

ebaY has a post attempting to clarify the Spam and Fee Avoidance
policy. ebaY claims the use of ebaY contact information to enable
a transaction outside of ebaY, is a violation of the User Agreement.
ebaY claims that this information is being used to defraud buyers,
because off ebaY transactions do not allow buyers to leave feedback
or get insurance from ebaY. TAG holds that the majority of sellers are
honest, and the worst fraud is perpetrated ON ebaY (see samples in
article above) for which ebaY does very little to track down and
prosecute such fraudulent sellers. TAG feels ebaY should focus
more on the few scammers and shillers ON ebaY and worry less
about off ebaY sales.

ebaY says that these are violations and fee avoidance.
*Using member contact information obtained from ebaY or using any
ebaY feature to offer to sell any listed item outside of ebaY.
*Canceling a listing to sell the item to anyone who contacted the
seller through ebaY, or became aware of the item through ebaY
*Ending a listing early to sell the item at a higher price to the
winning bidder
*Using member contact information obtained from ebaY or using any
ebaY feature to offer to sell an item outside of ebaY to any of your
bidders in a Reserve Not Met listing
*Using member contact information obtained from ebaY or using any
ebaY feature to sell duplicate or additional merchandise outside of
ebaY to underbidders.
*Listing items in a manner that allows circumvention of ebaY fees
for more info go to
Selling to the underbidder in a Non-Paying Bidder situation is still
permitted, but this transaction is not covered by services such as
insurance or feedback.
Member contact information refers to name, email address or
phone number.

TAG feels sellers should include an email link in ALL their auction
listings, and employ a tool such as SmoothSale or other live chat
function to make communicating with your customers easy. TAG
has also seen many sellers who provide a mailing list opt in on their
auctions, so buyers interested in other items the seller might have for
sale can be informed about them. Sellers should also link to a web page
or online shop where they have other items for sale. TAG does not
believe sellers should SPAM their customers, but we also believe that
the bidders generated by the sellers auctions are the SELLERS customers,
bought and paid for by the placing of the auction, and payment of the
fees. If ebaY is a venue only, acting much as a classified ad, (and
this is EBAYS claim) just as the newspaper would not expect you to pay
them if sometime down the road, a buyer who saved your contact info from
the ad called and bought something from you, neither should ebaY feel
they own all future sales from contacts generated from that original
auction ad. In addition it is impossible to police this kind of
contact, and it only engenders mistrust between sellers and buyers when
ebaY uses the "we are just protecting buyers from fraud" excuse when
what they are really doing is trying to minimize the fees lost through
off ebaY sales. A much simpler and more elegant solution would be for
ebaY to provide a means by which sellers could voluntarily pay ebaY for
off ebaY sales the seller felt came about because of ebaY. Rather than
increasing distrust, and an atmosphere of fear, this would be much more
in line with ebaYs purported community values. ebaY should also
eliminate the reserve fee, since this fee was supposed to pay for the
off ebaY sales caused by reserve price not being met.

ebaY posted that email addresses will now be displayed next to
User IDs on the following pages for those who are signed in and
have the preferences set
* See item details pages under the Bidding/Watching and Selling
tabs in My ebaY
- Under the Bidding/Watching tab, you will see the seller’s email
address on closed auction pages in which you were the winning bidder.
- Under the Selling tab, you will see the email address of the winning
bidder(s) on auction pages for which there was a winning bidder(s).
* Bidder Search: If you are conducting a search on yourself, you will
see email addresses next to the sellers whose auctions are actively
running or whose auctions you have won.
* Leave Feedback About an ebaY User page under the Feedback
Forum tab of the Services Navigation Bar: You will see the email
address (and feedback rating and symbol) next to the User IDs
of those members for whom you can leave feedback.

ebaY is adding the ability to store up to 15 searches in My ebaY.
You can also indicate up to three of these searches as ones that
you will be notified by email, when new items appear in that search.
To store a search, a Save this Search link that will appear at the
bottom of every search results page. The search will then be
stored in a Favorite Searches table in My ebaY. This feature
will eventually replace the Personal Shopper service. As
always reliance on My ebaY for bidding on auctions should be
used with caution as it is one of the most negatively impacted
features when ebaY has functionality issues. If what you are
bidding on is very important to you, TAG recommends you use
the standard bookmark in your browser as the most likely way to
get to an auction when things are going wrong on ebaY.

ebaY's first TV ads aired tonight on the Drew Carey Show and Spin
City. The ads showed a couple moving into a new house
where everything they touched broke. The items highlighted were
appliances, plumbing, computers, the house and the car. The ad
says lost, broken or need cheap replacement come to ebaY.

For those who use ebaY pic hosting services, here is an article about
ActiveX security concerns.

4.075 Mil auctions listed inflated by a percentage of double category
listings http://www.ebay.com/
* * * * *
Yahoo Auctions appears to be preparing to charge fees. Today a Yahoo
Auction user was doing a bulk upload when a fee summary came up
charging 50 cents for every item listed regardless of starting price.
There was no information anywhere on Yahoo about these new fees, in fact
the Bulk Lister page still specifically stated listing was free. TAG
theorized that that Yahoo was working on the upcoming change and did not
realize it was "live". The user called Yahoo Billing and was told that
Yahoo engineering was working on the system, and the charges would be
removed, but they probably would be charging fees but did not have a
exact date. It looks as if they are planning on charging listing fees in
the very near future.

Yahoo has added a new search feature allowing search for auctions
that have already met reserve or that have no reserve.

Yahoo announcements -

US only Pay Direct contest runs through 11 Feb 01.
PayDirect Contact info
8AM-6PM PT 7 days a week 408-731-3335
3400 Central Expressway, Santa Clara, CA 95051
Yahoo site map.
Current Auctions approx 2.54 Mil formula indexed count
* * * * *
Amazon has moved their dollar auction link back to the top of the
Auction section page.
For information on the popular with sellers Amazon Marketplace go to
The Marketplace must be working because the Authors Guild is
starting to complain about it. Article from CNET
* * * * *
OAUA - hosts live chats with various guests and on various subjects.
The next chat is on 28 Dec at 11:00 EST and is a hosted Coffee chat.
* * * * *
SMOOTHSALE PRESENTS a special offer for TAGnotes
subscribers. Sign up as a SmoothSale Merchant and use this
special TAG link and receive a $10.00 bonus.
For more details http://www.smoothsale.com/incentiveTerms.html
This offer is good now through 31 December.
Charter membership closes 31 December at 23:59 PT.
Lock in 1.5% commission rates.
If you would like an Auction House or Service Provider added to
this list, please email us at ta-@theauctionguild.com
Have any information for us? email us at ta-@theauctionguild.com
TAG Subscribers have often contributed to information reported on in
TAGnotes. We really appreciate the assist, so will feature some
of them in our new -
TAGassist Credits - check out their auctions at these links!
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