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TAGnotes Mon 29 Jan 2001 Vol 3 Number 15 Issue 276

The Auction Guild Notes for Mon 29 Jan 2001
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ebaY is going to be changing the email address request and ask
seller a question features on ebaY.   In order to contact a
seller, a user will have to use ebaYs ask the seller a question
link, which will generate an email that will go through ebaYs email
forwarding system server. ebaY claims they will not store a copy of
your message and will not read these emails, but the current user
agreement and privacy agreement allows ebaY to do both, and to add it to
the individual file they keep on users.

ebaY claims that it is SPAM related problems motivating them to
take this action. They also admit that this ebaY forwarded email
will allow ebaY to warn sellers and buyers about the penalties
for violating ebaYs policy on offers to buy and sell outside
of ebaY, based on information obtained from ebaY listings or
bidding activity.

1. In open auctions the seller will be able to access all the bidder
IDs and emails, but no one else will be able to see them.   In TAG's
view, this appears to be the only part of this new policy that makes
any sense, as it prevents bottom feeders from contacting bidders and
making a sale, thereby stealing bidders from the auction.
Unfortunately, this same restriction will make detecting shill bidders
impossible. ebaY benefits financially in the short term by shilling, as
it brings higher prices, and therefore higher final value fees.

2. When an auction closes the seller and winning bidder will have
access to each others email address. In the case of a non-paying
bidder, the seller will no longer be able to offer the item to the
back up bidder, unless they saved the information before the auction
closed. ebaY does not refund listing and special feature fees, and
these auctions are also not available for a free relist, so ebaY again
profits, by getting those fees a second time, if the seller wants to
sell the item.

The changes are slated to occur first on the U.S. site in the next
few weeks, and will follow in upcoming months on the international
sites. For a preview of the upcoming changes and Frequently Asked
Questions, go to
For a more detailed report and editorial on these issues, go to

In an unannounced move, ebaY today stopped allowing New Users
from registering with their email address as their User ID.
Old User IDs can still be changed back to an email ID, but there
is no telling when that might change. If you have been thinking of
changing your user ID back to your email address, so that you can
insure your potential buyers have access to it, TAG strongly advises
you to do so NOW. This change in policy was a surprise and ebaY
did not even brief their own support staff on the change. This
was demonstrated by the post of katy@ebaY at 23:05:16 PT on the
discuss new feature board, when we asked about it,
QUOTE I really don't know, but we have a request in for information on
that right now. I'm afraid it will have to wait until tomorrow.
We checked earlier and were able to change a regular ID to an email
address, but not register a new one. It is possible that it will be part
of this policy, but I can't tell you that as a fact right now, okay?
When I know, I will let you all know too. ENDQUOTE
For more information and editorial comment go to

Title search is currently running approx 8 hours behind, title and
description search is running approx 12 hours behind. To see
a pattern of lag times, demonstrating the time it takes from listing,
to the item showing up in search, go to

TAG continues to get reports that the ongoing ebaY problems are
still affecting users. To review the list go to

New listing fees go into effect 31 Jan.

TAG recommends that whenever ebaY users feel that ebaY
has not provided the service paid for, and ebaY refuses to refund fees
you file a complaint with the FTC. If you have complaints
about what you feel might be restraint of trade policies, this would
also be one appropriate place to file a complaint.

ebaY Contact Information, analog mail and email addresses and
phone numbers, regular and toll free.

Approx 5.25 mil auctions inflated by approx 6% due to double
category listings yielding 4.94 mil auctions
* * * * *
Yahoo Auction still does not have a clear refund policy posted on
their site. TAG has a promise of a call tomorrow from Yahoo, to
tell us what the policy is.
Quick reference page

Yahoo announcement board

Yahoo site map.

Yahoo Contact Information

Current Auctions approx 1.08 mil calculated formula total
a drop of 1.21mil auctions since the fee announcement on
2 January. http://list.auctions.yahoo.com/
* * * * *
Amazon Auction
* * * * *
eWanted.com an interesting online trading site with a slightly different
tack. Buyers request what they're looking for. Sellers browse the
requests and make offers based on what buyers want. When making an
offer, the seller can choose to extend the offer to other buyers in case
the original requestor doesn't accept. Or, if the seller has multiple
quantities of this same item, they can include the extra quantity in the
offer. The buyer may buy as many as they want, or nothing if the offer
doesn't meet their needs. The sellers can then offer any items that are
left for sale to the rest of eWanted's users. There is also a Buy Now
feature for buyers to purchase immediately. Items are sold on a first
come, first served basis until all quantities are sold. Final value
fees are on closed sales, 0 - $100 5.0% of the final price 25 cent
minimum, $100.01 - $1,000 $5.00 plus 3.0% of the balance, Over $1,000
$32.00 plus 1.5% of the balance.
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