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TAGnotes Wed 7 Feb 2001 Vol 3 Number 19 Issue 280

The Auction Guild Notes for Wed 7 Feb 2001
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On 5 Feb at 10:05:36 PT Users reported Search, About Me pages, and
most of the discussion boards were down. The outage was intermittent
and continued until approx 10:25:49 PT.

ebaY on 6 Feb took down completed items search from 00:00 PT to
00:30 PT for emergency maintenance on the system. Users reported
at 00:11:39 PT that BIN and search were down. There were also
problems posting to the boards. The problems appeared to clear up
by 00:49:13 PT.

Users reported on 7 Feb at 12:26:33 PT search, sellers search, and
My ebaY were. The site was intermittently down until 12:43. Seller
search continued down and reloads were very slow. ebaY reported
at 12:42:44 PT that items in the sports category were unavailable.
They also reported that there were intermittent problems with
My ebaY, Seller Search, Bidder Search and the ebaY chat boards.
At 13:17:39 PT ebaY reported all problems fixed. Users reported
the site back up at 13:18:41 PT.

TAG strongly recommends that anyone who feels their auctions were
negatively impacted by any of these problems apply for credit. Request
listing, special feature and Final Value Fees. Go to the form at
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
Persist in the face of ebaYs NO. A different support person may
give you a different response. If you are sure you are not going
to get a refund, report ebaY to the FTC for taking your money
whilst not giving the paid for service. http://www.ftc.gov/
In addition, since you are now paying for a 10 day auction, you
should apply for a refund anytime that 10 day auction is not
provided by ebaY. If refused refunds, report to the FTC.

In a discussion on the ebaY Discuss New Features board on 6 Feb at
12:55:48 PT, when asked about the long promised ability to block
bidders, Katy@ebaY said "BTW, the bidder block is in the final
stages. We'll have it for you soon...:) ....................Katy"

ebaY is launching a services for business specialty site for buyers
and sellers of business services. ebaY is working with eLance on
this project. At this time, to list your items on the Services for
Business page, you will need to list either in Computers or in
Everything Else. For more info go to

ebaY owned Blackthorne Auction Assistant Classic and
Blackthorne Auction Assistant Pro Programs are being discontinued
and turned into eBay Seller’s Assistant Basic and Seller’s Assistant
Pro. Seller’s Assistant Basic, lets you do bulk listings, track and
store sales information, generate invoices and other customer emails,
do automated feedback. Seller’s Assistant Pro does all of the above
and lets you schedule when listings are submitted, print shipping
labels and generate sales reports. Seller’s Assistant Basic will cost
$4.99 a month and Seller’s Assistant Pro $15.99 a month. Everyone
who purchased the Blackthorne software with it's free upgrade for
life promise, will get to use their software for one year at no extra
charge whereupon their lifetime upgrade will expire, and they will be
required to pay ebaYs monthly fee. Users who want to get the free year
must register by March 31, 2001. ebaY claims that it will provide 24/7
email support . For more information for those who purchased software
from Blackthorne go to
There are also threads on the Blackthorne site at

Title search is currently running approx 2 hours behind, title and
description search is running approx 10 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

Suggestions for workarounds for ebaYs plans for Restricted email
access *Change your Current ID to your email address
Go to http://cgi3.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ChangeUserId
The email address associated with your user ID must be identical
to the email address you are trying to change your user ID to.
*Add an email link in all your auctions
To place a plain link use the HTML code in your description block
<a href="mailto:your emailaddresshere">EMAIL US</a>
To place an email link that gives a specific email subject use
Please <a href="mailto:youremailaddresshere?subject=Question about
your auction title">EMAIL US</a> if you have any questions about
this item.
*Use an international site such as ebaY UK or ebaY AU to access
all bidder information. ebaY US and Canada are the first sites
getting the changes. You will be able to access ALL bidder
information on your US auctions by logging on through one
of the international sites until the changes catch up with those sites.
If you read Italian, French, or Japanese, you can access the info
through those sites. Links to all the ebaY international sites are on
the ebaY home page.

ebaY has a dozen ongoing problems that ebaY has NOT fixed. These
problems are still negatively affecting users. To review the list
go to http://www.auctionguild.com/generic.html?pid=32

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 5.4 mil auctions inflated by approx 6% due to double
category listings yielding 5.1 mil auctions
* * * * *
Yahoo Auction still has not responded to questions about their refund
policy. http://user.auctions.yahoo.com/html/guidelines.html
Quick reference page

Yahoo announcement board

Yahoo site map.

Yahoo Contact Information

Current Auctions approx 568,357 calculated formula total, a drop of
2.26 mil auctions since the high of 2.83 mil on 9 Jan, an 80% loss.
Last free relisting ends 10 Feb for 10 day auctions and 22 Feb for 14
day auctions. 7 Feb counts 459,689 by
* * * * *
Amazon Auctions, zShops and Marketplace
Amazon says that listings will automatically be toggled to show that
Amazon payments are enabled. Users have reported that this is not
true, the auctions have to be MANUALLY altered to check that
Amazon payments are enabled. If the seller does not do this, Amazon
will PURGE all listings that are not set to accept Amazon payments
by 15 Feb.

Amazon now has a Seller Announcements board, though the information
posted on it is not comprehensive.

Amazon has added the ability for Marketplace sellers to sell new, used
or refurbished electronics, camera and photo items, used tools and
hardware on the pages where Amazon sells the same items new.
Amazon Marketplace info   http://www.amazon.com/marketplace

Amazon has restored live telephone customer service to 16 hours
a day Toll-free in U.S. and Canada: (800)201-7575
* * * * *
GoTo Auctions (AuctionRover) is fielding their ChannelFusion
product line and network including ebaY, Yahoo Auctions, Amazon
Auctions, TradeOut, DoveBid, Inc. and WayBid. Their products are
ChannelFusion Pro formerly known as AuctionManager, provides
auction management tools for individuals and small businesses,
including image hosting and post-sale management. Changes will
be available 15 Feb and Fees will start 1 Mar 01. ChannelFusion
Pro will cost $19.95 a month, but if users register prior to 28 Feb
and prepay for one year, it will cost $10.00 a month for the first year.

ChannelFusion Merchant - provides tools that connects existing
technology infrastructure directly to their target site. Gives
businesses control over their products as they move through the
ChannelFusion Network.

ChannelFusion Concierge a management package for businesses
that combines infrastructure integration, customized marketplace
recommendations and full access to the ChannelFusion Network.
ChannelFusion Concierge customers get a dedicated ChannelAdvisor,
an e-marketplace expert to access company product lines and build a
dynamic-pricing strategy to help meet company's goals.

TAG had a long phone conversation today with Scot Wingo, GoTo
Auctions General Manager and former CEO and Founder of
AuctionRover. AuctionRover was purchased by GoTo.Com in March
of 2000 for 3.47 million shares of stock, worth about $170 million.
We asked Scot about why the announcement was made on the same
day as Blackthorne's, and were told it was pure coincidence. Scot
thought that users would be better able to manage a flat fee as
opposed to a percentage fee. We questioned the fact that such a
pricing structure would completely eliminate the small scale seller,
and would have a particularly deleterious effect on WebTV sellers
as they used GoTo Auctions because there are so many problems
with listing on ebaY directly. Scot felt that ebaY would come to the
rescue and take care of the small scale seller by providing features
such as scheduling and WebTV compatibility. We protested that
all ebaYs actions in the past pointed to the fact that they could
care less about small scale sellers. Scot said that GoTo might
consider providing services to match the needs of small scale
sellers in the future, but that they were not set up to do so now.
The very expensive ebaY application program interface, that
ebaY is forcing third party service providers to use, is in turn
forcing those service providers to charge fees to recoup the costs.
Additionally, running server based services such as GoTo Auctions
is expensive, employees must be paid and profits made to keep the
company viable in its investor's eyes. We still objected to the
wholesale abandonment of the small scale seller, and hope we made
a sufficient argument to cause GoTo Auctions to at least consider
taking some ameliorating action.
* * * * *
Andale online auction service company settled its trademark dispute
with Andalay an online shopping guide. Andalay sued Andale in
May in U.S. District Court, charging that the Andale had infringed
upon its name and trademark. The two companies settled out of
court and Andalay will sell its name and domain to Andale.
Both parties to the suit contacted by TAG declined to disclose
the terms of the settlement, but a reliable source of TAG's told
us that Andale paid Andalay 1.8 million to settle the dispute.
* * * * *
Online Auction Users Association has live chats.
http://www.auctionusers.org/chat/   Feb schedule
Thurs, 8 Feb, 21:00 ET - Chat with BidBay CEO - George Tannous
Thurs 15 Feb, 21:00 ET - Chat with Mia Di Giovanni CEO of
Mon 19 Feb 22:00 ET - Trivia Night with Trivia Master Steve
In addition there are several open topic and social chats. See the
OAUA site for a full schedule.
* * * * *
An interesting series of articles on Volunteers who have built
"community" sites
* * * * *
Interested in an Online Auction Industry CoOperative Auction and
Trading Site? Interested in getting involved?
Start here with the wheel already well invented
Information on co-ops -
How to Start
Want to put your two cents in? Online Auction co-op Discussions
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