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TAGnotes Thu 8 Feb 2001 Vol 3 Number 20 Issue 281

The Auction Guild Notes for Thu 8 Feb 2001
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ebaY is changing their outage refund and extension policy. Their
past policy was for any HARD outage lasting two hours or more ebaY
would automatically refund all fees for items ending during the
outage and for one hour after the outage and all the auctions ending
during the outage and for one hour after would be extended by 24 hours.
ebaY defined what a HARD outage was, and that definition was not
consistent. They now say that the definition of HARD outage is when
either the View Item or Bidding features are completely unavailable and
under the new policy they will
* Automatically credit all fees for affected listings of outages over
2 hours. This applies to any listing scheduled to end during the
outage and any listing scheduled to end in the hour after the end of
the outage.
* Extend for 24 hours any listing scheduled to end during the outage
or any listing scheduled to end in the hour after the end of the outage

They have added a policy for outages that last between 1 and 2 hours.
If either the View Item or Bidding features are completely unavailable
they will
* Automatically credit all fees for affected listings of outages between
1 and 2 hours (listings will not be extended.) This applies to any
listing scheduled to end during the outage and any listing scheduled to
end in the hour after the end of the outage
*Automatically credit the extra 10-cent fee on any 10-day listing that
is running during the outage (regardless of the time it's scheduled to

If Title Search is completely unavailable they will
* Automatically credit all fees for affected listings of Title Search
outages over 1 hour (listings will not be extended.) This applies
to any listing scheduled to end during the outage and any listing
scheduled to end in the hour after the end of the outage
The policy can be viewed at

TAG feels this is a start, but does not address situations where
there are outages of title and description search, Seller Search
and My ebaY. All these are critical features and should earn the same
automatic credits as the auctions that ebaY will give credit for. TAG
also feels that ebaY should give, when requested and without argument,
refunds for any auction a seller feels was negatively impacted by any
malfunction of the ebaY site, and that they should also refund all fees
for any auction that ends with a duly reported deadbeat bidder.

ebaY had a multiplicity of outages on 1,2,3,5,6,& 7 FEB for details
go to   http://www.auctionguild.com/generic.html?pid=43
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.

TAG has been considering making this a regular feature called PINK
Quote of the Day. Please send us your contributions and include the
question or comment answered, the name/date/time and the whole
quote in context.

PINK Quote of the Day
Discussion was about the January outages, the lack of the alleged
hot backup, and the admission by ebaY that they knew repairs were
needed but still did not make them.   
ka-@ebay.com on Feb-08-01 at 20:25:05 PT
"No, it was the important holiday season and we took a calculated risk
that we could wait. We were wrong, but were trying to do the right thing
in accordance with what sellers had requested in regards to changes made
during the holidays"
Unfortunately the number one thing users on ebaY request and never
get is SITE STABILITY. TAG estimates ebaY's up rate at approx 90%.
the industry STANDARD is 99%.

ebaY is SPAMMING it's users again by adding unsolicited and
unwanted commercial messages that users can not even opt out of
to the End Of Auction notices. This SPAM is selling products for
SAVE $10! eBay and FTD.COM have teamed up" etc. Messages are
approx 140 words long. Report all violations to TRUSTe
http://www.truste.com/users/users_watchdog.html or
CAUCE http://www.cauce.org/

Title search is currently running approx 4 hours behind, title and
description search is running approx 6 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

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 394,822 calculated formula total, a drop of
2.44 mil auctions since the high of 2.83 mil on 9 Jan, an 86% loss.
Last free relisting ends 10 Feb for 10 day auctions and 22 Feb for 14
day auction. Yahoo auctions have an approx 2% of auctions with bids.
* * * * *
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 does say that on 15 Feb for they will update
listings to retroactively modifying sellers' listings on the site to
reflect Amazon.com Payments for sellers who have completed the
Amazon.com Payments registration. TAG recommends that you
carefully monitor this situation. We also continue to get reports
of auctions disappearing on Amazon. This has been a problem since
the start of Amazon Auctions, so carefully monitoring is in order.

Amazon Seller Announcements board

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
* * * * *
DutchBid has had to back off their purchase of Golds Auction and
to declare a breach of contract. DutchBid is working on upgrades to
their system based on user suggestions.
* * * * *
Andale owned Honesty.Com On 15 Feb will begin charging sellers
for Image Hosting space that exceeds 3MB. 0-3 MB free
approx 40-50 images at 50-60KB each, 3.1-5MB $5.00/month,
5.1-10MB $10.00/month, 10.1-20MB $20.00/month,
20.1-50MB $37.50/month, 50.1-100MB $50.00/month
If you use Honesty’s new Optional for fee Services (My Gallery,
Post-Sale, Auto Relist, or Post Later/Repeat Scheduler), you can
receive up to $4.00 in credit each month. For each optional service
used during a month – even if used only once – you get a $1.00
credit and Honesty will apply the monthly total toward the total
Image Hosting fee for that same month.
* * * * *
PayPal and Providian have agreed to create a co-branded credit card
that PayPal will be offer to their customers. Providian, the fifth
largest issuer of credit cards in the US has the option to launch a
money transfer system that PayPal would operate. Providian's share
is believed to be less than 10%.

PayPal has been having ongoing customer service problems resulting
in an unsatisfactory rating by the Better Business Bureau. Most of the
complaints claim PayPal is too slow to respond to questions and too
quick to freeze accounts when it suspects fraud
* * * * *
Online Auction Users Association has live chats.
http://www.auctionusers.org/chat/   Feb schedule
Thurs 15 Feb, 21:00 ET - Chat with Mia Di Giovanni CEO of SmoothSale
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
* * * * *
Online Auction & Trading Site Co-op
Interested in an OAT Site Co-op?
Interested in getting involved?
Start here with the wheel already well invented
Information on co-ops -
How to Start
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