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TAGnotes Thu 22 Feb 2001 Vol 3 Number 26 Issue 287

The Auction Guild Notes for Thu 22 Feb 2001
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21 Feb 14:05:59 PST ebaY users reported completed search was slow
and intermittently down. For the most part the ebaY site was stable on
21 Feb. On 22 Feb at 05:02:30 PT ebaY reported members receiving
error messages when using the sell your item feature, since 02:40 PT.
ebaY posted at 05:37:51 PT the service was restored as of 05:26 PT.
Users reported that relist was also down during the same time period,
and they reported both features back up at 05:21:13 PT. The site
remained relatively stable for the rest of the day. Scheduled
maintenance commenced at 01:00, and though was not posted on
the announcement board was scheduled to run until 03:00 PT.

Users are again reporting on the OAI/OTI boards that once again
ebaY has changed NO settings back to YES to accept SPAM and
allow ebaY to sell your email address. To check your settings go to

*PINK Quote if the Day* When asked about why the outages from
the previous days were not posted on the AB Gianni@ebaY on
Feb-21-01 at 14:33:21 PT said,
" I don't know why announcements weren't made about these outages.
eBay reserves the right to make announcements regarding our site.
Not everything is going to be announced, like a problem with a
specific search or something similiar. eBay will announce when the
entire site is unavailable."
In TAG's opinion it is unfortunate that ebaY can have several days
of site malfunctions and outages, not post about any of them, and
then deny they ever had any problems, and therefore deny refunds.

To review the ebaY OUTAGES and problems from 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 14,
16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 February go to http://www.auctionguild.com/

ebaY is putting the access to email information changes into place this
week.   If you are not the buyer or seller in a closed auction, to
contact another member via email you can use ebaYs system, or use
* Click on the User ID (even if the User ID happens to be an email
address) In the case of a User ID that IS an email address you can just
copy paste the email address into a new message form from your
email system, and totally circumvent the ebaY system. Also many
sellers include a direct link in their auctions to their email address,
and if a seller has such a link, you can use that also. TAG
recommends every seller include an email link in their auctions.
* Fill out the new contact an ebaY member form. Enter a message
and click send, and ebaY will forward the message. This is similar
to the mail this auction to a friend feature.
* The message received by your recipient will contain your email
address so that s/he can respond to you directly. The reply goes
through the recipient’s mail provider and will not go through ebaY
* ebaY says it will not store a copy of your message and will not read
these emails, but the current user agreement and privacy policy allow
ebaY to harvest this information and add it to the profiles they may
keep on users.

The contact ebaY member feature will also include a link to a
policy page. This page will contain information about the ebaY
policy regarding offers to buy and sell outside of ebaY, based on
information obtained from ebaY listings or bidding activity.

TAG's has a solution to this situation that will protect both seller and
buyer from ebaY's accusations of SPAM or fee avoidance. This
solution will also restore the trust between buyer and seller that
TAG feels is inherently being destroyed by ebaYs actions in this
matter. Every seller should start a mailing list/customer database
that buyers can Opt In for. BigStep.Com has very flexible customer
database management tools that will facilitate a list such as we are
suggesting. Put a link to your mailing list/customer database in
EVERY auction. Any customer who voluntarily signs up, becomes
part of YOUR customer database NOT ebaYs.   If a potential buyer
emails you with a question about other items you might have for sale,
or about an item you no longer have listed on ebaY, inform them
that by ebaY's rules you cannot give them that information, BUT
if they want, they can sign up to become part of YOUR mailing
list/customer database. Once they sign up, they have agreed to
enter a direct relationship with you, therefore the seller is protected
against reports to ebaY from buyers, for breaking the rules, and the
buyer is protected, because they too received no information from you
that could jeopardize their ebaY registration, since they did not get
any information until you both entered into a direct relationship with
each other. The seller will have written proof of this direct
relationship in case it is needed in a court of law to prove that the
customer had voluntarily become a customer outside of their relationship
with ebaY. As far as TAG can tell, there is currently nothing in the
ebaY user agreement that would prohibit this method.

ebaY is changing the ask seller a question feature so that when a
buyer clicks on the ask seller a question link, ebaY will forward
a message to the seller that will have the item number and title.
The seller will receive an email from ebaY with your email address
displayed as the return address so that s/he can contact you directly.

These changes will not affect how sellers and bidders in successful
transactions email each other. In closed listings, sellers and winning
bidders will still be able to request each other’s email addresses. In
open listings, sellers will be able to request all bidder email
addresses as they currently do.

In addition, there are two changes to the find members page
* Removal of email addresses from the Contact Information Request
email, though your phone number will still be provided
* Masking of email addresses on the User ID History feature

For a FAQ go to http://pages.ebay.com/help/Contact_form_faq.html
The changes will happen first on the U.S. site and will follow in
upcoming weeks on the international sites.

ebaY insider trading information

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

Approx 5.36 Mil auctions inflated by approx 6% due to double
category listings yielding 5.04 mil auctions
* * * * *
Amazon Auctions, zShops and Marketplace made its transition
to the mandatory Amazon payment system. Items appeared and
disappeared for a couple of days, but it appears that all were
converted successfully. There continues to be a problem that
Amazon has always had with listings disappearing, so sellers
are advised to carefully track their auctions.

Amazon Seller Announcements board

Amazon live telephone customer service 16 hours a day Toll-free
in U.S. and Canada: (800)201-7575
* * * * *
Yahoo Auction still has not responded to questions about their
refund policy. We are also waiting for an answer to linking to
web pages from Yahoo auctions.

Yahoo announcement board

Yahoo site map.

Yahoo Contact Information

Current Auctions approx 423439 calculated formula total,
This total is based on all auctions accessible from Yahoo search.
Auctions ending within 24 hours show a 10% bid rate.
* * * * *
Andale/Honesty counters were down due to maintenance from
00:00PT to 08:00 PT on 22 Feb. A message on the site stated
that they had disabled the counter stats due to a large
strain on the database.
* * * * *
Bidders Edge has closed their web site, though there is still a
stripped down search utility at the URL. They have not closed
the business and are exploring other avenues of marketing their
tools. http://www.biddersedge.com
* * * * *
Online Auction Users Association
OAUA live chat http://www.auctionusers.org/chat.shtml

Interested in volunteering and serving the Online Auction Community?
Check out http://www.auctionusers.org/volunteerop.shtml
* * * * *
Online Auction & Trading Site Co-op
Interested in an OAT Site Co-op?
Interested in getting involved?
Information on co-ops -
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If you would like an Auction House or Service Provider added to
this list, please email us at ta-@theauctionguild.com
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