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TAGnotes Tue 27 Feb 2001 Vol 3 Number 29 Issue 290

The Auction Guild Notes for Tue 27 Feb 2001
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Users reported problems with listing on ebaY starting at around
08:49 PT. Users posted about this on the ebaY boards, and one user
emailed ebaY at 11:00 PT, but there was no response from ebaY until
after 16:00. The problem was acknowledged by Katy@ebaY on
the ebaY DNF board, "I have only been here since about four, and
this was about the time we discovered the problem with code"
but no post was made to the ebaY AB until 20:30:19. When asked
by ebaY users why no post had been made all those hours later about
the problem, Katy@ebaY at 18:58:24 PT said, "if we posted every time
we received reports of problems we had not yet verified the AB would
be so long it would take a day to read. We do need to take the time to
check where the problem is coming from since reports of this kind
can be due to a variety of causes and only affecting a small number
of listers." In TAG's view, since ebaY regularly removes outage
information from the AB and normally only leaves product and self
promotional material, we don't see where posting information about
glitches and outages should be a problem. Of course such postings
would entitle users to refunds that ebaY currently can ignore since they
only acknowledge a limited portion of their outages and problems.

ebaY posted at 20:30:19 that from approximately 10:30 to 17:50 PT,
due to code updating, items listed with quotation marks in the
description may have photos or description text missing. Listings
completed after 17:50 PT should not be affected. TAG strongly
recommends that any user with missing text, end their auctions and
ask for refunds for all fees, listing and special feature. If you
correct text in the description it will NEVER index and show up in title
and description search. If you are only missing an image, you can
revise or add to the auction listing. Remember on auctions with bids,
record the email addresses of all your bidders, cancel all bids first
and then end the auctions. Email all your bidders with an explanation of
why you ended the auction and the item number of the new auction. A very
useful tool to do this can be found at

For information and links to request refunds on ebaY go to

ebaY has acknowledged two more ongoing problems with their
system that effect listings. Putting an apostrophe in a word in an
auction title can cause the title to not index properly, so it doesn't
show up in search. This problem is caused by difficulties with the
coding of apostrophes, and certain software programs can do it
successfully while others don't. The best option is to leave them out
of your listing titles. ebaY is currently having a problem with
disappearing gallery images, where auctions are not being indexed
into the description search and this is effecting the smart search for
personal gallery items. ebaY is aware that this is happening to some
of their users and are in the process of finding the cause of this error
to repair it. ebaY says that everyone with a personal gallery search is
having the same problem. More information about these and other search
problems can be found at   

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/

*PINK Quote of the Day* On 27 Feb at 18:21:34 PT, when asked
on the ebaY boards if emails sent through the ebaY mail system
would be read, screened or saved Katy@ebaY replied, "we have
stated and will still maintain that we are not reading or saving your
mail. There are no filters or keyword detectors. These are just
rumors I have seen started here and have absolutely no basis in fact.
I hope you will pass that along, okay? It might ease some of the
tension that builds around such misinformation."
Since the information put out by employees does NOT supercede
that which is in the user agreement, one must go to the user
agreement to see what it says. "As described below, some of your
personally identifiable information is disclosed to third parties and
used by us and third parties. By accepting the User Agreement, you
expressly consent to our use and disclosure of your personally
identifiable information. This Privacy Policy is incorporated into and
subject to the terms of the eBay User Agreement.
If you choose to post messages in our Cafés, chat rooms or other
message areas or leave feedback for other users, we will collect such
information about you as you choose to disclose. If you send us
personal correspondence, such as emails or letters, or if other users
or third parties send us correspondence about your activities or
postings on the Site, we may collect such information into a file
specific to you. "
TAG sees nothing in this privacy agreement that would preclude ebaY
from doing whatever they want with the information in the emails sent
through their system. Only a change of the privacy agreement will
insure that what Katy said would or could be believable.
For the full text of the privacy information go to

ebaY is holding a FREE LISTING DAY on ebaY Australia.
All items that are listed on eBay Australia (i.e. in AU$) between
12:00:01 am AEST and 11:59:59 pm AEST on Thursday 1March
will be free to list. This will apply to insertion fees only. All other
fees (including reserve price fees, final value fees, gallery and
feature fees) will still apply. ebaY users in ANY country can list on
ebaY Australia, as long as they are willing to ship internationally and
list in AU$. For more info http://pages.ebay.com.au/freelist.html

For workarounds to ebaY's email system and attempt at exclusive
agency go to http://www.auctionguild.com/generic.html?pid=50

Users continue to report problems with the new email system. ISPs
and service providers such as AOL, Hotmail, Earthlink, Yahoo, and
Angelfire all have filters in place to prevent emails using a system
like ebaYs from getting through their system. Users are also being
forced to turn off their own SPAM filters in order to receive emails
from their ebaY customers using ebaYs system. CNET did an
article on this issue today

Blackthorne/ebaY is claiming that they stopped selling their
Auction Assistant and Auction Assistant Pro software the day
they announced the change. TAG wants to know WHEN
Blackthorne/ebaY knew they were making the change, and if they
are going to refund the license fees for all purchasers of their
software who bought the software during the time frame that
Blackthorne/ebaY knew they were going to make that software
obsolete, and the time they announced it.

In TAG's opinion, all the current license holders should
be grandfathered. Normally, even a major software upgrade of
a product does not make previous versions of the product completely
unusable, as this Blackthorne/ebaY change does. Notices of the change
in no way explain how the new system would make the licensed software
unuseable. In fact a statement on the change states "Your current
Auction Assistant software will continue to work just as before, though
it will not be upgraded to support new eBay features" when in fact
changes made by ebaY, such as the email change, will disable the
software as it did on 26 Feb.

ebaY Contact Information, analog mail and email addresses and
phone numbers, regular and toll free.
* * * * *
Amazon Auctions, zShops and Marketplace

Announcements board
Amazon User chat 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. http://user.auctions.yahoo.com/html/guidelines.html

Yahoo announcement board

Yahoo site map.

Yahoo Contact Information

Current Auctions approx 408,953 calculated formula total,
This total is based on all auctions accessible from Yahoo search.
4% of items ending in the next 24 hours have at least one bid.
* * * * *
SmoothSale performed maintenance tonight from 18:00 to 20:00 PT.
* * * * *
BidPay - In response to the information TAG ran yesterday on BidPay
we received several more descriptions of problems with BidPay.
All these problems can be avoided if sellers do NOT ship until they
have the money order in hand. Sellers should add this caveat to
their listings, so buyers are informed of this term when paying using
the BidPay system.   http://www.bidpay.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 -
Ideas for co-ops continue to develop
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