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TAGnotes Fri 23 Mar 2001 Vol 3 Number 40 Issue 301

The Auction Guild Notes for Fri 23 Mar 2001
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ebaY posted on 23 Mar at 19:03:37 PT admitting that there was a
problem with relist credits. As previously reported in TAGnotes,
between 14 Mar and 22 Mar relist fees on second time sold auctions
were not automatically credited. In addition, the memo in Account
Status notifying users that they re-listed the item was not displayed
through 23 Mar. ebaY claims that they have resolved both problems.
They also claim that due to the nature of the problem, they can't
determine which listings were re-listed from 14 Mar to 22 Mar.
ebaY is asking sellers who re-listed an item between 14 Mar and
22 Mar that sold the second time listed, so qualifies for a re-list
credit, contact ebaY Customer Support and request refunds. TAG
feels this is inadequate action on ebaYs part, and they should just
credit ALL fees for relisting from 14-22 March. This is a problem
created by ebaY, if ebaY wont do an auto credit, they should email every
seller who listed an item from 14-22 March informing them of the
problem, and reimburse sellers for the time it will take to reconstruct
their records. Though a small matter for sellers who relist only a few
items a day, this could be a costly bookkeeping project for the seller
who runs hundreds or thousands of auctions. Anything less on ebaYs part
could be perceived as being fraudulent. To request credit ebaY wants
sellers to go to http://pages.ebay.com/help/basics/select-support.html
and select Billing: Credit - How can I receive credit for insertion
fees. Also, in order for us to review whether a credit is warranted,
you must include the following information:
1. The original item number
2. The re-listed item number
3. The dates of the original listing and the re-listing
For more information on which listings qualify for a credit, go to
ebaY says that if a credit is applicable, your account will be
credited within 10-14 business days after you submit your request.

TAG strongly protests ebaYs attempt to 'scapegoat' third party
service providers as being the cause of this problem, when it was
clearly due to ebaY's implementation of the Billpoint Promotion.
When asked why ebaY had not posted about this problem on the AB,
Katy@ebaY on 23 Mar at 06:59:53 PT said, "I don't handle AB posts,
but I know that this did not affect a majority of members, and there is
no intent to actually charge undeserved fees, so there may not be a
post. If this affected your auctions, can you tell me if you use Vrane?
There seem to be a few common denominators among those affected" This
position was rapidly proved false by ebaYs subsequent posting of the
problem on the AB.

ebaY users have reported the site as very slow since 15 Mar with no
respite. Cable modem users appear to be most effected by the slowness.
Though there have been indications on the internet traffic report that
the internet as a whole is slow, many users stated that ebaY is the only
site they are having trouble with. There is a thread on the subject at

ebaY also appears to have developed a problem starting on 20 Mar
with Canadian Sympatico HSE. It is unclear if ebaY has blocked
this ISP, or if there are other problems. There is an appearance of
a blockage because users who have posted through an anonymizer
site such as www.safeweb.com can access ebaY.

For directions on requesting ebaY refunds go to

ebaY on 23 Mar at 17:14:45 PT posted a change to the User and
Privacy Policy Agreements (UA/PP). TAG has done a quick review
and one in depth read through, and our overall first impression
assessment, is that this is an acceptable revision with no glaring
problems. These revisions are effective on 21 Mar for new registering
users, and are otherwise effective on 15 May for all users registered
prior to 21 Mar.

ebaY has added "or through any email feature" to their definition of
your information, and they did not specifically state they would not
read or save email feature emails in the privacy agreement. This still
allows ebaY to harvest, read and store the emails from their internal
system by virtue of their user agreement, and in spite of their stated
policy to the contrary. The internal email system is not directly
addressed anywhere in the Privacy Policy. TAG will do more in depth
research and analysis of the User Agreement and Privacy Policy and post
it on the TAG website over the course of the next week. For a summary
of the revisions to the UA and Privacy Policy, go to:
User Agreement: http://pages.ebay.com/help\basics\uarevision1-faq.html
Privacy Policy: http://pages.ebay.com/help/basics/pprevision1-faq.html
To view the entire revised User Agreement, go to:
To view the enter revised Privacy Policy, go to:

ebaY has backed down on the Mailing/Customer list issue.
They have posted an apology on the ebaY Discuss New Feature
board, saying that the information and threats of suspension
sent to users were an error, and will be corrected. Users are
allowed to have an opt in mailing/customer list link in their auctions,
though ebaY is still thinking about what their policy will be on
mailing/customer links. As of now, though there are no clear
answers, the thinking by ebaY CS reps is that ebaY would
prefer the link be on the users About Me page and in their end of
auction notices, rather than on the auction page, but, as TAG
reported previously, there is NO rule that prevents users from
putting the link in their auctions. TAG wonders what caused
this retraction, and theorizes that ebaY legal intervened due to
standing contracts with third party service providers, and the
risk to ebaY's venue only status. Issues of restraint of trade,
and illegal exclusive agency, probably also played a part in this
retraction. ebaY CS is attempting to present this as an error or
misunderstanding on the part of some reps, but TAG has written
documentation that senior CS reps were involved. TAG is gratified
to see this reversal, and hope ebaY reimburses the users who they
threatened with suspension, who had to revise auctions and About
Me pages based on incorrect interpretation of ebaY rules.

Pink Quote of the Day when a seller who was one of the ones
threatened with suspension asked about it, Maeve@ebaY at
12:47:08 PT said, "the information you received from an outside
source was incorrect. The policies are being reviewed and no
changes have been made at this time. I am here to try to explain
the policies and what is going on." Outside Source is what ebaY
calls TAG. The seller then posted the emails from ebaY showing
ebaY as the source of the alleged misinformation. Later, when
asked where in the User Agreement, opt in mailing/customer list
were prohibited in auction listings, Maeve@ebaY on 23 Mar at
12:59:55 PT said "that is the part of the policy being reviewed.
Whether or not to allow the links to opt in lists on auction pages
or not....as far as I know nothing has been decided yet and the
email that went out to some sellers was a mistake."
The new user and privacy agreements also do NOT prevent users
from having these lists.

ebaY is changing the Community Overview page. The changes will
include an expanded news section and a System Status section. The
news section will include an Announcement's part with headlines on
new features, policies or promotions. Clicking the headline will
provide the full text of the announcement. At the end of the headlines
will be link to view all the announcements made over the past 30 days.
The System Status section will contain a lighted dashboard and will
indicate the current status of the five most used site features -
Search, View an Item, Bidding, Sell Your Items, and My eBay. Beneath the
dashboard will be a view system status reports link, so users can view
all system status messages posted over the past 30 days. To see a
mockup of the pages go to

ebaY is changing their search results interface to viewing Regional
and Gallery images. The Regional option is on the control bar next
to highest prices first sort, and you can filter the results regionally
by clicking on the new items near me link and selecting a preferred
Region. ebaY will place a cookie on your computer to save the preference
until you change it. ebaY is also setting the default on all searches to
the All items including Gallery preview tab. Users
will be able to select a different tab and receive a cookie that will
remember which tab is preferred when conducting searches.

ebaY is having a Sports Memorabilia Live Auction on 26 Mar at
10:00 PT. Some of the items are Sosa's 64th homerun ball from
1998, memorabilia from Steven Lopez, Mickey Mantle, Ken
Griffey Jr, Nolan Ryan etc. Also, fantasy vacations will be offered
where bidders can buy 18 holes of golf or spend a day at spring
training with baseball hall-of-famers Stan Musial and Bob Gibson.
Preview and register at http://www.ebayliveauctions.com/

ebaY has some caveats about the Billpoint promotion on the AB.
Sellers will have to pay all listing fee up front, and if eligible will
get insertion fee credits by 15 May, which will show on the next ebaY
invoice after that date. You must pay your current ebaY invoice
amount in full or risk your account being placed on hold for
non-payment. For more information about the Billpoint Promotion
go to http://www.billpoint.com/promotion/flw.html
Billpoint Promotion FAQ is at
The promotion runs through 13 April.

ebaY/Blackthorne 24/7 email response time - message sent 22 Mar
12:24 PT to s-@ebay.com and as of 15:47:23 PT no answer received
Version 10 of Seller Assistant is now available for download.

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

ebaY search lag times Title search 1 3/4 hours Title and Description
Search 10 hours. http://www.geocities.com/codclass/content/lag.html

ebaY Contact Information, analog mail and email addresses and
phone numbers, regular and toll free, refund info and insider
trading info go to http://www.auctionguild.com/generic.html?pid=17
* * * * *
Amazon Auctions, zShops and Marketplace
Amazon User chat board

Amazon owned Bibliofind.Com is free for the
bookselling community.

Amazon live telephone customer service 16 hours a day Toll-free
in U.S. and Canada: (800)201-7575
* * * * *
Yahoo Auction
Yahoo announcement board

Yahoo site map.

Yahoo Contact Information
Yahoo PayDirect phone number

Actual auction count 21 Mar 267,761 of all auctions available via
the Yahoo category page. Spot check yields a 10% bid rate and an
approx 1.5% daily sell through rate including take it now sales.
* * * * *
Online Auction Users Association
The March newsletter is out and can be viewed at

Thursday, March 29, 9 p.m. EST - Chat with Joe Force from
Bargin and Haggle. com (tentative, waiting for confirmation)
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
To participate in weekly live co-op chats go to
Every Sunday Night at 8:00 PM EST.
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