TAGnotes Wed 3 Apr 2001 Vol 3 Number 46 Issue 307
Auction Guild Notes for Wed 4 Apr 2001
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On 2 Apr at 00:41:26 PT users reported completed search down.
At 05:11:18 PT About Me pages were missing and at 06:06:03 PT
users were getting connection reset messages and cgi 3 was throwing
error messages. At 09:29:56 PT users reported the cgi 3 problems
were still going on and at 15:57:14 PT posted problems with listing.
Users reported at 17:25:46 PT that they were unable to place bids.
These problems were intermittent throughout the day. ebaY posted
at 18:07:52 eGT (ebaY glitch time) that Due to a Daylight Savings
Time bug in Microsoft Visual C++ code, that ebaY ended some
auctions with end dates on 1 or 2 April prematurely. ebaY will
credit sellers whose auctions were affected with all fees for that
auction. The credit will appear on the Account Status as an
"Outage Credit" before the April 15th billing cycle.
On 3 Apr at 04:22:41 PT this first of the reports that ebaY's emailing
system was down, work again at 05:54:15 PT, but there were intermittent
problems with it all day. Users also complained about problems with
settings changing on auctions. a seller opts for one setting, but when
they checked the listed item, a different setting shows up. One of the
ongoing ones is with Billpoint showing up on auctions where it was not
authorized by the seller, but users reported other settings such as US
only shipping changing to international shipping. At 15:43:43 eGT ebaY
posted that some features were intermittently down. Users started to
report problems and outages starting at 16:19:06 PT that ability to bid
was down, cgi 5 was down, auctions were showing in the wrong categories,
open auction were showing as closed, there were cgi 3 errors on the
boards. At 16:41:47 eGT ebaY posted that they had fixed all the problems
and that everything was working again. Users reported the system back up
at 17:01:26 PT, but at 17:05:48 was still slow or there was no access
for some users. At 17:15:40 PT users reported cgi 1,3 and 5 giving
'This functionality is currently unavailable Please try again later'
messages. The site was back at 17:29:50 PT, and at 17:47:49 PT sellers
again posted they could not send email to their winning bidders. At
18:08:23 PT sellers lists were down and at 18:35:23 PT buyer could not
use the Buy it Now (BIN) feature. Users reported at 19:02:42 PT that
the ebaY email system was again down. The site was again reported slow
at 19:41:16 PT. BIN continued to cause problems reported at 20:28:42 PT
and at 20:48:58 PT cgi 5 was again slow. At 07:03:14 PT users had
problems posting to the boards with cgi 3 intermittently down. On 4 Apr
at 15:26:55 eGT ebaY posted
that some features on the ebaY site were intermittently unavailable
on 3 April from 16:15 PT to 17:40 PT. Despite the problems
exceeding ebaYs one hour rule, no automatic refunds were offered.
ebaY also conveniently ignored all the other problems that lasted
for several hours more.
ebaY is extending regularly scheduled maintenance an additional
hour. If you have auctions scheduled to end on Thurs 5 Apr at 2300
on, you might want to consider canceling them as they will be
down during the last hour. Maintenance is scheduled to end at
03:00 PT on Fri 6 April. ebaY will not issue credits for auctions
ending during the extended outage. ebaY claims this extended
maintenance will eliminate a majority of the most recent causes
of the site downtime. See the Pink Quote of the Day for the first
post ebaY made about this extended maintenance.
Users continue to complain about auctions that are relisted and
close successfully. The sellers are NOT receiving their listing
refunds on all auctions. This appears to be particularly
problematical on auctions that close with BIN, but others are also
affected. TAG strongly recommends that ALL sellers TRACK
your auctions and record what credits, refunds and rebates you
feel you should receive for outages, relist credits, Billpoint rebates
etc. ebaY is NOT doing this sufficiently well enough for sellers to
risk ebaYs accounting. Many third party service providers and programs
might already accomplish this for you. In an interesting twist, some
users reported that they were getting listing credits for listing using
Billpoint enabled auctions when they should NOT have. ebaY will
undoubtedly fix THAT problem immediately and
recharge the erroneously credited fees to the seller.
TO REQUEST REFUNDS from ebaY go to
Don't take no for an answer, keep requesting until you get them.
Pink Quote of the Day on the AB ebaY said, "The eBay system
will be unavailable Thursday April 5th from 11:00pm PDT until
Friday, April 6th at 03:00am PDT for regularly scheduled
maintenance. We continue to improve the quality and functionality
of our site, and this change will eliminate a majority of the most
recent causes of downtime for the site. This maintenance is due to the
overwhelming success of last week’s outage." TAG is happy to see
that ebaY is finding outages so successful and lucrative for them,
the sellers would not agree. And in another ebaY quote, when users
discussed the fact that the status lights on the Community board
never changed color from green when the site went down on 3 April
at 17:05:26 PT Sonny@ebaY said, "actually, the lights are manual at
this point. We've literally got someone pushing the buttons as things
go up and down. By the time our light-person got there, everything
was back, though intermittent. Thus, the yellow lights. We've been
discussing a better way of doing this, obviously :)" So the lights
accurately reflect - nothing.
To make sure your HTML works BEFORE you finish your listings,
test your HTML at a site such as this one. This will be of great
assistance to avoid problems with tables and td tags, along with
other HTML problems - http://watson.addy.com/
It will catch all of the common mistakes like unmatched tags.
For sellers who feel they have not had their refunds or other situations
dealt with to your satisfaction, you can file reports with
The Attorney General of California and also in your home state
The Better Business Bureau
The Federal Trade Commission
The Office of Consumer Affair, US Department of Commerce
send email to - Caffemail@example.com
The FBI's Internet Fraud Units
National Fraud Information Center
If you have access problems on ebaY try one of these anonymizers
Masking servers list http://webveil.com/matrix.html
TAG strongly recommends ALL users read the new User and
User Agreement: http://pages.ebay.com/help\basics\uarevision1-faq.html
To view the entire revised User Agreement, go to:
ebaY has another advertisement for Square Trade on the AB, but
still has no disclosure as to their fiduciary relationship with Square
Trade. For an annual fee based on revenues, sellers can buy a
Square Trade seal.
TAG feels that the OAUA seal is a much more valuable one, as
it is provided by an outside organization of users, not one tied
financially to ebaY.
ebaY posted that the FBI is investigating complaints concerning
www.worldescrow.com, a website operated by a Romanian company
that claims to provide escrow services for auction users.
If users have registered with this company, you can provide information
to ebaY that they say they will forward to the FBI via email to
firstname.lastname@example.org put world-escrow in the Subject line.
ebaY has again revised the criteria for buyers to use Buy It Now (BIN).
Buy It Now feature must meet one of the following requirements:
*Have a credit card on file OR
*Verify their identity OR
*Have a minimum feedback of ten (10).
It will take several days for this to become fully functional.
ebaY is defaulting relisted items to one duration less than the time
the original auction was listed for. This is tied in with the time
change glitch. For example an item originally listed for seven days
now has a duration of five days when relisted. This also happens
when a listing is ended early by the seller, or when anything changes
the normal increment between listing and ending. The system
subtracts the starting date and time from the ending date and time of
the original listing to determine the duration to be used when relisting
an item. If it is not exactly three, five, seven, or ten days, it drops
to the next lowest time duration. The exception is if this calculation
results in a number less than three days, in which case seven days is
used. Because of ebaYs errors, the time change caused auctions to be
one hour shorter triggering the default to a shorter auction duration.
When you relist an item, make sure the duration is the one you want.
ebaY has started to make the previously announced changes to search.
They have added the regional option to the control bar next to “highest
prices first” sort, and have made the default search “All items
including Gallery preview” tab. Both searches can be set to your
preference if you allow ebaY to put a cookie on your computer. It may
take several days for these changes to take place.
As reported in TAGnotes Mon 2 Apr 2001 Vol 3 Number 45 Issue 306,
ebaY has added a clause to section 19 of the user agreement allowing
them to assign all user info in case of a merger or of being acquired.
This was picked up by the main stream media and an article on the
subject can be found at
Meg Whitman spoke at a conference on the Ever-changing Face
of ebaY. To listen to the 45 minute address go to:
2001/ec_ebay_audio.rm username: conference/conf3
For workarounds to ebaY's email system and attempt at exclusive
agency go to http://www.auctionguild.com/generic.html?pid=50
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 announced that as of 7 May 2001,
Bibliofind will unite with Amazon.com through Amazon's Marketplace
and zShops operations. Customers will find a new Bibliofind home
page where they can search for rare, used, and out-of-print
books for sale by independent booksellers through Amazon
Marketplace and zShops. They will not transfer any personal
information you gave Bibliofind to Amazon.com or to any other party.
Amazon live telephone customer service 16 hours a day Toll-free
in U.S. and Canada: (800)201-7575
Approx 815,000 with an unknown number of duplicate listed items
based on 11 categories actual counts, 9 categories estimated counts.
* * * * *
Users reported Yahoo down for parts of the day on 4/5 April.
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
Live chats -
Thursday 12 April 21:00 ET - Chat with Ewanted
Monday 16 April 21:30 or 22:00 p.m. ET - Trivia Night with
Trivia Master Steve
Thursday 19 Apr 21:00 ET - Chat with OAUA President Jen Hassler
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.
Vintage Items Co-Op info can be found at
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