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TAGnotes Mon 30 Apr 2001 Vol 3 Number 53 Issue 314

The Auction Guild Notes for Mon 30 Apr 2001
IN MEMORY OF J.E.G. FEB 1918 - APR 2001
On 21 Apr at 04:48:59 PT users reported that ebaY motors listings
were showing in non automotive searches. At 09:20:16 PT the
final value fee (FVF) credit page was down intermittently. Users
reported completed search down at 16:56:05 PT and at 19:13:15 PT
there were problems with the book categories. At 21:10:32 PT users
reported cgi error messages when trying to access listings. These
problems were intermittent throughout the day.

The Canadian free listing day on 22 April started out problematically
with the listing page, and sellers account page not showing the free
listing credit. This problem was widely reported by users,
acknowledged by ebaY on the ebaY boards and finally fixed at
04:34:55 PT, over seven hours later. TAG strongly recommends
that anyone who listed on ebaY Canada with listings eligible for
free listing, carefully check their accounts to insure they received
the proper credit.

At 06:54:48 PT on 22 April the ebaY email system went down, and
was not back up until 09:01:43 PT. Users continued to report
intermittent problems with it for several hours. At 13:14:17 PT
revise auctions went down, and at 14:17:49 PT both relist and
revise were not working. Users reported getting This Page Will
Not Display and Input Error messages. At 14:34:42 PT completed
search was again working. ebaY had the red lights on the Sell and
My ebaY functions on the community board. Users reported that they
were unable to open up any auctions or from My ebaY. There were
even problems reported with accessing the Status Announcement
Board (SAB). At 20:51:31 PT some users reported problems with
access and slow reloads. This became more widespread at
22:41:55 PT, with users reporting internal errors whilst trying to
search and open auctions. At 23:38:10 PT users reported more
listing problems, and also that bids were not showing up on items
on the auction page even though bids were placed.

On 23 April at 16:03:08 PT users reported the ebaY cookie was not
holding so users had to keep logging in. There were also problems
with listing and relisting with pages timing out and very slow reloads,
and the confirmation page not coming up. These problems were
intermittent and appeared to affect only some users.

On 24 April at 04:46:43 PT users reported completed search down.
At 05:23:07 users were getting Network error Unable to read URL
from host cgi3.ebay.com. Users reported the feedback portion of
the My ebaY page was missing at 05:51:28 PT, but this only
affected some users. At 11:14:34 PT users reported relist was not
working. At 17:56:24 PT users again reported network errors, and
very slow reloads at 22:25:18 PT.

On 25 Apr at 02:53:02 PT some users reported listing down. At
07:56:19 PT users reported being unable to view and bid on auctions.
These functions were back at 08:14:29 PT, but users continued to
post about intermittent problems with them. Once again the sign
in cookies were not holding, an ongoing intermittent problems since
ebaY revised the My ebaY pages. ebaY users also reported being
SPAMMED by ebaY with a Half.Com email despite having their
ebaY SPAM settings set to no. At 20:08:27 PT users reported
internal error messages whilst accessing ebaY. ebaY reported at
20:59:30 PT that View items, Feedback, and Bidding may be
unavailable or intermittent and at 21:37:02 PT that View Items,
Feedback, and Bidding were intermittently down from approx
20:11 PT until 21:04 PT. There was also a Billpoint problem on
25 Apr between 16:00 and 19:30 PT. During this time, Billpoint
had a software glitch that caused some buyers transactions to be
processed multiple times. This multiple processing triggered
duplicate payment confirmation e-mails to both seller and buyer.
Billpoint has reversed the duplicate transactions and processed a
single successful transaction, so you should see one approved
order in your Billpoint Sales History and cancelled orders for
the duplicate transactions that Billpoint corrected. TAG
recommends you carefully review any transactions that occurred
during this glitch to make sure the net result is correct.

On 26 April at 04:49:11 PT users posted problems with the site as
Search, About Me pages, and View Seller Auctions were all down.
Problems were noted through 05:21:24 PT. At 12:31:46 PT ebaY
posted that Viewing Items, the Feedback Forum, and Bidding were
intermittently unavailable from approx 04:05 PT until 04:45 PT.
At 18:30:04 PT users posted they were getting errors on cgi 5
The page cannot be displayed The page you are looking for is
currently unavailable. The Web site might be experiencing technical
difficulties, or you may need to adjust your browser settings.

ebaY took the system down for scheduled maintenance from 0100 PT
until 0300 PT on Friday, 27 April. At 15:54:34 PT ebaY announced
that they were going to take the feedback forum down from 00:00 PT
to 00:30 PT on Sat 18 for maintenance. At 12:55:39 PT users reported
Network error Unable to read URL from host cgi3.ebay.com:
Connection reset by peer messages. At 15:53:23 PT completed search
was down. Users reported problems with My ebaY, search and
bidding at 17:58:24 PT. At 18:40:39 PT ebaY noted that Computer,
Glass, Photo, Electronics, Pottery, Stamps, Coins, Dolls, Doll
Houses, Home and Garden, Tickets, Travel, Books, Movies, Music,
Antiques, and Art were down. The Accounts section was also not
working. At 19:31:12 PT ebaY posted that the outage was from
17:58 PT to 18:55 PT and that View Item and Bidding were
unavailable in these categories.   Users reported many more areas
with problems than those listed by ebaY, including the sports
categories. According to users the site was back up at 19:40:35 PT,
but at 20:44:43 users again reported network errors, problems with
search, and intermittent cgi failure messages on most functions. These
problems continued until approx 21:40:10 PT.

On 28 April ebaY posted at 07:59:26 PT that the feedback forum was
down from 00:00 PT to 00:06 PT. The site functioned well for the rest
of the day barring the ongoing unfixed ebaY problems.

Users posted on 29 Apr at 10:42:15 that they were receiving error
messages. These did not last long and the site functioned for most
of the day. At 18:42:01 PT users again got network errors, but all
appeared to be functioning normally again by 19:55:59 PT.

On 30 Apr ebaY posted at 03:54:23 PT that the Feedback Forum
was down from 02:53 PDT to 03:10 PDT. Users reported
continuing problems with the sign in feature. At 11:46:15 PT
users reported cgi6 having intermittent outages and at 11:55:10
cgi3 joined in with intermittent glitches. At 12:44:52 seller search
went down and at 12:47:36 search and the sports category were
reported down. At 12:57:25 PT users reported they could not bid
and at 14:00:05 PT ebaY acknowledged they were having problems
when Louise@ebaY posted, "We had some bad code go out to 25%
of the machines, but it shouldn't be doing it any more ... Louise"
Unfortunately the problems continued to be reported by users until
17:14:07. These were intermittent, and not officially recognized by
ebaY. At 21:13:04 users reported blank pages on cgi 5, and at
22:13:46 PT that reloads were slow. ebaY continues to function
in an unstable manner despite endless promises by the ebaY powers
that be that the site will be fixed.

TAG recommends that any seller who feels their auctions were
negatively impacted by the outages, request refunds from ebaY for
all listing, special feature and final value fees. For links and
information on requesting ebaY refunds go to

Pink Quote of the Day, Katy@ebaY on 25 Apr at 12:49:22 PT in
a discussion about the 'ON' default for ebaYs escrow service said,
"the default is set for escrow on items over $500 primarily to
encourage new sellers to offer this option. It is expected that older
sellers will know to set their preferences so that this option will not
appear if it is not wanted. I will pass on your concerns about it, but I
hope that by offering the choice we can please everyone as much as
possible. " Unfortunately TAG thinks the word should have been 'trick'
not 'encourage' as that is exactly what ebaY is doing by having the
default set to 'ON'.

ebaY users attending ebaY U the weekend of 21-22 Apr, reported
that ebaY personnel stated that ebaY is doing away with Mister Lister.
There was no official word, but a 6 months or less time period was
mentioned. The plan included the removal of the soho address and
all the Mr Lister resources shut down when Mr Lister ceases to be
available. When asked about this, Katy@ebaY at 08:59:01 PT
on 26 April said, "The report of its early demise is not correct.
The plan is to keep it in place. :)...Katy" and then Louise@ebaY
at 10:29:59 PT added, "Hi everyone! I know Katy posted earlier,
but I thought I'd clarify. I just spoke with one of the PTB, and
we have no current plans to stop offering MisterLister as a
product which will provide the features of the Sell YourItem
page. It will of course never have all the capabilities of Seller's
Assistant.... ----- Louise" and "since Composer uses the back-end,
I don't see that going away. I will try to find out for you for sure
though. -----Louise" Many questions about the fate of Mister
Lister remain, as to its free status, and despite these reassurances,
it's future. TAG highly recommends Vrane.Com as a substitute
for Mister Lister and for all auction management tools.

Workaround tip for My ebaY - to sort alphabetically by name on
My ebaY, in the page URL change the "&sellerSort=3" to
"&sellerSort=5" and press ENTER.

EbaY U will be held at the following cities this quarter: Salt Lake
City, UT 5-6May, Minneapolis, MN 19-20 May, Cincinnati, OH
2-3 June, San Diego, CA 9-10 June, and New Orleans, LA 23-24 June.

REMINDER - if you use the @ (at each) symbol in your auction title,
the listing will show up as html code on your My ebaY page

ebaY has a proposal for changing the Feedback Stars, including a
new star at the 5,000 level. There will also be new shooting stars at
the 25,000, 50,000, and 100,000 feedback levels. To review the
proposed changes go to http://pages.ebay.com/preview/chg-stars.html
To participate in a discussion about this go to

ebaY has added new categories to ebaY owned Half.com. In addition
to books, movies, music and video games, are electronics, computers,
sporting goods and trading cards on Half.com. ebaY is also increasing
integration with ebaY's core site by adding Half.com search boxes
for electronics, computers, sporting goods and trading cards on ebaY
core search pages, adding links to Half.com categories into ebaY
category pages, and offering sellers the option of listing electronics,
computers, sporting goods and trading cards on Half.com. In TAG's view
this takes buyers from the paid for listings on ebaY core to Half.Com,
once again carrying ebaY's failures on the backs of its ebaY core site
sellers. To view the changes go to
To encourage ebaY users to use Half.Com ebaY once again, in
direct violation of all its own rules, user agreement and promises,
SPAMMED it's users with Half.Com emails, despite the fact that the
users had opted out of receiving such email from ebaY. When asked
about ebaY once again violating it's policies, on 26 Apr
at 07:20:51 PT Katy@ebaY admitted that "they are checking into
what happened. I have seen a number of complaints just like this
and when I checked the preferences they were set to "No", so the
email should not have gone out. I apologize that you were troubled
with it." TAG would like to see some penalty imposed on ebaY
for these constant violations of the user and privacy agreement.

ebaY has an advertisement about their live auctions on the MAB.
Live Auctions allow buyers to participate in traditional live
auctions. Each sale has a catalog that features all the lots to be
offered in a particular event. You can browse the catalogs, search
for specific lots, and place absentee bids before the actual auction
begins. During the live sale, you can bid real-time against other
bidders on the auction floor or simply watch the auction take place.
After ebaY's failure to make high end auctions work, ebaY is now
attempting to broaden the market by adding categories including
automobiles and specialty auctions. They now support sales in 17
different currencies. For more info go to

ebaY is planning changes in the Photo category structure.
**Cameras will be divided into two main categories: "Film Cameras"
and "Digital Cameras", with breakouts.
**"Accessories" will become "Camera Accessories". Several items
that previously weren't grouped will be moved here, and new
breakouts added.
**"Projection Equipment" is a new category containing movie and
slide projectors, bulbs, lamps, etc.
**Several other categories will be renamed, and breakouts added.
To review the proposal go to
Send comments and suggestions to pho-@ebay.com by 1 May.

ebaY has added a new threaded board called the Workshops Board.
This will be used to host workshops on a variety of ebaY related
topics. Go to http://remarq.ebay.com/ebay/threads.asp?g=discuss%

ebaY is liberalizing the criteria for Buy It Now (BIN). An increase in
Non-Paying Bidders using BIN caused ebaY to require a buyer to
place their credit card on file with ebaY or pay ebaY $5.00 to be
ID verified. Since ebaY did not take the necessary steps to make
this work, and since the fall off of BIN sales negatively impacts ebaYs
profits, ebaY is removing the requirements. Buyers who have zero or
higher feedback or who are new ebaY users can purchase using
BIN. Buyers who have an overall rating less than zero will still need
to place their credit card on file with ebaY or become ID verified in
order to use BIN. In TAG's view if ebaY was serious about dead beat
bidders using BIN or otherwise, they would refund ALL fees to the seller
on non paying bidder sales, and charge the buyer the fees. All buyers
should be required to fund their ebaY account with either a credit card,
debit card, or by sending a money order or check to ebaY, just as
sellers were required to in the past. This would eliminate or at least
drastically reduce deadbeats on ebaY.

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 - Caff-@doc.gov
The FBI's Internet Fraud Units
National Fraud Information Center
eComplaints http://www.ecomplaints.com/

USPS sells the items it fails to deliver on ebaY at

Announcement Board Marketing - (MAB)
Announcement Board Status (SAB)

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 continues to marginalize
person to person auctions on their site. There have been almost
daily problems with auctions disappearing, and many other glitches
that seem to get very little attention by Amazon.

Amazon Outage Policy -

Amazon User chat board

Amazon live telephone customer service 16 hours a day Toll-free
in U.S. and Canada: (800)201-7575
* * * * *
Boomspeed.Com offers free image and web hosting.
* * * * *
Article on Netscape smart download vulnerability
* * * * *
Online Auction Users Association
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
Go to http://www.auctionpie.com
They host live chats every Sunday night at 8:00PM EST

Vintage Items Co-Op info can be found at
http://www.ali-baba.org./ and
***PLEASE NOTE: Many long links we post in TAGnotes must be
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extra spaces, to get them to work due to HTML limitations****
If you would like an Auction House or Service Provider added to
this list, please email us at ta-@theauctionguild.com
Have any information for us? email us at ta-@theauctionguild.com
TAG Subscribers have often contributed to information reported on in
TAGnotes. Visit their auctions.
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