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TAGnotes Sat 12 May 2001 Vol 3 Number 57 Issue 318

The Auction Guild Notes for Sat 12 May 2001
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               $$$$$ PLEASE NOTE $$$$$
Effective 31 May 01 ebaY has changed their interpretation of the
User Agreement (UA) and added several unwritten rules to now
PROHIBIT links to sellers websites from the auction listing page,
and restrict other links. These rules are at some points in direct
contradiction to the ebaY UA, both the current one and the one that
goes into effect on 15 may 2001. For ebaYs text go to
ebaY also has a post on the MAB at 13:34:00 PT dated 10 May at
12:14:00 PDT called "Links off ebaY Policy Update" providing
the justification for what in TAG's opinion is a fabric made of
falsehoods, sophistry and lies, to support both their taking this
action, and not giving ebaY sellers the 30 day notice such a change
to the User Agreement would require. This post can be read at

Sellers may NOT - link to their home page, web page or web site
or storefront (clickable or not) from the auction listing; have a
clickable link to their email address, though a non clickable text
address is currently still permitted for now, link to ANY outside
page that does not specifically provide more information on the item
being sold. Sellers are also not permitted to have a link on their
auction listing that allows prospective customers to sign up for a
mailing list.
Sellers MAY still have links to third party service providers as
long as those links follow the very restrictive rules set out by ebaY.
Sellers may also have a link to a page that provides additional
information about the item being sold, such as shipping information,
TOS, or historical data about the Item. On that second page sellers may
have additional links to almost whatever they want, following the two
click rule. Sellers may have a link to an off ebaY gallery of ebaY
auctions, or to their About Me (AM) page, or to their other items for
sale on ebaY, ebaY Motors, ebaY Premier or Half.Com.
On the AM page sellers may have a clickable link to their email
address and a clickable link to their home page, web page or website
or storefront but not offer any non ebaY items on the AM page. The two
click rule is based on the theory that a site only gets three clicks
total before the user is gone, and that third click is usually opening
the auction listing page, so in theory few buyers will go beyond the
auction page on ebaY.

Early in 2001 TAG wrote an editorial on ebaY and control, and it
remains very relevant. "ebaY Trying to Clip the Strands of the Web?"

On 9 May users reported at 00:59:54 PT that ebaY search was very
slow and intermittently giving 'This functionality is currently
unavailable messages. At 08:59:48 PT cgi 5 was coming up with
blank pages whilst trying to list and relist. This is an ongoing,
intermittent and reoccurring problem. At 14:13:01 PT 'This
functionality is currently unavailable' messages came up when users
tried to bid, view auctions, and do a sellers search, ebaY cgi 3 and
cgi 6 were down and '425 HTTP Error Unable to connect with
remote host' messages were all over the site. At 14:59:13 PT ebaY
posted that View Item, My ebaY, Feedback and several other
functions were intermittently unavailable from 14:12 PT to
14:15 PT. Users reported these widespread site problems until
15:07:50 PT. The problems continued but were more intermittent.
In addition to the outages, there were user reported intermittent
troubles all day with trying to view My ebaY pages, feedback,
view pages, search and the ebaY boards. Reloading frequently
would eventually get the pages to come up. Despite ebaYs
blatantly false official post of a three minute outage, at 15:58:29 PT
katy@ebay posted on the ebaY boards an acknowledgement that
the site was still not working, "I take that back, I tried it again and
got the error message, the next reload worked however. I will report
this since it indicates one machine is having a problem" At
16:02:11 PT most of the site was back up but problems kept
reoccurring. At 16:16:24 PT Katy@ebaY acknowledged once again
that the site was still having problems, "I agreed, there have been
intermittent problems. I can only tell you how to try to work around
it as engineering continues to work on anything that is yet unresolved"
At 16:56:22 PT users continued to report the feedback system was still
down intermittently which continued through 17:04:35 PT. At 20:15:38 PT
blank pages on cgi3 started to come up and at 22:27:48 PT About Me
pages went down.

On 10 May at 10:17:28 PT ebaY posted that Mister Lister was down.
At 10:21:07 PT ebaY went down, again unacknowledged by ebaY
on the SAB but at 11:23:26 PT Katy@ebaY posted on the ebaY boards
and acknowledged the problems, "Hi everyone.....if you are receiving
the error message, please try reloading the page you are on. Or force
a fresh page up by holding down the shift key while you hit reload.
Engineering is working on it and will try to resolve the quickly for
you................Katy" and at 11:33:14 PT "the problem is on our end.
If a reload works, you are accessing a good machine instead of the one
with problems." The site was back up at 12:06:07 PT. At
12:14:13 PT ebaY reported that Mister Lister was fixed at 11:30 PT.
At 17:13:48 PT error messages started to show up again on the site.
At 18:37:54 PT ebaY posted that they were taking the Billpoint web
site down on Friday, 11 May from 01:00 PT to 03:00 PT for maintenance.
ebaY took the site down from 0100 PT until 0300 PT on Fri 11 May for
regularly scheduled maintenance.

On 11 May 16:38:35 PDT ebaY crashed. All access was down, to
bidding, viewing auctions, and search. All auctions were reported
as having ended. ebaY posted at 17:09:21 PT that My ebaY and
feedback were down as were ebaY Motors and Real Estate Items.
Users reported the site back at 17:20:50 PT. ebaY posted at
17:23:34 PT that My ebaY, feedback, ebaY Motors and Real Estate
Items were unavailable between 16:41 PT and 17:10 PT. ebaY said
that Account Status and Seller Search were intermittently down as
well, once again under reporting the true site status. At 18:07:41 PT
some users reported the ebaY email system was giving error
messages when users clicked on an ' ask seller a question' email link.

On 12 May at 11:39:07 PT ebaY had intermittent problems with
all its pages that lasted until 11:59:25 PT. At 19:40:10 PT the
ebaY Billpoint system was down intermittently, so buyers had
difficulty paying for auctions. The ebaY clock was off by 9 to
11 seconds all day, making accurate last minute sniping difficult.
There were also continuing problems with leaving feedback that
persisted throughout the day.

TO REQUEST REFUNDS from ebaY go to
Don't take no for an answer, keep requesting until you get them.

Users have been reporting problems with the ability to edit ebaY
About Me pages. This has been an ongoing problem for several
weeks and ebaY does know about it, though they have not yet fixed
it. On 9 May at 06:29:29 PT when asked about this problem,
Katy@ebaY said, "I know they are aware of the problem editing ME pages,
and I wish I could be more help. I know that using another browser has
worked for some people, or limiting the size of the page" One solution
appears to be using Netscape as opposed to
IE may work. This problem becomes more urgent in the face of
the new requirement that may necessitate a revision to the About Me
pages by 31 May.

There are also ongoing coding problems listing items. This causes
blank pages when the back button is used to revise a listing before
submitting. Turning off all Java Script might help some users.

Pink Quote of the Day - Katy@ebaY at 13:34:00 PT on 10 May said,
"eBay feels it is important for the sellers who sell HERE, yes. By
working together, eBay and our sellers have created a robust
marketplace. Sellers that attempt to divert buyers off eBay potentially
decrease the value of the marketplace to the entire community. We
believe that by clarifying and enforcing this policy we will strengthen
the marketplace for everyone............. no, there has been no change
in the size of the third-party logo ................. the intent is not
to hurt eBay sellers. If you think about it, sellers who utilize eBay
will not be affected,
only those who sell elsewhere will feel any impact. Since the policy has
always been in place, eBay has been very lenient in allowing their site
to be used to promote other sites, but I know that some of you can
understand that this could not always continue. In many ways, it is very
unfair to a seller who pays fees here that his potential buyer may be
drawn to buy on another site........Katy" TAG is awestruck by the depth
and breadth of ebaYs hypocrisy and lies. ebaY is HAPPY to take buyers
away from the ebaY core site, where sellers pay for listings. ebaY
takes buyers both to other ebaY owned sites, that in no way benefit
ebaY's paying customers, the sellers, but also with banner ads that lead
to places that are in direct competition with ebaY sellers. So it is
another case of ebaY playing it from all ends and saying do as we say
not as we do.

For sellers who feel they have not had their refunds, that ebaY is
restraining trade, defrauding sellers by not providing the services
paid for or other situations not 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
File Complaint
The FBI's Internet Fraud Units
National Fraud Information Center
eComplaints http://www.ecomplaints.com/

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

ebaY auction count approx 5.18 mil inflated by at least 6% yielding
an actual listing count of approx 4.87 mil auctions. On 12 May 2000
ebaY had approx 4.2mil auctions
* * * * *
Amazon Auctions, zShops and Marketplace
Amazon live telephone customer service 16 hours a day Toll-free
in U.S. and Canada: (800)201-7575
* * * * *
* * * * *
GoodWill Auctions sells items from GoodWill stores. Approx 3500
items for sale. http://www.shopgoodwill.com/
* * * * *
Bargain and Haggle - Tag has been hearing some good things about
this site. Folks are having fun using it, and say they are making
sales. The OAUA did a chat with Joe Force from Bargain and Haggle
and the transcript can be read at this link-
* * * * *
Mr Wizard - an auction listing software for ebaY said to be much
like Mister Lister.
* * * * *
ZoneAlarm 2.6.88 has just been released in the FREE version.
If you are NOT using a firewall, you SHOULD be.
* * * * *
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
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