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TAGnotes Mon 14 May 2001 Vol 3 Number 58 Issue 319

The Auction Guild Notes for Mon 14 May 2001
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On 13 May at 12:20:55 PT cgi 5 was down for a short time and feedback
problems continued throughout the day. Other than the ongoing problems,
the site did run for the rest of the day. Ongoing problems are listed

On 14 May at 06:23:16 PT users received This functionality is
currently unavailable messages whilst trying to access the site. At
07:33:40 PT problems again cropped up and at 07:40:40 PT users
got messages that the page can not be displayed. My ebaY was also
very slow in responding and at 09:40:43 PT cgi2 went down. At
09:42:41 PT view auctions were intermittently unavailable. Cgi 2 was
back up at 09:47:32 PT but at 10:19:24 PT feedback was down. At
13:51:29 PT listing went down. At 12:46 PT the whole ebaY site
crashed. TAG emailed ebaY at 1300 PT and at 13:11:30 PT ebaY
posted that they were experiencing technical difficulties. They
claimed the feedback forum and seller search were down, but in
reality the entire site was down. The site came back up at
13:26:35 PT. At 13:34:16 PT ebaY reported that the feedback
forum and seller search were down between 12:55 PT and 13:25 PT.
Though it is true these were down during that time, ebaY did not post
the full story, that the entire site was down for that period. At
14:48:22 PT users again got page unavailable messages. At
16:01:45 PT ebaY went down completely again and came back up
at 16:03:51 PT though search was still not working.   Users also
reported continuing page can not be displayed messages and
registration problems. At 16:08:09 PT sellers search and My ebaY
were down again. At 16:15:14 PT Internal Error messages started to
show up intermittently, but fairly frequently. These problems
continued to be reported through 16:47:32 PT. At 16:58:50 PT
Mister Lister went down. ebaY reported at 17:07:20 PT that
My ebaY, feedback, seller search were unavailable between 12:55 PT
and 13:24 PT, and again between 15:06 PT and 15:56 PT. The chat
boards, Bidder Search, My ebaY and the following categories were
intermittently unavailable during this time as well: Business, Office,
Industrial, Clothing, Jewelry, Gemstones, Watches, Real Estate, Toys and
Hobbies. This was a little better that ebaYs previous post, but still
did not cover the ACTUAL site outages. At 19:35:18 PT the internal
error messages resumed along with This functionality is currently
unavailable. Registration remained down.
Intermittent access problems continued right through the time of this
posting, and at 20:36:28 PT ebaY announced that they were taking the
site down for emergency maintenance from 00:00 PT until 00:30 PT on Tue,
15 May. My eBay, Feedback, Seller Search, Bidder Search, View Items and
Chat would all be down and other systems might be down intermittently as

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

ebaY is both SPAMMING and misleading buyers with their End
Of Auction notices. When an auction ends the end of auction notice
reads as follows if the seller takes Billpoint or not. This appears
to be direct interference by ebaY, an interesting stance for a site
that claims to be a venue only.
Dear XXX and ZZZ
Congratulations - this item was bought instantly using Buy It Now
Item Title : YYY (Item# 142XXXXXX)
Final Price : $X.xx
Listing Ended At : May-1X-01 0X:32:54 PDT
Seller User ID : XXX
Seller E-mail : XX-@aol.com
Buyer User ID: YYY
Buyer E-mail: YY-@aol.com

Here's what to do next:
Go to:

and click the "Pay Now!" button for the fastest, most convenient
way to pay for your item!
Pay with Visa and you could win $10,000 INSTANTLY! Go to

The buyer and seller should contact each other within three business
days to complete the sale. etc

TAG has heard that Billpoint is going to be raising fees, though we
have not been able to confirm that yet. We have also heard that
Billpoint will begin charging for electronic checks as of 1 June.
We have an inquiry in to Billpoint on these issues.

ebaY is revising the Links ban to a certain degree. They do not yet
appear to have consensus on exactly what this new policy is going to
be but will be enforcing it effective 31 May 01. ebaY WILL allow
a clickable email link in your auctions, they will also allow a
clickable link to organizations such as the OAUA, TAG, BBB, SquareTrade
etc, as they help potential buyers assess a sellers abilities and
provide a service to the seller. The link must abide by all the other
links policy guidelines. ebaY will NOT allow a watermark or mark on
images that refer to the sellers web page, even if they are a plain URL
and not clickable. More will be forthcoming as ebaY figures out what it
is doing and what it can get away with.

Pink Quote of the Day - Katy@ebaY attempting to justify ebaYs ban
on links on 14 May at 21:06:49 PT said, "Basically, if you read through
the original policy, with the About Me pages we have listed what you are
NOT allowed to do. So other things should be fine. This is the opposite
of what was done with the View Item page, where we are only delineating
specific links which MAY be included........Katy" So ebaY uses
different methods to decide which way they are interpreting their
policies at the moment- you get to guess which one they are using at any
moment. TAG wonders which method is being used to interpret the User

TAG strongly recommends that ALL sellers remove every link they
have that leads TO ebaY from every page they might have an ebaY
link on. The Internet is not a one way communication tool, and if
ebaY thinks it will benefit by these draconian policies, TAG holds
the sellers should show ebaY who is the prime beneficiary of links.
ebaY is one site where a small percentage of users will click on a
sellers website link, but sellers have millions of links that go TO
ebaY. Does ebaY think that they can cut off the seller's links and that
the sellers won't reciprocate? ebaY needs to rethink this entire

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
* * * * *
Yahoo Auctions sent this message out to their Premium Sellers, as a
way to show a contrast to ebaYs policy.
"Just a friendly reminder that Yahoo! Auctions does
allow sellers to link from their auctions booth pages
to their websites. If you need any help with this
business-driving functionality, shoot us an email.

Geoff Archer
Category Manager
Yahoo! Auctions"

* * * * *
Site alternatives - diversify, even if you list a small number of
auctions on an alternative site
* * * * *
CollectorOnline IMS This is a really good alternative for an online
auction management service includes image hosting and it is free.
* * * * *
Andale/Honesty Tag has been receiving many reports of problems
with the Andale/Honesty site. On 14 May pictures hosted on Honesty
were down. Users have reported an inability to log in to their
accounts. Andale/Honesty is no longer compatible with WebTV and there
are no plans to fix this. The for fee site Andale/Honesty recommended
has not been responsive to sellers, or answered emails.
* * * * *
CrossOff is a site that is trying to register authentic sports
memorabilia so collectors can authenticate items they are buying
before they buy. TAG found the concept interesting.
* * * * *
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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this list, please email us at ta-@theauctionguild.com
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