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TAGnotes Sun 3 Jun 2001 Vol 3 Number 66 Issue 327

The Auction Guild Notes for Sun 3 Jun 2001
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ebaY was late coming back from maintenance 1 Jun with posts of
problems showing up at 04:59:59 PT. Users continued to report
features being intermittently down or completely non functional
including view auctions, cgi 3,6 and 1. At 08:02:44 PT, ebaY posted
that some portions of the site were down or intermittent. At
08:28:35 PT My ebaY went down for WebTV users. These problems
appeared to clear up at approx 08:25 PT. ebaY posted at 08:31:06 PT
that Bidding, Selling, My ebaY, Feedback and some categories were
unavailable from 07:52 PT to 08:08 PT. ebaY Motors, Real Estate
and Premiere were down until 08:20 PT. They claimed that all
functions were working again. At 13:33:47 PT problems started
again with many essential functions down until 13:42:50 PT.   At
15:49:05 PT users reported relist not working with the photo loading
showing error messages 'can't find http 404'. ebaY announced at
15:57:00 PT that they were going to do emergency maintenance on
ebaY Motors, Premier and Real Estate from 00:00 PT to 00:30 PT
on Saturday 2 Jun. At 18:33:40 PT cgi 5 went down and at
19:04:27 PT search went down. Users reported at 19:28:44 PT the
sell pages were down, with all the problems lasting through
19:55:45 PT.   At 20:42:07 PT ebaY posted that Title Search was
intermittently down from 18:45 PT to 19:30 PT. Users reported
that the entire site went down at 23:47:01 PT and came back up
briefly at 00:53:50 PT on 2 June then went down again until
01:28:48 PT.

On 2 Jun ebaY posted at 01:39:27 PT that some portions of the ebaY
site were unavailable from 00:00 PT to 00:45 PT due to site
maintenance.   At 05:39:03 PT users reported various intermittent
site problems and error messages, which continued throughout the
day. At 15:21:22 PT the ebaY email system went down and at
16:49:41 PT, My ebaY was down, various intermittent site problems
continued to be reported through 17:20:40 PT, but the email system
remained down until past 18:28:54 PT.

On 3 Jun at 03:56:06 PT users reported search down, view auctions
down, and no ability to bid on items. Cgi 6 was down and the site
response was slow, giving reset messages when trying to access the
site. At 04:53:44 PT users reported My ebaY down, and no ability
to open auctions. Most of the site was back up at 05:13:22 PT.
At 05:12:19 PT ebaY reported Seller Search, the Sports and
the Collectibles categories were down from 04:15 PT to 04:56 PT. At
06:11:01 PT ebaY Picture Services were down from 05:20 PT to
06:00 PT. At 07:39:04 PT users reported the site down intermittently
whilst trying to view auctions. Cgi 5 was throwing error messages
and listing was almost impossible with problems continuing through
11:07:01 PT. Many other site functions were also reported as not
working. At 11:07:01 PT Gwyneth@ebaY acknowledged, " There
WAS a problem with Cgi5, which has been found and corrected."
At 14:12:27 PT users reported the ebaY email system down.
At 18:43:59 PT users reported problems with revising listings.
These problems were intermittent.

ebaY continued to update the problems with listing and ebaY pic
services on 1, 2 and 3 June. They were planning two more rounds of
fixes on 2 June and would continue to update users on the status
through the weekend and until the situation is resolved.   On 3 Jun ebaY
announced they were testing a major fix, and hoped to implement the fix
within 24 to 48 hours. ebaY recommended users try some of the
workarounds reported in the last few issues of TAGnotes.

One workaround suggested by experienced ebaY users is to download
the Opera browser and use that when listing on ebaY
Though ebaY is suggesting that all users accept ebaY's ActiveX file
even if you are NOT going to use ebaY pic services, TAG STRONGLY
recommends that you do NOT do this. Another way completely
around the ebaY ActiveX problems is to choose not to see Picture
Services on the Sell Your Item form by going to the Picture Services
FAQ page at http://pages.ebay.com/help/basics/f-photoservices.html
On this page, find the link in this sentence: "Note: If your browser is
not compatible with Picture Service, you may consider bypassing
Picture Services when listing your item on that page." That link is
located towards the bottom of the FAQ page referenced above.
Or go directly to the page at

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

TAG has received a growing number of messages from subscribers
about ebaY Billpoint charge backs, despite the fact that the problems
were caused by Billpoint. The problems occur when a buyer uses a
credit card (probably stolen or a planned scam by the buyer and
card holder) and Billpoint provides the seller with a shipping
address that Billpoint has NOT verified as the address that matches
the charge card. The unsuspecting seller ships the merchandise, the
card gets charged and the charge card holder protests the charge, and
a charge back against the seller occurs. Not only does the seller lose
the merchandise, but Billpoint charges the seller an additional $10.00
charge back fee. Billpoint's answer to protests by sellers is that it
is the sellers problem as they were aware of charge back risks when they
agreed to accept credit cards through Billpoint. TAG is now advising
that users DO NOT USE BILLPOINT until this problem is
resolved, and Billpoint comes up with a seller protection plan.
PayPal has such a plan if you follow their rules. BidPay also
provides full seller protection against charge backs.

On 1 Jun at 22:14:37 PT ebaY announced a new feature that TAG
feels is one of the worst in a long line of terrible feature launches.
ebaY has what they are calling a 'Recommendations' feature. If you
place a bid on an item and are the high bidder, ebaY notifies you on
the bid confirmation page that they will send an email in case you do
not win the item. You will receive this email within 24 hours of the
close of the listing. The email will display a list of items that are
similar to the one you bid on but did not win. The only barely tolerable
part of this intolerable program is that ebaY will also show you a list
of other items the seller has listed on ebaY. Unfortunately the buyer
who considers these messages SPAM will put the blame for the SPAM on the
seller whose listings he/she received.   
TAGs objections to this program are -
*It is SPAM, because it is opt OUT rather than the ethical opt IN
*It in effect steals buyers away from sellers auctions, one of the
very things ebaY was allegedly trying to prevent by hiding email addys.
ebaY is doing the very bottom feeding they suspend sellers for doing.
*It makes relisting, and the relisting link tool obsolete, removing all
incentive for a seller to relist, as THEIR bidders will now be directed
by ebaY to other sellers items - negating the reason ebaY uses to
justify their no link policy.
TAG wants to know WHICH items will be sent to the unsuccessful
bidders and HOW that will be determined by ebaY. Is this another
for fee feature coming - where sellers will have to PAY to have their
items included in the email?
There are all kinds of security and privacy issues tied in with this
feature. This was discussed many months ago when the idea for the
feature was first made by ebaY. It was not a popular suggestion
so ebaY killed the idea, but appear to have resurrected it. A thread on
this subject from 11 Aug 2000 can be found at

Pink Quote of the Day posted by Katy@ebaY at 23:13:55 PT
in a discussion of the 'Recommendations" SPAM feature that ebaY
just launched, said, "I see advantages that might override any
disadvantages. I see it as most advantageous to the seller of unique
one-of-a-kind type items. The CORE of eBay to me. I know bidders
are using search and seeing other seller's items anyway, so, in a sense
I just see this as additional exposure. Bidders who have lost on my
items are not MY bidders, if you see what I mean, but I might well
benefit from a previous email they have selected to receive for items I
have up TODAY. As a bidder I have some items that are VERY
hard to find, and I would use this for searches of that kind. Not for
common items...............Katy (poof)" TAG sees this comment as
solidifying the very dangerous direction ebaY is going. ebaY does
not see the bidders as the customer of the SELLER, but as the
customer of ebaY, even though ebaY still claims to be "just a venue"
and does not own, advertise, sell, arrange payment for or ship the item.

Some users reported that the 'View seller's other auctions' link had
been removed from closed auctions. This is not true, the 'View seller's
other auctions' link is still there, but ebaY moved up to a position
under the title line.

TAG editorial on ebaY's links ban, and what you can do about it.
ebaY Cuts The Threads of The Web? FIGHT BACK!!!
Updated almost daily - more info, more companies to watch.
Join our fight to help level the playing field so the users who built
ebaY have a chance and fight against ebaY's new corporate
favoritism program. http://www.auctionguild.com/generic.html?pid=57

For sellers who feel they have not had adequate 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/

ebaY/Blackthorne is in the news again. As TAG predicted back in
February, ebaY has now made changes that has made obsolete all the
software owned by Blackthorne license holders, with no updates
forthcoming from ebaY/Blackthorne.   

Article on ebaY and Half.Com combining
TAG is very concerned about the merging of these two ebaY owned
sites for many reasons, but particularly because of the following. This
is from the Half.Com User Agreement, and appears to be the way ebaY is
going to take the ebaY auction site.
"9.4 Promotional or extraneous material. The Buyer name and address
information is provided for the sole purpose of shipping the specific
purchased product(s) and may not be used for any other purpose,
either in connection with such shipment(s) or separately from such
shipment(s). You agree not to include in your shipment to Buyers
any promotional or other material that is not provided or approved
by Half.com. This includes, without limitation, material that
announces a website or invites the Buyer to visit a website other than
Half.com, catalogs, business cards, business reply cards, bookmarks,
coupons, flyers, solicitations or other marketing or advertising
material. The inclusion of extraneous materials in a shipment may offend
or annoy Buyers and may negatively affect your Seller rating. If
Half.com receives a complaint relating to your shipments regarding
extraneous materials we may take any action that we deem appropriate in
our sole discretion, including without limitation issuing a warning,
immediately terminating any pending sales, or immediately terminating
your access to our marketplace. You agree not to separately contact any
member beyond the shipment of purchases through the Half.com
marketplace, unless the Buyer initiates such communication pursuant to
the Buyer Protection Policy"

On 1 Jun ebaY started another round of SPAM despite users having
their ebaY opt out preferences set to "no SPAM". This SPAM is
coming from ebaY owned Half.Com.

Ever wonder how to LEAVE ebaY or close an inactive account?
They don't make it obvious, but there is information on the site that
can be found at http://pages.ebay.com/help/basics/closedAccount.html
Use the form at http://pages.ebay.com/help/basics/select-support.html
to make the request. It takes the exchange of 5 emails - 2 from the
user and three from ebaY. There is a waiting period of 60 days in
the US and 90 days for International accounts. If your account has
no activity within the last 60-90 days, it may be closed within a
much shorter period of time. From ebaYs own reports, they do not ever
reduce the number of their alleged "registered users" even if you leave

Gifs you can Use page, has an ebaY compliant About Me page
button, with the HTML code you need to add to your auction
descriptions to make it a clickable link. A lighter side GIF you
can copy and use is now on the website, as is an ebaY compliant
PayPal logo.   http://www.auctionguild.com/generic.html?pid=58

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

Approx 5.09 mil auctions inflated by approx
6% due to double listings yielding an actual count of approx 4.8 mil
On 3 Jun 2000 ebaY had approx 4.92 mil auctions
* * * * *
Amazon Auctions, zShops and Marketplace

Announcement Board - http://amazon.remarq.com/list/16791839

Amazon live telephone customer service 16 hours a day Toll-free
in U.S. and Canada: (800)201-7575
* * * * *
ePier is imposing a $20 annual verification fee on their users. All the
details have not been posted and TAG has emailed ePier requesting
specifics. Verified members will have an icon next to their name in
their auction listings. James Kim is going to hold a live chat with
ePiers users on Wednesday 6 Jun at 18:00 PT (2100 ET) in the ePier
business forum. He will be there to answer questions and explain the
issues about the verification fees. http://www.epier.com/announce.asp
* * * * *
Yahoo Auctions
* * * * *
New Auction Site -
* * * * *
Collectors Online IMS no longer free If you are currently using the
IMS System as a free user, you can use the new system until
1 Aug 2001. This offer is only available to IMS Users who have
listed products during the last 90 days or who list using the IMS
"Send to Auction" feature by 15 June 2001. Email questions about
the pricing plans to mailto:sco-@collectoronline.com or call
the member services hotline at 800-546-2941
Pricing - http://www.imakenews.com/onemade/e_article000023908.cfm
* * * * *
Interesting article on selling on the net, particularly addressing
price decreases and other online selling info
* * * * *
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 -

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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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.
         TAGassist Contributors -



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