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TAGnotes Fri 29 Jun 2001 Vol 3 Number 74 Issue 335

The Auction Guild Notes for Fri 29 Jun 2001
Visit their auctions and websites and make a bid or purchase.
http://www.katahdinme.com - Check our website ~ Moose n' More!
Wildlife & Outdoor Products ~ Premium Cedar Adirondack Chairs.
Subscribers Ads $5.00 Commercial rates available, email -
ta-@theauctionguild.com for details.
TAG continues to have computer problems but email is working.
If you sent us an email prior to 20 Jun and have not received an
answer PLEASE resend it. TAGnotes will probably be on a lag
through next week as we recover information. The TAGnotes
archive is available in a searchable format at
Interested in more information about TAG? Go to our website at
On 23 Jun users reported end of auction (EOA) notices running approx 3
days behind. Users were also annoyed by the ebaY SPAM contained in
the EOA emails about the BIN feature. Users reported that auctions
ended early by the seller on 22 June were showing up as current auctions
on 23 Jun, and had to be ended again. At 07:21:17 PT reports came in
that cgi 5 was down but recovered at 07:27:42 PT. The site appeared to
run well for the rest of the day, though TAG has been receiving regular
reports of access problems. These can usually be solved by using as
anonymizer such as http://www.safeweb.com, leading TAG to wonder if ebaY
is once again restricting site access.

24 Jun brought reports at 05:41:15 PT that My ebaY was down. At
05:48:30 PT cgi 1 and 6 went down and users reported search down,
throwing page can’t be displayed messages. At 06:05:14 PT view
items became problematical and though reported by a widespread
group of users, there were some regions problem free. At 06:07:33 PT
users from ebaY Germany also reported site access problems. At
06:09:06 PT ebaY posted that Computers, Electronics, Photos and
the Glass categories were down from 5:35 PT to 6:05 PT. During this
time, Seller Search was intermittently unavailable. ebaY claimed that
no other systems were affected. At 06:09:29 PT users reported the
categories were back and at 06:12:11 PT that seller search back.
My ebaY was still down but that all functions appeared to be back
up at 06:18:21 PT . At 08:09:18 PT users reported completed search
down intermittently. At 17:42:32 PT there were reports that cgi 3
and 6 were not working, though this appeared to be short lived.

On 25 Jun 07:57:03 PT the feedback system was not working and at
11:48:44 PT users received site unavailable messages, while trying
to access the site. ebaY reported at 20:04:01 PT that from 19:45 PT
to 19:55 PT, some users could not view images on the US site. The
site continued to run with its normal ongoing problems for the rest
of the day. http://www.auctionguild.com/generic.html?pid=32

26 Jun started at 05:42:17 PT with this page cannot be displayed and
input error messages. Users complained about the recommendation
email option Opt Out not working. The site remained stable for the
remainder of the day.

On 27 Jun at 07:41:58 PT ebaY posted that the feedback forum
was very slowness from 06:05 PT until 07:20 PT. ebaY fixed the
problem and restored the feedback forum. At 10:54:19 PT
users got messages reading ‘This function is currently unavailable’
when trying to revise auctions, other page errors at 11:32:39 PT.
These problems were intermittent and the revise problems with
persistent. AT 11:48:53 PT on 27 Jun, ebaY posted that On
26 Jun the ebaY stores directory at www.ebaystores.com was down.
*Featured stores were not appearing within the ebaY stores directory;
*Some store sellers who selected a top-level category for their store
in Store Builder may have erroneously received an email from ebaY
informing them that their store has been closed. Though ebaY fixed
the problems, in the process of doing so, they were required to reset
all ebaY store sellers category preferences to the "Everything Else"
category. The sellers will need to go back in to the Store Builder and
re-select the top-tier category where they would like their store to
appear. Until you go back to change your preferences, your store will
remain within the "Everything Else" category. ebaY has added a Stores
Directory. In addition, on Wed 28 Jun an email from ebaY
informing sellers that their store has been closed was sent out. This
email can be disregarded as it was sent out in error. At 16:22:58 PT
ebaY noted that over the past 24 hours, some users had trouble with
search on ebaY Motors. ebaY fixed the problem. At 21:31:44 PT users
reported error messages when trying to view auctions. At 21:45:53 PT
ebaY posted that they were having technical difficulties. The outages
were confirmed again at 21:57:46 PT by an ebaY employee on the boards.
My ebaY was down along with most other site functions. Storefronts and
MisterLister were down and acknowledged at 22:50:45 PT with MisterLister
back at 23:23:10 PT. At 23:23:46 PT Sonny@ebaY reported that “most of
the technical issues have been resolved”. ebaY posted at 22:34:53 PT
that the site was unavailable from 21:35 PT until 22:10 PT, when full
access was restored. This was in full conflict with the actual reports
by users and the evidence of their own employee on the boards.

On 28 Jun free listing day got off to a rocky start at 00:21:26 PT,
with users reporting MisterLister rejecting submissions. The
collections that were already uploaded cannot be approved because
"this functionality is not currently available." Users continue to
report MisterLister problems until 04:43:48 PT. At 05:12:52 PT
attempts to relist resulted in error messages and at 07:53:12 PT
more MisterLister problems were reported. 08:28:05 PT brought
HTTP Error 401 401.1 Unauthorized: Logon Failed messages.
09:00:20 PT MisterLister unavailable messages continued. At
12:37:06 PT there were problems with the listing page reported at
12:48:37 PT to be working again. The site worked for most of the
afternoon with users reporting the next set of problems at 19:30:58 PT.
At 18:41:43 PT ebaY reported that sellers' auction items submitted via
MisterLister were not appearing in the seller's ebaY Store. Fixed
price Store items (Store BIN items) submitted via Mister Lister were
correctly appearing in the Store. ebaY predicted the correction should
take place for all users within the next week.

ebaY took the site down from 0100 PT until 0300 PT on Fri 29 Jun
for regularly scheduled maintenance. Maintenance also included
the Billpoint site. At 06:48:25 PT users reported the revise function
down, but this was short lived. The site continued to run with its
chronic ongoing problems for the rest of the day.

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

ebaY is planning on closing down the Wanted Board, and started
this process by removing the link from the site map. ebaY said,
“The Wanted Board is still there, but will not be linked to anymore.
The Wanted Board is being removed. We don't know exactly when
that will happen, but the decision has been made to stop driving
traffic to it until that happens”. There is a discussion about this at

Users continue to report difficulties getting past ebaY picture services
while listing. The Active X control that you SHOULD decline is the one
that powers the ebaY pic services. That control gives the ability to
upload pictures using drag-and-drop and to edit pictures directly in
ebaY. It also gives ebaY a direct doorway into your computer. You can
choose not to see this download prompt by opting to not use ebaY picture
services by going to

ebaY ended the protest auction against the ebaY SPAM
recommendations email, posted by the shooting star power
seller. Links, details and editorial on the TAG site at

Article on congressional committee that wants to learn from ebaY,
Yahoo and Amazon what particular rules encourage, discourage or
fail to deter fraudulent online behavior.
It TAGs view they would be more productive if they investigated the
fraud that ebaY perpetrates on its customers, the sellers.

$$$ WARNING $$$ $$$ WARNING $$$
The reports about Billpoint acceptance being the default on listing
and relisting keep coming in. The DEFAULT is YES on Billpoint
for users who are signed up with Billpoint. This is happening if
the seller wants to offer Billpoint or not. The only way to prevent
this from happening appears to be leaving Billpoint permanently.
Carefully check your auction listings and make sure the options are
set the way you want them. For more info about this problem go to

Pink Quote of the Day, Gwyneth@ebaY at 16:45:48 PT on 27 Jun
when asked why corporate sellers get away with still blatantly
displaying links to their websites in their auction listings, despite
being turned in for the violations, said, “I know everyone's working
really, really hard to apply this evenhandedly, and that people are
aware that there are shortcomings...this has not been an easy
enforcement issue, especially for Customer Support. From everything
I've seen, everyone is really trying hard to make sure that all sellers,
big or small, are in compliance and to make sure that the policy is
enforced equally. When a mistake is pointed out, I know that people are
quick to move to fix it." In TAGs opinion This is complete prevaricating
corprospeak, because ebaY ends the auctions of smaller sellers STAT, and
without warning, and allows the auctions of the corporate sellers to run
their course. Even when the corporate seller relists auctions with
violations after being warned, ebaY does nothing about it.

Pink Quote of the Day II at 22:20:38 PT on 27 Jun, whilst working on
the latest ebaY outage Sonny@ebaY said, “actually, site stability has
gotten a LOT better over the last year. We've made some improvements to
the infrastructure that have really helped. If you look at availability
reports between last year and this year, it's a HUGE difference. Of
course, there's still room for improvement....always :)” Since Meg
Whitman has been claiming 99% up rates since 1999 which quarterly
reports contained the blatant lies? TAG would appreciate seeing those
availability reports - will ebaY publish them? A review of the TAGnotes
archives quickly reveals that the only increased site stability has
occurred because ebaY restricts site access when the site is unstable.
The site doesn’t go down for long periods of time, but accessibility is

For a list of corporate sellers go to the TAG editorial on ebaY's
links ban, and what you can do about it. ebaY Cuts The Threads of The
Web? FIGHT BACK!!! Also the Billpoint logos are NOT in compliance
with the 88X33 limit. 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. There are plenty of violators
As further confirmation of this program of favoritism, this is from
a Power Seller support letter, excerpted to protect the identity of the
seller. It refers to one of the corporate sellers on the TAG list
“The member to which you refer has been reported numerous
times and we have taken appropriate action. I understand your
frustration but would like to remind you that, according to the User
Agreement, eBay retains the right to end any listing as they see fit”
and “The seller to which you refer has an account higher than a
Gold account with their own private account manager who has been
alerted to this situation. The account manager is working with the
seller to correct the problem as soon as possible. As powersellers are
given a certain amount of deference when it comes to their accounts as
opposed to regular sellers, these special sellers who are higher than
Gold Powersellers are given the same amount of deference as opposed to
Bronze level powersellers. That is why the auction has not been removed.
and “In regards to your last question, eBay enforces all of our
policies equally, however, when and how we enforce them is determined by
various factors - one of them being the level of the powerseller
account.” TAG sees this clearly as an admission of just how unleveled
the playing field on ebaY is.

ebaY has disabled many types of JavaScript. Not permitted are
** Scripts used to drop or read a cookie on any ebaY page;
** Scripts that redirect the user from ebaY to another page (such
as the "replace" script);
** JavaScript Include and iframe.
Attempts to use the disabled scripts will return a very specific error
message that begins: "Disallowed Javascript/HTML Syntax". Any
other JavaScript error indicates a separate issue, and is not related
to the disabling of these scripts. ebaY says “Many people are not
aware of the harm these scripts can cause and do not intentionally
use these to cause harm; however, these types of JavaScript can be
used for malicious purposes. Therefore, in the interest of security,
we have eliminated the use of these scripts on our site.”   What
ebaY fails to mentions is that THEY reserve the use of these scripts
for themselves and they ARE using them - for example the pic
services ActiveX file and the Half.Com pop up ads.
Elimination of these scripts may have impacted certain third-party
auction management tools. If you have problems contact your
auction management software provider.

ebaY Premier will now allow international sellers to list items in
their own currencies, instead of restricting payment to US dollars.
Once the seller selects the listing currency, all bids and payments
will be made in that currency. ebaY continues to attempt to breathe
life into this failed venture.   www.ebaypremier.com.

ebaY is running a contest where they have hidden 18 "mystery item"
collectibles on ebaY. They provide three clues each day to help find
them. Follow the first clue to find the second, and then the third.
Clues could be hidden anywhere on a page. Find the mystery item of
the day and you can enter to win the week's ebaY Gear giveaway.
You'll also be eligible to win the Grand Prize: a VIP trip for two to
go behind the scenes at an upcoming taping of the Antiques Roadshow.

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 5.14 mil auctions inflated by approx 10% for double category
listings (free on free listing day) yielding approx 4.63 mil auctions.
On 29 Jun 2000 ebaY had approx 4.44 million auctions. These numbers are
from the ebaY browse page, they are ebaYs own numbers. They seem to
indicate that the free listing day was a complete failure.
* * * * *
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
* * * * *
HammerTap has BidderBlock a free software tool for ebaY that
allows sellers to import and export blocked bidder lists, automatically
email users who have been placed on a list, prints blocked bidder
lists, provides ebaY bidding and selling history and feedback for each
user on a list, works with all the international ebaY sites, and
automatically updates itself when a new version is available. System
Requirements Windows 95/98/2000/NT/Me compliant, 32 MBs RAM, 486-66
processor, and less than 5 MBs of hard drive space.
Download from http://www.hammertap.com/bidderblock

HammerTap, is a software company that builds Windows
applications for online auction users including BayCheck, FeeFinder,
and BayMail. CONTACT: Ron Brandon 1-209-755-9567
Director of Product Development, HammerTap
E-mail: p-@hammertap.com http://www.hammertap.com
HammerTap 9176 Renee Ann Street, 4th Floor Orangevale, CA 95662
1-209-755-9567 Fax: 209-755-9567
* * * * *
PayPal is raising their prices and effective 14 Jul 01 will have a two
tier pricing structure for Premier and Business accounts. The Standard
Rate for receiving payments will be 2.9% + 30¢. The Merchant Rate is
2.2% + 30¢ for accounts that receive an average of over $1,000 per month
and who have been with PayPal for at least three months. You can also
apply for the Merchant Rate if you can provide proof of a competitive
offer from an established merchant services provider.   
* * * * *
Ad Aware is a free multi-spyware removal tool that detects and safely
removes components of advertising parasites from your system. This
software is highly recommended for ebaY users and all internet surfers.
* * * * *
Online Auction Users Association
Interested in volunteering and serving the Online Auction Community?
Check out http://www.auctionusers.org/volunteerop.shtml

Live Chat for July
Thursday, July 5 , 9 p.m. EST - Diversification. Let's talk about
selling elsewhere
Thursday, July 12 , 9 p.m. EST - OAUA night! Why join? Come
find out more about us.
Monday, July 16, 9:30 p.m. EST - TRIVIA NIGHT with the
Thursday, July 19 , 9 p.m. EST - Let's discuss incentives for your
Thursday, July 26 - 9 p.m. EST - Tentative chat with AuctionHog.com
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