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TAGnotes Wed 19 Sep 2001 Vol 3 Number 100 Issue 361

The Auction Guild Notes for Wed 19 Sep 2001
***** WARNING ***** NEW VIRUS ****** WARNING *****
A new virus is making the rounds called NIMDA. This virus can infect
computers via email (as README.EXE attachment), as a self-running macro
in Outlook, and in java over contaminated web pages. For more detail go
       * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Detailed disaster contact information, disaster relief information and
links for contributions to the United Way, Red Cross etc. on the TAG
website at
A multi-linked site for making donations http://www.libertyunites.org/
       * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
For quality, variety & great deals, shop the experienced auction
sellers of the EMPORIUM http://www.lynnet.com/~jmm/emporium.html
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
For Hot Deals on women's clothing, visit "Coco's Closet", My Deals page

      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Support the people who support TAGnotes. Click on their links, bid on
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The TAGnotes archive is available in a searchable format at
Interested in more information about TAG? Go to our website at
http://www.auctionguild.com You can find contact info for several sites
and services there, along with editorials and other information.
Users continue to have ebaY site accessibility problems with their sign
in and cookies. There do not appear to have been any efforts by ebaY to
fix these problems. In addition, TAG has received reports and seen
posts on OAI/OTI boards that users who have logged on to ebaY from
computers at public libraries can't log out. Though they click on
ebaY's log out button, another user can come along and bid using the
previous users ID, and also get access to ebaY financial records and
accounts. This is also true of any multiple user computer.

ebaY has also changed the toy categories and complaints about the poor
organization of these categories have been posted by users ever since.

On 15 Sep at 15:35:58 PT ebaY posted that Mister Lister was down.

On 17 Sep at 06:47:46 PT ebaY posted that the changes they made to
implement their Auctions for America program, disabled many third party
management tools.   ebaY also announced that Auction for America charity
listings cannot be revised and sellers cannot add to a description after
the item is listed.

On 18 Sep at 01:05:40 PT ebaY posted that search for an item by
description was down from 22:53 on 17 Sep to 00:18 18 Sep. At 07:19:16
PT users reported problems with search not working intermittently.

ebaY is taking their site down for regularly scheduled maintenance from
01:00 PT until 03:00 PT on Fri 21 Sep. The Billpoint web site and
functions will remain available during scheduled maintenance.

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

On 15 Sep ebaY posted a request for volunteers to help answer other
members' listing and bidding questions regarding Auctions for America.
ebaY is using the Auctions for America program to bring in new sellers
for ebaY and want the current members to train these new users.
Volunteers will provide this help at their discretion through Community
Help Boards and through special email and/or phone support systems.
Requirements for volunteers need a feedback rating of at least 50, a 97%
positive feedback rating and be in good standing with ebaY. Send User
ID, First Name, Last Name, City, State, Country, Email Address, Phone
Number (Optional), Number of members you are able to help per week (20
per week would mean that we would send up to 20 user emails or phone
calls to you each week), Hours you wish to provide help. Send to
If you have signed up and want to remove yourself from the list go to   
The part under "Join..." tells you how to delete your entry.

Pink Quote of the Day in a discussion with users about the ebaY Auctions
for America program, Gwyneth@ebaY posted at 10:53:22 PT on 16 Sep, "But
you have to understand that this program is bigger than anything else
anyone is doing. It's way more than just putting a link or graphic on
the site. It's taking some time to get it together." TAG sees this as
one of the most arrogant of statements. Does ebaY feel that their
efforts are bigger than the rescue efforts at the WTC? Does ebaY feel
their contribution is more important than what is being asked of the
military, both active and reserve?

Pink Quote of the Day II posted on the SAB at 15:39:37 PT on 19 Sep.
After the poll about ebaY's Auction For America showed a steady reaction
trend that with, Total votes: 1404 Yes- I will buy and sell what I can
14% Yes- I will at least buy or sell 1 item 9% No- I have donated in
other ways 75%, users were showing a majority not in favor of ebaY's
highly publicized and much press released Auction for America, ebaY
first tried to change the poll results and then removed it altogether
saying, "Our Community Poll changes every week and addresses a variety
of topics of interest to our community. Though not in any way
scientific, it is a fun barometer of the eBay community.

Unfortunately, this week's poll on the Auction for America program has
not been used as the poll has intended. Because the program allows users
with cookies disabled to post as many times as they wish, many users
began skewing the voting on both sides to the point that the poll became
too unrealistic to continue.

We have removed the poll for now. This was a difficult decision, because
it has always been eBay's policy to allow users to speak their minds. We
invite you to join the discussions on our Auction for America Discussion
, or the Chat or Discussion Board
http://pages.ebay.com/community/chat/index.html of your choice, to give
your opinion on this issue."

TAG sees this cover-up as a mistake, and ebaY closing the barn door
after the departure of the horse. It is unfortunate for the spin
doctors at ebaY that the truth of the poll had already been captured by
online news agencies and exposed, articles at
ebaY has approx 27,020 Auctions for America listed with approx 30%
double category listed for a yield of approx 19,000 auctions.

ebaY has information on tax rules for these charitable contributions.
If you claim itemized deductions on your tax return, you may be entitled
to a charitable deduction for your participation in Auction for America.
For more details go to
For more detail go to IRS Publication 526 (charitable contributions) at

ebaY has added donation information to their charity page at
ebaY has also made it possible to donate to the September 11th Fund and
the 9-11 Fire Fighters fund direct from ebaY by setting up an ebaY store
for the United Way and the Fire Fighters. You can "buy" a donation on
the site at http://www.ebaystores.com/id=37721795
ebaY is waiving all related fees for donations to the funds they

PayPal has approached ebaY to let them join in as a payment service for
ebaY's Auction for America. In a letter to ebaY from PayPal on 17 Sep,
PayPal's CEO said, "Dear Meg, Congratulations on "Auction for America" -
it looks like it could be a great way to help the victims of Tuesday's
terrible tragedies. Why don't we make this opportunity available to as
many members of the eBay community as possible? It appears you are
currently limiting participation in "Auction for America" to users of
the Billpoint payment service. As you know, less than 30% of eBay
auctions accept Billpoint, while over 70% accept PayPal. As many of our
mutual customers have asked us today, why not allow PayPal-preferring
members of the eBay community to help the cause, as well? We can easily
collect all PayPal payments received for "Auction for America" purchases
and guarantee their contribution to the "September 11th Fund." We will,
of course, waive all transaction fees for these payments, ensuring that
100% of the payments are donated to the fund. As we can attest after
witnessing the amount of money PayPal members have donated to the
American Red Cross through our website, the online auction and payments
communities are extremely generous and interested in helping victims'
families. I applaud your interest in helping members of the eBay
community assist these families, and look forward to working with you to
ensure the broadest level of participation in "Auction for America" and
its highest success. Please let me know as soon as possible if you will
allow PayPal-accepting sellers to help out, as many have contacted us
already. Best regards, Peter Thiel CEO PayPal, Inc." In TAG's view, if
ebaY cooperated with PayPal, they would appear a little less self
serving, and expand the number of sellers willing to participate.

Community overview board –
ebaY news board - http://pages.ebay.com/community/news/index.html

ebaY categories with the category number

ebaY contact information including analog mail and email addresses and
phone numbers, regular and toll free, refund info and insider trading
info etc can be found at

ebaY counts show 5.4 million auctions inflated by 5.2% yielding approx
5.1 mil.

ebaY announcement board http://www2.ebay.com/aw/announce.shtml
* * * * *
Amazon Auctions, zShops and Marketplace, main Amazon home page has link
to donate directly to the Red Cross from their site. To date Amazon
users have donated 6.5 mil. The default donation is $10. but can be
changed to any amount.

Amazon users problems continue. Announcement Board

User to User boards

Amazon live telephone customer service 16 hours a day
Toll-free in U.S. and Canada: (800)201-7575
Auction Pro phone number 1-877-251-0696
* * * * *
Auction Watch is reported by AuctionBytes to have laid off approx 50% of
their work force, is no longer updating their news and information
services and is thinking of taking down their chat boards.
* * * * *
USPS The United States Postal Service The USPS also announced on 11 Sep
that they are filing for another rate increase.

The U.S. Postal Service is also getting into the auction payment
business in partnership with CheckFree. They have created a service
called Pay@Delivery that combines person-to-person online payment,
escrow and delivery confirmation.
An auction buyer schedules a CheckFree electronic person-to-person
payment through the Postal Service Web site. CheckFree withdraws the
money from the buyer's checking account. The seller gets confirmation
by e-mail that the money has been withdrawn. The confirmation e-mail
has a link to a Web site where the seller goes to print a mailing label
with the buyer's address and a bar code. The seller ships the item by
Priority Mail (and only Priority Mail; Pay@Delivery doesn't work with
any delivery method), using the special mailing label with bar code.
When the package is delivered, the letter carrier scans the bar code,
confirming delivery and automatically releasing the money to the seller.

Pay@Delivery has three price levels. The buyer can pay $1 per
transaction or subscribe monthly to one of two services: $1.50 a month
plus 65 cents for each transaction, or $6.95 a month for up to 20
payments and 50 cents for each payment after that. The last option would
be economical to anyone who consistently has more than eight payment
transactions a month.
* * * * *
Online Auction Users Association
OAUA has put together discount packages for their members for auction
management services.    http://www.auctionusers.org/discounts-am.shtml

Interested in volunteering and serving the Online Auction Community?
Check out http://www.auctionusers.org/volunteerop.shtml

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