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TAGnotes Sun 23 Sep 2001 Vol 3 Number 101 Issue 362

The Auction Guild Notes for Sat 22 Sep 2001
***** WARNING ***** VIRUS ****** WARNING *****
Watch out for 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 details go to
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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/
TAG has heard from folks down in NYC working on the site, that the
Salvation Army is doing great things to support the rescue workers,
providing all free services. We all need to make sure we support the
folks who are supporting the workers on the ground.
Another group raising funds who has promised the funds will go to the
families of ALL the victims is the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, 101
Park Ave-45th Floor, NY, NY 10178-0060 Attn: Dr Philip Ginsberg. Web
Cantor Fitzgerald lost a large number of employees in the WTC.
      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
For quality, variety & great deals, shop the experienced auction
sellers of the EMPORIUM http://www.lynnet.com/~jmm/emporium.html
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Support the people who support TAGnotes. Click on their links, bid on
their auctions and buy their products. You too can participate in a Win
Win solution. Support TAG and promote your website or auctions.
Subscribers Ads $5.00 - Commercial rates available, email
ta-@theauctionguild.com for details.
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.
On 21 Sep at 03:56:15 PT ebaY posted that My ebaY, the Feedback Forum,
ebaY Motors, ebaY Premier and Real Estate were all not working from
03:00 PT to 03:45 PT.

Users continue to post problems with ebaY’s faulty implementation of
their sign in and cookie code. Bidders can’t get in to bid, can’t
contact the sellers through ebaY’s mail system, and are writing in great
frustration to those sellers who provide their email addresses in their
auctions. Sellers can’t list, relist, get into My ebaY or get past the
Billpoint screen. ebaY acknowledges that there are still problems, and
rather than showing any sign that they are fixing them, continue to
suggest workarounds. Users are still receiving error messages stating
that they cannot be signed in because cookies are not enabled on their
browsers, when cookies are in fact enabled. ebaY suggest that users
sign in to ebaY before logging in to any of the threaded discussion
boards. Some users suggest, clearing all cookies and temporary internet
files and then logging into one of the chat boards such as the Cafe or
Q&A board, before proceeding to other ebaY functions.

Users are still reporting that "sign out" does not fully sign them out
of ebaY. Users suggest clearing the cookie and temporary internet files
after using ebaY, though even this does not always work, as the cookie
has been known to reconstruct itself. Until ebaY gets this fixed, users
should be very cautious about logging into shared computers and
particularly avoid publicly accessible ones such as those at public
libraries. If the cookie remains, other users can access your account,
bid, post and list using your ID. Users should NOT use the "keep me
signed in" option if you share your computer with other users. ebaY
claims to have fixed the AOL users endless loop problem. Users want to
have multiple accounts open simultaneously must:
*View multiple accounts in different browser types (e.g. one in Netscape
and one in Internet Explorer) - or -
*Open an entirely new browser instance by clicking on the Internet
Explorer icon.(Users should not simply open a new browser window from
the open window by clicking "control-N" or clicking "new window" from
the header.)
ebaY also recommends that in order to prevent sign in errors, users
should delete old bookmarks of the sign in, all My ebaY pages, and any
other pages that require a sign in.
Users should bookmark the new updated pages after signing in to the new
pages with one of the following changes:
*Bookmark an ebaY page (e.g. My ebaY) and, for your security, sign in
once per visit.
*Bookmark an ebaY page, select the "keep me signed in to this computer
until I sign out" and you will not have to sign in every time you visit.
WebTV users may not be able to clear their cookies themselves. Try
unplugging the WebTV unit to clear settings.

Users reported that their Billpoint accounts were showing sales from
their non Auction of America sale items were being donated regardless.
At 14:15:58 PT ebaY posted that Billpoint payment confirmation emails
for non-Auction for America listings were incorrect, showing Auction of
America messages. ebaY said this was an email problem only, but sellers
reported otherwise. At 17:02:00 PT ebaY posted that the email problem
was fixed, and sellers also reported that the items were showing
correctly on the Billpoint accounts also. They also acknowledged that
the problem went further that just emails. ebaY said that Billpoint
will contact affected sellers by email to confirm the corrections.

Users continue to report many problems with Billpoint, with credit card
payments already executed, still showing as pending deposit. Also
electronic check payments were immediately reported as "failed".
Additionally when attempting to re-send an invoice, Billpoint rejected
the password ("security key"), even though seller was signed in and
could access other account info. TAG strongly recommends sellers
carefully track their auctions and Billpoint accounts both for Auction
of America sales and for regular auctions. ebaY cannot be relied upon to
keep Billpoint off auctions where it is not wanted, nor to keep accounts

On 23 Sep at 21:11:52 PT ebaY again reported problems with Billpoint.
Users attempting to list or close Auction of America transactions are
receiving an error message that a registered Billpoint seller is not

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

ebaY refused all efforts from PayPal to participate in Auction of
America, to provide an alternative payment system. ebaY continued to
insist that all participants must use Billpoint and Billpoint only,
claiming that Auction of America listings use a special version of
ebaY's Billpoint and this will ensure all funds go to the charity and to
give the seller a charitable donation receipt.

ebaY's Billpoint, VISA, MasterCard, Discover, Wells Fargo and First Data
Merchandising Services have waived all their normal processing fees in
support of Auctions of America. All proceeds are going to the charity
without the normal processing fees. The charity also does not have the
expense of processing checks, money orders or other individual payments.
Sellers who participate in Auction of America have to pay for all
shipping and handling charges.

Billpoint has a special chargeback handling procedures for Auction of
America items. Like Billpoint transaction fees, Billpoint will waive the
chargeback investigation for Auction of America transactions. In cases
of unauthorized charges where a buyer uses a credit card without
authorization to fraudulently obtain an item, ebaY will notify the but
will not assess a debit or fee on the seller's account. Because the
seller delivered the item, they will receive the follow-up tax
contribution receipt for this item. If the buyer indicates that the
item was not received (or was materially different than advertised),
Billpoint will notify the seller, and require that the dispute be
resolved before the seller can receive the receipt. If the seller has
already received the tax contribution receipt, and did not deliver the
item or was otherwise involved in an improper transaction, the receipt
can be rescinded. As per normal Billpoint procedures, excessive
chargebacks for any reason may cause closure of the Billpoint account.
Billpoint strongly encourages all sellers to perform the safe commerce
checks described at

ebaY has made changes to the Auction of America program. There are
three funds to which Auction of America proceeds will be donated: the
September 11th Fund, the Twin Towers Fund and the New York State World
Trade Center Relief Fund. A seller will be able to choose which fund the
proceeds from their Auction of America listing will be donated to when
they list their item. If you do not see all three charities on your Sell
Your Item form, please hit the "Refresh" or "Reload" button on your

Users are now able to sell vehicles, as well as parts and accessories,
in Auction of America on the ebaY.com site under Everything Else:
Vehicles (AFA) and Everything Else: Parts & Accessories (AFA). You will
not be able to place Auction of America listings on ebaY Motors.

ebaY claims that in a few days, they will make Seller's Assistant,
Seller's Assistant Pro and Mister Lister able to support Auction of

ebaY is allowing what they call positive commemorative items that relate
to the 11 Sep tragedy to be sold in Auction of America charity listings.
This includes items that incorporate images of the World Trade Center or
Pentagon before the attack. This policy change only applies to Auction
of America listings. ebaY will generally not allow items (commemorative
or otherwise) that portray any aspect of the World Trade Center or the
Pentagon during or after the attack, or any victims of the attack. In
addition, domain names referencing the Pentagon, the World Trade Center,
September 11, 2001 or any other aspect of the attack will not be
allowed. They are also extending the temporary suspension of listings
in World Trade Center memorabilia outside of the Auction of America
program for the rest of the year. World Trade Center, WTC, Twin Towers,
Pentagon, September 11, Auction for America and similar terms may not be
used in item titles except for Auction of America listings. Listings in
violation of this may be ended and repeated violations could result in
the suspension of your account.

TAG finds it interesting that ebaY is exploiting this disaster for their
own profitability, and sees nothing wrong in that, but is not allowing
their sellers to do so. ebaY often claims that their use and abuse of
sellers and buyers is permissible because they are a company and are
primarily interested in profitability, but it is now obvious that the
same laissez faire policies do not apply to the sellers who pay to use
ebaY. A case of do as ebaY says not as they do.

Auciton Voice - Some user views on the Auction of America auctions go
to -

ebaY claims that its Microsoft Passport single sign-in service will soon
be available on ebaY. This is an optional and alternative way of signing
in to ebaY for those members who use Microsoft's Passport. ebaY users
with a Passport will have the choice of signing in to ebaY with either
their Passport or their existing ebaY user ID and password. Users who
do not currently have a Passport can also use the Passport single
sign-in service by going to the "Preferences" tab in My ebaY. Members
who prefer not to use Passport will not be required to use it and may
continue to sign in as they do now.   Users can change their default
sign in preference in My ebaY.

ebaY is changing ebaY stores. There is a new store link from the bid
confirmation, watch confirmation, seller search (i.e. view seller's
other items page), bidder search, and feedback forum pages. Store
sellers cannot name their store using any of ebaY's trademarked names,
including ebaY, Half.com, Butterfields and Billpoint. Stores that are in
violation will be requested to select a different name within the Store
Builder/Edit pages. ebaY is changing the color of the store branding
within the View Item pages to light yellow. Sellers can edit the price
and/or quantity of their fixed-price listings at any time throughout the
duration of the listing. ebaY will display the Buy It Now price instead
of the bid price for Buy It Now listings within the Store and across the
ebaY store search.

ebaY is changing the seller search (i.e. View Seller's Other Items)
page. The title of the "High Bidder" column will change to "High
Bidder/Status". For store fixed-price listings, they will display
"Available" under the "High Bidder/Status" column, which will link to
the View Item page. For auction-style listings with a Buy It Now (BIN)
price, they will display the user ID of the buyer if the item was
purchased successfully with BIN. If the item has not yet sold but has a
high bidder, they will display the high bidder User ID. If the item has
not yet received any bids, they will continue to show "No Bids Yet".

ebaY is creating a Vintage Toys portal page at www.ebay.com/vintagetoys.
ebaY will soon create a similar portal for Classic Toys. ebaY has also
made changes to the Toy page and categories, causing an outcry of user

ebaY has changed their store link policy again. ebaY currently has two
standard links to a seller's store on all of that seller's item pages.
In addition to the links provided by ebaY, sellers may include
additional links and custom messaging to promote their stores from the
auction listing item pages. This messaging can include things such as ,
"I offer free shipping if you purchase three or more items. Please visit
my Store to see more of my ebaY items."
"Please visit my ebaY Stores to see more cameras like this one."
"You can find accessories for this computer in my ebaY store. Visit
"Visit my ebaY Store to browse and search through all of the items I'm
Sellers cannot use keyword spamming, which would be including a list of
products and/or brand names offered in the Store, but unrelated to the
specific item. For example, if the item is a DVD Player, and you also
sell CD Players, MP3 Players, you should phrase your promotion as:
"Other electronics available in my store. Visit today!"
Sellers can use custom categories as long as they do not violate the key
word spamming policy.   Sellers can link messages to a custom category
in the store instead of the default store page with all of the items.
For example, if the item you are selling is a set of golf clubs, and you
have a custom Store category of Golf Accessories, you may want to put a
message such as, "Find great accessories for these clubs in my ebaY
store" and link that message directly to your Golf Accessories category.
Sellers are not allowed to include a store search box on the item
pages. The item pages are for the description of the specific item in
question. Providing a search box conflicts with this purpose and may
distract buyers from finding the specific item they are looking to

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 5.63 million auctions inflated by 5.2% yielding approx
5.34 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 6.7 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
* * * * *
USPS rate increase request - The link to the article in the last issue
of TAGnotes no longer works, but the request can be found on the USPS
website here -
* * * * *
PayPal, despite ebaY's refusal of the offer to participate in ebaY's
Auction of America, has decided that they will allow users participating
in the Auction of America Program to continue with their PayPal
Preferred benefits during the 100 day period. The normal criteria for
PayPal Preferred still applies for regular auction listings, but users
can list Billpoint in their Auction of America auctions, without loss of
PayPal benefits.

Users reported on 21,22 Sep that Paypal had a glitch in their debit card
system. Normally, when you make a purchase with your debit card it goes
on your account as pending and the money is withdrawn. Now when the
transaction shows as completed the money is withdrawn but it also shows
as still pending. This leads to a double charge for debit purchases. I
was on the phone last night with support and I got them to fix the half
dozen double charges. TAG recommends all users carefully monitor their
accounts until this problem is repaired and stable. Users can reach
PayPal by phone at 877-672-9725 or 888-221-1161
* * * * *
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

PLEASE NOTE: Many long links we post in TAGnotes must be
copy/pasted into your browsers URL/Address box in pieces, with no 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
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