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TAGnotes Thu 18 Oct 2001 Vol 3 Number 105 Issue 366

The Auction Guild Notes for Thu 18 Oct 2001
Detailed disaster contact information, disaster relief information and
links for contributions to the United Way, Red Cross, Salvation Army
etc. on the TAG website at
       * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Amazon Seller's Meeting Tuesday night at 9PM (2100) EST Live Chat
       * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
For quality, variety & great deals, shop the experienced auction
sellers of the EMPORIUM http://www.lynnet.com/~jmm/emporium.html
       * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
$Buck98 on eBay. No reserve$1.98 opening bid auctions. Watch for their
Holiday Extravaganza 6 Nov through 15 Dec
Next $Buck98 starts 13 November - don't miss out on the great deals!!!
       * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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
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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.
On 14 Oct at 09:06:22 PT relist was down. It came back up at 09:38:38
PT. At 11:52:01 PT another bug appeared in the revise program. If you
have a reserve price of over $1000.00 and try to revise the auction,
ebaY software will insert a comma into the number, making it less than
your opening bid. You must remove the comma, or the reserve price will
be changed.

On 16 Oct at 06:09:57 PT users reported receiving emails from ebaY that
their store trial period was expiring and the seller would be billed
$9.95 unless they closed their store. Even sellers who had already
closed their store received this email.   At 10:20:29 PT ebaY posted
that ebaY stores subscription fees are waived until the end of this
year. The email sent to sellers was sent in error, and ebaY was working
to fix the problem. Sellers will not be charged a subscription fee for
their store until after 1 Jan 2002. At 12:33:57 PT ebaY posted that
some users were having problems connecting to ebaY. ebaY claimed the
problem was due to a disruption in a major backbone in the Eastern US.
At 15:55 PT users reported problems with JavaScript errors whilst trying
to list items on ebaY. Some users were able to fix the problem by
removing the head, meta, and title tags. This problem continued without
acknowledgment by ebaY, no post on the SAB and no fix. Finally at 16:36
PT on 17 Oct, Jackie@ebaY posted, "I just received word they are fixing
the problem with "Meta " and you will all be able to list again.
Hopefully it will be completed very soon.   Jackie"

On 18 Oct users emailed TAG for help with a problem where their feedback
was off by one. Posts also started to show up on the chat boards about
this, as this weird phenomenon spread. At 10:18:13 PT ebaY posted that
users were reporting the feedback anomaly, that it was appearing at
random and can affect users on the US and international sites. ebaY is

ebaY will be down for regularly scheduled maintenance from 01:00 PT
until 03:00 PT on Fri 19 Oct. Billpoint will also be down during this
time frame.

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

Pink Quote of the Day - TAG has asked ebaY since day 1 of Auction of
America, if they were going to make up the difference between what
sellers raised in 100 days and $100mil.   A quote from Kevin Pursglove
appears to make that answer a NO, when he told Denise Flaim of the
Chicago Tribune, "The Auction for America campaign, says Pursglove, will
continue for 100 days or $100 million, whichever comes first."

More questions and discussions about Auction of America took place on
the ebaY threaded board, raising many questions about accountability,
and posts by Katy@ebaY laying "blame" for the lack of participation in
A4A on ebaY sellers. In one place Katy@ebaY said, "eBay stated that
there will be information given about how much is collected, and there
will be. It is likely that support from the community would have speeded
that process, but we will keep our word. " TAG feels the community
support ebaY is getting is more than ebaY deserves. ebaY should have put
a program in place that was designed to help the victims of the 11 Sep
tragedy, not increase Billpoint enrollment, or advertise ebaY. Meg's
making the rounds of the chat shows and news broadcast with her absurd
claims that EBAY - not the sellers who were really doing all the work
and making all the donations - would raise 100mil in 100 days, was
arrogant and self serving. It is not going to happen, and the only
blame belongs squarely on ebaY's corporate shoulders. Now we just have
to hope that ebaY is honest about their claims that all the money,
including the interest it is earning, WILL eventually be donated. TAG
hopes someone with authority to audit/monitor ebaY is keeping an eye on
those funds.

Also an article about how vigilantes shut down WTC auctions on the 11th
and finally got ebaY to address the auctions

Netscape 4.78 is a version of Netscape that is said to work well with
ebaY and to provide a successful platform on which to relist and revise
auctions on ebaY.

ebaY is changing their routine administrative emails to users from a
text to an HTML version. These notices include outbid, bid
confirmation and listing confirmations. More administrative emails
will be appearing in an HTML format over the next few weeks. The size of
these emails will increase from approximately 3K to approximately 9K,
depending on the e-mail. these emails will take longer to download.

ebaY is holding their first Canadian ebaY University. ebaY will hold it
at the North Hall of the Metro Toronto Convention Center on 20,21 Oct
2001. The event will be held both days from 09:30 EST to 17:30 EST, and
there is a $25C registration fee.
Register at   http://pages.ebay.com/university/

Some Federal, state and local laws prohibit the sale of certain types of
plants or seeds that are considered "exotic" or "noxious" weeds. The
United States Department of Agriculture prohibits the importation and
interstate movement of noxious weeds and seeds.
Federal Noxious Weeds
Besides reviewing the list of prohibited Federal Noxious Weeds and
Seeds, buyers and sellers of plants or seeds should also review the
following state-by-state list of Regulated Noxious Weeds at
and consult with state and local authorities to determine whether the
items they are considering buying or selling are legal in their state.

ebaY announced their financial results for its third quarter ending 30
Sep 2001. For more info go to
The two ongoing classic lies made even more humorous -
"ebaY achieved 99.9% site availability for first time in company
history. This record achievement is due in large part to the outstanding
technology and significant, ongoing support contributions from Sun
Microsystems." TAG finds this particularly funny as ebaY has been
claiming a better than 99.9% up rate every quarter since IPO - so how is
this the "first"??? ebaY scheduled maintenance downtime alone makes a
farce of this claim in a 24/7 business where 99% up time is the
standard. ebaY also claims 37.6 million confirmed registered users.
ebaY's own employee stated on the boards a few month ago that there were
approx 6 mil active users. ebaY might have had 37.6 mil IDs registered
on its sites since its inception, but the claim that there are that many
actual users is an industry wide joke. TAG always looks at these
figures and wonders if ebaY is lying about these numbers, what else is
ebaY lying about?

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

ebaY categories with the category number
An off ebaY category number locator page

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 announcement board http://www2.ebay.com/aw/announce.shtml
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
g-module art gallery presents
Katia Santibanez : Jardins Artificiels and Mark Dean Veca :
Toile de Brooklyn October 5 - November 17, 2001
visit: http://www.g-module.com for documentation
g-module, 15, rue Debelleyme, 75003 Paris, France
Telephone 01 42 71 14 75       Fax 01 42 71 14 67 inf-@g-module.com
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Amazon Auctions, zShops and Marketplace, main Amazon home page has link
to donate directly to the Red Cross from their site.

Amazon announced on 15 Oct that out of respect for the families of the
victims of the Sept. 11th terror attacks, Amazon.com enacted a temporary
policy that prohibited the sale of merchandise associated with the
tragedies. That restriction has now been lifted effective immediately.
Books, videos and other items found on the Amazon.com retail site may be
sold through the third party sales platforms; Auctions, zShops and
Amazon Marketplace. Additionally, World Trade Center and Pentagon
related items such as magazines, books, posters, newspapers and
collectibles may again be listed and sold on Amazon.com. Any item
deemed inappropriate by Amazon.com is subject to cancellation.
Announcement Board

Users reported on 18 Oct that a small number of their Amazon hosted
images on auctions were not showing up correctly. The images appearing
were not those belonging to the seller. There was no indication of how
widespread this problem was.
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
* * * * *
Yahoo Auctions is part of a major revamp of Yahoo Shopping. Yahoo is
combining access to its four shopping portals, Auctions, Shopping,
Classifieds, and the new soon to be launched Warehouse. These portals
will be integrated through a search engine that will bring buyers
options to buy in all four portals. In addition they are going to
change their price structure that will make their fees considerably
lower than ebaY's. Yahoo feels the combination of increased buyer
traffic across all the portals, and a lower fee structure, will lure
sellers back to Yahoo.

Yahoo conducted a survey a couple of months ago and is using the
feedback received along with focus group results to change the way
shopping happens on Yahoo.
From the information Yahoo received they developed three themes.

One - get the buyers already using Yahoo Shopping to also buy from the
other Yahoo Portals - auctions and classifieds. They are doing this
through an integrated search that will bring up items from all four

Two- develop a fixed price Half.Com like structure hence Warehouse.
Warehouse will allow listing of items that fall into the categories of
Books, Music, Movies, Computers, and Electronics, and have UPC or ISBN
number. More categories might be added at a later date. The idea is
for a place to list used, overstock, clearance, and commodity and
discount goods in a format where the item remains listed until sold or
removed by the seller. Yahoo will not charge a listing fee, and will
charge a final value fee lower than ebaY's. Buyers must use a credit
card or Yahoo! Wallet to pay for warehouse items, and Yahoo will collect
the money, take their cut and pay the seller the balance. Shipping is
fixed on smaller items, and negotiable on large ones - such as computer

Three - change the pricing structure of auctions. Though not yet locked
down, Yahoo plans for the final result to be significantly lower than
ebaY's fees to attract sellers with larger profit margins. From the
survey questions is was clear that Yahoo was considering final value
fees as a possible option, as opposed to their current straight listing

The new Yahoo! Shopping is in final testing with plans for its launch at
the end of October or sooner if everything works out. Yahoo will also
announce the cost of doing business on the different portals at launch
time. The new user agreement will also be posted at that time.

TAG had a long conversation with Yahoo about these changes on Mon 15
Oct. TAG's attitude towards these changes is one of great caution, as
we feel there is a fourth theme Yahoo failed to address in their revamp,
and that is the theme of trust. Why should sellers trust Yahoo to treat
them fairly and with consideration, when the last time sellers gave
Yahoo a try, Yahoo betrayed the trust of the sellers and in Yahoo's
arrogance and hubris refused to listen to or consider what the sellers
had to say. If sellers are going to be treated with arrogance and have
no voice in their fate, they might as well list on ebaY and at least
have a 40+% likelihood of selling their merchandise, as opposed to
Yahoo's 10-20% likelihood.

TAG hopes our emphasis on the issues of trust and considering what the
sellers have to say, makes Yahoo take a closer look at these issues. In
a subsequent email Yahoo said, they believe their actions will speak to
much of the effort they are making to develop the best marketplace in
the world for sellers and buyers. And that we should know that Yahoo
takes these issues seriously, and will continue to tackle them. TAG
wants to see the users agreement, the fee schedule, and details of
exactly how the search engine will work.

On the plus side we know that Yahoo has a reliable platform with true
99+% up time. They beta test their code before inflicting it on their
users, and once in place their code usually works well. They provide
sellers with a wide range of options for how auctions are run and let
the seller control the auction. They managed nearly three million
auctions as reliably as they manage their current approx 200,000. We
have always found their listing page easy to use and manage, though our
subscribers have varied opinions on that, and the learning curve issues
come into play also. If you use their PayDirect and complete the sale
on Yahoo, approved sellers can get up to $3,000 dollars of insurance
coverage - a real plus for buyer security. On the down side, the Yahoo
search engine in auctions was barely adequate, but that might be changed
with the new universal search engine. Their customer service is
nonexistent, and if possible is even worse than ebaY's. Yahoo has
always had the impersonal feel of a robosite - not a human to be seen or
contacted anywhere. This is not a problem until something goes wrong -
and then you are really stuck. And no matter how we look at it, we
can't get past the trust issue. This is a hurdle Yahoo has yet to
approach, much less get over.

* * * * *
PinPost.Com - though we have not yet taken a close look at or tried this
site, we were intrigued by the idea of peer to peer technology being
used for sales. It might be the next wave, or just fizzle - but it is
different. The site is owned by Vancouver based Avalist Networks Inc.
and registered the domain in June of 2001.

The download is available for Windows 95, NT 4.0, 98, ME and 2000, but
not for MAC or Linux at this time. It is currently free to download and
use, requires no registration, only login name when posting, can be
highly localized to the smallest neighborhoods and is banner free. The
site claims 249,000 current listings, with 1,06 mil total database
listings from 131,000 unique buyers and sellers in 60,000 cities and
neighborhoods with 5,000 product & service categories. In their users
agreement PinPost reserves the right to charge fees for their services
at any time with at least fourteen (14) days' notice of the changes by
posting the changes on PinPost.

* * * * *
PayPal business account members can now create multiple logins for their
PayPal accounts. This feature allows businesses to give PayPal account
access to up to 200 employees, each with a unique login ID and level of
authority. For instance, you may find it useful to give an employee
read-only access to a PayPal account, thereby allowing the employee to
view account information but not send or withdraw money.

To add additional logins go to the "Profile" subtab. Select "Logins"
from the left-hand menu and click "Add login. " You'll be directed to
enter the name, login ID, and password for the person you wish to grant
account access to as well as the privileges you would like the new login
to have. Privileges include the ability to send and request money, add
and withdraw funds, cancel payments, view balance, and edit the account

When you add logins to your account, the original email address used to
create the account will become the "primary login." The primary login
maintains full access to the PayPal account, and is the only member that
can give others access to the PayPal account.


* * * * *
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
TAGnotes. Visit their auctions or websites.
TAGassist Contributors –


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