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TAGnotes Wed 24 Oct 2001 Vol 3 Number 107 Issue 368

The Auction Guild Notes for Wed 24 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
       * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
For quality, variety & great deals, shop the experienced auction
sellers of the EMPORIUM http://www.lynnet.com/~jmm/emporium.html
       * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
OAUA nominations for board member are DUE NOW. They must be in no later
than midnight PT 26 Oct 2001 by emailing secre-@auctionusers.org
       * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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.
On 21 Oct at 19:43:51 PT ebaY reported that ebaY Online Payments by
Billpoint emails were displaying an incorrect date. At 21:09:24 PT
users reported intermittent problems with relist on cgi 5.

On 22 Oct at 06:02:43 PT users reported the start of third party service
provider problems due to the ebaY implementation of Checkout. At
08:59:18 PT ebaY posted that some ebaY Online Payments emails for
Auction for America were sent with an incorrect date.

On 23 Oct at 07:54:43 PT users reported ebaY pages slow to open. At
09:27:12 PT more problems with relist on cgi 5 appeared intermittently.
ebaY reported at 10:19:06 PT that users were not receiving their End of
Auction notices. At 16:54:27 PT ebaY posted that bid history on the
auction pages was appearing chronologically by date, rather than from
highest to lowest bid. At 17:51:54 PT users of Billpoint reported that
though they only use Billpoint echeck, and don't accept credit card
payments, they were receiving credit card payments, and not echecks. At
22:28:14 PT ebaY posted that the End of Auction Email problem was fixed.

On 24 Oct the problems with revise auctions continued from the previous
day. At 07:19:22 PT revise was still reported as down, and there were
also posts that the payment reminder utility was missing. Sellers also
posted that there were problems with the ebaY Seller Assistant (SAP,
SAB) programs. Anyone who used them to list or relist starting 23 Oct
and who normally had Pay Condition Included and Insurance charges, was
causing the shipping in Checkout to show up incorrectly. The program
was adding the shipping and insurance together and calling it
shipping/handling and then also showing an additional insurance charge
in the insurance section. Revise auction was necessary to correct it.
At 10:56:10 PT ebaY announced that the problem from the previous day
with bid history, had not yet been fixed. Bids continued to appear
chronologically by date, rather than from highest to lowest bid.   This
problem was also causing some Dutch auctions to display incorrect
winning bidder results. Normally in cases of more than one bid for the
same amount, the first member to place that bid amount would win;
however, the bid history is currently showing the last person to place
that bid as the winner. This is incorrect. Sellers running Dutch
Auctions will have to figure out who their winning bidders are, rather
than depending on the "High Bidders" list for the auction. At 11:57:50
PT the problems with cgi5 relist continued with users receiving messages
saying "Input Error One of the parameters received was invalid for this
function. This probably means that your browser had problems with the
form or you invoked the function incorrectly. Please go back and try
again. If you're using an old bookmark, you may need to rebookmark it
due to recent changes to protect your privacy. We are aware of the
problem and are working tirelessly to resolve it as quickly as
possible." Users reported that Checkout was inserting the ebaY payments
logo in auctions of sellers not registered for Billpoint. At 14:07 PT
R.Ching@ebaY posted that, "The eBay Payments icon should not appear in
your listing if you did not select eBay Payments (especially if you're
not registered with eBay Payments). We expect the fix to be in place
within the next hour or two. Regards, Randy, Director eBay Services".   
At 14:43:37 PT ebaY posted that registration was down. At 16:13:52 PT
ebaY said that registration was down from 14:00 to 16:00 PT.   Users
also reported several different corruptions of their auctions, including
parts of the selling page showing up in open auctions and other problems
caused by ebaY's implementation of Checkout.

ebaY will be down for regularly scheduled maintenance 01:00 PT until
03:00 PT on Fri 26 Oct. Billpoint will also be down during this time
period. This weekly scheduled downtime alone, makes a mockery out of Meg
Whitman's claims of 99.9% uptime in a world where 99%+ uptime is the
average and the standard in the 24/7 environment of the internet.

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

ebaY has implemented their Checkout program, which they characterize as
a device that provides an easy and consistent way for buyers and sellers
to complete sales and purchases. TAG see it as a way for ebaY to gain
further control of the transaction process with the goal of cutting
direct communication between buyer and seller completely out of the
process. This is a major step in the Half.Comming of ebaY. ebaY stated
they expected there to be problems during the release. Checkout will not
be fully functional until it has been completely released to the site.

Sellers use Checkout to provide details such as shipping and handling,
insurance and sales tax along with accepted payment methods when listing
an item. When the listing ends, buyers can use Checkout to provide their
shipping address and pay via the seller's accepted payment methods.
For more info go to http://pages.ebay.com/checkout/faq.html
Seller Tutorial http://pages.ebay.com/checkout/seller_1.html
Buyer Tutorial   http://pages.ebay.com/checkout/buyer_1.html
Questions or comments , go to the Checkout discussion board at

Pink Quotes of the Day, 1 - Gwyneth@ebaY 22 Oct 09:44:42 PT said, " One
thing people will tell you about me, I think, is that I don't lie to you
guys. I may not always tell you what you want to hear and I may not know
the answer to all the questions, but I'm going to tell you the truth.
There WERE focus groups. With Checkout and a couple of other things,
they're in usability labs and stuff like that. Not necessarily on the
live site." TAG thinks ebaY and its employees have a twisted sense of
what truth is, as ebaY CS folks use lies of omission, half truths,
simply ignoring the questions they don't want to answer and the excuse
of 'not knowing' to avoid truthful answers.

2 - When asked why ebaY was implementing Checkout despite the
universally negative response by ebaY buyers and sellers on the ebaY
boards, Gwyneth@ebaY said at 09:27:11 PT, "The intention is to provide a
consistent buyer experience. What we found in all the focus groups that
we did was that the initial reaction was negative, but after they USED
the product for a while, the reaction turned positive." So TAG sees this
as the groups hating Checkout but after sufficient brainwashing and
manipulation they were made to accept it. So by this reaction ebaY
decided to inflict it on sellers regardless, because the seller's option
is to be assimilated or leave ebaY. What TAG wants to know is WHY? Why
is ebaY imposing this unwanted product on their users, where is the
catch that benefits ebaY and limits the options of ebaY's users? We are
confident that catch exists. If that was not so, ebaY would have made
this really optional, only appearing on an auction when the seller opted

3 - During this conversation about Checkout, several sellers asked if
Checkout was mandatory. After ignoring and dancing around the question
for over an hour, gwyneth@ebaY finally answered at 10:41:01 PT, "Yes,
you can opt out and choose not to list your checkout details. But yes,
there will still be a box on your View Item page. However, if you don't
list any checkout details, the only thing your buyer can do with the
checkout is send you their shipping info." A seller said "Ebay seems to
have a problem with the definition of "Option".. The definition of
option is "one thing which can be chosen from a set of possibilities, or
the freedom to make a choice" If "checkout" is Mandatory for stores, it
is NOT an option.. If "checkout" shows on the item page even if sellers
choose NOT to use it..it is NOT an option.. If "checkout" only allows
credit card payments from billpoint..It is NOT an option.. If all ebay
sellers have to go and change all their listing forms to accomadate
"checkout"..it is NOT an option." gwyneth@ebaY answered at 10:43:08 PT,
"I guess it's your perspective on the word "option"." TAG sends you
back to the top of today's PQOD's and you can see what ebaY's definition
of truth is, as once again ebaY completes the circle of sophistry and

4 - Gianni@ebaY at 16:41 PT said "There's not much that I can discuss
with you about the Checkout feature. I can tell you that the answers
about how the feature works can be found in Jer-@ebay.com's tutorials.
If you want to engage me in discussing changing the feature to being
optional I can and will pass along your concerns to the proper people.
However, I don't have the luxury of making those decisions at this point
right now. Maybe someday? Regards, Gianni " TAG thought ebaY was saying
this feature WAS optional - in the way ebaY defines optional - but now
Gianni is admitting that what ebaY is calling an option is NOT an
option. All the ebaY CS reps are not even lying consistently, or is
THIS pink telling the truth?

There are currently 12058 auctions in the Auction of America program on

An interesting and sometimes thoughtful thread on Checkout

ebaY is holding another live chat on Checkout on Thu 25 Oct from 18:00
PT to 19:00 PT. Randy Ching, Director of Services, Jeff Krauss, Senior
Product Manager, Patricia Ng, Marketing Manager, and Jerry West,
Community Development Specialist will participate. To reach the live
event at the scheduled time, go to

Changes for new and existing Store Buy It Now (BIN) items due to
Checkout. For existing stores and BIN:
- If sellers opt for Payment Conditions the total will still be
calculated in the same way for buyers, and the seller will still receive
an email when the buyer has completed Checkout. To reduce emails,
however, only the ebaY Payments (Billpoint) confirmation email will be
sent if the buyer pays via ebaY Payments. There are other changes for
the buyer seller emails.

- If sellers did not opt for Payment Conditions, a buyer will request
the total amount from the seller. The buyer will not be committed to
purchasing the item at this time, turning Buy It Now (BIN) into Buy It
Maybe (BIM). The sellers inventory will not be decreased. The seller
will receive an email with the request, and can also go to the Purchase
History page to see all requests. To complete the sale, click on the
link in the email or on the Purchase History page and enter the total
amount for the buyer. . The buyer will then be able to complete Checkout
for the item. The buyer will not be committed to purchasing the item
until the buyer completes Checkout. The inventory will be decreased
when the buyer completes Checkout.

New Store BIN items:
- Instead of entering payment information in the Payment Conditions
section, sellers enter it in the Checkout Details section. Insurance is
now calculated on a per item basis, instead of being charged per $50.

- If the seller wants the buyer to have the ability to enter the total
amount, select the "Allow buyer to edit or enter the total payment
amount" option on the Sell Your Item form. The seller will need to fill
out the Checkout Instructions/Return Policy field with clear
instructions about how to calculate the total.

- If the seller does not enter Checkout Details, and does not allow the
buyer to enter the amount to pay, the buyer will request the total. The
buyer will not be committed to purchasing the item at this time,
changing BIN to BIM. Seller's inventory will not be decreased at this
time. The seller will receive an email with the request, and sellers can
also go to the Purchase Information page to see all requests. To
complete the sale, click on the link in the email or on the Purchase
Information page and enter the total amount for the buyer. The buyer
will then be able to complete Checkout for item. The buyer will be
committed to purchasing the item when he completes Checkout. Seller's
inventory will be decreased when the buyer completes Checkout.

For more info go to http://pages.ebay.com/checkout/promo.html

Former President of ebaY and ebaY's first full time employee Jeff Skoll
is setting the example for other ebaY big wigs. Mr Skoll, who has been
eased out of the company for, in TAG's opinion, having too much of a
community focus, has donated 2.5 million to help support non-profits
through the upcoming economic downturn.

ebaY once again has a warning on the site that users have reported a
possible attempt to gain access to their private information through an
email solicitation made to appear as if it is originating from ebaY.
ebaY will never ask for private information, including credit card
information, in an email. Also, ebaY will never send any request or
solicitation from a non-ebaY email account. Recipients need to check
headers on ebaY emails. If you receive such an email, do not respond to
it, and send it to safeh-@ebay.com.

ebaY is no longer using their regular inventory of advertising space to
promote Auction for America. In order to continue to promote Auction
for America, ebaY created what they claim is a temporary merchandising
space above the ebaY header. these will be used to merchandise only
Auction for America listings and will be removed when Auction for
America ends.

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.

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
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

On 24 Oct 13:27 PT, Amazon announced that due to weather conditions,
telephone support for Auctions, zShops and Marketplace platforms is
down, and will remain closed through Thu 25 Oct.
Announcement Board

Users are reporting that they are getting double postings of sold books
along with double emails from the buyer.   The payment account shows the
sale twice but the item has the same transaction ID. The cause of this
is unknown, but might be due to the buyer hitting the purchase button
Seller discussion board

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
* * * * *
PayPal.Com users are reporting a fraudulent email designed to harvest
PayPal users information and passwords. If you receive a message from
app-@paypal.com stating there is an error in your account and it is up
for fraud review, do not respond. Send this email to PayPal with
headers showing. If you have answered this email, change your
passwords, and contact PayPal.

PayPal has announced that effective 6 Nov, further benefit reductions
and restrictions on their users will take place. The definition of "new
account" for the purpose of the new account withdrawal requirements will
be increased from two months to four months. Like the existing policy,
new PayPal members will need to complete at least two out of three
authentication steps in order to withdraw more than $500 per month. This
requirement will automatically be lifted four months after the account
opening date, and applies to all accounts opened after 7/07/2001. Also
to qualify for the Seller Protection Policy for items $500 or more in
value, sellers must provide a proof-of-receipt in the form of a
signature from the buyer. This extra security is required by PayPal to
offer chargeback protection on these large ticket items. The signature
is part of the proof-of-delivery service provided by most U.S. carrier
companies, including the U.S. Postal Service.

PayPal preferred sellers must refuse the Billpoint Checkout option on
ebaY to remain eligible for PayPal preferred status/benefits.

* * * * *
Andale.Com chat site was not working for approximately 5 days . Users
reported that for several days they have not been able to get in to read
or post. TAG had mixed results with it working one day and not the
next. It appears to be working at present.
* * * * *
SafeWeb.Com has limited the bandwidth available for their free service.
This has restricted access to their site and makes surfing noticeably
slower. SafeWeb is now
selling services, called SafeWeb Premium, available beginning 5 Nov
2001. SafeWeb Premium user traffic will be preferentially routed through
load-balanced servers so
the surfing will be faster. To sign up for this service, go to
www.safeweb.com or send an email to subscri-@safeweb.com after
November 5. A one-year subscription is $34.95 and a six-month
subscription is $19.95.
* * * * *
Anonymizer.Com also has a free and for fee version of a software
anonymizer. This only works on Windows based machines.
* * * * *
Auctiva has provided an Update for ebaY Checkout, being one of the first
to do so - even faster than ebaY with their own SAB/SAP programs.
* * * * *
PictureTrail.Com free image hosting from a company in SantaClara CA.
Domain registered Dec 1999
* * * * *
Online Auction Users Association is holding a special election for a
Board of Directors Information on this special election can be found
here -

The election begins at 12:01 AM PT on 3 Nov 2001 and ends at midnight
PT on 7 Nov 2001. Members may submit their name for nomination no later
than midnight PT 26 Oct 2001 by emailing secre-@auctionusers.org .
Any member in good standing is eligible to run. Please include your
first and last name and your OAUA Member ID. You may also include a
short statement of no more than 250 words and a photo (jpg format
please) if desired.

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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