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TAGnotes Tue 20 Nov 2001 Vol 3 Number 113Issue 374

The Auction Guild Notes for Tue 20 Nov 2001
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and services there, along with editorials and other information.
On 13 Nov at 12:14:58 PT users reported being unable to list because of
ebaY's errors with their billing system. Despite the sellers having a
credit card on file and auto payment authorized, when trying to list the
sellers received messages saying, "WARNING Your account has exceeded the
limit". ebaY though aware of the billing problem fro over a week has
evidentially not yet corrected all their accounts. At 12:43:48 PT users
reported site problems, sign in problems, intermittent outages, and no
access to pages lasting several hours. At 12:57:37 PT users reported
problems using ebaY Sellers Assistant programs. At 13:05:49 PT the end
my auction early function was not working.
At 13:24:15 PT users received a 562 Server Error screen when trying to
list an auction. Users continued to report widespread problems with
sign in/cookies, list, relist, revise and pic services. WebTV users
have been crippled by the ebaY Sign in/Cookies problems. ebaY is
becoming almost impossible for Web TV (now called MSN.TV) owners to use
for buying or selling, and it does not appear that ebaY is making any
effort to resolve these incompatibility problems. In addition users
reported that Billpoint was posting the auction total in invoices, but
was not including the shipping amount.

On 14 Nov 07:56:29 PT items in stores were showing up with duplicate
listings. Users continued to report widespread problems with sign
in/cookies, list, relist, and revise, along with some intermittent
problems getting past ebaY pic services when trying to list. In
addition many sellers and buyers reported trouble with confusion caused
by Checkout. Users started to post messages about the new ebaY search
format, and the problems it was causing. The most prevalent problem
being the inability to locate completed search.

15 Nov at 05:28:17 PT users reported closed auction items won by other
people were showing up in their My ebaY. At 11:05:30 PT users reported
intermittent problems with listing. . Users still reported widespread
problems with sign in/cookies, list, relist, and revise, along with some
intermittent problems getting past ebaY pic services when trying to
list. Sellers and buyers continue to report trouble with confusion
caused by Checkout.
The furor over the new search format dominated the posts on most of the
ebaY boards.

On 16 Nov between 00:00 PT and 04:00 PT, ebaY took down many of the ebaY
discussion, help and category boards, both on ebaY core and on some
international sites, AU, UK and CA, for maintenance. ebaY conducted
site maintenance from 01:00 PT until 03:00 PT. They also included
maintenance on the Billpoint system during the same time frame. The
system was back at approx 0330 PT.   The ebaY boards were filled with
messages expressing user disgust with the new search pages. Problems
ranged from the lack of category search, to the inability to view search
on computers with screens less than 20 inches.

18 Nov at 18:38:58 PT users posted they were receiving intermittent cgi
errors on search. At 19:38:16 PT sellers posted they were having
problems with listing. The problems with sign in/cookies, list, relist,
and revise continue without resolution. Sellers and buyers continue to
report trouble with confusion caused by Checkout. The furor over the
new search format dominated the posts on most of the ebaY boards.

On 19 Nov at 00:00:51 PT users posted the feedback forum was not
working, and the items were coming up as invalid for feedback purposes.
At 10:08:18 PT users noted problems with relist. The ongoing problems
with sign in/cookies, list, relist, and revise continued unabated, as
did the problems with Checkout and complaints about the new search.

On 20 Nov, ebaY had no solutions for the ongoing problems with sign
in/cookies, list, relist, and revise auctions. Nor have they announced
when there would be a revision of Checkout to make the Checkout button
optional as promised. The complaints about the new search continued to
dominate the boards. If you feel you are losing sales due to any of
these feature changes/glitches, sellers should request refunds.

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

DISABLE CHECKOUT NOW - rather than waiting around for ebaY to fulfill
their promise to make the Checkout button optional, you can neatly
disable that button NOW.
For directions and code go to    

ebaY has held free listing days on Mon 20 Dec 1999, Tues 19 Dec 2000,
and TAG predicts another one the week of 17 Dec 2001. Probably on Tues
18 Dec or Thur 20 Dec. If you like to participate on free listing days,
be prepared. If ebaY does hold a free listing day, we will send out a
special bulletin email as soon as we know about the event.

ebaY is now allowing sellers to pass on extra fees to the buyer when a
buyer is paying a seller via ebaY Billpoint payments and the buyer does
not include the full payment owed because they overlooked the shipping
charges. This unfairly results in extra costs to the seller when the
separate payment must be processed.

ebaY end of auction emails arriving since 18 Nov are now HTML and the
email link to the buyer/seller are no longer clickable - you must copy
paste them into an email message form. Several users report they can't
open or read the emails. TAG feels that since end of auction emails are
virtually useless, and are also auction interference, providing buyers
with options not offered by the seller - such as Checkout and Billpoint
- this may not be a bad thing.

In their ever increasing efforts to track not only site use but also all
the cyberspace activities of their users, ebaY is running a pilot
program for an ebaY Toolbar. As TAG sees it, this toolbar reveals too
much information, and ebaY is a site that frequently violates its
contracts with its users, so should not be trusted. TAG feels this is a
direct implant, and strongly recommends users stay away from it.
More information about athoc, pilot toolbar service provider, can be
found at
TAG finds their privacy policy scary.

ebaY is being sued for patent infringement. On 26 Sep 2001 a complaint
was filed by MercExchange LLC against Half.com subsidiary and ReturnBuy,
Inc. in the Eastern District of Virginia (No. 2:01-CV-736) alleging
infringement of three patents and seeking a permanent injunction and
damages (including treble damages for willful infringement). This and
other financial information can be found in the quarterly SEC form 10-Q
at -   http://biz.yahoo.com/e/011114/ebay.html
2 Oct article about suit

On 14 Nov ebaY announced the launch of the search results by category
function. Users were shocked to find that instead of another option
being offered by ebaY, the entire search results page had been
redesigned and changed. TAG feels ebaY HAD to reorganize search in
order to accommodate the integration of Half.Com - soon to be ebaY
Express - in the main site search page. ebaY also needed space to
integrate store search for their corporate clients, so those corporate
retailers could receive primary advertising space on every search page.
Ordinary auction and store sellers receive no such benefits, but they
pay for these search pages through their listing fees, and also
subsidize ebaY express. Now that ebaY has made their search results
pages much like that on Yahoo Auctions, one more barrier has been
removed to listing on Yahoo Auctions as opposed to ebaY, since ebaY
search no longer has an advantage over Yahoo search.   This new search
has eliminated the ability to search without gallery images, greatly
slowing down the page downloads, particularly for those with older
machines and dialup access. This omission is a disservice to users.

Completed search is STILL on the search results page. It is now called
ENDED, and there is a link to it on the lower left side of the page in
the 'Show Only' box.
Anti Search petition -

Completed items for an entire category, though now missing from the
search results page, can be found at

If you are having problems reading the new search format and reduced
font sizes, you should be able to adjust these on your computer. On a
Windows machine right click your desktop and choose video mode for
1200x768.   Or go to start/settings/control panel, open your display
icon and click the settings tab then push the slider to 1200x768.
Reboot, and when you come back online fix your font sizes to look larger
from the internet explorer "view" link up top, and the same applies for
Other problems that need changing are -
Completed items appears to have disappeared for many users.. Now called
Ended Items ebaY should make it more noticeable nearer top of page.
ebaY should return the option to view without gallery. Some users
reported that when they use their back button to go from the item to
the search result page, it takes them to the top of the page instead of
to the last item looked at. TAG did not find this, but there were many
reports by users of this problem. ebaY has removed the item number from
the search page and that is a mistake that ebaY needs to correct. This
appears to be to give ebaY more room on the search results page.
Several discussions on search can be found on the Search discussion
Including an anti search result change petition thread started 15 Nov
with 400 posts to date, at

ebaY has once again changed a policy with no advance 30 day notice as
required by the user agreement. the latest change is to expand the ban
on Police-Related items to now include a ban on the sale of badges from
private security companies. The Police-Related Items policy is at    

ebaY has revised it's policy on adding bonuses to auctions. ebaY is now
allowing incentives for bidding in listings by offering bidders a bonus.
In all bonus listings, the seller must state the exact price at which
the bonus will apply. For example, it is not permissible to state "I
will throw in a state of the art black and white TV if bidding reaches a
high enough amount." It is permissible to state "I will throw in a state
of the art black and white TV if bidding reaches $150.".   In Dutch
Auctions the seller must offer the exact same bonus item to ALL winning
bidders. Dutch auction rules require that all winning bidders receive
identical items. The "Bonus Items" policy is at

ebaY in its ongoing effort to get sellers and buyers to use its very
flawed and in TAG's view, unethical ebaY Billpoint payments, is running
another in the never ending series of contest for users who use visa
and ebaY payments. The contest lasts from 19 Nov through 26 Dec, and
users will have an opportunity to risk their auction payments and win
swell prizes.   Visa magic moments -

ebaY is planning to change the Computers, Networking & I.T, and Consumer
* Under "Apple, Macintosh", ebaY will group computers into two
sub-categories: "Desktops" and "Laptops." The "Accessories" category
will have "Desktop Components." New categories will be added for Input
Peripherals and Video & Multimedia equipment, and the "Servers" category
will be moved to "Networking & IT".
* In the "Input Peripherals" category, "Gaming Controllers" will be
moved to the "Video Games: PC Games" sub-category under "Consumer
* In the "Software" category, we’re moving Apple Networking Software to
"Networking & I.T".
Networking & I.T.:
* ebaY will add a"Home Networking Kits" catego
* "Servers," "Workstations," and Mainframes" will all move up one level
(no longer under a "Servers & Workstations" heading).
* Apple Servers and Apple Networking Software will both move to the
"Networking & I.T." category.
Consumer Electronics:
* "Gaming Controllers" move from "Computers" to the "Video Games: PC
Games" sub-category under "Consumer Electronics".
Send comments to comp-@ebay.com by 5 Dec 01
View proposed changes at

ebaY has added several new category related threaded discussion boards.

*Art & Artists





*Pottery, Glass and Porcelain


They have made some changes to existing boards:

The "Antiques & Art" board is now "Antiques".

The "Dolls and Bears" board is now "Dolls".

The "Networking and I.T." board is now "Computers, Networking, & I.T".

ebaY removed the "Advertising Collectibles" threaded discussion board
due to a lack of community interest.

Need more reasons NOT to use ebaY's Billpoint? Not happy with Half.Com?
You are not alone - read the Better Business Bureau UNSATISFACTORY
reports on both services. Go to http://www.bbbsilicon.org/index.htm
click on 'company reports', and type in Billpoint or Half.Com and click
on 'report' ebaY does not show up at all, but you can file a complaint
against ebaY from this link also. ebaY continues to add links to
checkout and tell buyers they can use ebaY Payments in the EOA, even
though the seller does not offer either option. This might even be
illegal, and is definitely sufficient cause for a complaint against ebaY
and ebaY Billpoint.

Banned on ebaY - Intimidation and Censorship continues. Many users
posting critically on the ebaY boards about Checkout and other issues
have their auctions singled out by ebaY for careful scrutiny for any
infractions. ebaY ends the auctions of Sellers with even the most minor
violations, and have suspended or threatened sellers. TAG has had no
response from ebaY about its suspension from posting on the ebaY boards.

Since ebaY is delaying the implementation of making Checkout optional,
you still might want to use some of these logos to make your buyers
aware you don't use checkout.
Go to Gifs you can use on the TAG site at

Also continue to add you voice to that of thousands of other ebaY
sellers -   http://forums.ebay.com/dws?14@228.mbN5cF6Tl6M^-@.eed7f8f/0

In addition, you can use HTML in the location box and post in bold red
letter that you do not use checkout. Using the location box makes your
non-acceptance of Checkout visible to the buyer at the end of the
auction on a page otherwise dominated by ebaY's mandatory Checkout

Is Checkout interfering with your online business? This is a service
you pay for, so file a complaint against ebaY with the Better Business
Bureau, and or The Consumer Trouble Shooter.
BBB Online - http://www.bbbsilicon.org
These links could also be used to complain about the false advertising
about the free store listings until the end of the year if ebaY refuses

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 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

Want to PERMANENTLY close an account on ebaY? go to
To close a Billpoint account go to -
Fill out the form, saying that you want to cancel your account.
Billpoint will send an email asking for your ebaY ID, your Billpoint ID,
and your Billpoint security key. They will also ask why you are
canceling your account. After you reply to the email, it will take 7 to
10 days for the account to be canceled.

ebaY announcement board http://www2.ebay.com/aw/announce.shtml
* * * * *
Amazon Auctions, zShops and Marketplace

On Thu 15 Nov at 16:50 PT Amazon announced that The Marketplace and
zShops Inventory Loader was closed for maintenance. Inventory files were
being accepted but were queued for processing until the completion of
maintenance. This was completed at 22:59 PT.   At 23:01 PT on 15 Nov,
Amazon acknowledged that Seller uploads submitted between 18:30pm
Pacific time on Wed 14 Nov and 13:30pm Pacific time on Thur 15 Nov may
contain duplicate listing and sku information. Sellers who uploaded
listings during that time period using sku numbers will need to delete
and then re-submit their listings to ensure that no duplication of
listings remains. Affected sellers were notified by email concerning
this issue.

Amazon did maintenance on Sat 17 Nov from 2100 PT until 22:30pm PT
resulting in a brief delay of Payments email confirmation messages. All
confirmation emails were queued, and delivered upon completion of

Amazon Announcement 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
* * * * *
Yahoo Pay Direct has joined up with HSBC www.hsbc.com an FDIC insured
bank (the reason they need your SSN) and will start charging fees 17 Dec
01. One of PayDirects best features will end 17 Dec as you will no
longer be able to deposit money from Yahoo! PayDirect to a credit card
or an ATM/check card and you will no longer be able to advance cash from
any of these cards. Fees - http://paydirect.yahoo.com/update
Revised TOS - http://paydirect.yahoo.com/tos

Yahoo auctions new pricing went into affect today 20 Nov. If you are
tired of ebaY's monopoly, there has never been a better time than now
to break the ebaY stranglehold on the OAI/OTI. Move 3 million auctions
to Yahoo auctions and FORCE the two big dogs to compete for the business
of the sellers and buyers in the OAI/OTI.

Yahoo Auctions has user to user help boards at
and community chat boards at
TAG has found this format almost impossible to use.

Yahoo has recently added a live chat board at   

As of 6 Nov Yahoo Auctions had 227,126 listings on the site.
* * * * *
C2it - Citibank's third party payment service, is no longer charging a
transaction fee. In an attempt to become a contender in the online
payment system field, is now free. Users can also earn referral fees
and a sign up bonus. Even when it charged fees, it was the buyer not the
seller who was responsible for fees.
* * * * *
WebTV has fully converted over to MSN.TV
* * * * *
Microsoft now has a patch out for the cookie vulnerability that occurs
in IE 5.x & 6.x ...


* * * * *
Moving to another auction site? You CAN take your feedback with you -
* * * * *
Surfola.Com another anonymizer site to try
* * * * *
Online Auction Users Association
Election results posted on 8 Nov 01 at
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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