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TAGnotes Wed 28 Nov 2001 Vol 3 Number 114 Issue 375

The Auction Guild Notes for Wed 28 Nov 2001
This one infects Microsoft systems through Outlook Express if you don't
have the current patches installed. You do not need to execute anything
to get infected, just open the email. For info on removing it go to -


For an article on this worm go to -
Missoni, Abercrombie & Fitch, dELiA*s, cashmere and much more!
While they last! http://auctions.yahoo.com/booth/ddeva_48045
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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. Seller
group ads also available. 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.
Though sellers have never signed up for ebaY's auction management
programs Seller Assistant Basic (SAB) or Seller Assistant Pro (SAP),
some are being charged for it. If you see charges on your statement for
SAB or SAP, and did not sign up for it, email ebaY and they will credit
the fees.
Billpoint users reported that sellers should carefully check their
Billpoint account to watch the incoming payments and compare these to
their deposits. Though Billpoint appears to be invoicing the buyer for
shipping/handling, and the buyer pays for it, Billpoint is not
depositing these fees to the sellers account. Billpoint claims the
buyer was not charged S/H but the buyer says they were, and that they
paid the bill including S/H. Did you need yet another reason to stop
using Billpoint?
We have been hearing intermittent reports from several sources that
there is a serious security breach in My ebaY. When a user logs in to
My ebaY it sometimes pulls up a My ebaY page belonging to another user.
This gives the first user the ability to access much sensitive
information, and to bid using the second users account.

On 20 Nov at 12:02:39 PT ebaY posted that their ebaY picture service was
not working in that sellers were unable to submit images from 10:36:00
to 11:02:00 PT.   At 17:24:21 PT ebaY again reported that sellers were
unable to post images through their pic service. At 17:57:52 PT ebaY
posted that submit images through pic services was down from 17:00:00 to
17:42:00 PT. On 20 Nov at 21:03:25 PT users reported that ebaY Motors
pic services photos would not download. Users continued to report
throughout the day problems with listing, relisting, revising, Checkout
and all the other ongoing unfixed ebaY problems including the inability
to search for more than 10 days of completed auctions. ebaY has been
promising a return to completed item 30 day search for several years.
Another reoccurring problem is gallery images not showing in gallery
search. This has been going on intermittently for months and sellers
should request refunds every time it happens.

On 21 Nov at 04:29:12 PT users reported a programming flaw in the link
to a relisted item from the completed auction page. The "This auction
has ended but the item has been relisted. Go to item now." would not
take you to a valid item. In some cases, the link was not clickable at
all. At 04:44:58 PT the link was throwing messages that said, "ERROR:
Invalid Item The item you requested ( ) is invalid or no longer in our
database. Please check the number and try again. If this message
persists, the item has expired and is no longer available." At 12:17:09
PT ebaY announced they were taking sellers accounts down for emergency
maintenance for 15-30 minutes. ebaY posted at 12:52:17 PT that the
seller accounts were down from 12:17:00 PT until 12:44:00 PT for
emergency maintenance. Users reported throughout the day on the problems
with listing, relisting, revising, Checkout and all the other ongoing
unfixed ebaY problems including the inability to search for more than 10
days of completed auctions.

On 22 Nov at 16:07:45 PT ebaY announced that users were having
intermittent problems with Mister Lister not working. This caused some
collections to not submit successfully. So sellers had to resubmit their
collection. The problems with listing, relisting, revising, Checkout
and all the other ongoing unfixed ebaY problems including the inability
to search for more than 10 days of completed auctions, continued

ebaY decided not to do regularly scheduled maintenance on Fri 23 Nov
01:00 PT to 03:00 PT. ebaY warned that sellers should not list during
the normal maintenance time between 01:00 PT and 03:00 PT Friday since
your item will be ending during next week's regular scheduled
maintenance outage. At 04:17:02 PT ebaY users reported that My ebaY
was glitchy . Users received messages that said "This function is
currently unavailable We apologize that you are not able to access this
feature at the present time. " At 04:21:15 PT users reported the site
was slow and some pages were inaccessible. At 17:13:33 PT Billpoint was
down 17:57:56 PT search was intermittently down.

ebaY took the site down for emergency maintenance 00:00 PST to 00:08 PST
on Sat 24 Nov.   At 00:19:55 PT ebaY posted that all features were
restored. ebaY said that users might have had errors in My ebaY,
Feedback, Checkout, Stores, Favorite Searches, About Me, Motors,
Premier, and Real Estate. At 04:55:19 PT users reported the ability to
sign in was intermittently down, and at 06:42:58 PT listing was down.
The problems with listing, relisting, revising, Checkout and all the
other ongoing unfixed ebaY problems including the inability to search
for more than 10 days of completed auctions, continued unabated.

On 25 Nov at 12:22:12 PT users reported that ebaY pic services were
down. User reported problems with pic services continued until 22:56:22
PT. At 15:16:52 PT ebaY announced that sellers were unable to submit
images through ebaY pic services from 13:42 PT to 15:09 PT. At 18:35:04
PT ebaY again posted that there were continued problems with pic
services and that the problems continued from 16:23 PT to 18:30 PT.   
All the ongoing problems with Sign in/ Cookies continued to prevent
users from listing, relisting, and revising, search was unusable to
several folks.

ebaY posted at 00:41:56 PT a notice of an emergency maintenance period
on 26 Nov from at 00:30 PT until completed. At 00:47:12 PT ebaY noted
that pic services were down from 00:30 PT to 00:40 PT. At 07:40:06 PT
users reported pic services were still down. At 15:21:22 PT ebaY posted
that parts of the ebaY system were down from 12:16 PT to approx 12:53
PT. Users reported the site down from 12:15:44 until 12:54:12 PT and
again at 16:43:52 PT users noted there were intermittent outages until
17:18:49 PT. ebaY posted at 17:24:33 PT that View Item, My ebaY and the
Feedback Forum were intermittently down from 17:03 PT to 17:08 PT.   At
20:44:56 PT ebaY again posted there were problems when submitting
auctions through Mister Lister with ebaY pic services. At 19:29:32 PT
users posted they were having more trouble with ebaY pic services. At
21:20:57 PT ebaY announced that the problems had been fixed.
The ongoing Problems with sign in/cookies, search, and checkout continue
with the addition of users report that Relists are not indexing in
search, at all.

On 28 Nov at 06:46:53 PT users posted receiving error messages whilst
navigating and using ebaY. cgi5 errors appeared when trying to revise
an auction, and cgi1 errors.

On 28 Nov at 14:27:51 PT , ebaY posted a series of problems with ebaY
*Sellers are receiving a "Store Builder Action Incomplete Error: Sorry,
you do not have a valid store subscription registered under your User
ID". This seems to happen to members who have recently created a Store
and then click on the "Edit my Store" button from the "Seller, Manage
Store" link. ebaY plans on fixing this within two weeks. To get it
fixed now, a seller has to go to the Stores Discussion board and post
your User ID and problem on the "Store Builder Action Incomplete Error
Message" thread. An ebaY employee will manually reset your store.
* Sellers who have upgraded their store from the Basic level to the
Featured level are currently being charged $49.95 when they upgrade.
This is an error on ebaY's part, and they will be credit each affected
member's account so that they will not be charged during the 30-day free
trial. ebaY will continue to charge all members $49.95 after their
30-day free trial.
* The 30-day free trial will also expire after January 1, 2002. This
means that all members who sign up after January 1, 2002 will be charged
$49.95 when they select a Featured level subscription for their Store.
*Seller Tool Support of Extended Duration Listings: Currently, the
ability to list items in your Store for extended durations is not
available to some members who use the Seller's Assistant and Mister
Lister selling tools. However, Seller's Assistant will support the
extended duration listings within the next week. Mister Lister support
will begin in late January.

These are interesting articles about ebaY and all its problems. In
TAG's opinion, It is a shame the main stream media does not pick up more
on these ongoing and deep seated flaws in ebaY's operation.
Related thread on ebaY's threaded boards -

We have been hearing from subscribers who requested refunds from ebaY on
the free listing in stores fiasco (now you see it now you don't refunds
promised).   Those store sellers, who listed because they expected
refunds, and who requested their 5 cent store listing fees be refunded,
ARE getting them!!!
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 - Meg Whitman in an interview with eWeek on
26Nov01, when eWeek asked what ebaY was doing to retain the customers it
has, said " The first thing we want to do is make sure that if you
register on eBay, we make it easy for you to buy or sell. We work very
hard on user interface, the ability to navigate, the ability to figure
out what to do quickly." Demonstrating once again that either she is
prevaricating or does not have a clue, or a combination of both. First
of all, ebaY's CUSTOMERS are the SELLERS - end of story - FACT. It is
the seller that pays ebaY a fee, and until buyers start paying ebaY a
buyers premium, and purchasing items from ebaY's stock, the seller will
remain ebaY's customer. The buyers are important, but the sellers ARE
ebaY's customer, and the question was about the customers ebaY has now.
Second, in TAG's view, if Meg thinks Checkout, New Search, the bloated
categories, the bloated listing page, slow indexing, endless access,
listing, relisting and revising problems, SPAM emails that lie about
Seller payment option, the inability of many WebTV users to access the
site, etc, make it easy to buy or sell on the site, then she is
inhabiting a different ebaY reality than the one the rest of us are in.

On 26 Nov ebaY announced the promised Checkout changes. The changes
were supposed to appear on the 26th but it took until the 28th for any
to show up. An update was posted at 17:30:32 PT
*For auction listings, sellers can opt out of displaying the Checkout
button on their closed View Item page, End of Auction notices and My
ebaY. The Checkout process is a mandatory part of the Store Buy It Now
*Payment Details and Payment Instructions will remain a mandatory
displayed section at the top of the closed View Item page. The sellers
can choose to input information into these fields even if they opt out
of displaying the Checkout button. If a seller chooses not to input any
information into these fields, ebaY will display a message stating that
the buyer should view the item description or contact the seller for
more info.
*For Store Buy It Now items, when the buyer requests the total amount to
pay, they will be committed to purchasing the item and the seller's
inventory will be decreased.
* If the seller chooses to accept ebaY Billpoint payments, ebaY will
place the "Pay Now" button in the listing.
*ebaY Billpoint Payments text will only appear in the End of Auction
notice if the seller has chosen to list that item with ebaY Payments. In
TAG's opinion a GREAT reason to just say NO to Billpoint.

Sellers may set their Checkout Preferences in My ebaY under the
"Selling" and "Preferences" tabs. With these preferences, members can
opt out of displaying the Checkout button, update their payment address
and allow a buyer to edit or enter the total. Please note that the
default for allowing a buyer to edit or enter the total will be set to
off for all sellers except those registered to sell with ebaY Billpoint
payments; yet another great reason to opt out of Billpoint; Billpoint
sellers will have the default set to ON. Beginning today, the settings
chosen in Checkout Preferences will apply to all new items by that
seller. Revised or relisted items listed today or later will also be
affected by the Checkout Preferences.

ebaY will eventually update their seller tools.   Sellers can continue
to use their current versions of Mister Lister and Seller's Assistant;
enter My ebaY and change your Checkout Preferences. ebaY has notified
some third party providers of the upcoming changes. Sellers should go
to their third party service provider for questions about compatibility.
For more info go to http://pages.ebay.com/checkout/faq.html

Unsubstantiated Rumor has it another ebaY (partially owned) company
might be headed towards failure. ReturnBuy.Com, a site that sells
excess, return and discontinued merchandise. Word on the street via an
online site that hosts the latest insider gossip, has info that
ReturnBuy has laid off 50% of their workforce and unless they get an
injection of capital, will not remain viable.

There are many many problems with ebaY Search. One VERY annoying and
time consuming one is when using the back button to return to search
results after viewing an item, the buyer is taken back to the top of the
page instead of the point of origin. This causes much time wasted is
scrolling. A knowledgeable TAGnotes subscriber suggested that this is
due to problems in Netscape 4.xx because the pages now have tables. IE
and Netscape 6 ignore table commands with regard to placement on reload.

Don't like search? Join the Search Protest thread on ebaY to change
search. Close to 1000 posts with feedback totals in the hundreds of

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

The send this auction to a friend link has been appearing and
disappearing from auctions since 19 Nov. TAG does not know if this
function is going to be removed, or if ebaY is just working on their
page codes.

Need more reasons NOT to use ebaY's Billpoint? Not happy with Half.Com?
You are not alone - read the Better Business Bureau 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. Since
TAG's reporting on the Unsatisfactory reports on both Billpoint and
Half.Com, ebaY has responded to the Billpoint complaints and has now
received a satisfactory rating, which means they responded to the BBB,
not that the problems were resolved. ebaY is obviously not bothering to
respond to the Half.Com complaints since Half.Com is soon to disappear
altogether and become ebaY Express.

Banned on ebaY - Intimidation and Censorship continues. Many users
posting critically on the ebaY boards about Checkout, Search 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 has suspended or threatened sellers. TAG has had
no response from ebaY about its suspension from posting on the ebaY
boards. ebaY removed the posts of the author of the articles appearing
in the Luskin Report that were critical of ebaY, citing doing it for the
'safety' of ebaY users. ebaY has created some new legal mumbo jumbo to
prevent reporters from posting on their boards, and TAG is sure that
ebaY will attempt to use it against TAG once our suspension is over.

New protest sites showing up

You can use HTML in the location box of your auction 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 info.
You are limited in the number of characters you can use in the location
box, so keep it short.

Is Checkout interfering with your online business? Is the new search
slowing down your sales? 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

On 28 Nov ebaY once again announced a change in their very restrictive
linking policy. If you are tired of these ridiculous restrictions, see
the much more liberal policy Yahoo Auctions offers to their sellers.
ebaY policy regarding third party ID of companies used by sellers for
services within a listing allows for such a logo (88x33 pixels)and/or
text (up to 10 words, HTML font size 3).as long as only one is clickable
when identifying payment or mediation services. ebaY is now allowing
both a logo and text (provided only one is clickable) for any type of
company identification of services used by the seller in that listing.
The same size guidelines apply under the revised policy; the logo can be
no bigger than 88x33 pixels and the text may contain up to 10 words and
may be no bigger than HTML font size 3. The revised portion of the
policy is at

ebaY is ending its relationship with partially ebaY owned escrow company

Burger King and ebaY have joined forces - do you want fries with that?
TAG wonders if the ebaY kiss of death will apply to Burger King as it
has to many other companies ebaY has partnered with, such as iEscrow
(Tradenable), eStamp, Butterfields, Half.Com, ReturnBuy, iShip etc -
--- http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/011115/150031_1.html

ebaY has started a collectors club pages for -
*Annalee Doll Society
*Coca-Cola Collectors Club
*Fenton Art Glass
*Edna Hibel Society
*Fitz and Floyd's Charming Tails Acorn and Leaf Club
*Franklin Mint Die-Cast Club
*Hallmark Keepsake Ornament Collector's Club
*Hartland Horses
*Mattel Barbie Doll Club
*San Francisco Music Box Company
*Steiff Bears
*Thomas Kinkade Collector's Society
*Tonner Dolls

ebaY sends SPAM email for many purposes, but primarily to sell
advertising to their corporate partners. Other companies sometimes also
jump on the SPAM bandwagon and pretend to be ebaY. Since ebaY can't
make money on these fakers, they want the folks who receive the faked
emails to report them to ebaY so ebaY can sue the company riding ebaY's
SPAM coattails. Though ebaY says it will never directly send you a
business solicitation, you have only to look at one of ebaY's end of
auction notices to see the untruth. ebaY also says they would never ask
you for private information such as passwords and credit card
information in an email, and that IS true. If you receive a "SPAM" email
that appears to be from an ebaY employee, ebaY wants you to forward it
to safeh-@ebay.com.

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. We have heard from a subscriber that 4.79 is an

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

Amazon announced on 28 Nov that Shipping rate changes are now in effect.
The new rates will affect all purchases made after the time of the rate
The new rates can be viewed at -
Changes to seller shipping credit:
Changes to buyer shipping fee:

Amazon.com Auctions, and zShops and Payments was down for maintenance
from approx 01:00 PT - 02:00 PT, on 29 Nov.   Seller tools and reports
were also unavailable during this time. Auction listings were being
extended per the standard outage policy.

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 Auctions allows links from auctions, and has a MUCH more liberal
and less paranoid point of view. - Yahoo's policy can be found at -
Some clarification we received from Yahoo -
You can link to your personal home page or primary web site, and that
home page CAN be a commercial web site or store, as long as it is owned
by the seller and under the sellers control. If the seller has a link
to a commercial site or store, the items for sale on the site should be
for items that are different from the items being auctioned. Links to
sites such as the OAUA, ReliableMerchants.Com, TAG, BBB Online etc are
allowed. Links to seller clubs that have further links to other selling
sites are not allowed, for example
-http://www.lynnet.com/~jmm/emporium.html . A link to a club such as a
Yahoo Club, even for another auction site such as these are allowed -
for example
http://dir.clubs.yahoo.com/Computers or Internet/Internet/Auctions/

On 21 Nov Yahoo announced changes to their buyer protection plan
Yahoo is trying to discourage Western Union and other wire transfers to
a post office box or to any international location as much of the online
fraud occurs that way.

Yahoo Auctions had batch submission problems on 26 and 28 Nov though all
is working currently.

Yahoo Auctions has user to user help boards at
and community chat boards at
TAG has found this format almost impossible to use. They have recently
added a live chat board at   

As of 24 Nov Yahoo Auctions had 274,047 listings on the site.
* * * * *
Sites to Try -
SellYourItem.Com - appears to be the most popular
BidVille.Com - with over 1mil listings is the number two person to
person site
* * * * *
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 ...

It also pays to keep your software updated with the latest info and

* * * * *
Moving to another auction site? You CAN take your feedback with you -
* * * * *
Surfola.Com another anonymizer site to try
Some WebTVers (MSNTV) have had luck accessing ebaY through an anonymizer
site such as this one.
* * * * *
Online Auction Users Association
The Board of Directors is currently accepting nominations for Officer
positions within the Association. These volunteer positions are
important leadership roles and need dedicated individuals willing to
work hard to help this organization grow and develop.
You can find more information about the Officer positions and the
responsibilities of each go to -
submit your name to secre-@auctionusers.org by the deadline of
Sunday, December 2nd at Midnight.
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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