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TAGnotes Tue 4 Dec 2001 Vol 3 Number 115 Issue 376

The Auction Guild Notes for Tues 4 Dec 2001
Affects Outlook and Outlook Express on computers running Windows and it
can also sends itself through the instant messaging program ICQ.
Subject is Hi, and has a supposed screen saver program, that must
executed to infect. The virus named Goner.scr. not only sends itself
out through Microsoft's Outlook address book, it also tries to delete
certain executable (.exe) files, including anti-virus programs and
personal firewalls. You can read more on this at and get clean up
instructions at -

See details in Yahoo section below
For quality, variety & great deals, shop the experienced auction
sellers of the EMPORIUM http://www.lynnet.com/~jmm/emporium.html
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Missoni, Abercrombie & Fitch, dELiA*s, cashmere and much more!
While they last! http://auctions.yahoo.com/booth/ddeva_48045
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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.
On 30 Nov ebaY performed regularly scheduled maintenance from 01:00 PT
until 03:00 PT. Billpoint was also down for scheduled maintenance
during the same time frame.
At 10:52:45 PT users reported problems with the revise page coming up
garbled. At 11:56:34 PT the cancel a bid form was not working. At
13:01:20 PT problems with search emerged, with multipage search results
coming up with "sorry, we can't find any items for your search...."
after page three of a several dozen page result. At 18:06:12 PT users
posted problems with leaving feedback and at 20:57:48 PT ebaY pic
services was down. The ongoing problems with listing, relisting,
revising, sign in, cookies, and checkout continued unabated.

On 1 Dec at 07:32:37 PT users reported more revise problems. At
14:03:28 PT a user warned that other should NOT download Seller
Assistant Pro version 2.2.005 from ebaY because it does not work. At
14:14:07 PT revise an auction was very slow. At 17:49:17 PT users
reported more search problems and receiving "Network Error "Unable to
read URL from host ads.web.aol.com Connection reset by peer" messages At
19:12:43 PT users posted again that revise was not working. All the
ongoing problems continued. TAG also received a report that ebaY had
defaulted all the sellers relists to include the $19.95 features plus
option, even though the seller never used the option in the original
listing. Once again sellers need to check their accounts!

On 2 Dec at 12:01:15 PT, users reported the free ebaY partner auction
counters were not working. At 12:50:27 PT ebaY announced that effective
last Friday, all European sites where the country is using the Euro
began converting against the Euro and no longer against the country’s
local currency. On Sunday ebaY found that they were erroneously
converting the currency on the US site, as though it was the local
currency and not the Euro. This meant the item was listed in Euros, but
ebaY displayed a conversion as though it were still Francs, Lira, etc.
The sites impacted were those listed on ebaY international, sites
outside the U.S. that were willing to ship internationally, including
the U.S. ebaY said they would fix the problem on 3 Dec. At 19:24:46 PT
search returned "Network Error Unable to read URL from host
ads.web.aol.com Connection reset by peer" messages. The ongoing problems
with listing, relisting, revising, sign in, cookies, and checkout
continued unabated.

On 3 Dec at 11:48:49 PT a user posted that AOL and ebaY are having
issues displaying images on AOL on the ebaY system. At 19:00:23 there
were more problems with photos not coming up and ebaY pages were not
opening properly. At 19:00:23 PS Items on the Watch list were showing
up with 11,660 days to go. All the ongoing problems continued. At
23:14:53 PT ebaY posted that stores were down. They posted at 23:36:01
PT that
the www.ebaystores.com site was down from 22:00 PT to 23:28 PT.

On 4 Dec, the change email addy page was again broken, so users who lost
service through the excite@home bankruptcy were unable to change their
email address. At
09:01:53 PT relist problems arose with false javascript error messages
coming up on relist. Users reported Items on their Watch list was also
still showing up with 11,660 days to go, At 16:10:25 PT users again
reported that AOL and ebaY were having image incompatibility issues.
Users continued to report problems with listing, relisting, revising,
sign in, cookies, and checkout.

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 - In an interview with Tim Arango at The Street
about ebaY's approx $40mil advertising flier inserts in newspapers,
ebaY's PR man, Kevin Pursglove said, "The idea there is that there are
people who read newspapers but may not use the Internet," says Kevin
Pursglove". TAG can only share what an erudite ebaY user had to say
about the quote, in a post he made on one of the ebaY boards. "So the
idea is that droves of internet illiterates will read an ad in Sunday's
paper, get off the couch, get dressed, run down to Best Buy, buy a full
computer system (Gawd I hope they don't try to save a little by getting
WebTV), take it home, set it up, arrange an ISP and email addy, navigate
to Ebay, register, find a scratched and dented DVD player that is 10%
less than the one they walked past at Best Buy when they bought the
computer, bid on it, wait for it to end, get sniped, find another
one..... You get the picture. All this before the pre-Christmas shipping
deadline. I think it is about time that Ebay takes a serious look at
keeping peyote out of their marketing meetings." TAG thinks that sums
it up nicely. ebaY should consider how many free listing days that
money could have paid for.
Article at

Pink Quote Of the Day II, When emailed about the problem with logging
into My ebaY and receiving another users My ebaY page, an ebaY CS rep
emailed back and said, "Thank you for writing to express your concerns
about signing in to eBay and viewing another member's account
information. I can understand that this would make you think twice about
the integrity of your account. We are currently experiencing a system
bug that is causing member's cookies to see them as someone else. Please
be assured that we have looked into these situations and have not found
any instances where a member's account activity has been compromised.
The cookies are simply seeing you as someone else but you are not signed
in to the other member's account". Unfortunately this appears to TAG to
be much less than the truth, as ebaY users reported having access to
change or use many options in the accidentally opened accounts including
leaving feedback, changing preferences and access to other info.

ebaY announced plans a "Buy It Now, Get It Fast" marketing campaign in
early-to-mid December. They will highlight Buy It Now (BIN) items to
buyers. ebaY mentioned that BIN is currently optional and free and TAG
wonders if that means it will soon be mandatory and/or have a fee. ebaY
will provide more information on this promotion when they decide to make
it available.

ebaY has the latest version of Mister Lister available for download.
This has the recent changes to the Checkout feature. Some users have
reported problems with getting this version to download and work. The
latest version may be downloaded at -

ebaY reported that Jupiter Media Metrix, a research firm that focuses on
Internet and new technologies, released its most recent Online Shopping
Index today. The survey compares the traffic on Internet commerce sites
this year versus last year, for the week following Thanksgiving,
including the Friday after the holiday.   According to the report, the
number of visits to ebaY the day after Thanksgiving was up 57% over the
same day last year, to almost 4 million unique visitors, allegedly
making ebaY the top Internet shopping site. TAG was curious about the
accuracy of this report, since Yahoo was not even mentioned in the
report, and Yahoo has consistently been the number one visited site on
the net according to reports such as Nielsen and other reputable firms,
getting 5 times the hits that ebaY does. TAG emailed JMM about this
glaring omission, but has not received a response. To see the JMM press
release, go to http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-
For a full report (Jupiter charges for this) go to http://www.jmm.com

What TAG also wants to know, is if ebaY is allegedly getting twice the
number of visitors, are the sellers getting twice the number of sales?
There are NOT twice the numbers of listings as the same time last year
(5 Dec 2000 approx 5.9 mil), so not all those visitors are sellers.

ebaY has added another category chat board called Motorcycle Boulevard

Other chat boards are at http://pages.ebay.com/community/chat/index.html

There are many many problems with ebaY Search. The latest permutation is
that ebaY has removed the search box from the sellers listings page.
Rumor has it that ebaY acknowledged this as a glitch that they are
trying to fix, though there has been no posting of this as a problem on
the SAB.

Completed search is STILL on the search results page. It is once again
called COMPLETED Items, 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
Completed search is now only showing TEN days of results, a far cry from
the 90 days ebaY offered on the past, reduced to 30 days and ranging
between 15 and 20 days for over two years. ebaY promised users a
minimum of 30 days completed search results, but have not yet fulfilled
this promise.

You now have the option to hide or show the gallery pictures - click on
option in upper left hand corner of search results.

Don't like search? Join the Search Protest thread on ebaY to change
search. The thread has over 1085 posts with feedback totals in the
hundreds of thousands.

Having problems with Billpoint? Go to    
and file a complaint! Need more reasons NOT to use ebaY's Billpoint?
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. Users are also
reporting that in the middle of their auctions, a notice comes up saying
the seller's credit limit has been reached. The only way to prevent
this from happening to your auction is to NOT USE BILLPOINT. To find
out what your Seller credit limits are, go to
Sign in and click on Fee Schedule & Policies on the left side of the

New protest sites showing up -

Problems with Checkout continue since ONLY the button is optional. TAG
advises continuing to lose logos to demonstrate you do not use Checkout.
You can also 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

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

Since ebaY is no longer fully compatible with Microsoft IE, TAG
recommends you have IE, Netscape AND the Opera browsers on your
computer, so you can alternate between them as required. Better yet use
another auction site, where the depth of problems you find on ebaY does
not exist. Opera can be found at http://www.opera.com

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 status announcement board (SAB)
* * * * *
Amazon Auctions, zShops and Marketplace

Amazon posted on 4 Dec that disruptions in Excite@Home service have
affected buyers and sellers on Marketplace, Auctions and zShops.
Sellers who have been affected by this are strongly encouraged to notify
Amazon and the sellers' current customers with updated contact
information. Sellers whose e-mail addresses will change as a result of
this will need to update this information via the Account Settings
section of the Amazon.com Your Account page:

Amazon Announcement Board

An interesting thread on websites, with lots of good info,
recommendation and links to the web site services sellers are using.
Definitely worth a read for anyone considering opening their own
website, (something TAG feels ALL sellers should do) or looking for a
new provider!   

Amazon chat 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 posted the following announcement "Yahoo! Auctions has
experienced unprecedented growth in recent weeks. We thank you, the
Auctions Community, for making this happen. To show our gratitude, and
as a way of offering 'Holiday Thanks' to you, we're announcing a free
listing day on Thursday, December 6. All new auctions submitted between
12:01am PST and 11:59pm PST on Thursday will not be subject to listing
fees (other fees still apply, including listing fees for
auto-resubmits). We hope this will supercharge your auctions business as
the Holidays approach. All the best to you, your family, and your
friends this holiday season, and in the year to come." In addition to
posting this on their AB, Yahoo also posted this on their community chat
board and sent an email to all their newsletter subscribers.

TAG has had indications from Yahoo that they will be giving their users
other rewards and incentives as Yahoo meets key indicator goals, such as
increased numbers of listings, increased numbers of users, increased
sell through etc. It would be good to see a site pass along some of
their success and profitability to their users, who are the source of
that success, as opposed to ebaY who posts record breaking profits,
RAISES sellers fees, and DECREASES services.

Remember Yahoo allows links from auctions, and has a MUCH more liberal
and less paranoid point of view on off Yahoo sales. Yahoo's policy can
be found at -
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 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.
* * * * *
SellYourItem appears to have touched a chord amongst OAI/OTI
participants. According to their users, they provide excellent customer
support, are very responsive to suggestions, and are working towards a
community based site.

A SYI user provided the following stats and info to us:
In the last 30 days 895 auctions were sold for prices ranging from $.10
to $225, with an average price of $6.29 for all items sold in that
period. This represents a 2 percent sell through rate based on total
listings for that period of time. Currently (9:52 EST 12/03) the site
stats show 1 percent of active auctions have bids. BuyNow! bids are not
reflected in active totals since they end immediately; but are included
in the percent sold figures indicated above.

New enhancements added in the last month include the ability to list a
second category as part of the basic auction listing package; Anti-snipe
technology as an option, with a logo included in the auction to identify
this feature when it is used; a 30-day auction length option for
auctions using the BuyNow! feature; the ability to choose the number of
auto-relists in an auction to a maximum of 3; and the ability to import
auction information from Carnaby.

At the end of November, the site added five new Top Level Categories,
and 49 new subcategories; including several new automotive categories,
as well as Elvis, Harry Potter and Sesame Street, among others. One of
the Top Level Categories, "Handcrafters Studio" specifically targets
home crafters selling their own articles. This addition was created in
response to members' requests to recognize the significant number of
sellers at SYI who create their own items for sale. Support at SYI has
requested that members submit their comments and suggestions for
enhancements they would like to see at the site to

Listing on SYI is free, FVFs and special feature fees apply. There are
currently Approx 19249 listings on SYI.
* * * * *
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.
* * * * *
Stamps.Com - another online service provider who was using the Hotel
California model - you could check out and request your account be
closed, but there was no obvious way to leave.   Despite all requests to
close the account being ignored, you would get billed month after month
and have to get your credit card company to do chargebacks, and get
threatened by Stamps.Com with collection agencies. Now you can go to
this form http://www.stamps.com/account/cancel/
and request your account be closed. As far as we can tell there is not
a single link on the site that LEADS to this easy account closure
process - and you have to call a toll free number and wait for a service
rep to tell you where to go online to close your account. Now you can
go there directly!
* * * * *
Excite@home information
* * * * *
Online Auction Users Association
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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