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TAGnotes Sat 12 Jan 2002 Vol 4 Number 3 Issue 385

The Auction Guild Notes for Sat 12 Jan 2002
Surprise your Valentine with relaxing candles and aromatherapy
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     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
$Buck98 Event going on NOW. Items start at $1.98 with No Reserve.   
Search for $Buck98 http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/$buck98/
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Quality, variety & great deals, shop the experienced auction sellers of
the EMPORIUM http://www.lynnet.com/~jmm/emporium.html
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Find the perfect Valentine's Day gifts at ddeva.com! Snazzy PJs,
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Visit our website Morgan-Meadowsong Farm http://www.hrtc.net/~mkmorgan/
Unique items at auction
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On 10 Jan at 00:08:16 PT ebaY posted that the items specifics search
that went down on 9 Jan at 18:48:18 PT had been restored. There were
extensive reports from sellers starting at approx 12:00 PT that they
received a message from ebaY, "because your debit/credit card declined
eBay's attempt to charge your monthly invoice amount" and "As a
courtesy, eBay will automatically make a second attempt to charge your
card. This attempt will take place in about 5 to 7 days. If eBay's
attempt is declined a second time, and your eBay account is past due, it
will be blocked from additional bids or listings until full payment is
made." Users not realizing that this was an ebaY glitch scrambled to
correct their accounts, but many ran into error messages and could not
access their accounts. At 15:58:24 PT users were getting 405 errors
"Method Not Allowed The method specified in the Request Line is not
allowed for the resource identified by the request. Please ensure that
you have the proper MIME type set up for the resource you are
requesting. Please contact the server's administrator if this problem
persists." At 16:17 TAG received an email from a user that the site had
crashed and users were posting their inability to access the site,
search or bid.   The site came back at 16:32:08 PT but continued to be
intermittently unavailable until 16:48:39 PT. At 16:47:56 PT ebaY
acknowledged that the site had gone down, though they claimed the outage
was from 16:16 PT to 16:29 PT and affected the Business, Clothing,
Everything Else, Jewelry, Gemstones, Watches, Toys and Hobbies and Real
Estate categories. Users reported at 21:24:11 PT that going going gone
was running five hours behind. At 22:37:16 PT ebaY announced that an
error occurred at 15:59 PT that caused all items listed past that point
not to appear in the item listing indexes. The item appeared in search
results, but not on the listing index page. ebaY hoped to fix this
problem and have all items appearing within a few hours.

On 11 Jan at 03:39:46 PT the function to pay for ebaY accounts via
credit card was down from 03:00 PT to 03:30 PT.   Users also reported
that items were not indexing, so a seller listing a group of items would
have some index in title and description search but not all items listed
at the same time. If this happens and the seller does not want to wait
until the next indexing cycle email timesen-@ebay.com and request
ebaY retrieve the items. ebaY sent emails to sellers on 11 Jan about
the credit card account glitch saying, "Dear eBay Seller: Over the past
few days you may have received an email from eBay indicating that a
transaction charged to your credit or debit card, which you placed on
file for billing purposes, was declined. Unfortunately, both the card
decline and the resulting email were processed and sent in error. Please
disregard the prior email. As a result of the decline your card may have
been removed. If your card was removed we will automatically place your
card back on file. eBay will re-attempt to charge your card within the
next 10 days. No action is required by you to resolve this issue. We
apologize for any inconvenience this situation may have caused. Regards,

Problems with sign in/cookies, incompatibility with MSIE and at times
all browsers, and the inability to relist and revise continue. Sellers
who opt out of Checkout can still be forced into taking Checkout from
the closed auction by the buyer. 10 Day completed auctions is
inadequate and theories abound that ebaY limited completed auctions not
due to site stability but because ebaY is planning on selling the
completed auction information back to sellers.   Sellers who use
Billpoint report their auctions are being sabotaged when the price of
the auction exceeds their Billpoint allowable credit and a notice shows
on the auction that causes buyers to back away form the auction, because
it makes it look as if the seller is unreliable. In addition we have a
report that the auction counters provided on the ebaY listing page by
Andale are out of time synch with the ebaY site, so the Manage Your
Counter utility shows counters as closed whilst the auction is still
going on.

TAG recommends that IF you are going to list on ebaY, do NOT use
Billpoint, ebaY pic services, Checkout, or ANY ebaY provided service
beyond the most basic ones. None of ebaY's services are reliable.

TO REQUEST REFUNDS from ebaY go to
Don't take NO for an answer; keep requesting until you get them.
If you don't get your refunds complain to the BBB Online at
And also file a complaint with the FTC

Pink Quote of the Day 1 - Due to another ebaY glitch hundreds and
possibly thousands of sellers received messages on 10 Jan from ebaY
saying, "This concerns the credit card you have on file for billing
purposes for your eBay account -USD. Your credit card declined on
eBay's latest attempt to charge your balance due. According to the
decline information from your card issuer, this particular credit card
account is no longer accepting any billing attempt. We have now removed
this card from your eBay account, and will not make any further attempt
to bill your balance to this credit card number. You are still
responsible for making a payment - you can user any of the alternative
payment methods, using the links below. You can also use the bottom
link to place a different credit card on file for billing. Please be
sure to supply a credit card number that is open and active." Then
starting on 12 Jan sellers received, ""Dear eBay Seller: Over the past
few days you may have received an email from eBay indicating that a
transaction charged to your credit or debit card, which you placed on
file for billing purposes, was declined. Unfortunately, both the card
decline and the resulting email were processed and sent in error. Please
disregard the prior email. As a result of the decline your card may have
been removed. If your card was removed we will automatically place your
card back on file. eBay will re-attempt to charge your card within the
next 10 days. No action is required by you to resolve this issue. We
apologize for any inconvenience this situation may have caused. Regards,
eBay" Another ebaY major glitch, at least they apologized, though not
for the threats!

Pink Quote of the Day 2 - With credit card accounts fouled, threats to
sellers that their accounts will be closed, access to credit card info
blocked and major 30+ minute site crash the only participation by an
ebaY customer service person was to come a "fun" thread. At 16:53:43 PT
on 10 Jan, katy@ebay posted, "Hello everyone! Just a reminder that we
are trying an experiment in the Park and would like to invite you to
participate. To see what we are up to please click on Community, then
Forum, and then scroll down to the Park link. I think all of you will
find the thread titled "Welcome to the Thursday Night SHARE YOUR WARES
Thread!" fun and a great opportunity. We hope to see you there. This
week's theme is Chilhood Memories! We're seeing a lot of wonderful
items! Click here! Cheers! Katy", so Nero fiddles whilst Rome burns. It
is clear to see ebaY's priorities, keep the natives pacified and playful
while you clean out their bank accounts and defraud them of their fees.

At 04:48:18 PT on 10 Jan users reported getting an email that looked as
if it came from ebaY but was forger. The email ran, "Dear eBay
Customer, Your order has been completed and will be mailed within 24-48
hours. Your credit card has been charged $460.50 for the following
purchase... - Microsoft X Box ( $399.00 ) - NFL Fever ( $50.00 ) Plus
shipping and handling. If you feel that your credit card has been billed
wrongly, please visit http://cancelorder.n2v.net and fill out all the
needed information to cancel the following order. Again that site is
eBay Services: Cancel Order, Thank you, eBay Services." This was a
forgery and appears to be an attempt to steal information from users.
The website connected with the message posted,
http://cancelorder.n2v.net, was taken down, and this post was later
added. Fraud Attempts - January 11, 2002 - 3:55 PM Today, January 11th,
2002 a user signed up with n2v.net and used our service for a credit
card scam masquerading as an eBay site. Effective immediately, n2v.net
will begin monitor all new user signups, and before they become live,
will have to be approved by one of the system administrators. This will
try and prevent users from using our service for illegal or malicious
activity. We became aware of the situation after receiving multiple
complaints against our service. The redirection alias
(cancelbilling.n2v.net) was removed from our system, and the authorities
have been contacted with regards to this case. Please be aware that if
you receive any e-mails from eBay that you first investigate the matter,
and make sure that it is actually eBay even if the website looks the
same. Again, I am terribly sorry for the trouble that this has caused
people, however we are unable to prevent malicious users from signing up
with n2v.net and redirecting their website to another location. We have
taken all proper steps to remove the user from the system. Sincerely,
Brian Frye n2v.net". If you received this email and acted on it CHANGE
YOUR EBAY PASSWORD NOW.    It is a good idea for users to change their
passwords on occasion as a regular practice.

ebaY is now ending auctions that contain a disclaimer where the seller
reserves the right to null and void any auctions due to an ebaY outage.
Though this disclaimer does not violate any ebaY rules, if the seller
does not sell to the high bidder at the end of an auction they are
vulnerable to negative feedback from the buyer and also non-selling
seller reports. This still should not have caused ebaY to end auctions.
If this is a new rule it remains an unwritten one.

In another incomprehensible move, ebaY is now recycling used auction
numbers. For example an auction that ended Jan-28-01 21:16:02 PST had a
number 1403749687. That number is now a recently closed auction
http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1403749687 ended
Jan-09-02 20:35:18 PST
Is ebaY afraid of running out of numbers? TAG sees this as an absurd
and foolish move for ebaY to make. So far it appears to be limited to
the 1400000000 series numbers.

ebaY has signed an agreement with EstateSaleDirect (ESD) to provide
estate sale and antique and collectible items on ebaY. Users can view
and preview items from ESD dealers and private collections. ESD lists
auction items every 10 days.

Though we have not been able to confirm if this is an actual case, this
was posted on one of the OAI/OTI chat boards as a case filed against
ebaY. We will attempt to get more info on it. "Case No. GN200046,
PATRICK WU vs. EBAY INC. The case was filed in Travis County, Texas. The
issues involved are breach of implied contract, interfering with
existing and prospective contracts, caused by eBay's arbitrary and
capricious action of canceling one person's auctions while leaving other
people's auctions of similar nature or depictions untouched."

ebaY has failed to compete in Japan against Yahoo Auctions Japan, and
appears to be giving up. According to articles in the London Financial
Times, ebaY has been routed by rival Yahoo Japan. ebaY is reported as
considering selling the business, putting it into a joint venture or
making an acquisition to provide critical mass. Yahoo Japan, has more
than 90 per cent of the domestic online auction market in Japan. "Japan
has been a significant disappointment for us," said Matthew Bannick,
senior vice-president of Ebay's international operations."

Meg Whitman, chief executive, wants the international auction business
to account for one-third of the total, with the rest split equally
between US auctions and fixed-price sales.

Ongoing Issues and Information

Anti and No Checkout logos are available on the TAG site at -
For those still getting the Checkout logo on their auctions, TAG has a
Checkout disable script you can add to your auction description on the
website at -
Make sure you keep an eye on your Checkout options, as ebaY has a
tendency to change your "opt out" selection to "opt in", despite your

Is Checkout interfering with your online business? Is the new search
slowing down your sales? Tired of the scam Chargebacks form Billpoint?
You pay ebaY for services, so file a complaint against ebaY with the
Better Business Bureau, the FTC and or The Consumer Trouble Shooter.
BBB Online - http://www.bbbsilicon.org
FTC - https://www.ftc.gov/ftc/complaint.htm

For some amusing ebaY satire go to eGad -

There is a partial workaround for the limited 10 day completed search.   
Users can search by category search at -
If you input the category number you want and the day and page, you can
manipulate the database to extend your completed search 30 or more days
back. For example -
By inserting the category number 448 (Franciscan pottery) -
By changing the day12page1 you can change go back to 12 Nov on
completeds. You need to experiment with this to find your favorite
searches. it is very inconvenient, but better than nothing.

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
For WebTV users, some users have had some limited success by unplugging
their WebTV unit after each ebaY session for sufficient time to let the
unit. Some other WebTV links that might be useful -

To move an item to another category go to -
ebaY categories with the category number
An off ebaY category number locator page

TAG no longer reports ebaY numbers because we don't believe ebaY is
providing accurate numbers in their categories anymore. We believe they
are lying about and inflating their numbers to prevent stockholders from
knowing the true state of listing on ebaY. Even with ebaY's various
means of inflating these numbers, the inclusion of a multitude of
foreign sites and the proliferation of corporate sellers and stores
listings, the listing numbers on ebaY continue to be stagnant for well
over a year. To see the trends on ebaY go to the MedVed site to view
their long term records.

ebaY CONTACT for ebaY, ebaY UK, Billpoint, Half.Com, information
including analog mail and email addresses, phone numbers, regular and
toll free, refund info, close account info, and insider trading info etc
can be found at

ebaY Community boards
ebaY news board
ebaY status announcement board (SAB)
* * * * *
Amazon Auctions, zShops and Marketplace has a glitch in the relist
system for Pro Merchants. Pro merchant accounts are getting the "Relist
this Auction once for free if item does not sell " instead of "re-list
until sold". Tech Support at Amazon state that they are aware of the
problem and claim to be working on it.

Amazon took the Amazon.com Auctions and zShops site down for maintenance
from Saturday, 12 Jan 02 from approximately 23:30 PT until Sunday, 13
Jan 02 at approximately 03:00 PT. Some Auction zShop and some
Marketplace items will not be available for purchase.   Seller account
Payments transactions will also be unavailable during this time.
Auctions will be extended per the standard policy. They also posted
at 01:13 PT on 12 Jan that some Pro Merchant subscribers have reported
being unable to set auctions to relist until sold. This issue will be
resolved as soon as possible.

Friday sales, where many sellers pick up great bargains for resale -

Find links to all events on the Outlet tab.

Amazon Announcement Board

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 Auction/ Warehouse
Ongoing Issues -
Users can attempt to seek user to user help at -
and community chat boards at
Live chat
Yahoo Buyer Protection Plan

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 -

Yahoo contact Information

As of 24 Nov 01 Yahoo Auctions had 274,047 listings on the site.
As of 5 Dec 01 Yahoo Auctions had 399,258 listings on their site
As of 7 Dec01 Auctions had 504,507 listings on their site
* * * * *
SellYourItem.Com total auction numbers dropped during December.
Registrations and site hits were up. In the last 30 days 552 auctions
were sold for prices ranging from $.10 to $200, with an average price of
$6.61 for all items sold in that period. This represents a 1.6 percent
sell through rate based on total listings for that period of time. The
site stats show .5 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.

On 5 Jan, SYI moved their servers to a new hosting facility. Sheila,
SYI's primary support rep, stated that the new facility has
significantly more space for SYI's equipment. She said this will allow
the site to handle additional traffic. If local DNS
has not updated the IP address for SYI, try using -

During the month of December SYI announced advertising
campaigns with -
Online Shopper

Support at SYI requests that members submit their comments and
suggestions for enhancements they would like to see at the site to

Basic listings at SYI are free, fees for Final Value Fees and listing
enhancements are billed monthly. There are currently 11795 auctions
listed   - Report by Karen Morgan
* * * * *
Auctiva users including those who did not realize they had Auctiva
accounts continue to complain about the advertising blocks Auctiva added
unannounced and unrequested, that have added insult to injury because
they violate ebaY listing rules. The quickest fix for this problem is to
change your password on ebaY and don't share the information with
Auctiva.   You can go into your Auctiva account and set your options to
prevent the illegal ads by going to your account and customizing the

* * * * *
ProPay.Com website disappeared from the net on 10 Jan 02. There was no
notice to users and no notice no notice or explanation posted on the
site. When email started to bounce back from the site email contact
addresses, users worried that something ominous had happened to their
funds. As it turns out, one user was able to get a response from ProPay
customer service on 11 Jan and was told, " Yes, actually we are in the
process of changing our ISP service. I am sorry for the inconvenience.
We switching so that we can be more reliable and have more speed for our
customers. If you try to log in tomorrow then you will be able to get in
great and shouldn't have any other problems. If you do for any reason
please let us know." The site was back online on 12 Jan.

ProPay is one of the many unregulated third party payment providers, and
accounts are not FDIC insured. If the site closed it doors tomorrow all
the money you had there would be lost. Because of this, TAG strongly
recommends that you leave the minimum balance in any of these
unregulated accounts (PayPal, ProPay etc), only as much as you can
afford to lose. Move all your funds into a real FDIC account set up
exclusively for association with your online accounts. Do not use your
normal bank accounts for this purpose, to give yourself the maximum
safety. customer-@propay.com
* * * * *
Online Auction Users Association
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