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TAGnotes Sat 26 Jan 2002 Vol 4 Number 7 Issue 389

The Auction Guild Notes for Sat 26 Jan 2002
This issue of TAGnotes brought to you by -
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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.
TAG is trying to do some statistical analysis of the number of actual
registered individuals on ebaY, and we would appreciate the help of our
subscribers. Here is what we need -
Go to your feedback file on at least ONE of your user IDs, whichever ID
has the most feedback, and record your total number of feedback
(pos,negative, neutral). Then count how many of your customers/business
associates are NARU (not a registered user) and record that. Send us
total feedback and total NARU along with the total number of ebaY User
IDs you have, and the number of these multiple ID's that are NARU.
Count every feedback separately, even if multiples from the same person,
count every NARU separately, even if it is the same person.

We will not disclose ANY identifiable info to anyone for any reason,
just the totals in aggregate. Please be as accurate as possible and
email to - ta-@theauctionguild.com
On 23 Jan at 19:04:15 PT, ebaY users reported that auction pages were
not opening preventing buyers from bidding on items. At 19:43:27 PT
users reported the ebaY email system down once again with problems
continuing through 21:12:05 PT. At 14:56:09 PT, users reported that the
free Honesty counters powered by Andale, were not working. They were
causing page downloads to stall.

ebaY took their system down for maintenance on 25 Jan from 01:00 PT
until 03:00 PT. The ebaY Billpoint payments system was also down during
that time frame. At 03:14:14 PT, ebaY posted that the ebaY Billpoint
payments system was not working. at 04:06:00 PT, ebaY posted that the
ebaY Billpoint payments system was down from 03:00 PT to 03:55 PT. At
08:33:10 PT users reported problems with Mister Lister. When trying to
upload collections, users received error messages. These problems
continued through 10:48:32 PT and a pink posted on the Mister Lister
board, "... There has been an issue with the servers for Mister Lister
today, and they are being addressed by engineering. Please be patient as
the servers are brought back online and your collections are processed.
You should not need to send your collections, as the ones already sent
will be processed. Regards, Bryant eBay Mister Lister Support". ebaY
did not see fit to mention this Mister Lister outage on the SAB. ebaY
noted at 19:01:41 PT that ebaY picture services iPix was going to be
taken down for emergency maintenance from 00:00 PT to 00:30 PT on Sat 26
Jan. During this time, users could not to upload new images and
currently existing images were not viewable. ebaY did maintenance on
both the US and International sites.

On 26 Jan at 11:54:27 PT, users noted that rather than getting a bid
confirmation page after bidding, the page was coming up blank. In TAG's
view, if buyers have trouble bidding the site is DOWN. These are
intermittent and continuing problems. Sellers should ask for refunds for
all bidding outages and problems they feel negatively impacted their
auctions. Threads on the problems -
At 13:53:06 PT users reported the Community/Forums was down. Users
accessing the links received, "The page cannot be displayed The page you
are looking for is currently unavailable. The Web site might be
experiencing technical difficulties, or you may need to adjust your
browser settings." messages.

There continue to be no solutions for the ongoing problems with sign
in/cookies, incompatibility with MSIE and at times all browsers, and the
inability to relist and revise. Sellers who opt out of Checkout can
still be forced into taking Checkout from the closed auction by the
buyer. 10 Day completed auction search is inadequate. 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 sellers
who use ebaY's Billpoint keep reporting that unjustifiable chargebacks
continue. ebaY users continue to have Billpoint logo appearance problems
with closed ebaY Billpoint payment accounts. Though the user closed the
account months ago, ebaY accepts Billpoint payments because for some
reason they do not know the account is closed. If you have this problem
contact ewa-@ebay.com . Bidding anomalies continue causing confusion
for buyers. ebaY title/description search indexing is running 10 hours

Workaround for ebaY's useless completed search is to go to Yahoo
Auctions where you can find the sale prices of Yahoo Auction closed
items for up to 90 days, and can search completeds by item.

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, and
the feature and site reliability continues degenerate daily.

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 - Posted on several of the ebaY threaded boards
by erin@ebay at 19:43 PT 25 Jan 02, "...We know that many of you are
upset about the pending removal of the Wanted Board, and realize that it
will leave a void for both potential bidders and sellers who routinely
check it for information. We are very sorry, but for many reasons it has
become necessary to remove the Wanted Board." TAG thinks there is only
one reason for ebaY closing the wanted board - ebaY's greed. ebaY
continues to be terrified that a sale might happen somewhere in the
world and they wont get a cut. The net result is an increase in offsite
sales, the exact opposite effect desired by ebaY.

Pink Quote of the Day 2 - ebaY Billpoint does a chargeback despite the
fact that the seller has proof of delivery through a delivery
confirmation form. ebaY Billpoint responds. "Dear Xxxx, Thank you for
your email. We sympathize with you in this case. Although our user
agreement does not directly state the need for a signed receipt of
delivery, at the end of the day, that document is what is required by
the buyer's bank in order to
reverse this chargeback. Without it, there is nothing we can do to
assist you. We have made many representments on behalf of sellers using
tracking information stating clearly the item was delivered to the
buyer's house and each of them have been rejected. The only evidence of
receipt that the banks will accept is the buyer's signature on a
delivery receipt. Sincerely, The Billpoint Chargebacks". TAG could
have divined which company wrote this email even if the names had been
left off. Only ebaY would have a requirement but NOT tell the seller
what the requirement is. This way ebaY gets to keep all their listing
and FVFs, AND charge the seller $10, and make a buyer very happy as they
let the buyer defraud the seller and then punish the seller for it. Has
TAG said DON'T USE ebaY Billpoint lately?

Users have started another petition, this time to express their
displeasure with the unjustifiable ebaY price increase. Currently 665
signatures. It will take several million to get any media attention.
If you want to sign it go to -
TAG finds petitions futile, but if the petition signers directed their
frustration into action, they could provide ebaY with the motivation to
solve all its anti user problems. TAG feels that users will provide the
solution when they use their power as sellers and buyers to take the
direction of the industry back into their own hands.   TAG has an
editorial on the website titled 'ebaY- a solution NOW'.

ebaY is holding sessions of ebaY University in Washington, D.C. on 9 Feb
02 and Des Moines, Iowa on 23 Feb. http://pages.ebay.com/university/

Ongoing Issues and Information
TAG has received a rash of reports from sellers who had closed their
Billpoint account, some as far back as April 01, with Billpoint suddenly
appearing and allowing buyers to pay using Billpoint without the seller
even having a Billpoint account. Email
ewa-@ebay.com about this - explain the situation that you have closed
your account but Billpoint is still showing up on your auctions and has
accepted payments on your behalf though your account has been closed.
Hopefully ebaY will start coordinating with their payment service side
of the house and get this ongoing problem straightened out. 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

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. NOTE*
Yahoo Completed search is available by item search and goes back approx
3 Months

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. These will
become even more inflated by the higher Dutch Auction Prices. To see
the trends on ebaY go to the MedVed site to view their long term
records. http://www.medved.net/cgi-bin/cal.exe?EIND

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)
* * * * *
Yahoo Auction/Warehouse/Classifieds
On 24 Jan Yahoo Auctions had an auction ad and search box front and
center on Yahoo home page.   TAG hopes Yahoo will make this home page
appearance a regular thing.

Yahoo Auction has a free auction manager download available for sellers.
Unfortunately it is only PC and IE compatible. Create auction listings
from your desktop. Submit listings in one batch, when you're ready to
connect to the Internet.
*Monitor your auctions from your desktop. With one click, you can
synchronize the listings in your Seller's Manager with your listings in
My Auctions, and update records.
*Record "Notes" to yourself to track your auctions and monitor your
to-do list.

Yahoo! Auctions is conducting a survey focusing on sellers. Their goal
is to get feedback on users needs wants and priorities. Survey is at -

Yahoo is also seeking feedback and suggestions from sellers, send to -

Ongoing Issues -
In contrast to ebaY's 10 day or less limit on completed search,
completed search on Yahoo Auctions is available at the bottom of the
search result page and goes back approx 3 months. Yahoo Auctions
completed search only shows sold items.

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 also allows free speech on their site, does not track and record
users posts and does not co-mingle posting on their boards with listing
on their sites.

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 Yahoo Auctions had 504,507 listings on their site
As of 23Jan02 Yahoo Auctions had 313,102 listings on their site
As of 25Jan02 Yahoo Auctions had 620,132 listings on their site
* * * * *
Amazon Auctions, zShops and Marketplace
Auto relist for Pro sellers problems still continue with no indication
as to when or if Amazon will fix it. This is causing many problems for
large sellers as the pro account acts like a warehouse type account. Pro
sellers pay for this service, and this glitch is causing great hardship
for sellers. They should all start requesting refunds on their pro
accounts, maybe that will provide Amazon the incentive to fix it.
Sellers continue to report that Amazon is still losing their auction
listings. Seller reports indicate that when Amazon makes system
changes, if auctions are closing that night they go into limbo.

Amazon has changed the Seller Account transaction details for
Marketplace to include only item price, shipping credit, and Amazon
commission in the Payment Information section. The format for all other
data on the Transaction Details page remains unchanged.

Marketplace sellers can now list “new” items within the books, CDs, DVDs
and VHS categories, regardless of a product’s availability. Further,
Marketplace sellers may now specify a price for "new" items that is
equal to or less than the retail price posted by Amazon.com. Details are
available via Amazon.com Help pages at -

If you upload your merchandise via the “sell your item now” box found on
an item’s detail page, (single item listing method) specify that the
item is "new" and price accordingly.   If you utilize any of the
Amazon.com bulk inventory upload tools, (i.e. Book Loader or Inventory
Loader) purge and replace your existing file with your new inventory
that includes your media products that may be classified as "new". If
necessary, modify your pricing structure as well.

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
* * * * *
BidPay - Some users have reported that their banks are refusing to cash
BidPay money orders. There is nothing TAG can find on the BidPay site
about this, so don't know if this was just one bank, or if a problem is
emerging. We will continue to monitor this.   http://www.bidpay.com/
* * * * *
Ruby Lane has decided to cut the service on their free counters to allow
users who use them to check their auction stats only once a day. Ruby
Lane felt this was necessary due to resource limits, and decreased
viability of having the free counters on ebaY auctions.

Ruby Lane now has for fee counters with an annual subscription rate of
$25. a year. They also offer a 30-day free trial subscription.

Ruby Lane offers a full range of services allowing sellers to open
online shops and move items to and from online auctions. Buyers can
search and find items at fixed price or follow an item to auction.
* * * * *
Free Counter Sites
* * * * *
Feedback Site this site allows users who move to another auction site to
allow their potential buyers easy access to the feedback on all the
sites they sell or have sold on.
You can register with them or use the tool at -
* * * * *
C2it appears to have some security problems. for an article on the
issue go to - http://stacks.msnbc.com/news/683646.asp?cp1=1
* * * * *
Online Auction Users Association
PLEASE NOTE: Many long links we post in TAGnotes must be
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Have any information for us? email us at ta-@theauctionguild.com
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Visit their auctions or websites.
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