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TAGnotes Tue 5 Feb 2002 Vol 4 Number 9 Issue 391

The Auction Guild Notes for Tue 5 Feb 2002
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Thanks for your help with the TAG RESEARCH PROJECT. So far we have
received 125 responses. For anyone who would still like to participate,
please send the number of User ID's you have on ebaY, active or
inactive. If any of them are no longer registered (NARU) please let us
know that also. ebaY never removes an account from the site willingly,
one reason TAG believes ebaY comes up with such inflated and untruthful
user numbers, in addition to individuals having multiple IDs. ALSO, if
anyone knows of someone now deceased who was on ebaY as a buyer or
seller, can you provide us with their user ID? Thanks again for all
your help.
ebaY - On 1 Feb at 13:06:41 PT users reported widespread site outages
and that My ebaY was down. ebaY posted at 13:43:44 PT that the ability
to list or view items in the Sporting Goods and Sports Memorabilia
categories was unavailable from 13:30 PT to 13:42 PT. Users continued
to report site outages and problems through 13:44:40 PT.
Users reported site problems and outages again from 13:57:18 PT to
14:03:50 PT and intermittent problems viewing items until 14:29:37 PT.

On 2 Feb at 20:00:08 PT users reported the ebaY stores were down and not
viewable. At   20:07:34 PT users trying to access the ebaY stores
received messages that said, "this document contains no data, try again
later or contact the service administrator. The stores continued to be
down through 20:26:02 PT. Users also reported the site was slow
overall, and that stores continued to be down through 21:44:33 PT. At
22:14:02 PT users posted that all areas of search were not working
properly. In a search where multiple page results were returned, only
the first few pages would open. The searcher would than get a page
saying there were no search results.

On 3 Feb at 04:56:07 PT users reported that ebaY picture service iPix
was down and no images were viewable on auctions. ebaY reported at
08:11:59 PT ebaY picture service iPix was down for uploading new images.
ebaY claimed that images already uploaded were slower than normal or
intermittent, but user reported the image as completely unavailable. At
09:00:34 PT ebaY posted that ebaY picture service iPix was down for
uploading new images from 07:26 PT to 08:48 PT. ebaY also claimed that
images previously uploaded via ebaY picture service iPix remained
viewable. None of ebaY's reports concurred with what users were
actually experiencing on the site. At 15:22:14 PT ebaY announced they
were taking the ebaY picture service iPix down for emergency maintenance
from 23:00 PT to 23:15 PT. At 17:24:53 PT users again reported that
images posted through ebaY picture service iPix were not opening on
auctions. This continued until 20:26:27 PT with iPix images down. ebaY
then took ebaY picture service iPix down for maintenance from 23:00 PT
to 23:15 PT and no new images could be uploaded and images previously
uploaded via ebaY picture service iPix were unavailable for viewing.

ebaY was relatively stable on 4 and 5 Feb.

Serious Billpoint problems continue, and ebaY has added a new one.
Though ebaY officially denies this, we have been receiving reports from
subscribers that ebaY is now accepting Billpoint payments on behalf of
sellers, for any seller who ever used a Billpoint account in the past to
purchase an item on ebaY. This is happening even if the seller never
opened a Billpoint seller account, and never offered Billpoint as a
payment option.
In this situation, despite the fact the seller never offered Billpoint
as an option in their auction, ebaY provides a link to pay via Billpoint
from the ebaY end of auction email. ebaY accepts payment on behalf of
the seller, and there is no way for the buyer to retract the payment,
once the seller informs the buyer that the seller does not take
Billpoint as payment. The seller will have to contact ebaY to get this
problem resolved by emailing paym-@billpoint.com   ebaY says, " If
payment was completed by the buyer through eBay Payments/Billpoint, the
seller has a registered eBay Payments/Billpoint account. In some cases,
when a seller says they do not have an account, it is in fact true that
they do have one. Payment could not be completed without one. If the
buyer completes payment through our service, the seller will be
automatically paid to the checking account registered on file. If the
seller is unaware they have a eBay Payments/Billpoint account, we will
be happy to assist them in accessing their account and locating the
payment or issuing a refund to the buyer." TAG has seen actual cases
where this claim is not accurate and where ebaY Billpoint HAS accepted
payment for sellers who do NOT have accounts. It appears that the only
way anyone can be sure they do NOT have a Billpoint account would be to
email custom-@billpoint.com and ask. Then if for some reason ebaY
has opened a Billpoint account for you without your knowledge, CLOSE the

The most important reason to NOT have an ebaY Billpoint payments
account is ebaY's propensity to allow unjustifiable chargebacks. TAG
continually receives reports from sellers who sent the item to the
address ebaY Billpoint provided, and had proof of delivery, where ebaY
STILL charges back the sale price and adds an additional penalty fee.   
If you insist on continuing to use Billpoint, to avoid chargebacks you
need to have the item signed for by the person it was purchased by. TAG
also recommends you pull the ebaY contact info on every buyer who uses
Billpoint, and compare the ebaY info to the shipping info ebaY Billpoint
provides. Also, if you once had an ebaY Billpoint payments account and
you closed it, but ebaY is still accepting Billpoint payments on your
behalf, contact ewa-@ebay.com and they should help you fix the
problem. In case you don't know this TAG recommends that sellers DO NOT
use Billpoint.

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 - 5 Feb 02 when asked about the demise of the
Wanted Board at 21:06 PT Katy@ebaY said, ".... we couldn't continue the
Wanted Board as it was, and there will always be diverse needs that need
to be met, including the company's needs, but please don't think that
means we aren't listening. We just won't ever be able to please everyone
at all times, but if you read the posts from staff about that, we are
looking at other formats for it. :)" TAG finds it interesting that ebaY
listens but never hears. When a company is completely greed driven and
there is no account made for honesty or ethics only money, this
inability to hear is not surprising. But then TAG feels ebaY is another
Enron - just waiting for the stock to fall before the exposure takes

The ebaY Wanted board is STILL available - you just need to get to it
via a different route. Go to the ebaY Australia site and you CAN get
there from here -

Another ebaY Wanted board alternative

Here is a method to break the ebaY monopoly and provide the incentive to
ebaY it obviously needs to provide better service to its users, and to
its customers, the sellers. Sellers need to develop other marketplaces
so they can insure they have an online marketplace for their goods into
the future.
TAG has an editorial on the website titled 'ebaY- a solution NOW'.

In mid-February, ebaY will begin to test a program called the Trading
Assistant Directory. The Directory will be a list of experienced sellers
willing to list items for a fee.
To learn more about the program, see the preview page at
If you want to be notified by ebaY when the directory is ready, send an
email to tradinga-@ebay.com.

ebaY has signed a deal with priceline.com for a 'Name Your Own Price'
travel service. This travel booking service is called ebaY Travel and
will launch in the next 90 days.
For an article on this go to -

ebaY is changing ebaY stores. Starting next week, users using store
search will be able to sort by "ending first", "newly listed", "lowest
priced", and "highest price".
Search will allow filters of -
*Price range
*"All of these words", "Any of these words" or "Exact phrase"
*"Words to Exclude"
*Item Location
*View Results
*Sort by (for example, sort by "ending first")
*ebaY Payments
When searching "View Stores Alphabetically" from the Stores Directory
and top-level category pages, the stores will be indexed by letter or
number, and show how many pages of stores have a name beginning in a
specific letter.

ebaY has changed the name of their Marketing Announcement Board (MAB) to
the General Announcements Board (GAB)

ebaY is conducting what they are calling a Usability Study
To participate go to the TAG site for all info

Ongoing Issues and Information
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
FBI's Internet Fraud Complaint Center at: http://www.ifccfbi.gov/

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.

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)
Opening 6pm, Saturday, February 2
2 February - 9 March 02 http://www.g-module.com
g-module 15 rue debelleyme, 75003 Paris
telephone - 01 42 71 14 75, fax - 01 42 71 14 67
Yahoo Auction/Warehouse/Classifieds
Advertised during the superbowl

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

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
Took their Auctions, zShops and Marketplace down for maintenance from
21:45 Friday 1 Feb though 23:30 PT Friday 1 Feb. Seller Account records
were unavailable, and Seller uploads were not accepted during this time.
Auction listings were extended per the standard outage policy.

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
* * * * *
Sellyouritem.com (SYI) is holding a listathon challenge. If the site
reaches 28,000 active auctions by 28 Feb, every participating seller
with active auctions will receive a combination of auction feature
upgrades and free seller front page banner ads, depending on the date
the goal is reached. For details go to

SYI has changed the way auctions are relisted, and the relist manager -
- When an auction Auto-Relists the item number will remain the same for
the life of the auction.
- The Relist Manager now allows sellers to remove auctions from their
Relist Manager list.
- The Relist Manager displays items that have ended within the past 30
days and which did not sell and allows sellers to relist auctions one at
a time, or in a batch with multiple items at once.

SYI has enhanced the end of auction (EOA) message. Sellers can set a
default EOA
message, which will always be present when selling items, as well as
change a current EOA message on currently running auctions, or saved

SYI announced that basic listing fees will be waived for the balance of
2002. Auto-Relists, Anti-Snipe, BuyNow! and Second Category options are
available at no charge. SYI bills all other special features and final
value fees monthly.

In the last 30 days 686 auctions were sold for prices ranging from $.01
to $201, with an average price of $4.68 for all items sold in that
period. This represents a 2.1 percent sell through rate based on total
listings for that period of time.

Currently 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.

During the month of January SYI announced advertising campaigns with,
ColumbusWired.net Sports page; Brainbreakers.com; Pay-per-click search
engine placement through Overture.com; Auction listings placed at
SellYourItem.com are now appearing in Google Search.

The SYI Community Events Lounge is being used for a "Quitters and
Losers" club for folks who are attempting to quit smoking or lose
weight. Members who have made
personal goals and are looking for a support system may check out the
Community Events Lounge to either give or find support.

SYI encourages users submit their comments and suggestions for
enhancements they would like to see at the site to
Information provided by Karen Morgan
* * * * *
TIAS has added a classified ad section available to all sellers called
The TIAS Exchange. Based on their 190,000 subscriber email newsletter
list and their 100,000+ unique
visitors a day TIAS will allow users to buy and sell via a fixed price
ad. http://www.tias.com//stores/tiasexchange/
Basic Listing/-$5.00/month
*Ad posted on The TIAS Exchange website for one month in the category of
your choice. Up to 60 words and 2 images for each ad.   Ad with one
image and the price of the item listed in the TIAS.com search engine and
category listings.   Ad title along with one image listed in the
TIAS.com Showcase under the specified category.

Standard Listing-$10.00/month
*Ad posted on The TIAS Exchange website for one month in the category of
your choice. Up to 60 words and 4 images for each ad. Ad with one
image and the price of the item listed in the TIAS.com search engine and
category listings. Ad title along with one image listed in the TIAS.com
Showcase under the specified category. Direct link to ad in the TIAS.com
"Collectors Newsletter" including item's title for one issue.

Premium Listing-$20.00/month
* Ad posted on The TIAS Exchange website for one month in the category
of your choice. Up to 90 words and 4 images for each ad. Ad with one
image and the price of the item listed in the TIAS.com search engine and
category listings. Ad title along with one image listed in the TIAS.com
Showcase under the specified category. Ad will also be listed in many
other searches and directories throughout the internet. A Direct link to
ad in the TIAS.com "Collectors Newsletter" including item's title for
two issues. Ad listed on the TIAS Exchange Classifieds Homepage as a
featured item for the duration of your ad

"Wanted To Buy" Listing-$10.00/month
*Ad posted on The TIAS Exchange website for one month in the "Wanted To
Buy" section. Up to 60 words of text including your e-mail address. A
Direct link to ad in the TIAS.com "Collectors Newsletter" including your
item's title for one issue.

TIAS has Victorian eCards free on their site
* * * * *
Kovels free online price guides
* * * * *
CNET News is holding a contest - CNET Radio's Pick a Host contest! - If
you want to participate go to -
or http://www.cnet.com/broadband/0-7227152.html
CNET Radio's Pick a Host contest! And VOTE.

TAG highly recommends a vote for Lisa Napoli. She is interested in
online auctions and tends to report in a balanced way. Ms Napoli is not
afraid to mention other auction sites and services and provide
information on them. It would be nice to see more main stream news
media reporting on the OAI/OTI from other than a straight financial
point of view, also taking user views into consideration. If you want
to participate, you MUST vote by Wednesday 6 Feb.
* * * * *
AOL users beware ID theft SCAM - An email purporting to come from the
AOL Billing Team asked for, PIN numbers, bank account, routing numbers
and Social Security number. If you look at the headers, you will see
that the headers show the message coming from someone other than AOL.
Never send secure information such as passwords, credit info etc through
email, always check the headers of any email requesting info before you
go to a web site and post any secure info, and always confirm with your
service provider the legitimacy of the request before you provide secure

Also the AOL web site and image hosting areas have had severe problems
for approx 3 week. If you go to the online billing and ask for a
credit, many users are reporting receiving a one month refund per AOL
account. When you open you AOL page, choose the billing option.
* * * * *
USPS http://www.usps.com/cgi-bin/api/shipping_label.htm
http://www.usps.com/shipping/eps_prm.htm $1.75
* * * * *
Online Auction Users Association
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