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TAGnotes Mon 18 Feb 2002 Vol 4 Number 13 Issue 395

The Auction Guild Notes for Mon 18 Feb 2002
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Help launch nomoreebay.com Strength through Unity
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You can find contact info for several sites and services there, along
with editorials and other info.
TAG RESEARCH PROJECT. So far we have received 221 responses. We would
really appreciate if we could get at least 400 responses, so are still
collecting information. 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. Anyone who knows of a deceased
person who had an ebaY ID, please send us that User ID also. Thank you!
ebaY- In what could turn into a major disaster if it becomes widespread,
recently sent a seller the wrong address for the buyer, through
Checkout. Somehow information in the Checkout system got scrambled.
This manifested itself when an ebaY user who buys and sells on ebaY
received a package addressed to their business address, attention a
person they did not know. They were expecting a package, so opened it,
to find the contents not what they had expected. The recipient wrote to
the seller via snail mail and they got in touch and determined that ebaY
had provided the mailing address via Checkout, and it was for the wrong
person, not the items buyer. The recipient does not use Checkout and has
been opted out of Checkout since this option became possible. A
scrambled Checkout database would be a nightmare.

On 14 Feb at 05:22:49 PT users reported counter problems with the free
ebaY counters. These problems have been chronic and have been appearing
intermittently for days. At 13:50:52 PT, users reported completed ebaY
Billpoint payment transactions were not showing up in their Billpoint
accounts. ebaY posted at 13:51:25 PT that the feedback system had not
been working but that it was fixed and functioning again.

On 16 Feb at 20:30:22 PT users posted problems with sending collections
via Mister Lister. Users reported Mister Lister Service returned at
21:09:44 PT, but revise and relist were both down. Users started to
receive 'bid failed' messages again, though the bids were going
through. This has been an intermittent problem on ebaY for weeks.

On 17 Feb at 09:38:16 PT users reported that the relist and revise
problems that had started the night before, were still not fixed. A
board outage occurred between 17:08:43 PT and 17:40:44 PT. At 19:45:29
PT users reported there were listings missing from their About Me pages.

Users reported on 18 Feb 07:09:05 PT that the feedback system was down.
At 11:33:31 PT users reported the free ebaY counters provided by Andale,
were down again. A post on the threaded boards though it might be due
to a network problem than a problem at ebaY or Andale.
At 11:41:01 PT users reported listing problems, receiving input errors
when trying to submit auctions. At 18:47:18 PT, users reported problems
with relist and revise. The listing would not hold the category and it
would take 4 submissions for the item to go through.

Overall ebaY was stable from 14 through 18 Feb, though with the
continued and ongoing problems troubling users on the site. ebaY ongoing
problems -

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 - An ebaY user received this email through the
ebaY email system, " To member: janiedoe From member: airionizers We
have noticed some of your efforts in purchasing an air purifier. We
would like to know if you would be interested in receiving a short
announcement from us regarding a new auction for an air purifier. We do
respect your privacy. We would not collect and we would not keep in our
database or on our mailing list your email address or any information
about you. You would not receive any commercial offers from us in the
future. Please email us at airion-@mail.com Thank you. Best regards,
Nataliya Nivens. This is not spam. This message was approved by eBay
SafeHarbor Investigations Team."   Please note, this buyer had not bid
on this seller's items. An email question to safeha-@ebay.com
netted an email license to SPAM using the ebaY email system.
From: eBay Safe Harbor
Date: Thursday, February 14, 2002 06:20:53
Janie Doe <jani-@stateofconfusion.rr.com>
Subject: Re: SPAM (KMM8digitnumberC0KM)
"Hello Janie,
Thank you very much for writing. You received the email you reported
because the sender wishes to avoid "spamming" other eBay users with
their emails about their auctions (which is prohibited as per the terms
of eBay's Privacy Policy) by requesting your permission before putting
you on a mailing list.
Users who would like to contact other eBay users about their auctions
may approach users via email and ask them privately if they would like
to receive information about their auctions. They must include no item
specifics, prices, or web links in their request email. The email you
received from this user is in accordance with these rules of procedure.
Should you receive more email from this user after responding "no" or
not at all to their request (no response is considered a "no" answer),
please forward the email to supp-@ebay.com and we will take action.
Thanks again for writing, and thank you for being part of the eBay
community. Regards, Albert Dangerfield eBay SafeHarbor
Investigations Team"
TAG sees this as ebaY granting a license to SPAM. An interesting use for
an email system that was allegedly put in place to avoid this very

ebaY has contacted BayPal about their name BayPal.com. ebaY informed
BayPal that BayPal is infringing on the ebaY trademark. ebaY claims that
since BayPal is a site that caters to ebaY sellers, those sellers may
believe BayPal is in some way affiliated with ebaY.   TAG is curious as
to why ebaY is choosing this time to take on BayPal, since ebaY has an
infringement case pending against BidBay, and would be in a much better
position to challenge sites such as BayPal if they win the BidBay suit.
TAG wonders if ebaY has decided to settle with BidBay, or if ebaY thinks
they might lose the case and therefore is leaning on smaller companies
such as BayPal, who don't have the resources to fight ebaY, to get the
site renamed before precedent against ebaY exists.

ebaY has instituted the new ebaY program called Trading Assistants.
This program is a directory of sellers who are willing to sell items for
others for a fee. ebaY requires sellers who want to be listed in the
directory to have the following qualifications:
*You must have an eBay feedback rating greater than 49.
*At least 97% of your feedback comments must be positive.
*You must have sold at least one item in the last 30 days.
ebaY says the TEST version of this program will be free to qualifying
sellers, so expect fees in the future. For more info and to sign up go
to http://www.ebay.com/tradingassistants
TAG sees this program as fraught with possibilities for problems
including fraud. There are also legal and tax ramifications for sellers,
that need to be thoroughly investigated before involving oneself in this
program. TAG also recommends that sellers talk to other sellers who
have sold on a commission basis before taking this on.

ebaY continues to change their categories. ebaY has changed
BOOKS taking Magazine Subscriptions from Everything Else, and moving it
to books. -BUSINESS, OFFICE & INDUSTRIAL ebaY made changes to
Construction Equipment, Metalworking Equipment, Office Products,
Restaurant & Food Service, and Test & Measurement Equipment. ebaY is
planning more changes in Business categories.
COMPUTERS ebaY changed the Apple, Macintosh categories.
SPORTS ebaY created a Fan Shop to trade apparel and other team logo
To send input go to
To move an item to another category goes to -

ebaY University will be at Des Moines, Iowa on Sat 23 Feb, Billings,
Montana 9 March and Lincoln, Nebraska 23 March. ebaY is also going to
do what they are calling an ebaY Live event at the Anaheim Convention
Center in Anaheim, California, June 21-23. for more info on ebaY U go
to http://pages.ebay.com/university/

Ongoing Issues and Information
Break the ebaY monopoly!   Provide ebaY the incentive 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'.

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 to be problematical.

ebaY Billpoint payments problems, some solutions, and why you should not
have a Billpoint account can be found on the TAG website at

Is ebaY an Enron waiting to happen? Editorial on the TAG website at
ebaY is not a profitable company and here is why - they are in the same
circumstance as the other companies mentioned in this article -

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/

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

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.
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)
* * * * *
Yahoo Auction/Warehouse/Classifieds
On 14 Feb a user discovered they were involved in a problem involving
Yahoo Pay Direct. Whist reconciling their PayDirect associated checking
account, they discovered that PayDirect had withdrawn $76.49 from their
checking account on 12 Feb. It turns out that on 8 Feb HSBC made a
mistake whilst processing a batch of debits and credits originally filed
on 9 Dec 01. The user had sent $76.49 from PayDirect to their checking
account on that date. Contact was finally made with Jason from HSBC at
888-353-4722.   He said that the errors would all be corrected within 24
hours. As of 15 Feb the correction had not taken place and Jason said
the user would have to fax him a copy of their bank statement to turn
over to the accounting department. ALL PayDirect users should check
their accounts to insure all credits and debits are correct, both on
their PayDirect accounts and associated bank accounts.

On 15 Feb Yahoo Auctions (YA) seller's lists were down from 08:29 to
09:10 PT. All auctions disappeared from seller's lists. There were
also intermittent and short lived board glitches. Though many seller
lists reappeared, many also disappeared again in whole or part. YA
posted on 18 Feb that on 16 Feb there were problems while viewing the My
Auctions page that started around 14:19 PT where not all open auctions
were appearing on the My Auctions page. Yahoo claims this only affected
the seller and all other activities such as bidding, were operating
normally. YA posted that the problems with viewing the My Auctions page
had been fixed, that a hard drive died, been fixed and that all data was
restored. YA asked that users who were still having problems should
contact customer care. Unfortunately they failed to say HOW to do so!
TAG has found that if YA has glitches, once fixed, it is necessary to
delete our cookie, temporary internet files and /or cache in order to
get to the site glitch free.

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
As of 8Feb02 Yahoo Auctions had 333,846 listings on their site
* * * * *
Amazon Auctions, zShops and Marketplace
Amazon claims that the Amazon Marketplace has become the fastest-growing
business at Amazon.com. In the second half of last year, Marketplace
sales accounted for nearly 15 percent of all U.S. orders.

Ongoing Issues -
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
* * * * *
Bargain and Haggle announced today that they are removing all final
value fees for transactions on their website for the next sixty days.
Listing, selling and buying will be free for the next 60 days.
* * * * *
Switchouse.Com has gone out of business. Early warning came from the
rumor board on the FCompany website. An email to users from the company
said they were closing their doors 13 Feb 02, recommended folks more to
Amazon.Com, said they would send information on all in progress
transactions to the trading partners so the deals could be completed,
and that they had cancelled all none completed transactions. Rumor has
it that this online swap and trade site ran through 17mil of venture
capital and then hoped they would be able to do a deal with AOL, which
appears to have fallen through. It appears Amazon has purchased the
defunct domain and we don't know what other assets of Switchouse. If
you go to www.switchouse.com it takes you to a page on Amazon that says
"Greetings from Switchouse.com and Amazon.com". Users who need to
contact Switchouse about an order can reach them at
members-@switchouse.com Reports on the boards reflect that sellers
owed money ARE receiving their payments from Switchhouse.Com, and
Switchouse is crediting their charge cards with the amounts owed. If
you don't hear anything from Switchouse and have funds pending or a deal
pending try calling 415-970- 8600.
Information posted in detail at

A similar site SwapMonkey.Com, is hoping to benefit by the downfall of
As is another mostly Game trading site
* * * * *
Andale is still having chronic reoccurring problems with their counters.
This causes auction listing pages to hang up and not completely
download. It is better to have no counters that to have ones that
interfere with your auction listing. Andale performed maintenance on 13
Feb and the counters remain sporadically down as of 18 Feb.
Free Auction Counter alternatives -
* * * * *
PayPal launched a successful IPO. "Analysts said investors were excited
by PayPal because it has been able to carve out a market-leading
position among what was a crowded field of competitors in online
payments. In addition, although the company is not yet making money, it
has steadily added or increased fees to work toward becoming profitable
in the future." For the full article go to -
TAG thinks the "steadily added or increased fees" will be kept under
control, as long as their is sufficient competition in the industry to
give sellers useful alternatives. Diversity is good, and diversifying
is of benefit to sellers.

PayPal commentary by a former PayPal employee
* * * * *
PhotoPoint.Com CEO has finally come forward with a status report. In a
statement made to Imaging-Resource.Com Mr Gass said, "After September
11th, we tried hard to keep things alive until revenue rebounded, but
the recovery was only just starting to happen by December, and by that
point, we were out of time and money. When Pantellic became insolvent,
we had no choice but to shut things down. And unfortunately, keeping the
site online after announcing our insolvency wasn't an option
I would again like to assure people who had meaningful pictures stored
on PhotoPoint, that the photos are safe. Since all of the equipment used
to run PhotoPoint was returned to our lease partners, it is taking
substantial time and effort to get the 8 terabytes of images available
again. But progress is being made, and I am looking at various options
as to how best make the photos available to the members who own them.
Stay tuned, I'm doing what I can." To read the article go to
To express your input as to how and when you would be willing to pay the
ransom to restore the images you have already paid to have stored, go to
* * * * *
BayPal.com has been having image problems and reported to their users
that their image server has been hacked. BayPal is giving their users a
free month of service to make up for the losses suffered by users during
their outages. Most images were restored from back up files, but
sellers need to check their images and re-upload ones that are missing.
BayPal is implementing greater security measures to prevent future
attacks. http://www.baypal.com
* * * * *
HouseCall Virus Scan program is free to use and available for PC (not
MAC) systems.
* * * * *     
Online Auction Users Association
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