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TAGnotes Mon 11 Mar 2002 Vol 4 Number 18 Issue 400

The Auction Guild Notes Mon 11 Mar 2002
$Buck98 Event Starts TODAY 12Mar2002 Bidding starts at $1.98
with No Reserve!!! http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/$buck98/
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www.DoggieinWindow.com 100+DogBreeds on Unique Creative
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Quality, variety & great deals, shop the experienced EMPORIUM
auction sellers http://www.lynnet.com/~jmm/emporium.html
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SoVelvetGoldmine vintage Levis, designer Jeans& trendy current
Fashions! http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/sovelvetgoldmine
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Help launch nomoreebay.com Work to form a group to unite
against Ebay chargebacks and join in a possible class action.
Keep the email coming! bing-@sympatico.ca
Come build nomoreebay.com with us.
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This issue brought to you by the preceding subscriber ads,
supporting TAG through their advertising dollars. Please support
them, by clicking on their links and buying their products.
Subscribers ads $5.00 - Commercial rates available via email.
4600 subscribers.
TAG does not endorse the companies or products advertised
Please remember we are moving TAGnotes from Topica to Yahoo Groups. We
apologize for the inconvenience. We hope to finish the move by the end
of March.
The TAGnotes archive is available in a searchable format at     
More info about TAG is on our website at http://www.auctionguild.com
You can find contact info for several sites and services there, along
with editorials, and image hosting directory and other info.
TAG RESEARCH PROJECT. We have received 350 responses. We are trying to
get as close to 10% of our subscriber base as possible so 460 responses
will be ideal. We are still collecting information, and will continue
to do so, and update as we go. Please send the number of User ID's you
have on ebaY, active or inactive to ta-@theauctionguild.com. 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! Preliminary result with 350 responses in,
the average ebaY user has 3.11 User IDs.
Read Yahoo Auction Section Below for Details
On 8 Mar at 05:54:49 PT users reported getting 'page can't be displayed'
messages whilst accessing the site. At approx 0900 PT users reported
great difficulty navigating the site, with problems doing a search,
listing, filing non paying bidder claims, bidding or even reaching the
chat boards. This lasted until 10:00:11 PT and affected only some users.
At 14:31:35 PT users reported ebaY slow, and bidding problems became
widespread at 14:41:23 PT. Users have been reporting ongoing
intermittent problems in increased numbers. Some users appear to be
affected drastically, and others not at all. TAG is theorizing that
ebaY is once again limiting access to the site in order to keep the site
from crashing, so for some users it is wholly or partially down, while
others have no problems. Many sellers have emailed us about the
"floodgate" phenomena, where they get no hits or bids for days, then
suddenly they gets a rash of hits and bids at a time other than the end
of the auction, when such activity is expected. Along with the rush of
hits and bids, many users will notice and report sudden fast access to
ebaY, which appears to support the floodgates opening theory.

On 9 Mar at 05:32:18 PT, ebaY reported that gallery images had been
intermittently down, but were again working. At 09:57:38 PT users
reported cgi 5 Errors, 'Page can not be displayed' when trying to list.
This lasted until 10:00:21 PT. At 13:47:54 PT 'Page can not be
displayed' error messages were again reported by users. Completed
search yielded 'unable to read URL from host ads.web.aol.com:connection
reset by peer' messages. At 17:54:34 PT users reported cgi 3 was
stalling and timing out. At
21:18:23 PT users reported problems with search not working.

On 10 Mar at 15:37:32 PT users reported cgi 3 timeouts from cgi3 and at
15:38:36 PT all pages on ebaY were stalling causing timeouts. Some
users said the problems had been occurring since 11:30 PT. At 20:12:10
PT users reported problems with the sell your item form 2.0. All
attempts at listing would fail when the continue button was clicked
after adding images, causing the screen to go blank and the entire
listing lost.   At 20:34:34 PT users reported the inability to relist
any items, with all recently closed unsold items returning a message
that the item was no longer in the database. This problem has been
reported intermittently by several users for several days.

On 11 Mar at 00:48:00 PT, when trying to access the site, users reported
getting error messages that, 'HTTP Error 404 404 Not Found The Web
server cannot find the file or script you asked for. Please check the
URL to ensure that the path is correct. Please contact the server's
administrator if this problem persists.'   At 12:00:04 PT users reported
inability to search on ebaY using Netscape. At 14:03:42 PT ebaY posted
that Netscape users could not access search through the navigation bar
at the top of ebaY pages. User reports did not concur with this, and
reported no ability to search via any means using Netscape.

Throughout this time frame, users posted on all the ebaY boards that the
missing search features, particularly the new item icon, were raising
problems with searching effectively. Complaints continue to abound
about the problem with search, where clicking back on a item takes you
to the top of the search result page rather than back to your point of
departure. ebaY claims this only happens with Netscape, but users
reported problems with IE in certain computer configurations also.
Along with the chronic ongoing problems, and the limited to the point of
uselessness 10 day completed search, buyers were frequent and vociferous
in their complaints. In addition, users have been sending us
intermittent reports of the fee charged when an item is revised (ebaY
recharges the listing fee and then credits it back when you complete the
revision) it appears that ebaY is charging the listing fee again. So
far this has not appeared on seller accounts, but the credit is, on
occasion, not appearing when revising.   Sellers, check your accounts
when you revise items.

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

Board User Quote of the Day, in a discussion about the changes made to
search, including the lack of the new icon, an extremely erudite ebaY
power seller of Militaria, Snyderstr, said, "Keyword Search has been
shown to be favored two to one over Category Search by eBay statistics.
Since Keyword Search is an overhead expense, and not paid for by the
Seller (as are listings in two categories), they have no specific
motivation to make sure Keyword Search works well." TAG wonders if ebaY
will further sabotage keyword search (also know as title and title and
description search) in an attempt to force buyers into using category
search, and sellers into listing in multiple (currently two) categories?
Is this not a foolish attempt at being penny wise and pound foolish?
Or is ebaY so fixated on quick up front profit numbers, that long term
losses caused by buyer frustration and departure don't concern them?
In an effort to stop non power sellers from adding a power seller logo
to their auctions, ebaY has instituted a new way to add a power seller
logo to auctions, and a new logo.   Power seller logos will now be added
by ebaY, and sellers can opt in or out, by changing their preferences in
My ebaY. If sellers opt out of the automated power seller logo, the
seller will not be able to use the power seller logo at all. To preview
the icon, go to -
To learn more about the new power seller icon, go to the FAQ at -
For more info on the power seller program go to -
Of course this will not stop unscrupulous sellers form copying the image
and adding it anyway, but it might make it easier for ebaY to police it.
TAG recommends that you read carefully through the new ebaY privacy
agreement and send your objections, concerns etc to priv-@ebay.com
This agreement has changed drastically allowing ebaY to give anyone any
information about a users at any time and for any reason that ebaY sees
fit. How TrustE signed off on this agreement absolutely baffles TAG,
but then we have found TrustE as consistently lacking in any action or
motivation to protect the users whose privacy they claim to protect.
The ebaY Privacy Agreement
FAQ - http://pages.ebay.com/help/basics/pprevision1-faq.html
Privacy Central - http://pages.ebay.com/help/privacycentral1.html

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'.

If users want those icons returned they need to email ebaY about them
and let ebaY know, and it would also not hurt to post dissatisfaction
about the search changes on the petition to change search back to a
useable format at -

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 http://www.auctionguild.com/generic.html?pid=63

ebaY old search page by going to

Is ebaY an Enron waiting to happen? Editorial on the TAG
website at http://www.auctionguild.com/generic81.html
ebaY is not a profitable company and here is why - they are in the
same circumstance as the other companies mentioned in this
article -
Do you have information you feel the Securities and Exchange Commission
should investigate? File a report at http://www.sec.gov/complaint.shtml

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. Recent changes
in the search engine have drastically inflated the numbers and the
number of items listed in a category no longer matches the actual search
result. ebaY is trying to hide the fact that their listing numbers have
been virtually flat since Oct 2000, though the alleged numbers of
registered users on the site has increased by huge multiples.
To see the trends on ebaY go to the MedVed site to view their long term

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 (YA) - Is having a Free Listing Day
on Tues 12 Mar for all items submitted between 00:01PT and 23:59 PT.
From 13 Mar to 15 Mar, buyers and sellers can use Yahoo! PayDirect
http://paydirect.yahoo.com for free.

YA, has finally added the ability to review a bidder profile. This is
designed to increase a seller's ability to close winning auctions and
avoid deadbeat bidders. Sellers can learn more about the auction history
of anyone bidding on their auctions. From the bid history page, click on
"Bidder Profile" for a view of your bidder's other active Yahoo!
Auctions. TAG believes that YA has done this in response to community
members requests, and questions about this issue were also on the user
survey YA did last month. If so, maybe there is hope that YA will
listen and respond to user needs. TAG wishes they would move more

YA is running a bidders sweepstakes. From 13 Mar to 20 Jun, ten winning
bidders will be randomly chosen each day from among all those rated
positively by the seller. YA will add an automatic entry each time the
buyer is rated positively by a seller in connection with the buyer's
purchase of an item on YA. You can also enter via a mail in entry: To
enter by mail without purchase or obligation, hand-print your first and
last name, mailing address (no post office boxes), email address (if
available), and daytime telephone number on a 3 x 5 card, enclose in an
outer envelope (to comply with postal regulations) and mail to: Yahoo!
Auctions "Winning Bidders Win Twice" Sweepstakes, Mail-In Entries, P.O.
Box 3049, Department U, St. Cloud, MN 56397-3049. You may submit up to
five (5) entries bearing the same postmark date, but only one Mail-In
Entry per stamped envelope will be accepted. All Mail-In Entries must be
received no later than seven (7) days after the Day on which they are
postmarked, or they will be disqualified. Limit 5 entries per day. YA
will pay each of those winners $50. In addition, all winning bidders
from 13 Mar to 20 Jun will be automatically entered into the grand prize
drawing where 40 buyers will win $500. For more info go to -

Yahoo trying to generate a little anticipation for their marketing
events? http://promo.yahoo.com/bigblank/

On 11 Mar YA finally acknowledged that there were YA message board
problems. These problems have been going on intermittently for a couple
of weeks according to users. YA apologized for the inconvenience but
did not yet have a solution.

Latest Yahoo Auction Counts as of 9 Mar 02 342,322
Antiques & Art   26821
Automotive 3931
Books & Comics 14930
Clothing & Accessories 24509
Coins, Paper Money & Stamps 43535
Collectibles 24541
Computers 7979
Electronics & Cameras 4886
Home & Garden 16146
Jewelry & Watches 42641
Movies & TV 12389
Music 10427
Sports & Outdoors 5609
Sports Cards & Memorabilia 56220
Toys, Games & Hobbies 36568
Video Games 2842
Other 8348

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.

Yahoo Auctions has added a Wanted Board at -

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 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
As of 21Feb02 Yahoo Auctions had 329,387 listings on their site
As of 9Mar02 Yahoo Auctions had 342,322 listings on their site
* * * * *
Amazon Auctions, zShops and Marketplace
On 5 Mar at 21:25 PT Amazon posted that sellers were having problems
with duplicate sold listings in their seller account. Amazon claims
this was a display only issue that they would resolve as soon as
possible. They encouraged sellers are to check payment information to
verify their number of transactions.

Amazon reported in their user newsletter that they have 33 million
registered Amazon customers. That they have double-digit sell-through
in all categories, in some cases
exceeding 100% , that during January, Marketplace sell-through was 27
times greater than zShops and that Marketplace orders equaled
approximately 15% of total U.S. orders in the fourth quarter of 2001.
Based on these results, sellers on Amazon can easily expect that
Amazon's focus will be on their person to person Marketplace, rather
than their zShops. In addition Amazon receives 15% of Marketplace sales
as opposed to 5% of zShop commissions.   Users can receive the seller
success newsletter by going to
http://www.amazon.com/subscriptions-update check off seller success
newsletter in the center column bottom.

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
* * * * *
Online Auction Users Association
* * * * *
And on an unrelated topic though one of interest to the OAI/OTI
"Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed has bought more than $1 billion worth
of shares in Citigroup, AOL Time Warner and Priceline.com over the past
six months, his company said on Monday. The prince, among the world's
wealthiest men, bought $500 million in Citigroup, $450 million in AOL
Time Warner and $100 million in Priceline.com. With around $10 billion
in Citigroup, Alwaleed was already the biggest shareholder in the bank."
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