Home   |  TAGnotes   |   TAGblog   |   TAGchat   |   Services   |   Fraud   |  Contact Us   |   Site Map
TAGnotes Mon 18 Mar 2002 Vol 4 Number 20 Issue 402

The Auction Guild Notes Mon 18 Mar 2002
More brand names than ever! High quality clothing - low cost
shipping! Visit ddeva today at http://www.ddeva.com
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Quality, variety & great deals, shop the experienced EMPORIUM
auction sellers http://www.lynnet.com/~jmm/emporium.html
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
$Buck98 Ends 19Mar02 Bidding starts at $1.98 with NoReserve. Don't miss
it! http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/$buck98/
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
What $ells on eBay? Don't waste $$$ on items that don't sell.
Get 100+pages of eBay info only $4.95 Email julia-@aol.com
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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.
4700 subscribers.
TAG does not endorse the companies or products advertised
***Please remember we are moving TAGnotes from Topica to Yahoo Groups.
You will get a message from Yahoo Groups saying you were added, and then
within a few days, a message from Topica saying GoodBye from TAGnotes.
Please IGNORE all the messages. We apologize for the inconvenience. We
hope to finish the move by the end of March, and are currently
approximately 75% complete. ***
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 429 responses! We are trying to
get as close to 10% of our subscriber base as possible so 480 responses
would be ideal, but since it is a moving target as close as we can get
would be great. If you want to add your info 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!
We found this post on the public Yahoo! Finance boards about how much
ebaY is really making. This appeared to be in line with what some
financial experts have been saying, and was written in a way that we
were able to understand. Title was "Stock Option Expense" by:
ebaypowersellergold (38/M) 03/13/02 12:53 pm
Msg: 193809 of 194094

"Here's a summary of stock option expense (from eBay's own 10-K):
Income for year + Stock Option Expense = NET
1996: $3,338 + ($0) = $3,338
1997: $7,061 + ($0) = $7,061
1998: $7,273 + ($776) = $6,497
1999: $9,567 + ($50,924) = ($41,357)
2000: $48,294 + ($138,971) = ($90,677)
(notice a trend? What will 2001 be?)
TOTAL for 5 years, including stock option expense (Black-Scholes model)
Drum roll please....
MINUS $115,138,000
Pretty impressive, huh?
That's what they'll be restating earnings as when the new laws finally
get passed...
In addition to the $190,671,000 in stock option expenses, it's worthy to
note that another $62,176,000 of "income" comes from interest on the
cash they hold. I really think they should "ignore" that in their "pro
forma" numbers. After all, it has nothing to do with the operation of
the site. So, they reported a total of $75,533 (GAAP) earnings 1995
through 2000 (note that 82% of that is from the interest) Take out the
options and interest on cash, and you get a "real" pro-forma earnings
number of MINUS $177,314,000 (or -62c/share) Not unusual for the
average tech company (LOL), except eBay's number gets a lot more
negative each year (rather than moving in the other direction). So much
for the longs using "forward P/E's" to try and justify the current
price, once the new options accounting rules are written. The number
will certainly go down even more after the 2001 10-K is released. It was
no doubt a record "stock option" year. LOL. "

ebaY - On 14 Mar at 13:23:14 PT ebaY reported that users were reporting
"difficulty accessing certain static pages, including the eBay Home
Page. " Users were reporting more widespread problems, and were unable
to access search unless they already had a link saved. At 13:40:00 PT
Sonny@ebaY posted that they were aware of and working on the problems.
Users reported that by 13:40:31 PT the site map, My ebaY pages and
search functions were not working. At 14:36:36 PT ebaY posted some
workaround links, and also said the ebaY main page was down. At
14:36:56 PT users reported widespread access problems with getting to
any ebaY pages including the chat boards. Some users could not connect
to the site at all. At 14:39:06 PT ebaY again posted that they were
still having problems, and again provided some limited workarounds. At
14:47:36 PT ebaY posted that static pages were down from 13:10 PT to
14:40 PT, but workarounds were available. Unfortunately, few people ever
saw these workarounds or understood them, so for all intents and
purposes the site was completely down.

A CNET article said "eBay said the site was "intermittently unavailable"
between 1:10 p.m. and 2:40 p.m. PT, according to a note posted on the
site. Performance management company Keynote Systems said eBay's front
door began to stall at 1 p.m. PT, with only 8 percent of the log-on
attempts succeeding."

The article said ebaY last major crash was more than a year ago, but
ebaY had a 26 minute crash on 25 Feb 02 which is a major crash for the
approximate 14,000 auctions ending during that time. The article also
said, "This year, eBay is in the process of one of its most significant
technological upgrades, installing eBay's "V3" next-generation shopping
technology, which will include real-time updates for eBay's data
warehouse and minute-by-minute updates for listings, currently updated
once per hour." TAG shudders at the thought of a major ebaY upgrade.

At 16:36 PT users reported via email that they were once again receiving
error messages whilst trying to access ebaY. At 17:28:59 PT, users
reported listing not showing up in the search lists.

On 15 Mar at 13:05 Canadians buyers, were not able to use BIN's or
checkout because when they got to the update address portion there was
no place to input Provinces so they couldn't complete their purchases.
A thread on the problem is at -
At 15:58:59 PT users with the Netscape browser could not access the ebaY
home page.

On 16 Mar at 09:08:44 PT ebaY announced that since moving the Aircraft
and Watercraft categories on Friday, from ebaY.com to ebaY Motors,
searching for these items on the main ebaY site returns an error page.
This is not intentional; all ebaY Motors items should appear in searches
on the main site. This affected items listed prior to Friday; new items
were unaffected. Users had to use search from the ebaY Motors home
page. At 18:42 users reported the help/chat boards on ebaY were down.
Users reported the ebaY threaded boards down at 18:42. At 18:57:59 PT
ebaY posted that the threaded Discussion & Help Boards, were down. At
23:48:19 PT ebaY posted that they had restored access to the threaded

On 17 Mar users reported at 08:49:29 PT that the site was downloading
pages very slowly and that search was not working properly.

On 18 Mar at 13:32:49 PT users reported images and icons not downloading
on ebaY pages. The site was very slow, and pages were timing out before
downloading.   At 13:40:49 PT ebaY posted that users were having
problems with slowness especially when downloading images. At 14:25
users were reporting inability access pages, open item pages and bid.
Pages were timing out as ebaY logos and images were not downloading and
causing pages to hang. All site access was negatively affected by the
problems. At 16:25:24 PT ebaY reported that, "We are experiencing
intermittent site slowness. Some users may have difficulty viewing
graphics and images, such as those on the eBay Home Page. We are
investigating the cause of this issue and will correct it as soon as
possible." getting closer to the truth of the universal site problems.
At 17:35:49 PT ebaY removed the previous posts from the SAB and posted
that, " Earlier, some users may have experienced intermittent slowness
viewing eBay graphics and images. We have identified the cause of the
issue and corrected it." completely whitewashing what was a 4 hour
outage where buyers could not search or bid because pages would not
download. TAG sees this as an effort by ebaY to lie about this outage
so they don't have to provide refunds and auction extensions in
accordance with their outage policy. The "some users" affected was
everyone who was trying to access ebaY during the 4 hours it was not

Users continue to complain about the missing 'new' item icon.
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.

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, on 17 Mar 02, in emails dealing with a deadbeat
bidder, ebaY said to the deadbeat, "Thank you for writing in to us upon
receiving a non-payment notice email from eBay for this auction. I
understand how this can be a frustrating experience and I will be happy
to assist you. Normally we require proof of payment or email evidence to
be provided before we will grant a non-payment appeal. However, since
this is your first appeal, the bidding infraction for this item has been
removed from your record without any further inconvenience to you.
........... In the future we would suggest that you retract your
previous bid if you are outbid and choose to bid on another auction
before the previous auction is over to avoid last minuet wins due to
others bid retractions." And to the outraged seller ebaY said, " There
are certain circumstances in which we will remove a warning from a
buyer's record. These range from family emergencies to indisputable
proof of payment being provided. Each occurrence is reviewed objectively
on a case-by-case basis. Due to privacy reasons, we cannot share the
nature of the bidder's appeal or why it was accepted or denied. You have
received your credit and you have the right to post whatever you feel is
appropriate feedback." TAG is starting to think ebaY has completely
lost it. Between paying for deadbeat bids, and now excusing deadbeats
without any reason to excuse them, and advising the deadbeat to retract
bids without justification, this is almost beyond belief, even for ebaY.
This is a thread to read, though take your blood pressure medicine
first. http://forums.ebay.com/dwc?128@53.Nf5WcmuyZPE^-@.ef16e83

ebaY Transportation.Com ? A TAG subscriber came across this domain,
registered in Jan by ebaY. Now ebaY has recently moved Boats and
Aircraft to ebaY Motors, was that the first step in a NEW ebaY site,
soon to be Transportation? Is ebaY's contract with Autotrader.com
expiring? ebaY has practically destroyed the person to person
automotive exchange on their site with their big business contracts, are
they now going to make deals with Wellcraft, Baja, Mercury, Ratheon,
Piper, Cessna, Narco, Lycoming, etc. and destroy the businesses of
person to person boat and aircraft sellers? If you are a seller in the
boat or aircraft field, now might be a good time to explore other
channels, before ebaY destroys your online business. Some well thought
out and expressed posts in this thread -

ebaY has returned completed search to 15 days. We are all still waiting
for the promised return to 30 days - the promise ebaY made approx three
years ago, when they temporarily reduced completed search to ease site

SAN JOSE, Calif. & SHANGHAI, China--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- ebaY said on 17
Mar they will pay US$30 million in cash for a 33 percent stake in
Shanghai-based trading site EachNet as they attempt a foray into the
mainland China market. Founded in 1999, EachNet claims 3.5 million
registered users.

On another tip from a TAG subscriber, ebaY has removed the NARU
designation from Feedback files. Are they trying to prevent TAG and
others from researching the percent NARU on their site. Fortunately we
have completed enough research to have a pretty good idea of the %NARU
on ebaY, in addition to having found another method to get at this
information. TAG wonders if this change amounts to an admission by ebaY
that they DO count NARU in their allegedly "confirmed" registered user
number of 42.2 mil.
What is ebaY trying to hide? Some interesting theories can be read at -


Another email scam using ebaY as a cover comes from NewO-@eBay.com
and deals with "DSL solutions from America's leading DSL Service
Providers". A check of the headers shows they are not from ebaY
servers. "Received: from nycmny1-012-038.elnk.dsl.gtei.net (HELO
yourwebsite.com) ( by ta101.bizmail.yahoo.com with SMTP; 17
Mar 2002" Forward such emails to safeh-@ebay.com

ebaY has changed the categories again.
-BOOKS expanded first editions with a section for unsigned books

-BUSINESS, OFFICE & INDUSTRIAL added more subcategories

-HOME & GARDEN expanded wine categories

-MUSIC moved DJ equipment to this section

-SPORTS moved boats to motors, expanded darts cats

-EVERYTHING ELSE added gift and occasion section, and health and beauty

To move an item to another category go to -

Phillip Bloch, has posted the April 2002 edition of his column "Elements
of Style".

Visa and ebaY Billpoint payments are running another contest called "Fly
Free for a Year" http://www.billpoint.com/promotion/flyfree.html
Promotion runs from 15 Mar to 15 Apr 02.   Buyers and sellers get a
chance to win airline bonus miles good for air travel on most major
airlines. Two grand prize winners will be awarded 500,000 air miles, and
10 first prize winners will receive 100,000 air miles. This promotion
is open to U.S. residents only. No purchase or obligation is necessary
to enter or win. For details go to -

ebaY seller, TheBarry, held a large video auction of an allegedly
bankrupt video distributor. There appears to be a large scale problem
with these auctions, and hundreds of buyers who sent money but received
no merchandise. To join with others to attempt resolution of this
problem go to http://www.spankoz.net/ebay_auctions.htm

And on the lighter side, our Board Poster Quote of the Day on the
subject of SPAM received by ebaY users, theomatic said on 14 Mar
05:07:46 PT, "hmmmm, just emptied my junk mail box. It occurred to me
that these spammers must have access to a database somewhere indicating
that the average eBayer profile reads "Males between the age of 30 to
45, horrifically obese and underendowed, average credit card debt of
$6854.00 at 22.6%, require chemical intervention to perform sexually, in
need of supplementary income, possesses an insatiable appetite for
pornographic materials, and carries (at least one) 40 year mortgage at
an average rate of 13.665% interest"

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

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? 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) - On 15 Mar at 12:33 PT, users
emailed TAG that the when accessing the sold items page, the page would
open, but the list of items was not there. Instead the seller would get
a message that said, "there is a problem accessing the data. Please try
again in a few minutes". The My Auctions home was blank, and gives the
message "internal error, please try again later". This is one more in
the continuing series of intermittent problems with seller's lists,
unacknowledged by YA, and with no permanent fix in place as far as
anyone knows.

YA bidders sweepstakes runs until 20 Jun. For details go

Total Auction listing Numbers for most Yahoo International sites
Australia: 159198 (17 March 02)
Brazil:     10906 (17 March 02)
Canada : 59863 (18 March 02)
Denmark:    13955 (17 March 02)
France:     58519 (17 March 02)
Germany:   267667 (17 March 02)
Italy:      40367 (17 March 02)
Japan: 3500000 (Source: Reuters - Yahoo! Auctions market leader with
Korea:     100434 (17 March 02)
Mexico:      3960 (17 March 02)
Singapore: 29371 (17 March 02)
Spain:      12211 (17 March 02)
UK:        438395 (17 March 02)
Yahoo International numbers provided by Yahoo! Freaks

Ongoing Issues -
In contrast to ebaY's 15 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 21Feb02 Yahoo Auctions had 329,387 listings on their site
As of 9Mar02 Yahoo Auctions had 342,322 listings on their site
As of 13Mar02 Yahoo Auctions had 635797 listings on their site
* * * * *
Amazon Auctions, zShops and Marketplace posted on their AB that on 15
Mar at 16:20 PT some US Marketplace buyers received purchase
confirmation emails indicating a longer shipping time expectation than
the usual 4-14 business days. Correct shipping amounts were charged and
credited in all instances. Amazon has corrected this email error.

On 16 Mar at 04:26 PT Amazon posted that the "Used Price" link was once
again showing on the detail pages of books, music, video and DVD.

On 18 Mar at 04:02 PT Amazon Announced a maintenance lasting several
days that will cause zShops listings set to also appear as Marketplace
listings to not be purchasable through zShops and will not display in
Storefronts. Buyers will be able to purchase these items through
Marketplace only. New and existing listings affected by this, will
appear normally when maintenance is complete. Closed and Open listing
information will be unavailable from the Seller Account, but
listing/fulfillment reports and Payments Seller Account information will
remain available. Amazon promised to post a follow-up announcement when
the maintenance is complete. Users reported at 21:19 that they were not
receiving EOA, listing confirmations, sales notices and other normal
email messages from Amazon.   User calls to Amazon CS yielded no result
or explanation.

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
* * * * *
ePier is holding four Free Selling Days. All items listed between this
Tuesday 19 Mar and Friday 22 Mar will incur no Final Value Fees.
Listing is free on ePier. the buy now option is an additional $20. per
year and ePier also offers several upgrade packages ranging in price
from $9.95 to $14.95 per month, with discounts for advance payment.
* * * * *
PayPal representative posted on the OAI/OTI chat boards on 15 Mar 02 to
avoid a scam being perpetrated against PayPal users and to not try to
access the site or click on any links that appear in the scam message or
the post. The message said,
"Dear current verified Paypal Member,
In our database, we have come across an error in your account. You have
violated our Policy. It was under Fraud Review code 48326. Please
understand that its your responsibility to follow our instructions to
avoid Account Termination. Click <a
href="">here</a> to Log on to your
account. After logging on, verify your information. Please update your
record by adding an additional credit card. Disregard this letter if you
have already verified your updated information.
PayPal Account Review Department http://www.paypal.com"
This is a SCAM, delete it.
* * * * *
Online Auction Users Association
PLEASE NOTE: Many long links we post in TAGnotes must be
copy/pasted into your browsers URL/Address box in pieces, with
no extra spaces, to get them to work due to HTML limitations
Have any information for us? email us at
TAG Subscribers often contribute information reported on in
TAGnotes. Visit their auctions or websites.
TAGassist Contributors






Not just a venue
Have the most current information at your fingertips through
our erratically published (2-4 times a week) email synopsis of
announcements and changes from the Online Auction and
Trading Industry.
Subscribe today at-
or email us - tag@theauctionguild.com
"The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off." -
Gloria Steinem
"Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their
reputations... can never effect a reform." - Susan B. Anthony
"I only insult people who need it" - Horace Greeley
Please Note: No trees were destroyed in the sending of this
contaminant free message We do concede, a significant
number of electrons may have been inconvenienced
All trademarks are the property of their respective owners
Copyright 1999 - 2002 The Auction Guild Inc All rights reserved