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TAGnotes Fri 29 Mar 2002 Vol 4 Number 22 Issue 404

The Auction Guild Notes Fri 29 Mar 2002
Quality, variety & great deals, shop the experienced EMPORIUM
auction sellers http://www.lynnet.com/~jmm/emporium.html
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
SoVelvetGoldmine vintage Levis, designer Jeans&Trendy current
Fashions! http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/sovelvetgoldmine/
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Finished jewelry, jewelry making supplies, metaphysical, and
more. ebaY Id: rgmall, URL: http://www.rgshop.com Enjoy!!!
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Tropical 50s Double Calla Lily TV Lamp eBay Item# 1087546294
Bluebirds&Pink Blossom Tirschenreuth PlateItem#2012650758
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
More brand names than ever! High quality clothing - low cost
shipping! Visit ddeva today at http://www.ddeva.com
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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.
4800 subscribers.
TAG does not endorse the companies or products advertised
*** Please remember we are moving TAGnotes from Topica to Yahoo Groups.
We are in the final stages of the move. PLEASE IGNORE the message you
get from Topica saying "Goodbye from TAGnotes, you have been removed".
We apologize for the inconvenience. If you need to change your settings
or email address, or have any other problems, please emails us at
ta-@theauctionguild.com ***
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 475 responses. 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!
*** VIRUS WARNING W32/MyLife.b@MM ***
This is another mass-mailing worm, written in Visual Basic 6, uses
Microsoft Outlook to send itself to all addresses in the Outlook Address
book and addresses on the MSN Messenger contact list. email Subject -
bill caricature Attachment - cari.scr
Please remember to update your virus files regularly.
ebaY - On 23 Mar users reported at 21:34:45 PT, that the ebaY email
system was down, and emails bouncing back. Users also reported
intermittent My ebaY glitches.

On 24 Mar at 04:34:15, users reported cgi 6 was down, and users could
not view items or search. A ping to ebaY.com yielded all
failed packets. At 05:46:22 PT users reported problems with cgi 3
stalling out. At 05:58:13 PT users reported their lists of auctions
were not appearing in My ebaY, but would show up on seller search. At
05:56 PT ebaY search was not working properly, in some cases returning a
22 page result but only allowing access to the first few pages. Users
would receive a 'Sorry, we could not find any matches' when trying to
access more than the first few pages. At 14:53 PT, users reported that
trying to relist on ebaY.uk site was defaulting them to the ebaY Japan
site, prohibiting them from relisting their ebaY UK auctions. At
15:58:58PT, sellers reported they could not sign up for the Trading
Assistant program and were getting messages that they were not
qualified. This despite the fact that they far exceeded the stated

On 25 Mar at 00:18:45 PT users received messages from ebaY that the
gallery feature was not working and the users would have to resubmit all
their gallery images. At 10:37 PT users reported they were blocked from
sending invoices through Checkout and were getting the message, "We are
sorry. You cannot checkout this item as your account is suspended." At
17:58:18 PT users reported problems with viewing images on auctions. At
20:54:19 PT users reported problems sending auctions to ebaY via Mister

On 26 Mar at 06:18:42 PT users reported a range of feedback problems,
including receiving feedback for an item they did not purchase from a
seller that did not sell the item the feedback was left for. This was
the start of complaints with the feedback system and search that lasted
throughout the day. Sellers also reported their entire selling record
and information had disappeared from the Half.Com site.   At 09:55:41 PT
users reported problems accessing My ebaY. At 08:50:33 PT ebaY posted
that Half.Com users would have problems with the feedback system for the
remainder of the week, as ebaY continues their attempt to merge the two
systems. Users on both sites reported feedback not showing up. At
16:25:53 PT, users reported images not showing in auctions. At 18:01:55
PT Mister Lister was down, but was back up at 18:19:08 PT.

On 27 Mar 02 at 13:38:08 PT, users continued to post about anomalies in
the feedback system, with numbers increasing and decreasing without any
reason for them to do so. Users continued to report problems with
search, erratic search results, only the first few pages of search
results accessible and blank pages when clicking on items. At 20:39:29
PT users again had problems uploading auction through Mister Lister.

On 28 Mar 02 at 06:26:01 PT users reported extensive problems with
Half.Com. Sellers were unable to confirm sales. They received error
messages, were told their passwords were invalid, that their accounts
did not exist, and that they were not the seller of the items they had
listed on Half.Com. Merchandise and sales histories were missing and if
the user attempted to open a new accounts they received a message that
they already had one. TAG wonders if ebaY will remove negatives
resulting from their faulty site merger? At 13:14:45 PT users trying to
add credit card info to their accounts via the secure server were
getting 404 error codes. At 13:35:30 PT users reported receiving
feedback from users who were no longer registered (NARU). At 13:55:56 PT
users started to receive PSAM emails from Half.Com, despite having all
SPAM settings set to not receive ebaY SPAM. Users reported they could
not access ebaY at all at 17:55 PT

On ebaY Canada, the problems started early. ebaY now has the 'new'
listing form as the only available one on ebaY Canada (and incidentally
on several of the ebaY international sites), with the old listing page
no longer available at all. The new listing page was filled with errors
and problems, preventing many users from listing at all during the free
listing day. In addition Mister Lister was not working with the new
listing form, and in order to use Mister Lister, sellers would have to
delete all previous forms of Mister Lister from their computers and then
download the revised Mister Lister. There was also a glitch in the
revised Mister Lister that was fixed around 10:00 ET by ebaY. Users who
did not know to uninstall all previous versions could not get Mister
Lister to work. It also emerged that Mister Lister would not work with
XP at all. Another glitch that showed up was that sellers who listed
via ebaY Sellers Assistant programs, were not credited for the free
listings. ebaY is aware of the problem and if you email them they will
credit the fees. Contact them from

ebaY took the site down for maintenance on Fri 29 Mar at approx 00:30:00
PT and was back early at 02:09:05 PT.

ebaY and Half.Com users are all having continuous problems with site
access, search malfunctions, feedback problems, checkout problems and
all around slow site access, and bidding problems. Since this appears
to be an ongoing site performance failure, sellers may want to consider
not listing until the site has stabilized and is working at least up to
its normal mediocre level. Sellers should not be paying for substandard
- even at ebaY's very low standard - performance. If any problem
appears to have negatively impacted the sale of any specific auction or
listing of any type, request refunds. Don't pay for service if you
don't receive it.

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, In response to a seller who listed items but not
all showed up on her sellers list an on My ebaY, Adrienne@ebaY said,
"...Thank you for writing eBay about having your seller's list reset. At
this time we are unable to reset your sellers list. With the merge of
eBay and Half.com it has caused an extra strain on our system and we are
unable to perform these functions. This is also why not all items are
appearing in member's My eBay pages. We ask for your patience during
this time as we work to merge eBay and Half.com. ..... Regards,
Adrienne B. eBay Customer Support". Though on the one hand TAG finds
the straight forward answer refreshingly honest, on the other hand TAG
thinks ebaY should provide full refunds for all items negatively
impacted by ebaY's inability to provide services paid for.
From the ebaY boards, provided by an ebaY user - A fix for some ebaY
incompatibilities in I.E. 5.5sp2 but will also work with I.E. 6   
ebaY has set out a method whereby sellers can use the ebaY email system
to contact every single ebaY user to ask permission to promote yourself
to the ebaY user. Though many users would consider this SPAM, ebaY
considers it perfectly acceptable use of their system if you follow some

This was in response to a TAG query
where we said, "In the ebaY policy about SPAM on this page -
ebaY says that it is ok to send others an email asking if they want to
be placed on a mailing list. Here is what your page says - "Examples of
what is allowed:
Sending email to users asking for permission to be placed on a mailing
list. If you do not receive a confirmation, you cannot send that user
unsolicited email."

Does that mean that we could send EVERY ebaY users an email offering
them a subscription to TAGnotes? And even use ebaY's email system to do
it??? And this would be ok within ebaY's own rules?"

The ebaY response -
Theoretically you could send an invitation to every member of the site
as long as it follows the guidelines below. You need to also keep in
mind that you may only send an invitation once. If you send multiple
invitations to the same member you could be warned for and email
forwarding system violation or for sending unwelcome email.

If you want to send emails to notify members about your auctions,
sending email to others, one at a time, asking their permission to put
them on your mailing list, is acceptable as long as each email is:

1. Free of any links - This includes links to eBay or to your personal
2. Free of pricing specifics or generalizations - this includes
comparisons or "less than" quotes.
3. Free of item listings - this includes your giving your user ID, your
auction number and particularly any clickable link to your eBay auction
4. Sent one at a time, with the option to be added to your list (and not
with the option to be removed).

You could word an email request like this:

"Hello! We are putting together a mailing list of people who have shown
an interest in [your typical type of item(s), i.e., beanie babies, rare
books, vintage clothing, etc. - must be very general], as we often have
this type of item up for auction. If you would like to be on our mailing
list to receive notices of the great items we have put up for auction on
eBay, please let us know by replying to this email."

Remember to eliminate any mention of item numbers or prices. Also, it is
best to make sure you include the words "mailing list" in this email, so
the intent of your email is clear to the recipient. If a user does NOT
reply to your message, you must assume they are not interested in
receiving your commercial email. ...Kara, eBay SafeHarbor Investigations

If you want to utilize this system, you can start with bidder IDs on
items similar to what you sell, your feedback file for past customers,
the chat boards for users who show an interest in the types of items you
sell. TAG wonders if ebaY made this liberal policy to cover their
sharing of ebaY user email addresses with their partners. They don't
sell or rent the email info, but just give their partners permission to
contact other users, and in some cases might even provide the email
addresses to that partner. Using ebaY's email system makes this
available to all ebaY users without needing an email address, though
ebaY does limit users with at least one feedback, to sending 100 emails
a day per user ID through their email system.
ebaY has implemented a new Buy it Now (BIN) selling method on their
international sites, though not yet on the US site. This is called 'Buy
It Now Only' and is a fixed price, no bidding format. Sellers with a
minimum of 10 feedback, can choose from 2 BIN options.

With the BIN feature, a buyer can choose to buy the item instantly or
bid on the item. The BIN feature is only available when there are no
bids on the item or until the reserve price is met (if applicable). As
soon as a bid is placed (or the reserve price is met), the Buy It Now
feature disappears and the item sells as a regular auction. You can sell
only one item per listing, and there is a BIN fee in addition to the
normal listing, special feature and final value fees.

With the BIN Only feature, you list an item at a set price, the buyers
may purchase the item immediately, the BIN does not disappear, and the
seller can sell more than one item at the same time. There is no
additional fee, only the standard listing, special feature and final
value fees. The BIN Only is replacing the existing ebaY shops format.
The BIN Only format will appear in ebaY's search results and category
browse pages as well as in seller's shops. In addition, the new 'Buy It
Now' Only format is available to all ebaY sellers, not just those who
have shops, for a duration length of up to 10 days. For multiple BIN
Only items, ebaY will charge the final value fee based on the final sale
price for every single item sold.

For more UK info go to -
There is an interesting article on Seller ID theft and SCAM auctions at
And ebaY security, or the lack thereof at -
According to Dolores Thompson attorney for internet auction fraud at
the FTC, said in a live CNET interview with David Coursey in March 2002,
that Identity theft has surpassed auction fraud as the number one online
fraud complaint. TAG feels that ebaY could significantly impact this
problem in a positive manner, by putting limits on the number of times a
user can try a password, and then provide 24/7 live telephone support to
reset accounts instantly as needed by users.
ebaY has again changed the way tickets can be sold. ebaY’s current
policy is based solely on the state where the event is held to determine
at what price a ticket can be sold. The change will use the location of
the seller, buyer, and the event state to determine how the sale will
go. If the event is in one of the 18 regulated states, the law will
apply only to residents of that state. A seller living in the same
regulated state as the event will not be able to sell the ticket for
more than the state law allows. If a bidder lives in the same regulated
state as the event, they will not be able to bid more than the law
allows, even if the seller lives in a different state. However, a bidder
from another state can bid as much as they desire, providing that the
seller does not live in the same state as the regulated event. The
revised ticket is at -
Billpoint appears to be in trouble as officials in four states recently
sent inquiries to ebaY about Billpoint, questioning whether its service
should be regulated under the states' money transmitter laws. ebaY is
working with the states to answer their questions.
Board Poster Quote of the Day, Posted on 26 Mar at 10:50:22 PT by
Syderstr when discussing how to interpret ebaY's SAB posts. "... you
need to learn to parse eBayonics. "Some members" refers to those people
who are members that are trying to access eBay. All those eBay members
who are NOT trying to access eBay are unaffected. Therefore, during any
given crisis, 33,000,000 eBay members are totally unaffected, since they
are either 1) Not online; 2) NARU; 3) Dead; 4) All of the above." "...
'Several members' refers to those eBay members with computers, those
without computers are unaffected, unless they have WebTV, in which case
they are affected." That about says it all.
ebaY has signed an agreement with Amazon.Com backed Altura, to bring in
catalog companies, who will auction overstocked or discounted
merchandise on ebaY.
ebaY is attempting to get a piece of the US$120 billion a year in
catalog sales. About 17,000 companies sell directly to consumers through
printed catalogs. Neither side disclosed financial terms of the deal.
Altura said that it will use a pay-for-performance model with its
merchants, meaning they will be charged only if items they post on ebaY
are sold. TAG wonders what special sweetheart deal ebaY has with this
ebaY is standing up to airlines to allow sales of air miles and
certificates for travel, to remain on the ebaY site -
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'.

The ebaY bid for points fiasco that has ebaY paying for deadbeats Read
TAG editorial at http://www.auctionguild.com/generic85.html
For those who could not believe that ebaY would promulgate such an
obviously corruptible plan, TAG heard from a points for bid site owner
who said, "We, personally, had to obtain special permission from ebay in
order to offer this to our members." So it is obvious that ebaY itself
knows about and promotes these corrupt PFBs. It is a disgrace.

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) -

Yahoo has added a new marketing preferences page, and users have 60 days
in which to set their SPAM preferences. Currently the SPAM preferences
are set to accept SPAM via email, snail mail and phone, but no SPAM will
be sent for 60 days after Yahoo sends their users an email notifying
their users of the change. Yahoo made the change on Thursday 28 Mar,
and just started to send out emails. We STRONGLY recommend all Yahoo
account holders to go to Yahoo and set their SPAM preferences on this
new page. Though this should not affect any TAG subscriber who does not
have a Yahoo account, if you ever registered for ANY Yahoo function,
including email, classifieds or anything, you will have an account you
will need to set preferences on, or close.

To set your SPAM options -
Log in to Yahoo, click on Account Info on the top right hand toolbar,
log into your account, click on "edit marketing preferences" about 1/3
down the page, Select your desired options and scroll down all the way
to the bottom so you don't miss any, particularly "delivery options"
make sure you click on "save changes". Click on "finished" at the right
hand top corner.
For Details and links to privacy info and the Marketing Preferences in
particular, go to - http://privacy.yahoo.com/privacy/us/
Article on the SPAM subject -
TAG feels Yahoo has the perfect opportunity to differentiate itself from
other online sites, by making one simple change. All they need to do is
set ALL the options to NO and allow users to change the option to YES if
the user wants to opt IN rather than forcing the user to opt OUT - the
much less ethical stance.

Yahoo auction counts as of 24 Mar 02 approx 12:30 PT
Antiques & Art   33344
Automotive 4222
Books & Comics 18564
Clothing & Accessories 24320
Coins, Paper Money & Stamps 39384
Collectibles 32367
Computers 7026
Electronics & Cameras 4532
Home & Garden 17130
Jewelry & Watches 47262
Movies & TV 11036
Music 10106
Sports & Outdoors 6193
Sports Cards & Memorabilia 64322
Toys, Games & Hobbies 39407
Video Games 2832
Other 7701

Total auctions on March 24, 2002: 369,748
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
As of 24Mar02 Yahoo Auctions had 369,748 listings on their site

* * * * *
Amazon Auctions, zShops and Marketplace - maintenance continues and has
been going on for 11 days. Amazon has caused serious problems for
sellers and buyers, due to the maintenance causing collateral site
damage. There are daily posts on the boards that maintenance is
ongoing, but no date for resolution. On 22 march Amazon posted,
"Maintenance continues to affect display of Open, Closed and Sold
listings in Seller account as well as in display of Marketplace listings
in zShops storefronts. This maintenance will be completed as soon as
possible. Sellers are encouraged to view previous postings regarding
impact. Daily updates will be posted here until maintenance is complete
and full functionality is restored."

Ongoing maintenance problem has made the news -

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
* * * * *
PayPal has created an Auction Seller Advisory Board composed of sellers
in the online auction community. Though PayPal employees are required
to identify themselves as employees in public forums, these "advisors"
are not so required. Sellers have signed non disclosure agreements to
protect PayPal proprietary information, but the agreement does not
prevent the advisor from disclosing they are an advisor. PayPal also
says they do not pay parties to post favorably about the company, and
the advisory panel is free to post their opinions, good or bad. The
advisors are being compensated for their work, but PayPal is not
disclosing the amount. Article on the subject at -
* * * * *
PayPalWarning.Com has added a PayPal class action info page
Also a link to a PayPal contact form to join the class on the
Jacoby&Meyers site (this downloads VERY slowly on dial up)
* * * * *
Online Auction Users Association
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Have any information for us? email us at
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