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TAGnotes Tue 2 Apr 2002 Vol 4 Number 23 Issue 405

The Auction Guild Notes Tues 2 Apr 2002
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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.
4900 subscribers.
TAG does not endorse the companies or products advertised
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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. 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!
*** WARNING *** there has been a new round of SCAMS using ebaY as the
cover to trick user into revealing personal identity information. These
emails appear to come from ebaY Safe Harbor or another ebaY address and
tell you that there is a problem with your account and you need to go to
a link and provide extensive information or ebaY will cancel your
account. If you look at the email headers, you will see that they are
NOT ebaY email servers. If you feel a need to check your account, go to
ebaY directly and to your "My ebaY" page and confirm your information.
Do not use a link in ANY email, to connect you to a site to provide
account information, even if legitimate. Go direct to the site and
access your information in the normal manner. Identity theft is now the
number one fraud complaint on the internet, don't be a victim.
ebaY - On 29 Mar at 09:00:07 PT users reported cgi 6 was throwing error
messages. Users could not get to seller's lists or My ebaY. At
14:36:12 PT users reported error messages whilst trying to post auction

On 30 Mar at 05:51:14 PT users again reported cgi 6 not working, with
the page hanging preventing access to seller's lists. At 06:05:03 users
who utilize the Opera browser reported tool bars missing off ebaY pages,
and other problems only occurring with Opera, not the IE or Netscape
browsers.   At 13:37:59 PT users reported that they were not able to use
bulk listers, both third party and Mister Lister to upload auctions.   
At 14:11:20 PT users reported not being able to get into their Half.com
accounts, and that the problems had occurred over the last 10 hours.   
At 15:12:01 PT users reported overall site problems with various parts
of the site crashing. Auctions in the toy categories were not
available, servers were only responding after several attempts to access
them, usually signaling some parts of the server pool down. This
continued to happen intermittently. At 19:01:27 PT ebaY reported that
users were having problems listing items, including slowness of the Sell
Your Item form. ebaY also acknowledged that certain categories were
down. At 19:08:45 PT users reported cgi3 error messages making access
to the boards difficult. At 19:09:20 PT users reported they were unable
to bid or access My ebaY.
At 19:12:20 PT users reported the whole site very slow. ebaY posted at
19:15:00 PT that Jewelry, Gems and Watches, Business and Industrial,
Toys and Hobbies, Real Estate and the Everything Else categories were
down intermittently. At 19:24:19 PT users reported not being able to
list. At 19:30:38 PT users continued to report widespread access
problems.   ebaY posted at 19:42:34 PT that users could not list from
18:35 PT to 19:34 PT. Jewelry, Gems and Watches, Business and
Industrial, Toys and Hobbies, Real Estate and the Everything Else
category were also intermittently down. ebaY claimed as of the posting
that all functions were once again working, but users reported at
20:43:54 PT that some problems including cgi 3 stalling were still
occurring. If you had an auction running during this 5 hour period of
intermittent outages and problems, that you feel were negatively
impacted by the outages, request refunds of all fees.

On 31 Mar 07:02:20 PT users reported that ebaY had initiated it's April
Fools Day home page a day early (31 days in March ebaY). This explained
the problems the previous day with the Opera Browser problems, and also
might have triggered the 5 hours of intermittent site outages. At
07:12:55 PT users reported not being able to get auctions to load and at
07:22:59 PT users reported pages hanging up. At 08:14:05 PT ebaY
restored the home page back to normal. Users reported at 17:43:05 PT
users reported listings in the Toy categories showing up as HTML code.
At 19:58:25 PT users reported being unable to upload Mister Lister
collections. At 20:49:06 PT listings started to go through again. At
21:38:21 PT users reported problems with their selling list missing from
My ebaY. Users also reported ongoing problems with search, returning
different results every time a search was made for the same item.

On 1 Apr, ebaY reposted it April Fools Day home page.

On 2 Apr at 19:18:43 PT users reported problems with sending Mister
Lister collections to ebaY. At 20:16:10 PT users reported search

On 3Apr 01:43:42 PT ebaY reported that from approximately 17:30 PT on
Tue to 01:19 PT on Wed, attempts by members to change their password
through the Change Your Password function resulted in an input error
message. ebaY says they fixed the problem. Unfortunately, this appears
to be a lie, as an article on 2 Apr stated, "eBay disabled the "Change
Your Password" function in an effort to close the vulnerability, eBay
spokesman Kevin Pursglove said Tuesday. That feature will remain
disabled until eBay can put a fix in place, he said.   "We don't see
(the vulnerability) existing in other features," and no customers have
complained, Pursglove said. "From what we can tell right now, we have
not seen anybody's account compromised in any way.""
TAG finds it interesting that ebaY is still using this kind of
prevarication, saying there is a "problem" with a feature, as if it was
an accidental glitch, when in truth it is ebaY that has disabled the

There continue to be widespread complaints by ebaY and Half.Com users
having continuous problems with site access, search malfunctions,
feedback problems, user ID problems, checkout problems, 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 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, on 1 Apr, in an exchange of posts about the fact
that ebaY Pinks show up to play, such as the pink posts about the ebaY
Aprils Fools Day prank home page, but not when help is needed, katy@ebay
posted at 05:02:26 PT, " ...... if you ever need staff attention, I hope
you will visit our threaded Help boards. This board really is for
garnering your input on new issues rather than giving assistance ..... "
TAG made a quick check of the threaded help boards, and they show an
extremely limited pink presence. For example, there are no pink posts
on the Checkout board for the entire month of March. It appears there
are very few pink posts on the Checkout board in the preceding months,
though checkout is only 6 months old. This despite the fact that
Checkout continues to present problems, has serious glitches, and is
poorly implemented in the sellyouritem 2.0 form. Once again TAG finds
that customer service along with site stability gets short shrift by
ebaY, despite the promises made with each fee increase.
ebaY auction partner in South and Latin America, MercadoLibre.com, is
allowing the sale of live animals on their sites. Though ebaY holds a
19.5% stake in MercadoLibre.com, and ebaY prohibits such sales, it
appears that ebaY has not done anything to change this situation, since
it's acquisition in Oct 2001. For more details there are threads on the
ebaY boards on this subject -
MercadoLibre deal -
ebaY Sellers QUIT selling and go into the bid for points business. We
found this thread very amusing -
Pointies, pointing rather than selling, and tips on how to maximize your
profits doing so.
SHREVEPORT, La.--(BUSINESS WIRE) 2 Apr 02-- EquityOutlook.Com
(CRD#118718) - www.equityoutlook.com - evaluates the following stocks
ebaY Inc (Nasdaq:EBAY) - Underperform
ebaY's additional fees on ebaY France is causing a mass exodus.
Listings on ebaY France dropped from approx 300,000 to about 37,000
auctions due to the increased fees. ebaY was already charging sellers a
final value fee when they sold an item, tried to add listing fees,
without success.

ebaY is trying once again to get an "appraiser" to work with them, and
has reached a verbal agreement with CollectingChannel.com to sell ebaY
users online valuations for $19.95 an item. Worchester MA based
CollectingChannel.com has been in business online since Feb 2000.   
Calling what they do an appraisal is a bit misleading, since it would
not stand up as a legal document of use for insurance, tax or other
legal purposes. It is more a general valuation based on limited
information, and though it might give you an idea of the items worth,
that is all it does. Sellers do not get any advantage by using this
site through ebaY as the price is the same direct from
CollectingChannel.com. To pay $19.95 for a service where a little time
spent searching online would bring you as accurate a result, is what
doomed the online appraisal companies that preceded this one. In March
of 2001 ebaY signed an agreement with Eppraisals.com, to perform the
same function as CollectingChannel will attempt this time, and on 8
June2001 Eppraisal closed their doors.   TAG hopes that
CollectingChannel.com has reviewed the ebaY kiss of death track record.
SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- 2 Apr 02. ebaY will host a
portion of its operations with Intel Online Services, Inc. This is a
good thing. Exodus, Qwest and Sprint currently host most of the
company's hardware. Article -
ebaY has made it possible for sellers to default to the Sell Your Item
2.0 (SYI2.0) listing form. This will also now be the default for all new
sellers. Sellers may still opt to use the old Sell Your Item form. Item
Specifics categories, such as Tickets, Travel and Real Estate, are only
available on SYI 2.0. SYI2.0 is now the only form available on the ebaY
international sites, despite a multiplicity of glitches and problems.
ebaY will eventually inflict SYI2.0 on the US site, and remove the old
form, but are still taking feedback from sellers.   The SYI2.0 is
universally despised by experienced sellers, as it takes 5 times longer
to list using it, than the very flawed and bloated current SYI form.
ebaY will gain by forcing 5 times the site hits with every listing than
it currently gets, providing inflated hit numbers to stockholders and
advertisers. ebaY code writers need to review the KISS rule. When it
comes to coding, more is not better, simple elegant coding that works
each and every time is what is desirable. For the SYI2.0 form go to -

To set SYI 2.0 as your default go to the preferences tab of My ebaY.
To learn more about Sell Your Item 2.0 go to -
To provide input on the new form email via -
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 -

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   

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 Auctions France, has not been able to capitalize on the
abandonment of ebaY France, only showing an increase in listings of
approx 1,000 listings. ebaY France lost approximately 270,000 listings.
Yahoo Auctions France had 58519 on17 March 02, and now has approx
17 Mar number provided by - http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/yahoofreaks

Yahoo Auction users continue to report mixed results. Some sellers are
making a niche for themselves on YA, with acceptable sell through rates.
Some buyers are finding great bargains. Overall the same problems
remain and almost ALL of them could be solved through customer support.
If you have no problems, YA works extremely well. If you HAVE a problem
and need help, you are in trouble. The problems that remain hot issues
and so far appear un-addressed are customer support, fraud - both buyer
and seller, and promotion of YA to the greater Yahoo buying public.
Though the same problems exist on ebaY, YA needs to do BETTER than ebaY
to attract the sellers with the 3 million auctions necessary to bring
and keep buyers on YA.   YA - if you are listening - here is an idea
brought to you compliments of one of TAG's subscribers. For all sellers
who commit to a minimum number of listings a week (set by YA), provide
them with free basic listings and unlimited relists, only charging a
Final Value Fee.

If you have a Yahoo Account of any type (other than just being on the
TAGnotes subscriber list on Yahoo Groups) you need to set your SPAM
options to avoid getting SPAM via YAHOO! If you have ever signed on to
Yahoo for any reason you have an account!
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/
THE OTHER SLEAZY SPAMMERS. This is EASY - set the default on your
marketing page to NO and let your users OPT IN if they want to. DO THE
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 -
On 30 Mar 02 Amazon posted that their planned maintenance announced on
18 Mar was to support launch of Marketplace on UK and DE sites on 20
Mar. Problems caused unexpected delays in restoring the Marketplace
site.   The Marketplace was working partially. Open and sold sections
of the seller account was available to sellers with approx 1,000
listings. All other sellers needed to use the Open Listing and Order
Fulfillment reports.

At 12:46 PT on 1 Apr 02, Amazon announced their 15 day maintenance was
complete, and the site was restored to full function. At 22:44 PT,
Amazon had to perform additional maintenance, that made approx 1/4th of
Amazon.com Marketplace, Auctions, and zShops unavailable for purchase
from approx 22:00 PT to 23:30 PT. Seller tools, including account
records were down, and sellers could not do uploads.

On 2 Apr 02 at 19:47 PT Amazon posted that featured zShops listings were
not rotating in the Storefront display. No action was required on the
part of sellers. Sellers continued to post about remaining site problems
as the site slowly came back to full function.

If you sell books online, this thread is an interesting read and worth
your time.
Our bookselling future

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
* * * * *
TIAS.com one of the longest established and largest online antiques and
collectibles mall sites is celebrating it's 7th Anniversary. To mark
this occasion, TIAS and the 700+ merchants who use TIAS to sell their
antiques and collectibles are holding an antiques and collectible sale,
on Sunday 21 Apr 02 at 10:00 PT, 13:00 ET. At that time TIAS.com will
launch a special sale page.

"Participating merchants will be offering everything from discounts on
listed items to free shipping, special offers and new fresh listings.   
We've never had a sale with this much merchandise available or this many
registered users." said Phillip Davies president of TIAS.com "I think
buyers and sellers are going to have a great time."
* * * * *
Picturelist.com has been having ongoing chronic site problems. In order
to solve the problems Picturelist said it will try, "a different
approach to the way images are linked in auctions. Instead of a
traditional image link it is going to run a script that will suck in the
correct image and display it. This will allow us greater control over
the way the image is displayed." Picturelist said they were trying to
work as fast as possible to get their problems fixed. They are going to
extend everyone's memberships by a couple months to reimburse users for
all the problems.

Picturelist assured their users they were not going out of business, but
that they were running over on their site usage, which would have to be
reduced.   A small number of accounts were using a very high volume of
bandwidth, and those accounts would have to limit their usage.
* * * * *
Boomspeed has also experienced problems and sporadic network outages in
the past two weeks.    This also appears to be at least partially
attributable to a small number of accounts using too much bandwidth.
* * * * *
If you are looking for a reliable image hosting alternative, go to the
TAG Image Hosting Directory at -
* * * * *
Jupiter Media Metrix's auditor, Ernst & Young, said it has substantial
doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going concern as the
company continues to be afflicted by recurring losses and a working
capital deficiency. In the Internet industry research firm's annual
report filed 1 Apr 02, it said cash could run out by the middle of May.
http://www.freeedgar.com/        search for JMXI
* * * * *
Alltel Phone company appears to be in dispute over toll free phone
numbers with AOL.com. A user reported that Alltel had blocked their
toll free AOL access numbers, though all their bills were paid. Though
AOL provided credit for the months service, Alltel did not, nor did
either company provide resolution. Users should watch for similar
problems if their situations mirror the one of this user.
* * * * *
Online Auction Users Association
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