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TAGnotes Wed 10 Apr 2002 Vol 4 Number 24 Issue 406

The Auction Guild Notes Wed 10 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.
5000 subscribers.
TAG does not endorse the companies or products advertised
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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
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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!
of TAGnotes will return to normal format
ebaY - on 3 Apr at 13:31:25 PT users reported problems when logging in
to sell. The site was not recognizing them, despite being established
sellers, and requested bank, credit and other information to open a
seller's account. At 20:51:11 PT users reported title search was
broken. When browsing via categories, search would report items found,
but the pages would not show any items. Saved searches were also
returning no results. At 22:20:00 PT users reported that completed
items search was returning a "Page cannot be Displayed" in the toy

On 4 Apr at 07:37:26 PT, sellers reported that they were not receiving
their relisting fee credits. Sellers should check their accounts to
insure they are getting the credit for items sold on relist.   At
08:40:27 PT users received input errors and empty message pages, when
trying to access the ebaY site. The SAB was also appearing
intermittently. At 09:21:17 PT users trying to access My ebaY and the
chat forums received "The page cannot be displayed The page you are
looking for is currently unavailable. The Web site might be experiencing
technical difficulties, or you may need to adjust your browser

ebaY took both the ebaY and Billpoint sites down for maintenance from
approx 01:00 PT until approx 03:00 PT on Fri 5 April 02. At 05:34:35 PT
users attempting to access the site received, "This function is
currently unavailable We apologise that you are not able to access this
feature at the present time....." At 05:55:49 PT, sellers reported
problems listing items, and receiving "invalid minimum bid" messages
despite having the correct minimum bid information on the auction. At
07:08:27 PT ebaY reported that the ability to submit items through
Mister Lister was down on ebaY.com and the international sites from
03:00 PT to 06:30 PT.   At 18:59:57 PT users reported problems getting
auctions to open for viewing and bidding. Users also reported
intermittent ongoing problems with search. Search would return several
pages of results, but only open the first page.   In additions users
reported images missing from auctions.

On 6 Apr the site was relatively stable throughout the day, but at
16:06:39 PT, established sellers again reported an inability to access
their sellers account, receiving messages that they needed to submit
bank and credit card info in order to open a selling account.

On 7 Apr at 01:59:50 PST ebaY attempted to adjust the time on their site
for Daylight Savings, but instead of moving the clocks forward, turned
them back so the next sequential board post was at 01:02:34 PST. At
06:39 PT a seller reported her account balance status was set to $0.00,
despite a known balance in the account. This was corrected by ebaY by
07:05 PT. ebaY reported at 07:36:26 PT that the ability to view
accounts was down from 06:05 PT to 06:45 PT. At 08:48 PT users reported
the first incident in what ended up being a full day of outages and site
problems. The clothing and jewelry categories were returning messages
that the items were currently unavailable. These messages continued
until 09:02:48 PT, when the categories returned to service only to go
down again at 10:25:13 PT. Once again ebaY minimized the actual outage,
which really started at 08:48, a full two hours earlier than reported in
ebaY's final report on the outage. Users reported problems with
auctions showing as cancelled in clothing, accessories, jewelry, gems
and watches. At 10:57:31 PT users reported these categories now showing
as unavailable. At 11:06:50 PT ebaY posted that the ability to view,
list or bid on items in the Clothing & Accessories category and the
Jewelry, Gems and Watches category was down. At 11:25:14 PT users
confirmed that store items in the affected categories were also
unavailable. At 13:25:25 PT katy@ebay posted, "...The ability to view,
list or bid on items in the Clothing & Accessories and the Jewelry, Gems
and Watches categories is currently unavailable. Theses categories have
been unavailable for more than two hours, so we will credit all
associated fees and extend listings on items listed in these categories
in accordance with our outage policy. Any listing scheduled to end
during the outage or scheduled to end in the hour after the outage will
be extended." At 14:40:18 PT users reported that reloads across the
site in all areas, were very slow. At 15:31:27 PT going going gone was
showing, "There are no items in this category." This message was
showing in all categories, not just the jewelry, clothing etc areas. At
15:37:21 PT users reported they could not view the gallery items and
received, " This function is currently unavailable We apologize that you
are not able to access this
feature at the present time. Our Technical Support Team has been
notified and we are working on resolving this difficulty as quickly as
possible...." At 16:27:31 PT ebaY posted that listing was once again
possible. At 16:38:50 PT users reported problems with My ebaY. Users
also noted that search had not indexed since 09:10 PT in all areas of
the site, impacting all listings on the site regardless of category.
Users continued to report search anomalies throughout the day, again
regardless of category. At 20:21:16 PT users reported many functions
were working again, but there were still site wide problems.   At
21:18:44 PT users reported Mister Lister collections were not going
through. At 21:28:19 PT users were still reporting their clothing,
accessory, jewelry, watches and gem auctions were not back up. At
21:29:47 PT coding in the toy categories was problematical, showing
titles etc in HTML code. Previously submitted Mister Lister collections
finally showed up at 21:32:50 PT, an hour after submission. At 21:34:39
ebaY posted that viewing and bidding on items in the Clothing &
Accessories category and the Jewelry, Gems and Watches category was
unavailable on 7 Apr between 10:55 and 20:07 PT (actual times were 08:48
PT to at least 22:19 PT). The ability to
list in these categories was also down. The update item description
capability is still down. Since viewing and bidding were unavailable for
more than two hours, ebaY will credit all associated fees as well as
extend all listings scheduled to end between 10:55 and 22:30 PT. This is
in accordance with the outage policy at -
At 21:53:48 PT katy@ebay posted, "...The process of extending items
prevents bidding on these listings while the end times are being reset.
After the listing end times have been reset, eBay updates search and
listing indexes. Until these index updates are completed, these listings
will be unavailable via Search or Listings. This re-indexing can take a
few hours." At 21:55:22 PT users noted that auctions in the affected
categories that were extended would not show up in search during the
extended period since the items would not index for upwards of 24 hours.
Users also reported that though their items had been restored,
including items that were not covered by the extension policy, ending
after ebaY's cutoff of 22:30 PT, links to the jewelry categories were
completely blanking out and items were not showing up in search. At
22:10:11 PT users reported that seller search pages in the affected
categories were back up. At 22:19:06 PT sellers continued to report
problems with items in the affected categories missing their
descriptions and images. ebaY posted at 22:47:41 PT that the ability to
add to item description in the Clothing & Accessories category and the
Jewelry, Gems and Watches category was up at 21:56 PT.

On 8 Apr at 07:45:13 PT sellers reported that not all items that should
have been extended based on ebaY criteria for the outage on 7 Apr, were
extended. At 08:55:04 PT sellers reported that items they had listed the
previous Friday, had completely disappeared from the site, not even
showing in ended auctions. Listing fees were showing in the sellers
account for the missing items. Clicking on the item number from the
account page yielded, "this function temporarily unavailable". Users
also reported the navigation tool bar was missing from the top of ebaY's
pages. At 10:20:25 PT users reported that as of 10:08:00, site loads
were very slow, taking upwards of 8 minutes to upload pages, or
completely preventing access due to timeouts. At 10:24:52 PT users
reported an inability to sign in, leave feedback, view pages or bid from
AOL, Netscape, or IE. At 10:41:22 PT ebaY posted that some pages on the
site, including the ebaY Home Page, were down. At 10:45:42 PT users
reported that pages were loading again. ebaY reported at 10:56:08 PT
that site pages were down from 09:40 PT to 10:48 PT. At 11:39:16 PT ebaY
posted that ebaY Billpoint payments was down from 11:09 PT to 11:22 PT,
and ebaY claimed the problem was due to their "provider". Since ebaY
Billpoint payments is now a 100% ebaY owned company, ebaY's provider
is... ebaY, TAG thinks it is time ebaY took responsibility and stopped
trying to pass off blame. At 11:49:40 PT, ebaY announced that due to
the outage from 09:40 PDT to 10:48 PT and since viewing and bidding were
unavailable for more than an hour, ebaY will credit all associated fees
for listings scheduled to end between 09:40 PT and 10:48 PT, in
accordance with their outage policy at
http://pages.ebay.com/help/community/png-extn.html TAG notes that for
the first time in years, ebaY actually reported the full outage and gave
automatic credit for the fees without a battle. TAG finds this a
refreshing change for the better. At 12:32:59 PT users once again were
reporting listing pages were very slow to open or timing out preventing
access to bidding. At 12:36:57 PT users received "The page cannot be
displayed" messages and at 12:37:30 PT item pages were down across the
site. At 12:41:28 PT the clothing, jewelry, gems and watches categories
were completely down.   At 12:48:15 PT ebaY posted that the Jewelry,
Gemstones and Watches category were down from 12:40 PT to 12:46 PT.   At
12:53:10 PT users were still reporting connection resets across the
site. At 13:10:07 PT sellers reported their auctions were again
available. So much for ebaY reporting outages accurately. At 13:13:16
PT users reported that clicking on ebaY Live Help caused a pop up ad for
Air travel rather than a window to have a question answered. At
14:16:54 PT users once again reported item pages loading very slowly or
timing out preventing access to bid. At 14:27:42 PT users reported that
auctions extended from the previous days outage in the clothing,
jewelry, gems and watches categories, had completely disappeared from
the site. They were not visible from the selling page, search by item
or seller search. A thread on the subject can be found at -
http://forums.ebay.com/dws?14@Sb77cyKUcPK@.ef3d586 At 14:47:27 PT
users continued to note the navigation toolbar was missing form ebaY
pages. Pages continued to load very slowly. At 18:15:11 PT users
reported search was not working and at 18:44:38 PT the entire site had
slowed to a near crash. At 20:06:22 PT in an unprecedented
announcement, ebaY posted that, "Over the last few days, we have
experienced some technical difficulties. We realize that this has been
an inconvenience for our members, and we sincerely apologize. Because
these difficulties resulted in very specific issues for different groups
of members, we will be sending emails over the next few days to affected
members, detailing their particular issue and the corrective measures
being taken. Please be patient with us as we send these emails, which we
hope will answer your questions." TAG hopes that our subscribers will
share these emails with us so we can inform the entire community of what
ebaY is trying in some manner to hide. At 18:58:55 PT users reported
that items were still missing from sellers lists and showing as invalid
when searched by item number, though they should have been valid and
current auctions. Seller's accounts show the items as listed and also
show the charges.

On 9 Apr 02, users continued to report problems with navigation tool
bars on every ebaY page.   At 05:00:04 PT sellers reported that Mister
Lister collections sent on Sunday 7 Apr, had finally appeared on ebaY
ready for approval.   At 06:07:09 PT users reported intermittent "this
page cannot be displayed" messages across the ebaY site. At 06:27:44 PT
ebaY reported that users were having problems with sign in and Checkout.
At 06:39:59 PT users continued to report the US site inaccessible,
though able to reach ebaY using one of the co brand or international
sites. At 06:45:00 PT sellers reported the deadbeat bidder function was
down and they were unable to file non-paying bidder reports. At
07:04:29 PT ebaY posted that from 06:05 PT to 06:55 PT, users could not
sign in, use checkout or access My ebaY pages. Links to the navigation
links tool bar were reported back temporarily at 07:07:48 PT, but was
soon reported down again. At 07:41:38 PT users reported image problems
on ebaY motors. At 08:38:51 PT sellers reported the items listed the
previous night were not indexed, and were not showing up in title
search. Users also reported search was not working and descriptive
search was throwing cgi error messages. At 12:23:00 PT sellers reported
the site was not recognizing them, despite being established sellers.
They were told to provide bank, credit and other information to open a
seller's account. At 14:34:25 PT ebaY posted that on 8 Apr some items
were displaying an error message stating that the item was invalid when
it was not. ebaY claimed the issue occurred between 13:30 PT and 15:00
PT, (users posted it was happening all day on 8 Apr) but not all
affected items displayed the invalid item message for the entire time
period. ebaY claims to have identified all items that were affected, and
will credit all associated fees. They say the credit will appear on your
account before the next billing cycle. Sellers, make sure you track the
auctions you know were affected, and request refunds for any items ebaY
might have missed. Users continued to report the navigation tool bars
missing throughout the day. Some users were able to clean their cache,
cookie files, temporary internet files, reboot and the navigation bar
would be visible when they returned to ebaY. This did not work for all
users and even for those it did work for, it did not prevent the
navigation bar from disappearing again.

On 10 Apr 02 users continued to report navigation tool bar problems.
TAG's oft quoted erudite power seller poster, Snyderstr, at 08:05:40 PT,
theorized , "I think I figured out what happened to the eBay top
navigation bar. When eBay changed the bars for April Fool's Day as a
joke, they altered the links to point to the "funny" logo. When they
changed back, those links in cache were then invalid, so *nothing* shows
up. The only way to cure the problem is to clear your cache, flush your
cookies, EXIT your browsers (*all* of them) so the changes stick, and
then logging back into eBay (which will rebuild the corrupted cache and
cookies). From that point on, you should be OK until the next time eBay
decides it's time to play with the peons. " At 11:14:27 PT users
reported getting input errors when trying to log into Half.com. At
11:54:24 PT the everything else category went down until 11:58:51 PT.
ebaY posted they would take their system down for maintenance from 01:00
PT until 03:00 PT on Fri 12 April 12th. The ebaY Billpoint payments
will remain available accessible from http://www.billpoint.com/

Though overwhelmed by the catastrophic outages, none of the widespread
problems caused by ebaY and Half.Com merger have been solved. Users
continue to have problems with site access, search malfunctions,
feedback problems, user ID problems, checkout problems, slow site
access, and bidding problems. ebaY motors search continues to be a
disaster, and in addition to the auto sellers it was already impacting,
is now destroying the businesses of boat and aviation sellers. 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.

***PLEASE NOTE*** despite ebaY's attempt to limit refunds to a small
subset of sellers negatively impacted when auctions ended during ebaY
outages, ALL sellers who feel their auctions were negatively impacted by
ANY of the ebaY site problems should request refunds. ebaY policy
requires that all 10 day listing fees be refunded automatically during
any outage that occurs anytime during the 10 day listing, but rarely
happens. The search indexing anomalies alone justify that refund - make
sure you get it! . ebaY will auto-refund certain amounts to certain
sellers they determine were affected, BUT ALL sellers can and should
insist on refunds for any and all auctions you feel were negatively
impacted by the outages. If ebaY refuses, keep insisting. Don't take
no for an answer. In general ebaY will give refunds when asked. If not
then, they almost always capitulate in the face of firm persistence.

Related News Articles on outages -
ebaY hit with multihour outage
Outages hamper ebaY for second day
Problems plague ebaY a third day

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

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'.

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:

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)
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




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