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TAGnotes Mon 15 Apr 2002 Vol 4 Number 25 Issue 407

The Auction Guild Notes Mon 15 Apr 2002
Finished jewelry, jewelry making supplies, metaphysical, and
more. ebaY Id: rgmall, URL: http://www.rgshop.com Enjoy!!!
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
$Buck98 Event Ends Tomorrow! Items start at $1.98 with No
Reserve Don't Wait! http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/$buck98
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More brand names than ever! High quality clothing - low cost
shipping! Visit ddeva today at http://www.ddeva.com
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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
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Handmade Crafts, Quilted Items, Eclectic Stuff, See Our website
Morgan-Meadowsong Farm http://www.hrtc.net/~mkmorgan/
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Quality, variety & great deals, shop the experienced EMPORIUM
auction sellers http://www.lynnet.com/~jmm/emporium.html
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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ebaY - On 11 Apr 02 at 08:09:02 PT users reported My ebaY was
down. At 10:12:58 PT users again reported the navigation
toolbars at the top of ebaY pages missing. This problem
appears to be caused by a piece of bad coding by ebaY as a
result of the April Fools Day hoax. At 10:35:37 PT users reported
completed search not working. At 17:12:09 PT a user reported
what appeared to be ebaY manipulating the coding on the length
of the title box. Currently restricted to 45 characters, it appeared
coded for 90 characters, with the line of code reading from the
'revise' page for the 'title', " <td width="75%"> <input
type="text"name="title" value="The Title Goes Here...." size=90
maxlength=90> <br><font size=2>45 characters max. Please no
HTML, asterisks or quotes in yourtitle.</font>"

On 13 Apr at 11:48:58 PT, Mister Lister's back end upload
address at soh-@ebay.com was blocked so users could not
upload collections via formail. At14:35:22 PT users reported
getting invalid ID messages on long established accounts. This
was happening whilst trying to utitlize the "remember my
password on this computer" feature.

On 15 Apr at 09:51:25 PT users posted that they were having
trouble with the listing. Established sellers get user ID invalid
messages. At 18:29:04 PT users reported the feedback system
was down. At 18:30:44 PT Mister Lister was throwing,"This
function is currently unavailable..."   At 18:55:21 PT users
reported problems with loading pages on the site. The users
reported the sellers list, My ebaY, and other pages were
inaccessible. These problems appeared to be intermittent. At
20:10:07 PT more users reported they were not able to access
their account, receiving messages their ID was invalid. Users
were reporting intermittent problems as of this posting.

Overall, ebaY was relatively stable during this period, after the
catastrophic outages of the previous week. Whatever changes
ebaY was attempting to implement, without success, they
appear to have temporarily backed off from. This has in no way
solved the widespread and ongoing problems. 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 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
The disappearing navigation toolbars at the top of ebaY pages
can be fixed by closing all browsers, clearing your cache,
deleting your cookies and emptying your temporary internet files.
You might also want to reboot before reopening a browser and
returning to ebaY.    Another possible solution is to use the
keyboard refresh function on your computer. Depending on your
computer and browser this can be the control key plus F5 or
function key plus F5. You might need to experiment to find the
correct combination to force a keyboard refresh/reload, but this
appears to force the cached gif causing the problem, out of your
Another troubling problem reported by a small number of users
is a user ID switch they did not make. This appears to be
happening to some users who use an email address as a user
ID, and there is no way to fix it for 30 days, unless by some
miracle, affected users can get ebaY to intervene. A thread on
the subject is at -
Pink Quote Of the Day, attempting to "clarify" the new board
posting policies on 5 Apr 02 at 14:56:12 PT, katy@ebay said, " ...
I just wanted to clear up any confusion there might be about the
new Board Policies. The rules about advertising have not
changed. You can still feel free to discuss auctions in order to
solicit help or assist someone. The posting of auction numbers
is not permitted In the *title* of a threaded discussion. But this is
something that only applies on our threaded boards, so if you
don't use them, I wanted to clarify the distinction. :) ..Katy" and
at 15:00:25 PT, "...As for the Board Policies, we have really only
tried to clarify those things that many of you have asked for,
giving some specifics for rules we were enforcing as part of the
community values anyway. :) ...Katy". TAG holds that whenever
ebaY uses the line "that many of you have asked for", it is a lie,
and whatever they are pushing will damage their users. ebaY is
clearly attempting to intimidate their users to prevent criticism of
ebaY on the ebaY boards. The only thing ebaY is attempting to
protect by the new policies is the ebaY public image. ebaY has
degenerated so badly that they must use stricter censorship on
their boards to hide their flaws. The philosophy that, "We
believe that an honest, open environment can bring out the best
in people" is nothing more than a fantasy at ebaY, where
suppression of the truth, the hiding of flaws and the suspension
of those who post factually about ebaY, is the rule, now further
codified in their imposed rules manifesto, that can no longer
even be called a user agreement.
ebaY has changed their board posting policy, in TAG's view, to
make it easier for ebaY to suspend users who post on their
boards, to further censor ebaY critical speech on their boards.
The rules are now so ambiguous as to allow any ebaY
employee to interpret almost any post as a violation. ebaY
claims they were making, "the basic rules of conduct easier to
understand, and to remove or replace obsolete language". In
reality the new language is harder to understand and more open
to interpretation. The revised board usage policy applies to all
the boards on ebaY, threaded or scrolling. The revised policy is
at - http://pages.ebay.com/help/community/png-board.html
ebaY held a workshop on the subject on 10 April, and the thread
can be viewed at -
TAG did not see many answers to questions, much ambiguity
and vagueness and the hard questions unanswered.
Claire@ebay's posts below came from this thread, as did the
board post of the day.

Under the new rules, "the following types of postings are cause
for immediate post removal, warning, board sanction and/or
suspension from the site. Other inappropriate postings not listed
below may also warrant removal and/or suspension from the
site. eBay reserves the right to remove any post without warning
or further notice." Of course, TAG can find no indication that ebaY
will better police their boards than they have in the past, so
policies will get enforced in an unequal, arbitrary, unjust and
unethical manner, as is the norm at ebaY. ebaY rule at the * -
TAG editorial comment follows each rule at the +. The complete
review is on the TAG website at -

*Posting contact information about another individual.
+Real name, address, phone or other specifically
private/sensitive information such as ID numbers. Don't know
what ID numbers ebaY is referring to, and does this include
addressing a poster by name when they sign their board posts
with their name?
*Posting material with the intent to impersonate ebaY staff or
another member through the use of similar IDs or any other
method or device.
+Will ebaY enforce this? They haven't in the past, particularly
when such ID impersonation was done by ebaY pets against
less favored (read that more critical of ebaY) users.
*Encouraging others to violate ebaY policies or the ebaY user
+This can be interpreted to be almost anything and gives ebaY
the ability to do whatever they like. ebaY no longer has a user
agreement, they have a manifesto of rules and regulations that
can change at any time without notice. There is no longer an
"agreement" involved in the ebaY manifesto, as an agreement
includes more than one party, and ebaY's manifesto does not.
*Advertising merchandise, auctions, services or commercial
web sites, including offers to trade, or charitable solicitations.
+This now includes promotion of other businesses, so it will
now be a suspendable offense to suggest third party service
providers, or recommend chat boards or link to threads there.
This is the rule ebaY will use to squelch discussion of PayPal
and other payment services, stop users recommending image
hosting services, auction tool services, cookie and ad blocking
software etc. This rule also blocks any charitable solicitations
on any but the giving board.
*Refusing to follow ebaY staff instruction or direction.
+This can be anything at any time and makes all the other rules
moot, as this one allows them to be changed at any time. The
only saving grace here is the dearth of pinks on any of the
boards, so the likelihood is that they will not be around to give
any "direction".
*"Wanted" posts, or posting solicitations of interest in the sale of
an item or service.
+This has been in place since the elimination of the wanted
board. ebaY will soon see other sites capitalizing on this
missed opportunity for sales, and put a program in place, as
soon as they can find and steal a program they like from another
*Posting private emails.
+This is ridiculous, and extremely unproductive. What defines a
"private" email? As long as personally identifiable information of
private individuals (as opposed to company employees
responding to a query) is removed, users should be able to post
emails. In many instances this info is essential to solving a
problem. Though ebaY pinks have stated that mail from ebaY is
excepted, and email from those posing as ebaY is excepted, the
RULE states otherwise, and suspensions will depend on the
mood and interpretation of the pink acting at the moment.   
*Posting material that in any way violates the ebaY User
Agreement or Community Values. + Since there is no longer a
real user agreement, this also allows ebaY to do anything at any
*Posting auction reports or member violations. Report
suspected violations, via the online form
+This is absurd to the point of criminality on ebaY's part. The
very ability to post suspicious items accomplishes many things,
including saving others from being defrauded. It is a primary
way to get an auction in violation ended quickly. Scammers have
exploited ebaY's slow response to violations by posting three
day auctions. The auction ends before safeharbor or
timesensitive responds or reacts. If not for these types of posts
ebaY would never have reacted to the inappropriate 11 Sep
auctions. These very posts make ebaY act, by exposing them to
the light of day. This is nothing more than a ploy by ebaY to hide
their sleazy underbelly, away from the eyes of the public and
*Discussion or reposting of deleted posts or discussion of no
longer registered members.
+This is also absurd, and if abused could be easily covered by a
"direction" by an ebaY pink. Sometimes it is necessary to refer to
something that happened in the thread to make the conversation
understandable to others arriving after an incident. It might also
be necessary to refer to a NARU users past IDs to assist in
tracking scammers. Again a move by ebaY to hide their dirty
*Reporters and third party representatives need permission from
Legal prior to posting or emailing members in their official
+ Another absurd rule. If someone has been a member of ebaY
for years and has developed a product (or written a book, or
become a reporter etc) and another user asks a question about
their book, product etc, they are supposed to be rude and say,
"sorry ebaY will not let me answer that question, and the only
way you can get an answer is to email me as I can't even use the
ebaY email system to answer you" According to Claire@ebay, "It
means that if a reporter or employee of a company that provides
services members use wants to chat here or argue here or joke
here or ask for help here or give help here on general eBay
matters, they can and they don't have to ask or tell anyone, but if
they want to solicit members or provide support on behalf of their
company or employer to members that use their products or
services, they need to identify themselves when doing so"
Unfortunately that is not what the RULE says, so look for more
suspensions of folks critical of ebaY. Claire@ebay also said
"Reporters and commercial representatives may not post with
an ID that identifies or in any other way promotes their
commercial site or services unless posting in an authorized,
official capacity." So if you are a long time ebaY member whose
user ID is your domain or email address that is also your
product, you can no longer use that ID to post on the boards
without explicit permission - in any capacity. In addition
Claire@ebay said, "Please note that any eBay member may post
to the boards at any time in their personal status as an eBay
member, regardless of whether they post in their official capacity
at other times." TAG has personal knowledge that this is a lie,
as all our employees are prohibited from posting on the ebaY
boards despite the fact that they have never violated any ebaY
board policies - past or present.
ebaY has abruptly ended their Bid for Points program with some
of their affiliates. TAG heard from some of the Point site owners
and read posts on the boards, that this was an abrupt notice,
and that in most cases ebaY told the affiliates they would not
honor bids posted in March and April. The sites are negotiating
with ebaY to come to some more satisfactory resolution on this.
TAG has seen conflicting information on exactly which affiliate
sites have been cut off, and we do not yet know if all point sites
have been cut off, or only some. It is ironic that at least one of
sites that was cut off, warned ebaY of the consequences of an
unlimited points for bid plan from the start, and it was only after
continued pressure on ebaY's part that they made the program
unlimited.    An article on the subject quoted the letter from ebaY
that told the site owners, "The decision to remove you from the
program is due to clear evidence that your site visitors are
placing a large number of bids on items with no intention of
completing the purchase. Due to this issue you will not be
compensated for activity that your users generated for March or
April." http://news.com.com/2100-1017-877254.html
TAG has recently received reports of buyers who have had
Billpoint abscond with their money. In what appears to be a
glitch in the ebaY Billpoint payments system, the buyer pays for
an item using Billpoint, provides all the required information, and
then receives an error message saying that Billpoint could not
verify the information. In one case the buyer called their credit
card company and found out that Billpoint did charge the card,
and also obtained the authorization number from the credit card
company. The buyer then returned to Billpoint, logged in, and
saw there was no record of payment. The seller did not receive
the payment from Billpoint. Neither the buyer or seller were able
to get any assistance from ebaY Billpoint to resolve this, so the
buyer did a charge back and paid the seller via an alternative
Sellers have also reported that their blocked bidders list are
mysteriously missing names of previously blocked bidders. The
names have disappeared, though not removed by the seller. Is
ebaY removing buyers from a sellers blocked bidder list without
the knowledge or consent of the seller? Sellers, check your lists
for accuracy.
Will ebaY hold another US free listing day soon?
We have been hearing from several users asking this question,
and the answer is, of course, that we don't know. Since ebaY
HAS had a rash of outages and problems for several months,
the last week being the worst but not the only outages, and since
the attempt at integrating Half.com has been very disruptive,
ebaY might consider a free listing day. If ebaY does do a free
listing day, they will hold it so that they can go into their quarterly

report with strong numbers, so look to 18 or 20 June as possible
dates. TAG will send out notice of any free listing days we hear
about, as soon as we have the information.
Sell Your Item 2.0 will become the default selling form for ebaY
Motors items in April. ebaY will still provide a link to the old sell
your item form for an unknown period that will be based on user
input and adoption of SYI 2.0.
ebaY is holding a promotion on their site called Bid, Play and
Getaway. This is another ebaY shill bidding based program,
where users get a scratch off ticket every time they place a bid on
ebaY. These bids can be on any type of auction, even one with a
reserve. Every user who plays the game gets a $10. off
"promotional coupon" to buy travel from Priceline. Users are
limited to 5 tickets per day, BUT you can get 5 tickets per user ID
you have, you don't even need to clear your cookies, just log out
and log back in with a different ID. The pop up window is
problematical causing computer crashes. In addition, half the
time the tickets don't open.

To play, you have to go to this page first and click on the "I want
to Win" box, then go bid on auctions. After each bid a pop up
window appears with the scratch off ticket, if it works. To play go
to - http://pages.ebay.com/promo/bidplaygetaway/optin.html
Live Auctions, ebaY Motors, and ebaY store items are not
included in the promotion. For the rules go to
http://pages.ebay.com/promo/bidplaygetaway/rules.htmlfor more
ebaY is changing Checkout again, and ebaY will make changes
over the next few months. The first change is that buyers will be
able to select their payment method and review payment
information on the same page. More will follow. ebaY claims
sellers can opt out of Checkout from this link -
ebaY is holding a member to member workshop on 16 Apr titled
"Art Buying 101". ebaY members Haklsower and
Paperandpixels, will host the workshop. Workshop calendar is at
- http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/workshopevents/
Workshop board is at -
ebaY is adding item specifics to the PDA category. Item
specifics adds details to search such as Manufacturer,
Operating System, Installed Memory and Screen Type. Sellers
must use SYI 2.0 in order to add item specifics. Sellers will be
able to list using item specifics this week. The ability to search
by item specifics will not be available until next week.
ebaY is also adding binding bids to the Real Estate section.
Currently all Real Estate auctions are non bidding. During the
Sell Your Item process, ebaY will look at the seller's state of
residence and property location (entered in Title and Description
page) to determine if the listing can be binding. The seller will be
informed on the next page (Pictures and Details) whether his
auction listing is binding. If the listing is binding, and it ends
with a bid that meets reserve, the seller will also be charged a
Final Value Fee of $3. This fee will be charged regardless of
whether the sale actually closes. If the listing is non-binding,
there will be no Final Value Fees. ebaY is now making some of
the item specifics required fields on Real Estate listings.
Rumors abound that ebaY is in talks to buy PayPal.
Ongoing Issues and Information
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

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

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:

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
* * * * *
Yahoo Auction/Warehouse/Classifieds (YA) -
On 3 Apr YA changed the masthead for Yahoo! Auctions to
Yahoo! Shopping Auctions.

On 4 Apr YA announced that they were sending SPAM emails to
unsuccessful bidders promoting similar items and items from
the same seller. To see a sample email, go to -

On Mon 8 Apr, YA started a new showcase featuring items
starting at $1.00 with no reserve price. The showcase runs for 10
days at a cost of 10 cents a day.

ebaY has a new page on how to build an Auction Booth using
their page builder tutorial.

For information on Yahoo Web Beacons go to -
Ongoing Issues -
YA allows links to your website in your auctions. Their policy for
links in auctions

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 24Mar02 Yahoo Auctions had 369,748 listings on their site
As of 6Apr02 Yahoo Auctions had 336,637 listings on their site
Yahoo Auction counts brought to you by
* * * * *
Amazon Auctions, zShops and Marketplace - Amazon posted
they had an outage from 20:26 PT on 12 Apr to 00:30 on 13 Apr
02, Marketplace, zShops and Auctions listings were unavailable
for purchase. Seller tools and Your Account functionality was
down. Auctions will be extended per the standard policy.

Amazon sellers are reporting that they are being hit by rolling
blackouts on the Amazon site. Amazon denies this, and sellers
are trying to document these blackout. there is a thread on the
Amazon board about this at -

There is also another interesting thread on how much Amazon is
really making on their marketplace sellers sales. It appears that
Amazon has figured out a way to charge a buyers premium,
without it appearing to be one.

Jeff Bezos sent an email to all used book sellers on Amazon
marketplace. Jeff is fighting an effort by the Authors Guild to stop
the sale of used books. He wants all Marketplace sellers to
email the Authors Guild's Executive Director, Paul Aiken, at -
sta-@authorsguild.org   and "cc" Amazon at
TAG finds it interesting that when Jeff Bezos needs help he does
not hesitate to ask for it, but where was he during the
catastrophic outage that has severely and negatively impacted
these same sellers, with lasting negative residual affects.
Amazon sellers appear to agree and have posted a thread to Mr
Bezos at -

Ongoing Issues -
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
* * * * *
Sellyouritem.com is holding this years Animal Fair Media's
"Paws For Style" auctions and it went live on 10 Apr. Some of this
year's designers include Vera Wang, Ralph Lauren, Todd
Oldham, Coach, Oleg Cassini, and Joe Boxer. Celebrity models
for the event include Cindy Adams of the New York Post and
rapper Lil' Kim. Paws for Style will auction all the outfits
featured at SYI. To view all Paws for Style auctions go to -

In the last 30 days 840 auctions were sold for prices ranging
from $.10 to $111, with an average price of $4.68 for all items
sold in that period. This represents a 3.77 percent sell through
rate based on total listings for that period of time. Of that
number, 1.3 percent had more than one bid.

As of 9 Apr, the site had .5 percent of active auctions with bids.
BuyNow! bids are not reflected in active totals since they end
immediately; but are included in the percent sold figures
indicated above. SYI has 24220 listings on the site.

Support at SYI has requested that members submit their
comments and suggestions for enhancements they would like
to see at the site to sugges-@sellyouritem.com. Category
requests should go to categ-@sellyouritem.com. Direct
questions about the site to supp-@sellyouritem.com.
SellYourItem report brought to you by Karen Morgan
Morgan-Meadowsong Farm http://www.hrtc.net/~mkmorgan/
* * * * *
If you are looking for a reliable image hosting alternative, go to
the TAG Image Hosting Directory at -
* * * * *
Need to report a Fraud? Try
An interesting article on fraud and the online auction industry can
be found at - http://news.com.com/2100-1017-879639.html
According to the FTC, identity theft has replaced auction fraud as
the number one internet complaint to their agency
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
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TAGnotes. Visit their auctions or websites.
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