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TAGnotes Tue 23 Apr 2002 Vol 4 Number 26 Issue 408

The Auction Guild Notes Tue 23 Apr 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
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
BACKINTIME TREASURES Violin bottles,Antiques + Sale!
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Finished jewelry, jewelry making supplies, metaphysical, and
more. ebaY Id: rgmall, URL: http://www.rgshop.com Enjoy!!!
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
$Buck98 Group has high quality items & great prices everyday+
monthly sale event http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/$buck98/
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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.
5100 subscribers.
TAG does not endorse the companies or products advertised
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 apologizes for the messed up format, reported to us by many
subscribers, of the last issue of TAGnotes. We are not sure exactly
what happened, except that the issue was much longer than usual, and
that might have triggered the problem. We hope to avoid a repeat of it
in the future.
ebaY - On 16 Apr at 05:53:34 PT users reported getting connection resets
and their My ebaY pages in a state of disarray. At 05:58:49 PT users
reported receiving messages that the sport items were unavailable, this
despite the fact that the item being viewed not a sport item. Open
items were showing as Ended, even though they were supposed to still be
running. At 05:58:55 PT users reported sellers lists missing upwards of
50% of their items missing replaced with a message that, "sports items
are currently not available", though none of the items were sport items.
At 05:59:48 PT users reported My ebaY down and view item was also down,
preventing any bidding on items. At 06:08:22 PT ebaY posted that the
ability to view, bid on or list items in the Collectibles category was
down. At 06:12:48 PT users reported not being able to list items from
the sell your item form. At 06:16:16 PT ebaY announced that the
ability to view, bid on or list items in the Collectibles category was
down from 05:50 PT to 06:10 PT. Users reported the site back at
06:19:57. At 11:37:49 PT users reported ebaY pages very slow to open.
At 17:41:08 PT users noted that title indexing was running 8 hours
behind, meaning that items were not showing in any ebaY search 8 hours
after being listed. At 19:51:22 PT the live help links were showing a
message that said, "Thank you for your interest in Live Help. We are
currently unavailable. If you need assistance, please email eBay
Customer Support". At 20:50:27 PT sellers reported that once again
Mister Lister was not properly accepting collection uploads.

On 17 Apr at 00:39:57 PT long established users could not log in to
ebaY, receiving messages that their information was not valid. At
05:55:43 PT users reported that Sell Your Item 2.0 was not working, and
had not been working since the previous evening

On 18 Apr at 10:36:42 PT relisting in the collectible category was down.

ebaY took their system down for maintenance on Fri 19 Apr from approx
01:00 PT until 03:00 PT. Both ebaY and ebaY Billpoint payments were
down for this maintenance period.   At 19:03:35 PT users reported ebaY
search was working very erratically, returning different results with
each attempt to find a specific item.

On 20 Apr at 09:13:50 PT users reported they could not view images or
graphics on ebaY, in all categories. At 11:45:06 PT users reported they
could view thumbnails but not images on any item pages. ebaY graphics
were not showing and pages were not downloading, preventing bidding.   
At 11:56:49 PT users reported the threaded boards were timing out before
downloading, preventing access.   Listing and relisting were also not
working, and all pages were loading slowly or timing out. At 12:53:08
PT users received, "title too long" error message (45 characters max)
preventing title revision despite having a title equal to or less than
45 characters. Pages continued to download very slowly. At 13:44:46 PT
Mister Lister was not working, returning run time errors. At 13:45:45
PT ebaY's seller assistant program also failed.

On 21Apr at 05:44:13 PT users reported problems using search. At
10:37:13 PT users reported ebaY.de was very slow with pages timing out.
At 16:39:49 PT cgi5 was down, preventing listing. Reloads were very
slow and cgi3 problems prevented logging in and board posting.   At
22:50:14 PDT Mister Lister was again not acknowledging collections

On 22 Apr at 12:09:35 PT the feedback system was down. At 12:13:11 PT
users were getting 502 error messages whilst trying to access ebaY. At
12:20:36 PT users continued to report feedback problems receiving,
"Items in this category are currently unavailable. Please try again
later." messages. At 12:28:03 PT users reported ebaY crashing across
the board. All seller items were showing "ArchivedItemsHost items are
currently unavailable" At 12:31:00 PT users trying to access ebaY via
Netscape, would get a page that started to load then would switch URLs
to "http://include.ebay.com/aw/pics/js/forms/itemNumCheck.js" and then
throw a message that, "Network Error Unable to read URL from host
include.ebay.com: Connection reset by peer" At 12:37:22 PT ebaY posted
that users were having intermittent problems accessing ebaY functions
across the site, including the Feedback Forum.   At 14:01:10 PT ebaY
acknowledged that users had intermittent site wide problems from 11:40
PT to 13:45 PT, but claimed that "Most users were not affected." so did
not issue refunds despite the fact that this two hour outage should have
triggered automatic refunds and auction extension. If you had auctions
you feel were negatively impacted by these outages TAG recommends you
request refunds from ebaY. At 14:54:23 PT users reported their My ebaY
fonts had become erratic, changing size and color. This problem
continued to be reported throughout the day, making My ebaY unusable for
many. At 16:22:38 PT My ebaY was not reloading and at 18:14:28 PT newly
ended auctions were not showing in My ebaY yielding messages that the
item was not in database. Problems continued with My ebaY.   At
19:33:57 PT users reported that the Title field on My ebaY was showing
as 90 characters, double the normal 45 characters. At 23:28:12 PT ebaY
posted that My ebaY was down from 22:25 PT to 23:22 PT. Attempts to
apply payments to accounts during this time resulted in error messages.
The Sell Your Item 2.0 form was also down. ebaY failed to acknowledge
the font problems and other My ebaY problems that occurred throughout
the day. Since ebaY has made My ebaY an essential feature, problems
with My ebaY now interfere with a bidders ability to find and bid on
items so sellers who feel their auctions were negatively impacted by the
outage and problems with My ebaY, should ask for refunds of all fees on
affected auctions.

On 23 Apr users reported font problems with My ebaY continued non stop
throughout the day. One workaround is to set your browser font to
ignore the webpage and use the font and size you specify. This setting
can be found in your preferences page on your browser tool bar -
generally under edit.

Problems continue across ebaY, on ebaY.com and in ebaY motors. 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

Tiger Woods Auction on ebaY a SCAM?
TAG editorial -
Though ebaY claims to be a "level playing field" anyone who has sold on
the site for a while, knows that is a lie, but the irregularity of the
playing field was clearly demonstrated recently by an auction for a golf
outing with Tiger Woods. To start with, this auction had several ebaY
illegal features, including a direct link to a web site with non-ebaY
listed items for sale, and a bid increment of $25,000 (ebaY max bid
increment is $100). The last two bids were " private auction -- bidders'
identities protected $249,900.00 Apr-14-02 13:12:03 PDT" and "private
auction -- bidders' identities protected $425,000.00 Apr-14-02 13:12:50
PDT" As anyone who has ever used ebaY knows, unless there was some
interference on ebaY's part, the maximum distance between the last two
bids is one bid increment - rigged in this auction at $25,000. So if
this were a legitimate auction, the maximum final bid could have been no
more than $274,900, due to ebaY's proxy bidding system. Some users
watching the auction claim that some "creative editing" was done during
and after the auction ended, and that the final bid price at auction
end, was $225,100. A look at the source code shows much suspicious
activity, as each bid appears to have been adjusted to take it to the
ebaY non-existent $25,000 bid increment. We wonder if there were any
legitimate bidders and if so, they knew they were scammed by ebaY

Oft quoted erudite power seller Snyderstr, succinctly identified the
problems with the Tiger Woods auction in response to another posters
concern about main stream media apathy about this kind of ebaY
chicanery. Snyderstr said, "I know that the media couldn't care less.
Frankly, I couldn't care less for the media, so the feeling is mutual.
However, this is a *business*, and there are certain legal and ethical
standards which are not only expected, but REQUIRED by law. I'm not a
lawyer, and wouldn't be one on a bet, however, a contract is a contract.
The User Agreement is a binding contract. That contract has been
breached. It's cut and dried. It is unfair to all the OTHER signers of
the contract to have it ignored with impunity without even the courtesy
of a waiver or informed consent, or whatever the legal name is for
breaking the existing rules on a "per case" basis. It's restraint of
trade to allow ONE user privileges that others are disallowed by the
very same document that the Seller had to sign to become a Member and a
Seller on eBay. It's just that simple.

ebaY employees on the boards avoided addressing user concerns about this

Editorial including screen shots and auction coding are on the TAG
website at - http://www.auctionguild.com/generic90.html

ebaY is offering Power Sellers a discount of $25 off their next ebaY
bill and a 1% discount a month if the power seller signs up with ebaY
Direct Pay by 22 Jul 2002.   ebaY Direct Pay automatically deducts your
ebaY fees from your checking account.
*** WARNING *** TAG has heard from several sellers that if for some
reason ebaY attempts to make the auto-deduction from your checking
account, and there are insufficient funds to cover the payment, ebaY
will charge the seller $15.00 every time they make an unsuccessful
attempt (and they will keep trying over and over) and the sellers bank
will also charge the seller a bounced check fee. If you decide to
change your payment method, you must wait one full billing cycle for the
method to change. For example, you did not get to the bank to deposit
sufficient funds to cover your ebaY fees this month, and you know ebaY
will be making the deduction on a certain date. You can NOT make a one
time payment to ebaY via charge card or other method, even well in
advance of the due date, you MUST have sufficient funds in that checking
account. One seller had over $300 dollars in ebaY charges and bank
charges on a $1.10 ebaY bill. Some of the sellers we heard from had a
perfect record with ebaY, no previous problems or run-ins. Because of
their protest against ebaY's actions, they are now permanently suspended
from ebaY with no ability to appeal. TAG STRONGLY recommends that
sellers avoid this method of paying ebaY. ebaY is not to be relied on
to execute these deductions in a consistent and correct manner, or give
good customer service to correct problems that occur. You are MUCH
better off using a charge card that gives you a 1% rebate or other
premium, or using a debit card, such as the PayPal debit card that
provides a 1.5% rebate. If you prefer to use the Direct Pay BE WARNED
that you must have money in the checking account to cover your ebaY fees
and audit the account regularly to insure ebaY does not charge you for
their mistakes.

On 23 Apr ebaY announced that they are holding a promotion for ebaY
stores.   On Thu 25 Apr between 00:00:01 PT (12:00 AM plus one second on
25 Apr) and 23:59:59 PT 25 Apr (11:59 PM plus 59 seconds) the 30 day
listing fee for ebaY stores fixed price items will be free, and the
gallery feature for those items will cost 1 cent. Fees will apply to
For 60-, 90- and 120-day listings. Regular auction listings, ebaY
Motors, Premier, Real Estate, International, and Professional Services
listings are excluded from this stores promotion. The $9.95 monthly
store fee still applies.

ebaY will charge all other fees -auction listing fees, "Buy It Now"
feature fee, featured plus, highlight, bold, gallery for auction
listings, gallery featured, extended duration surcharge for ebaY stores
fixed price listings, extended duration gallery fees, etc.
Details - http://www.ebay.com/promo/freelistingday/

On 18 Apr ebaY released their first quarter earnings.

Users of ebaY picture services iPix are required to download an ActiveX
control to use ebaY picture services iPix. This download is required
to support code changes ebaY has made to ebaY picture services, iPix.
TAG does NOT recommend sellers use ebaY pic services or ANY ebaY product
other than basic services. These services are unreliable at best,
overpriced and unnecessarily intrusive. Having an ebaY placed ActiveX
file on your computer, gives ebaY access to your computer. TAG does not
see that ebaY has earned the trust and reliability to warrant such an
unnecessary intrusion. No other image host requires such invasion to
provide image hosting. For reliable image hosting services go to the
TAG Image Hosting Directory at -

Ongoing Issues and Information
See the TAG website for miscellaneous ebaY info 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: http://www.ifccfbi.gov/

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) - YA has had some layoffs.
According to a YA Rep, "We eliminated some duplicated positions within
the commerce business unit which includes Shopping, Auctions, Warehouse
and Travel, and moved some people into different functions. Yahoo! makes
minor reorgs from time to time that can result in small layoffs or
moving people from one group to another, this was one of those times. "
He also said, "We are totally committed to Yahoo! Auctions and it
remains an important part of the commerce business unit. We are just
continually looking for ways to do our jobs more efficiently. That's
what this re-org was about." Unfortunately, TAG sees YA's non existent
customer service as the root of YA's failure to make gains in the
OAI/OTI. The majority of YA's users frustrations and problems could be
addressed with a good customer service system. Fewer people at YA does
not bode well for a much hoped for solution.

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/

Antiques & Art   29824 (-3520)
Automotive 3210 (-1012)
Books & Comics 14639 (-3925)
Clothing & Accessories 23693 (-627)
Coins, Paper Money & Stamps 40249 (+865)
Collectibles 21766 (-10601)
Computers 6439 (-587)
Electronics & Cameras 3057 (-1475)
Home & Garden 16152 (-978)
Jewelry & Watches 50054 (+2792)
Movies & TV 10732 (-304)
Music 9153 (-953)
Sports & Outdoors 5571 (-622)
Sports Cards & Memorabilia 49908 (-14,414)
Toys, Games & Hobbies 35128 (-4279)
Video Games 2555 (-277)
Other 6930 (-771)
Total auctions on April 19, 2002: 329,060 (-40,688)
As of 24Mar02 Yahoo Auctions had 369,748 listings on their site
Yahoo Auction counts brought to you by
Ongoing Issues -
YA allows links to your website in your auctions. Their policy for
links in auctions is at -

Yahoo contact Information

* * * * *
Amazon Auctions, zShops and Marketplace - On 16 Apr Amazon announced
that Marketplace orders placed after April 16, 2002will be identified by
Order ID number (example: 058-XXXXXXX-XXXXXXX)instead of the transaction
number (example: 700001XXXXXX), in both buyer and seller accounts.

On 17 April Amazon had a rash of problems, starting at 12:47 PT. SKU
numbers were no longer included in Ship Now e-mail. At 13:08 PT Seller
Accounts were not displaying complete information for recent Payments
transactions. At 13:42 Amazon posted that sellers reported difficulty in
viewing open listings via the Seller Account. All listings are still
purchasable by buyers. Amazon recommended clearing browser cache,
clicking again on the "Open" link, or reloading the page using the
Reload or Refresh button may restore the display.   At 17:05 PT Amazon
announced that the SKU problem had been fixed, and at 17:09 PT that the
payments accounts were working again. At 20:22 Amazon fixed the problem
with open listings appearing in Sellers Accounts.   At 20:33 PT Amazon
posted that "Sold--Ship Now!" Marketplace confirmations on orders for
which buyers had paid for expedited shipping, were incorrectly stating
that the
shipment should be sent via Media Mail. Amazon recommended sellers
check the shipping credit amount, which is correct, before determining
by which method to ship.

On 21 April at 13:41, Amazon announced that the Ship method was again
displaying correctly in the "Sold--Ship Now!" e-mail.

On 22 Apr at 12:43 PT, Amazon posted that Some sellers were again unable
to view open listings via Seller Account. All listings were still
purchasable by buyers.   Amazon fixed this problem on 23 Apr at 20:36 PT

At 12:44 PT Amazon posted that Marketplace items were not purchasable
between approx 06:00 and 08:00am PT on Wed 24 Apr. They claimed the
problem was fixed as of the posting.

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

* * * * *
Vrane.Com - Starting around 25 April will start charging a fee for their
feedback review service.    This service sorts out negative and neutral
comments from an ebaY feedback profile for easy review by the user.

The price for this service is based on total number of feedbacks in an
ebaY profile. To use this service you have to purchase Universal
credits and 1 Universal credit is good for processing up to 900 feedback
comments. You can select how many feedback comments you want to sort.
1000 universal credits costs $6.11 are non-refundable and expire 6
months from the day of purchase.

Vrane plans on making other fee based premium services compatible with
universal credits. Currently universal credits are only good for the
feedback review service.
For more info go to http://www.vrane.com

* * * * *
PayPal -To add to PayPal's problems with lawsuits from unhappy users,
pursuit by the ebaY monolith, etc., PayPal also appears to have a
security glitch, and is now being banned by MasterCard. The irony of
this is notable since the PayPal debit card is a MasterCard product.
TAG wonders if MasterCard is trying this one on to see if they can
squeeze more fees out of PayPal. It does not appear that other card
services are going to follow MasterCard's suit, so hopefully MC will
back down. If you want to influence this, call your MasterCard customer
service and tell them you object to this action and will switch to Visa
if they don't retract this action. A few thousand calls might shock MC
back to reality.

For articles on these subjects, go to -
PayPal Security Glitch
PayPal MasterCard problems

* * * * *
USPS changes to delivery conf - http://www.usps.com/ratecase/special.htm

For Package Services, Delivery Confirmation will be restricted to
parcels only and will no longer be available for flat-size mail under
3/4 inch thick.

On 21 Apr users reported the USPS tracking site was down.
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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