Home   |  TAGnotes   |   TAGblog   |   TAGchat   |   Services   |   Fraud   |  Contact Us   |   Site Map
TAGnotes Mon 29 Apr 2002 Vol 4 Number 27 Issue 409

The Auction Guild Notes Mon 29 Apr 2002
Finished jewelry, jewelry making supplies, metaphysical, and
more. ebaY Id: rgmall, URL: http://www.rgshop.com Enjoy!!!
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Quality, variety & great deals, shop the experienced EMPORIUM
auction sellers http://www.lynnet.com/~jmm/emporium.html
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
BACKINTIME TREASURES Violin bottles,Antiques + Sale!
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
MARK your calendar $Buck98 Next EVENT 14 May
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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
You can find contact info for several sites and services there,
along with editorials, and image hosting directory and other info.
*** VIRUS WARNINGW32.Klez.H@mm ***
This widespread virus comes a either a blank email or with a
short message. The name of the attachment is random, the
body of the email message is random, and some say they are
W32.Klez.E removal tools. This worm infects Windows
programs, entering via email or through ICQ, or IM. This worm
infects executables by creating a hidden copy of the original host
file and then overwriting the original file with itself. The hidden
copy is encrypted, but contains no viral data. The name of the
hidden file is the same as the original file, but with a random
*Large scale e-mailing: This worm searches the Windows
address book, the ICQ database, and local files for email
addresses. The worm sends an email message to these
addresses with itself as an attachment.
*Releases confidential info: Worm randomly chooses a file from
the machine to send along with the worm to recipients. So files
with the extensions: ".mp8" or ".txt" or ".htm" or ".html" or ".wab"
or ".asp" or ".doc" or ".rtf" or ".xls" or ".jpg" or ".cpp" or ".pas" or
".mpg" or ".mpeg" or ".bak" or ".mp3" or ".pdf" would be attached
to e-mail messages.
DELETE all messages with attachments unless you specifically
know what it is and who sent it. For news and cleanup info go to
ebaY - On 24 Apr at 05:12:12 PT, users continued to report font
problems with My ebaY, and missing the red highlight of ending
soon items. Users also reported AOL images were not showing
up on ebaY. these problems were reported throughout the day.
At 18:57:20 PT users reported very slow page downloads across
the site. Buyers reported not being able to get in to bid on items
due to page timeouts, or if getting to the bid page, the confirm
page timing out before the bid was accepted. Many last minute
bidders could not place bids causing large losses for sellers.

On 25 Apr the My ebaY problems continued throughout the day.
At 06:27:12 PT users reported the site had slowed down to a
crawl. At 07:11:00 PT users received server error messages
while trying to access ebaY presaging a crash. At 07:12:23 PT
users reported cgi 3 was stalling, preventing sign in and board
access, and from 07:22:52 PT to 07:26:46 PT the site was
completely down.   The site came back up at 07:26:46 PT, but
continued to have problems. At 08:58:11 PT users reported
functions continued to be intermittent, but cgi 6 seller's lists were
down and at 09:03:59 PT cgi 5 listing, and the home page were
down. The site came back up at 09:34:59 PT, but intermittent
problems continued. At 10:45:41 PT users reported My ebaY
showing blank pages, and blank pages coming up on search
also. There were widespread reports of "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 settings." At 10:59:46 PT
search results were bringing up the message, "Network Error
Connection reset by peer in transfer loop while retrieving
html". At 11:15:49 PT, clicking on the "next" link in category
search, resulted in receiving a page totally unrelated to the
category.   At 11:52:30 PT AOL users reported they had slow or
no access to ebaY. Minimizing AOL and opening another
browser, allowed some access to ebaY.    At 12:18:14 PT buyers
reported being unable to bid. At 12:31:47 PT users reported their
My ebaY page fonts that keep changing in size and type, ongoing
script errors, the Checkout feature preventing sign in and looping
endlessly, extremely slow page loads and no access to AOL
hosted images. At 14:25:03 PT users reported problems with
Mister Lister rejecting password but sending the listings in
anyway. Editing Mister Lister was also very slow. At 17:37:44
PT, buyers again reported that ebaY was not accepting bids.
ebaY pages were also causing Netscape 4.79 to crash. At
19:14:41 PT users continued to report very slow page loads
across ebaY, and inability to bid. At 19:14:51 PT sellers could
not submit auctions using third party programs, including ebaY's
seller assistant. Submission resulted in error messages.
Problems continued across the site for all users. At 22:26:40 PT
ebaY posted that America Online users were having problems
accessing ebaY through AOL. they recommended switching to
another browser to access ebaY. ebaY did not acknowledge any
of the other widespread problems on the site.

ebaY took their site down for maintenance at around 2400 PT on
Fri 26 Apr and returned to service at approx 02:45 PT. At
01:25:58 PT ebaY posted that they had restored full access to
ebaY for AOL users. At 10:48:30 PT users started to notice
intermittent appearance of some new features including the
ability to relist or sell a similar item from a link on the My ebaY
page. These appeared and disappeared, sometimes the links
worked and sometimes they didn't. At 13:11:40 PT users
reported ebaY was no longer recognizing their user
ID/Password, giving a message that "You are signed in as
someone other than the seller, please sign in again." At
17:13:13 PT ebaY posted that due to site infrastructure
limitations they had to reduce the amount of feedback a user
could view from a max of 500 to a max of 200 per page.   Users
theorized that the various access problems that continued to
restrict the ability to use the site throughout the day, were caused
by ebaY restricting anonymous servers. TAG holds that ebaY
frequently restricts bandwidth access to prevent their site from
crashing. At 19:37:08 PT users reported problems with listing.

On 27 Apr, The My ebaY problems persisted throughout the day,
as ebaY continued to test their coding experiments on ebaY core
at the cost of sellers.   At 16:20:17 PT AOL users continued to
report problems using AOL to access ebaY.   At 18:50 users
reported that relisting was not working. This problem continued
throughout the evening. Sellers attempting to relist items,
received "Invalid Item The item you requested is invalid or no
longer in our database. Please check the number and try again"
though the items had recently ended and were eligible for relist.
At 21:00 PT users reported getting a message while relisting an
auction that, "altfarm.mediaplex.com is a site that uses
encryption to protect transmitted information. However the digital
Certificate that identifies this site has expired. This may be
because the certificate has actually expired, or because the date
on your computer is wrong. The certificate expires on Sat Apr 27,
2002. Your computer's date is set to Sat Apr 27, 2002. If this date
is incorrect, then you should reset the date on your computer.
You may continue or cancel this connection."   
altfarm.mediaplex.com is the link for the company that provides
ebaY with SPAM on the ebaY site and custom generates
targeted email SPAM for ebaY, to send to ebaY users.

On 28 Apr problems with relist continued, as did the problems
caused by ebaY testing My ebaY coding on the live site. At 07:41
ebaY users posted they were unable to update their credit card
info. This problem continued through most of the day, preventing
sellers from paying their ebaY bills, and new sellers from
registering. At 20:57:34 PT users reported they were unable to
relist items again, and that they pages were not downloading.

On 29 Apr at 02:02:12 PT users reported intermittently getting
blank pages when trying to access ebaY. This presaged what
turned out to be a site wide problem that made ebaY
inaccessible to users on the Internet Explorer and Netscape
browsers. From 07:05:56 PT users reported very slow page
loads, blank pages, time outs, inability to access My ebaY and
missing navigation toolbars. Sellers could not list, and buyers
could not search and bid. At 07:47:06 ebaY acknowledged the
problem, but used the language that it was affecting "some
users". This is ebaY code for "we are not going to give refunds or
extend auctions no matter how long the outage lasts". It also
does not matter to ebaY that "some users" happen to be 99% of
the users attempting to access the site. These problems were
also happening on the ebaY international sites. At 09:34:17 PT,
ebaY posted, "We are currently experiencing technical difficulties
across the eBay site. Members may have issues with page
slowness, downloading the eBay Home Page or viewing the
navigation at the top of the site. We are aware of these problems,
and working to correct them as soon as possible." Users
reported new navigation links appearing and disappearing on
the site, as ebaY again experiments with coding while the site is
live, at the cost of sellers. At 10:44:38 PT ebaY reported that the
problems were still ongoing. Users reported functions returning
at 11:19:17 PT, and all users appeared to have access by
11:48:27 PT. ebaY posted at 11:56:11 PT that from 06:55 PT to
11:45 PT, "some eBay users experienced difficulty accessing
certain eBay functions, including the eBay Home Page and site
navigation. In addition, many users reported issues with site
slowness." This is ebaY code for, "Though the site was down for
5 hours, we will not issue refunds or do auction extensions,
despite what our outage policy says. We are ebaY you are not -
sod off!"

Article on outage -

Users continued to report sporadic and intermittent slow site
access problems. At 12:33:44 PT users again reported very
slow site access, an intermittent occurrence throughout the
afternoon. At 21:36:46 PT ebaY started to have problems again
with slow page loads, time outs and missing functions. At
22:21:36 PT page loads slowed down to a crawl, users received
connection reset errors, page time outs and could not get to the
site to bid. At 23:36:28 PDT users reported they were still getting
page not available messages and problems with search. TAG
will post the actual ebaY announcements on the TAG site.

TAG has heard from users that ebaY IS giving refunds for
auctions ending during the 5 hour outage, if requested. As
always, we STRONGLY recommend that, if a seller feels that any
problem appears to have negatively impacted the sale of any of
their auctions or listings of any type, request refunds. Don't pay
for service if you don't receive it.

WORKAROUND for My ebaY font problems - If your My ebaY fonts
are unreadable due to ebaY's code manipulation, 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.

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 - When asked about the rule breaking and
shilling on the Tiger Woods auction, Bernadette@ebay Trust &
Safety said, "Due to eBay site limitations regarding bid
increments, Transrow acted as an authorized auction
management coordinator in order to increase bid prices by the
required bid increments in the amount of $25,000. This process
entailed Transrow placing bids during this special promotional
listing in order to bring the bid price into accordance with these
specified increments. Please note that this listing was not
posted to bypass eBay's User Agreement policies, and was
contracted with the Tiger Woods Foundation for charity
purposes. We try to be as consistent as possible when
reviewing listings, especially charity listings, as well as listen to
our member's feedback on the guidelines that are in place."
Unfortunately the auction DID bypass the ebaY user agreement
policies, which specifically indicate a max bid increment of
$100., prohibit shilling, and only allow a one bid increment
increase in price under the proxy bidding system. Other
violations included a direct link to a website from the auction,
where other items were for sale, bidding after the auction closed
and ebaY editing of the end of auction results to make the
auction appear to be in compliance. TAG sees ebaY has a new
term for ebaY approved shillers, " authorized auction
management coordinator". This auction was a scam, and a
direct violation of the ebaY user agreement between ebaY and
every seller on the site who has to follow the rules.

Board Quote of the Day - Posted by crwatch on 29 Apr at
12:28:15 PT as commentary on the days outage, "UP wire
service reports: An ebay F20 tornado ripped through most of the
United States last night causing possibly minor damage, but
sucking untold millions of dollars right out of their sellers wallets
while (mostly) leaving their pant seats intact. "There was no
warning, I mean we knew we were on ebay and they suck, but
there was no dang warning" said one previous home owner. "I
feel like I've been robbed on-line" said another (soon to be
previous) antique dealer. Will these tornado's strike again? "We
hope to do this as often as we can, anytime we want" said ebay
spokesperson Kervin Pursglove "...I mean until folks figure out
that they're wasting their time and money listing, and by then we
should be holed up in our Aspen safe house next to Kenny Boy
hoping we all don't go to jail..."

In an email received by TAG from SafeHarbor on 17 April 2002
ebaY said, "Thank you for writing to eBay's SafeHarbor Team.
"IMPORTANT NOTE: On May 15, 2002 this email address will no
longer be available. Instead, all SafeHarbor queries should be
sent using our online Contact Rules & Safety web form found at:
For quick access to the Rules and Safety web form, you may
want to bookmark the page for future reference. Sincerely, eBay
SafeHarbor Team"

TAG passed this information on and this article appeared in the
media on 25 Apr 02.
Finally ebaY acknowledged the decrease in the ability of users to
contact them in a post on their MAB on 26 Apr at 17:24:01 PT
ebaY claims email is less efficient than the Customer Support
Webform and beginning 15 May 2002 are eliminating,
supp-@ebay.com, timesen-@ebay.com,
store-@ebay.com, safeh-@ebay.com,
repo-@ebay.com, ctyw-@ebay.com

TAG requests that all users report to TAG any "secret" email
addresses you have to contact individuals at ebaY, and what
dept they work in and we will publish this directory on the web
site. ebaY continues to charge fees to all their users, but only
service those they feel are special enough to service, if they are
willing to provide even those users with service. ebaY claims
that the webform is available regardless of whether a user is
registered with ebaY or not and that users will need to be
registered only if they are accessing the areas of the form directly
related to registered members. Since you must log in, in order to
send a message, this is another ebaY lie. In the case where
non registered folks need to contact ebaY about information
directly related to registered members (such as if they find items
stolen from them for sale on the site, or in the case their ID's
were hacked and stolen, or in a case where they were
suspended from ebaY, just to name a few) the person is out of
luck - or would be if TAG did not provide alternative contact
information. In a world where companies are increasing
customer access through web pages, email addresses and toll
free numbers, ebaY an INTERNET site that exists only, and
could only exist on the world wide web, that makes it's money off
connection and communication between individuals, is building
walls and closing down communication and access. This has
to be the most ironic of all internet businesses.

ebaY backed Keen.com had a management shakeup reported
26 Apr, removing their CEO and CFO. Layoffs last fall and this
most recent shakeup, belie closely held Keen's claim of financial
success. http://news.com.com/2100-1017-893286.html

ebaY is allowing users to pay to get feedback removed in more
cases, and is increasing the price of feedback removal from $15
to $20. To get feedback removed, go to ebaY financed Square
Trade at -
Pay your $20.00 and hope that either the other party agrees to
the change, or that they don't respond at all, and you can get the
feedback removed. If the other party responds they wont
participate, or says no, you lose your $20. and no feedback is

TAG thinks ebaY partner Square Trade must be having financial
problems, so ebaY is promoting the pay for feedback removal
system, and expanding it to include cases where the other party
does not respond. For more information go to
To view ebaY's feedback removal policy go to

After ebaY's failure with iEscrow.com/ Tradenable (another ebaY
"partner" now out of business and on the ebaY kiss of death list),
ebaY has now signed up with Escrow.com to provide escrow
services for ebaY users. For more info go to
http://pages.ebay.com/help/community/escrow.html or

ebaY is testing a "Refine Your Search" feature designed to work
with Advanced Search. This is supposed to allow you to go back
and make changes to your search without losing all of the
information you've already entered.   To preview go to -

ebaY is holding a mothers days related sweepstakes in
conjunction with FTD through 9 May 02   for the rules go to -

ebaY is holding a workshop on selling your art on ebaY on Tue
30 Apr from 16:00 PT to 19:00 PT titled, "How to Make Money As
An Artist on eBay." ebaY user Westofwalden will lecture on how
to be a professional artist selling your own work on ebaY.   

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) -

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 22 Apr Amazon announced they are making changes to their
1) Multiple-item Orders. Many of our customers requested the
ability to buy several Marketplace items at once, just as they do
with their Amazon.com retail purchases. With the introduction of
multiple-item orders, now they can. We expect this new feature to
increase the volume of Marketplace sales by relieving the
customer from having to place several individual Marketplace
orders. As a result of this change, Marketplace sellers may now
see orders that contain more than one item to be shipped.

2) Partial Refunds. What if one item in a three-item order gets
damaged during shipping? Sellers will now be able to quickly
issue partial customer refunds on Marketplace purchases.

This will result in changes to the e-mail notifications you receive
when customers purchase your items. Pro Merchant
subscribers will also notice a difference in the formatting of their
Order Fulfillment Reports. Sellers need to be aware of the
following changes and make any necessary adjustments to their
seller operations:

* "Sold--Ship Now" E-mail Notifications. Since Marketplace
orders may now contain multiple items, "Sold--Ship Now" e-mail
notifications may now pertain to multiple items. As a result, the
subject line of these e-mails will no longer reiterate the item
information contained in the body of the message. Sellers who
parse or filter their "Sold--Ship Now" e-mail notifications may
need to alter their systems to accommodate this change.
Changed format is at -

* Order Fulfillment Reports. Pro Merchant Subscribers will notice
changes to the Order Fulfillment Report format. To support
orders with more than a single unit, a new field titled
"order-item-id" has been created as a unique identifier of
individual items within one order ID. For orders in which one
Marketplace item has been purchased in quantity, a single line
will represent the multiple copies of that item, and the quantity
will indicate the total number purchased. Changed format is at -

Amazon Marketplace will continue to assess shipping fees and
credits on a per item basis within an order. For more
information about shipping Amazon Marketplace orders, go to -

Changes are not all in place, but Amazon claimed they would
give an update at least 24 hours in advance of changes on their
AB at -

Information about selling at Amazon Marketplace

On 24 Apr at 12:44 PT Amazon reported that Marketplace items
were not purchasable between approx 06:00 and 08:00 PT on
Wed 24 Apr. They fixed claim to have fixed it. On 29 Apr at 13:19
Amazon posted that Seller ratings for zShops listings are
displaying incorrectly (0 out of 5 stars). All zShops sellers are
affected equally. At 18:03 PT Amazon posted the problem was

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
* * * * *
ePier is running a listing contest thru 8 May with a first prize of
an all expenses paid for one year ePier StoreFront and Premium
Services.   Second prize is a free Homepage for one year.   $10
gift certificates redeemable for ePier auction enhancements will
be awarded to the 3rd thru 12th place finishers.   Winners will be
contacted by ePier and they will be announced in the ePier
newsletter for the week of May 13, 2002
* * * * *
iOffer.com is offering sellers who sign up with them prior to their
launch several bonuses. iOffer bought out the assets of
eWanted when that site closed it doors last year. The preview
information from iOffer sounds interesting. iOffer is hoping that
through their experience with eWanted, and established user
base, they will have a strong base to start with when they launch
sometime in May. Take a look at the eWanted page and at iOffer,
and get in on the ground floor.
* * * * *
PayPal has a membership fee that applies only in rare cases
where PayPal can't verify a person's credit card through normal
means (mainly by way of the 3 digit confirmation code). PayPal
assesses the fee to "ping" the card for verification. The fee in
under $2. and, for example, might occur if the person was
overseas with an address that could not be verified.

According to the PayPal users agreement, " Some accounts, at
PayPal's discretion, will be required to complete our
membership process. Specifically, this means that you may be
required to pay a $1.95 member fee to establish your PayPal
account and must complete the membership process by logging
into your PayPal account and entering the four-digit Member
Number associated with the $1.95 fee."

PayPal claims they are not currently being banned by
MasterCard. PayPal VP, Vince Sollitto wrote to TAG and said,
"The association has adopted a new regulation that may require
PayPal to make some changes to the way it processes
MasterCard transactions on behalf of its merchants. The scope
and timing of those changes are under active discussion by
PayPal and MasterCard, and PayPal anticipates being able to
continue to process MC transactions for our customers."
Stories on the subject -

Mr Sollitto also informed TAG that during the IPO, PayPal offered,
"PayPal shares to thousands of our longest and best customers
(based primarily on payment volume)", TAG found it interesting
that PayPal was able to do that for some of their customers and
not all.    hyyp://www.paypal.com
* * * * *
MSN Hotmail has a security problem. For more info go to -
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







Not just a venue
Have the most current information at your fingertips through
our erratically published (1-4 times a week) email synopsis of
announcements and changes from the Online Auction and
Trading Industry.
Subscribe today at-
or email us - tag@theauctionguild.com
All trademarks are the property of their respective owners
Copyright 1999 - 2002 The Auction Guild Inc All rights reserved