TAGnotes Sat 18 May 2002 Vol 4 Number 29 Issue 411
Auction Guild Notes Sat 18 May 2002
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SELLYOURITEM.COM Why NOW is a good time to try it
- an editorial
Recently ebaY suspended one of their longest established and
largest Militaria sellers for minor infractions on a small number
of their auctions - having to do with WWII items that ebaY felt
crossed their NAZI significance threshold. The seller is of
international stature, with a customer list of some of the most
respected institutions in the world. This seller is one of the most
highly renowned and regarded sellers of these types of
collectibles, NOT a neo-nazi hate monger. Yet ebaY, who allows
flagrant violations of their rules daily by johnny come lately to
ebaY organizations such as Sears, the Tiger Woods foundation,
etc, suspends a long time seller and DELETES all their
auctions. Unfair treatment in what is touted by ebaY as an
allegedly level playing field is an issue of contention TAG has
long had with ebaY.
So what does this have to do with SYI? The seller in question
decided to move his auctions to sellyouritem.com (SYI).
Because of the respect this seller has in the online auction
community, TAG has observed that other sellers, large and
small have also moved auctions to SYI. SYI has jumped from
approx 20,000 auctions to over 33,000 auctions in the last 10
days. There are hundreds and maybe even thousands of folks
whom this seller has assisted. We are hoping that EVERY seller
and buyer who was ever helped by the suspended seller will
also consider moving some or all of their auctions and some or
all of their buying dollars to SYI. Also, as the sellers move, their
buyers are moving with them. The sellers are also contacting
other sellers they know and encouraging them to join the move.
TAG is hoping the dropping of this "stone" by ebaY might be a
catalyst to start an avalanche.
Why should you consider a move to this site as opposed to
another? SYI has the best customer service reputation in the
industry, including a live support board. They also have a site
that works, 24/7. They allow sellers to choose how the seller
wants an auction to run, for example the seller may choose if the
auction ends at a set time, and is snipeable, or if it is
automatically extended when it receives bids in the last minutes
making it snipe proof. There are many more features available
to sellers, including the ability to schedule auctions, image
hosting etc. SYI calls itself a member driven auction community,
and so far everything TAG has observed has backed that claim
What is the downside? The same ones that exists on every site.
Not enough listings to attract bidders and not enough bidders to
attract sellers. ebaY has a virtual monopoly in the industry, and
though their service gets worse, their fees higher, the final prices
achieved lower, the sell through rate lower, the playing field more
unequal, more new merchandise on the site filling the antique
and collectible categories and making the good stuff harder to
find, sellers cling to ebaY, even as they see their profits
disappear. It will be up to the same people who took nearly
three years to build ebaY into a great site to build other sites.
And the folks who did that were NOT the owners of ebaY but the
users of ebaY. The sellers need to be willing to take the risk and
make the move to list at least a percentage of their auctions on
SYI, so build SYI to the 3 million listing critical mass. SYI is
helping by not charging listing fees, only final value fees. Is SYI
utopia? Far from it, but it is a place to start, and right now there
is some momentum and buzz, and that can be a catalyst.
In closing we return to the afore mentioned suspended ebaY
gold power seller who said on the SYI boards recently, "Sales
aren't the issue here, yet. We need to stock the shelves. I figure
it'll be a month or better to build up solid, then another 2-3 to get
sales generated and traffic. The *good* news is that the price of
the overhead while we stock is waived. And this site has more
potential than you can shake a stick at. Which is why I'm here.
We've got almost 1000 auctions up now. No bids, but I expect
that until I can generate traffic ... Stick around, it promises to be
an interesting ride." We hope all the sellers reading this editorial
will also consider joining this effort. If we all work together to
get other sellers to participate in under a year sellyouritem.com
could be a significant alternative and provide real competition in
the OAI/OTI, where now there is none.
(Since this always gets asked - TAG has no financial
relationship with SYI)
ebaY - On 9 May at 12:04:31 PT ebaY announced that the ability
to browse and search lots in ebaY Live Auctions catalogs had
been down. These items were still searchable through the main
ebaY search. At 16:46:53 PT users reported problems with
Mister Lister and received messages saying, "Error 372 Failed to
load Control PWImage Control". At 16:54:14 PT ebaY posted
that ebaY picture services iPix was down from 16:42 PT to 16:52
PT. Buyers could not see the images on auction listings.
Sellers could upload images. At 17:15:36 PT users reported the
On 10 May at 10:25:40 P users again reported problems with
Mister Lister uploads. At 12:00:14 PT ebaY noted the there were
problems with the ebaY Live auction of historic americana, but it
had been fixed. At 14:24:34 PT ebaY posted that the ability to
view Gallery Images in Search and Listings was down from
13:36 PT to 14:18 PT.
On 11 May at 07:49:28 PT users reported that ebaY pic services
were not showing up on the sell page. At 13:03:33 PT users
reporting the site was very slow, and pages were timing out
before they could download. At 13:09:22 PT sellers reported that
categories were missing out of their stores along with all the
listed items. At 13:10:51 PT more categories disappeared from
the site. At 20:27:36 PT sellers posted that the SYI2.0 form was
freezing, with an "error on page" message on the picture/details
portion. At 20:53:01 PT users reported site reloads slow. At
21:24:21 PT a WebTV user reported they could no longer do
relists on ebaY.
On 12 May at 04:11:56 PT Morning, sellers reported they had not
been billed by ebaY for the month of April. This problem
appeared widespread. At 16:48:41 PT sellers reported they
were unable to relist items.
On 13 May at 12:01:22 PT more reports of no Apr bill were
posted by sellers. At 14:32:21 PT sellers reported uploading
their images to iPix. At 15:36:16 PT listing problems continued
with description not showing up. At 18:59:58 PT sellers
continued to report problems with listing.
14 May at 09:52:46 PT users reported getting a "script error"
when trying to open ebaY pages. At 16:27:40 PT users reported
the ability to log into the mature audience was down. Pop up
ads started to appear on the site causing many computer freeze
ups, annoyance and other problems.
On 15 May the pop up problems continued. On 15 May at
11:10:26 PT the ebaY email system broke down.
On 16 May at 03:31:43 PT sellers trying to list and relist received,
"Error message MB and error message 1312". Users reported
their invoices for Apr started to arrive. At 16:52:39 PT buyers
reported they were not able to bid. At 17:06:19 PT users reported
Mister Lister was broken. Users received a run time error
message. At 19:14:00 PT users reported cgi 3 errors.
On Fri 17 May ebaY took their site down for weekly maintenance
from approx 01:00 PT until 03:00 PT. To access ebaY Billpoint
users had to go to http://www.billpoint.com/
Overall the site was more stable than it had been in the previous
five weeks. TAG STRONGLY recommends that, if a seller feels
that any of the ebaY outages and glitches 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
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 - In response to a board poster who was
saying how through ebaY's actions " The neighborhood has
disintegrated into a ghost town. I guess it's all about the
corporate crowd ..." Katy@ebaY put in a rare appearance on 17
May at 15:45:00 PT and said, "...I just want to say, I'm really sorry
we've been so scarce lately. The threaded boards and other
activities have kept us much too busy. We hope to have some
relief soon with outside moderation over there. I hope we'll be
able to drop in more then. By the way, they hadn't changed the
price for eBay Live to 45 dollars, last time I looked, so if you
hurry....:):)..I AM hoping to see some of you there so we can chat!
.......Katy". TAG notes that if you need assistance, there is none
to be found unless generous fellow users take pity on you.
There are no longer email addresses to write to, so your only
option is to use a form that will give you an auto respond canned
message that never addresses your problem, if and when you
get an answer. And if you are suspended or had your identity
stolen, you are completely out of luck. The claim of being too
busy on the threaded boards is also interesting, since the
Customer Service posts there are as rare as hens teeth. What
other excuses can ebaY come up with? And where is the
improved CS ebaY promised with the last two fee raises, used to
justify the increase after claiming record breaking profits? But
there has been plenty of time to promote beg and cajole folks to
attend the ebaY propaganda love fest in June, where users get
the privilege of paying to be further manipulated.
ebaY is reducing its deal with AOL for advertising. ebaY is
obligated to pay $18.75 million only through March 2003, but will
extend through 2004 only if AOL meets certain unspecified
performance criteria. In that case, ebaY would be required to pay
up to $15 million for the year. For article on the subject go to -
ebaY is changing the Art category to add the item specifics
feature that allows sellers to provide additional item details
during the selling process. Buyers can then search using these
item details, in addition to regular Title search and Description
Search. Art sellers will be able to add searchable details such
as type, subject, age and price. Sellers can choose to include
item specifics in their listing or not, and buyers can choose
whether or not to search for these details. Sellers will have to
use the Sell Your Item 2.0, rather than the current Sell Your Item
form 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.
For more info go to - Selling with Item Specifics
Searching with 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
ebaY plans more changes to the Art categories -
*Some of the Collectible Art categories will be gathered together
under the Art category. The following categories will be joined
with existing categories in Art: Collectible Art: Artist Offerings,
Artistic Nudes, Calendars, Carvings, Sculpture, Decorator,
Designer, Folk Art, New Artists' Works, Paint-by-Number,
Painting, Posters, Prints, and Other Art.
*Collectible Photographic Images and Animation Art will move to
Art, but retain the existing structure and subcategories.
*Collectible Art categories that will stay in Collectibles and move
to Paper Collectibles include Calendars, Paint by Number and
Pin-Up. (Pin-Up will also be added as an attribute selection for
prints and posters in Art.)
*Animation Characters will remain in Collectibles.
More info on changes is at -
ebaY is changing categories again. Changes are in-
-CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES
The uniforms category has moved from Everything Else to
Clothing & Accessories.
Breweriana and Tobacciana have moved out from under
Advertising; Comics moved out from under Pop Culture, and
Knives has become a separate category.
Telecom equipment has moved from the Business & Industrial
category to Networking in Computers.
has been reorganized and Cross-Country Skiing added
-TOYS & HOBBIES
ebaY rearranged Art Supplies, Candle Making and Sewing, and
added a Kids' Crafts.
ebaY changed the Real Estate category structure to -
*Real Estate (#10542)
*Residential (#12605) includes new homes, existing homes and
ebaY has changed and/or added category discussion boards -
*Comics - ebaY claims they will leave discussions on this board
up for at least 30 days.
*Electronics, PDAs and other gadgets
*Railroadiana & Transportation Collectibles
*Arcade: Coin Op Games
*Off-Road Playground is now Outdoor Sports
*Movies & DVDs is now Movies & Memorabilia
*Music is now Music & Musicians
ebaY has changed the Palm Wireless Application
The changes permit users to manage listings and email, sell
and bid wirelessly and use the Buy it Now feature and use
Completed Items search.
To learn more about ebaY Anywhere go to -
Ongoing Issues and Information
See the TAG website for miscellaneous ebaY info at -
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, though it varies for each operating
system and browser, for example in IE 6 it is under
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) - TAG has heard of
more YA layoffs. A Yahoo premium seller reported to TAG that
Geoff Archer the Automotive category manager is gone and has
not been replaced.
YA auction counts as of 7 May.
Antiques & Art 29508
Books & Comics 14352
Clothing & Accessories 22969
Coins, Paper Money & Stamps 37812
Electronics & Cameras 3748
Home & Garden 15524
Jewelry & Watches 38133
Movies & TV 12247
Sports & Outdoors 5301
Sports Cards & Memorabilia 51267
Toys, Games & Hobbies 34949
Video Games 2563
Total auctions on May 7, 2002: 316,720
As of 24Mar02 Yahoo Auctions had 369,748 listings on their site
As of 19Apr02 Yahoo Auctions had 329,060 (-40,688)
As of 7May02 Yahoo Auctions had 316,720 (-12,340)
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 -
How to get help on Yahoo and Yahoo Auctions
Yahoo Help Central - http://help.yahoo.com/
Yahoo Auction Online Help Pages -
Contact YA for help -
Auction Abuse help -
Copyright infringement Help -
Yahoo contact Information
* * * * *
Amazon Auctions, zShops and Marketplace -
Amazon posted on 14 May at 14:31 PT that they were going to do
maintenance on 15 May from 00:01 to 02:00. Marketplace,
zShops and Auctions would all be down. Seller tools and
uploads would also be unavailable during this time. Auctions
will be extended per their normal policy. At 16:00 PT Amazon
posted that sellers were unable to post comments to their own
feedback display, and would be fixed as soon as possible.
At 16:01 PT Amazon noted that Upload and reports notifications
were backlogged but are now being sent. Amazon would send
future notifications as per normal.
On 16 May At 20:46 PT Amazon reported that order fulfillment
reports only had detail on transactions in which payment was
processed successfully. They said they would fix it as soon as
possible and include information for other payment statuses at
On 17 May at 18:52 PT Amazon posted that they were taking
down Auctions, zShops and Marketplace listings and seller
account functionality, due to a site-wide outage for maintenance.
Maintenance activity will take approximately 3 hours, beginning at
22:00 PT on 18 May. Auctions will be extended per the standard
policy. No action is required on the part of sellers. At 19:09
Amazon reported that sellers have been unable to select
expedited or international shipping when editing listings. This
intermittent issue does not affect all sellers nor all listings and
they will fix it as soon as possible.
An interesting Amazon article is in the NY Times and has been
posted by an Amazon user at -
This appears to take a balanced look at Amazon, good and bad,
and includes some in depth information of what is going on
there. Well worth a read.
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
* * * * *
Carnaby.Com and GrabABargain.com have merged. This is a
family affair merger, as both sites originate from the same
address, location and server pool and Carnaby head Rick
Antunes is the father of GrabABargain Director Peter Antunes.
The sites will currently be separate but users registered on one
site will have full access to both sites. Carnaby is an online
auction site and GrabABargain is a fixed price site on the lines of
Yahoo Warehouse and Half.Com.
There were some rumors around the OAI/OTI that ebaY had
some kind of stake in Carnaby, but this has been completely
denied by their public relations representative Colleen R. Holuk,
saying, "there is no connection of any kind between the two
companies other than they compete in the same industry."
GrabABargain has books, music, movies and video games.
Unfortunately, despite claims that between the two sites they
have several million listings, the reality is far from the hype.
Carnaby has a couple of categories - books and music, that are
front end loaded with overpriced merchandise by primarily one
seller in each section and no sign of any sales. The rest of the
categories are fairly empty. Searches on GrabABargain did not
bring up much of what we searched for.
Both sites are well set up, and seem to function smoothly. They
have a core of loyal users who seem to be happy with the sites.
They both have all the bells and whistles and features. All they
are lacking are sellers, listings and buyers.
* * * * *
Sellyouritem.com (SYI) is celebrating their first birthday with a
listing goal promotion that rewards their users with special
features. To participate, sellers must send an email to
Incen-@SellYourItem.com and list 10 auctions. If the site
reaches 50,000 auctions by 26 May, every participating seller will
get 1 30 Day Seller Ad, 1 Homepage Featured, 1 Category
Featured, 1 Highlight, and 1 Bold
* * * * *
EggBay.com - If you have an interest in poultry plain or fancy, are
fascinated by hatching eggs, or are a craft person or artist who
find the egg shell the perfect inspirational media, TAG has found
the site for you. This is a fascinating little niche site in a very
specialized area. The site has approx 1500 listings and sales
appear brisk, with bid rates in the 50% range. There is a wealth
of information posted by other sellers, obviously true fanciers.
There are no listing fees, and final value fees range from 10% to
1.5%. The fees schedule is at
* * * * *
Vrane.Com has made universal credits for buying Vrane
services transferable to other user IDs.
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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