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TAGnotes Tue 28 May 2002 Vol 4 Number 31 Issue 413

The Auction Guild Notes Tue 28 May 2002
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along with editorials, and image hosting directory and other info.
When will ebaY's next US Free Listing Day be??? TAG is
guessing the week of June 17th, most likely on Tues 18 June.
As an alert reader pointed out, the ebaY Live get together is the
weekend of 21-23 June, so Tue makes more sense than Thu.   
We feel ebaY will do a FLD at this time to improve their 2nd
quarter numbers, in the face of possible adoption problems with
the forced implementation of sell your item 2.0.
ebaY - On 23 May 07:49:32 PT ebaY reported that the ability to
view account status in My ebaY was down from 20:30 PT to
20:51 PT on 22 May. At 15:34:06 PT ebaY picture services iPix
was down, and sellers could not add images to listings using
the enhanced pic services from 15:05 PT to 15:25 PT. At
20:15:15 PT ebaY counters, provided by Andale, disappeared.
Problems with the counters continued throughout the evening.

On 24 May at 21:33:21 PT users reported not receiving end of
auction or other emails from ebaY. ebaY posted on 22 May that
users with Hotmail accounts were not receiving ebaY emails
and that the problem was with Hotmail. This problem continued
for several days.

On 25 May at 08:39:21 PT users reported problems accessing
pages, as they would not download, and time out.   At 15:20:01
PT ebaY posted that account status page was down from 13:45
PT to 15:00 PT. At 21:38:01 PT users reported the site was very
slow loading.   At 22:38:38 PT users reported 404 errors whilst
trying to access ebaY.

On 26 May at 03:22:45 PT ebaY Germany users reported
problems throughout the day, whilst trying to list on the free
listing day on ebaY Germany. Problems reported included page
expired, page cannot be displayed, and users had to start
listings all over several times due to glitches in SYI 2.0. At
08:03:03 PT users reported problems with search, receiving 503
errors. Reports of search being down flooded the site. At
09:56:52 PT users reported receiving listing confirmations and
other ebaY emails even though they were opted out.   At 10:32:05
PT users reported that ebaY had finally posted that title search
was down and they were working on it. At 10:36:45 PT users
reported problems with viewing items from categories. The first
page would open but subsequent pages returned error
messages. At 11:45:08 PT ebaY announced that title search
was down from 0740 PT to 1130 PT. Though no mention of
refunds was made by ebaY, according to ebaY's outage policy
they are supposed to automatically credit ALL fees. The policy
reads, "Title Search Outage of 1 or more hours:
* eBay automatically credits all associated fees for affected
* The following listings will be eligible for credit:
* Any listing scheduled to end during the outage
* Any listing scheduled to end in the hour after the end of the
* Unlike our policy for Hard Outages of two hours or more,
listings will not be extended"
If you do NOT get your automatic refunds, report ebaY to the FTC
and BBB as this is a violation of ebaY's contract on its users.
Also request your refunds for ALL auction affected, following the
instructions at -

At 11:47:22 PT ebaY again posted about the problem with
Hotmail users not receiving ebaY emails. ebaY said, "some
members with Hotmail accounts continue to experience this
issue." At 18:01:21 PT a WebTV and posted that they are no
longer able to search ebaY.

On 27 May at 08:57:13 PT sellers reported problems with listing
on ebaY. At 10:10:58 PT more users reported receiving emails
from ebaY despite being opted out. Their preferences had not
been changed but they were still receiving unwanted emails. At
10:46:57 PT users reported that they were unable to use the
back button from a sellers listing page. The page returned a
time out message rather than bringing the user back to the
original page. At 11:13:36 PT user reported search completely
down. Users received messages saying, "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." This problem lasted
for 15 to 20 minutes.

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 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

Pink Quote of the Day, on the thread about SYI 2.0, Jerry@ebaY
admitted that ebaY was selective in how they sent their surveys
about the SYI 2.0, yielding the result ebaY wanted, rather than a
true picture of how sellers viewed SYI 2.0. Jerry@ebaY said at
05:38 PT on 24 May, "... Although this thread was initially
intended to pass along important information, it has turned into
something akin to a survey. That is fine because we do value
your comments on these boards for many different reasons. I
would like to share with you some of the nuances of the opinion
gathering processes that affect changes to the eBay landscape.
..................When we need to make really big decisions, such as
when it's time to make the SYI 2.0 form the default, we rely more
heavily on formal surveys. Our survey process for quantitative
measures generally involves inviting at least 1,000-10,000 [ed.
note - even if we give ebaY the benefit in spite of their lies, and
say they have 10 million active users, a sample of 1 to 10
thousand is absurdly small to base a major decision on that will
materially affect several million people. If one gave any credence
to ebaY's claim of 46 million users, it takes their sample to the
point of obscenity] eBay users to participate. The respondents
that are invited to participate are chosen randomly so as not to
bias the results. In the case of the SYI survey, it went out to a
random sample of users who have tried SYI 2.0. If a person
used the form, AND they opted in to receive surveys, they had an
equal likelihood of being asked to participate as all other users.
The survey ends and we analyze the data when the number of
respondents is statistically significant within a few percentage
points of accuracy. For a general population that is the size of
eBay, statistical significance is reached with a couple thousands
respondents............... Jerry eBay Community Development". TAG
sees the key phrase as " If a person used the form", so the
survey only went to sellers using the form NOT to all sellers who
TRIED it and refused to USE it. Unlike a city using sampling
techniques, ebaY has the ability with one keystroke, to send an
email to every single user on their system. But then, ebaY would
not get the answer they wanted.
Thread is at -
When we last checked it there were 91 posts - 3 For, 49 Against,
the rest are neutral, comments, conversation, or further
expansion on dislike by the same posters.

Board Posts of the Day, in a conversation triggered by TAG's
report on the Rajiv Dutta ebaY CFO quote about getting rid of
clutter and marginal sellers, on 26 May 02 at 07:24:46 PT
*another*marginal*seller* said, "eBay stated that the most
recent fee increase would help to provide for increased
customer support. Let's see now...since that time, eBay has
trashed direct email to safeharbor or any other part of the
company for that matter, installed SYI 2.0 in order to triple the
time it takes to set up a listing, installed pop-ups to harass the
users, allowed it's affiliates to run up the number of non-paying
bidders through "rewards programs", had their CFO bash the
small sellers that built eBay in the first place, and on and on.
Why thank you so much eBay! I guess your idea of increased
customer support is to gather up all our nickles, dimes and
quarters in order to wine and dine the IBMs, Home Depots, and
Disneys of the world. Oh, and maybe give a nice fat bonus to
Rajiv for his public relations contributions. Pathetic....very sad
and very pathetic. JMHO"

And in case you were wondering WHERE your increased fees
are going - Shooting Star sellers reported that they had been
offered (including a guest) an all expense paid trip to ebaY live in
June, including air fare, 3 nights hotel, all food, transportation,
and a private cocktail party with Meg.   In addition to the approx
200 shooting star sellers, TAG has also heard that other large
sellers were offered the same - even though they had not
attained shooting star status. This list included the corporate
sellers on ebaY and some power sellers. Marginal sellers with
their clutter, once again, get to foot the bill and provide the
corporate welfare to the sellers ebaY is now courting at the
expense of what was once the ebaY community, and is now the
ebaY commodity.

ebaY is changing the Business, Office and Industrial Categories.
ebaY has new portal pages for - Businesses for Sale, Printing,
Industrial Supply, MRO and Retail

ebaY is adding the item specifics feature in Men's Clothing and
related categories. Sellers of men's clothing, footwear, and
accessories can add details in their listing, and buyers can
choose whether or not to search for these details.   Sellers must
use the SYI 2.0 form to add item specifics.

ebaY Canada is doing away with the ability to view 500 feedback
comments at once and is limiting viewable comments to 25, 50,
100 and 200 results per page.

ebaY is attempting to get ebaY UK sellers to use ebaY Billpoint
Payments by waiving Billpoint fees until 1 July 2002 for those
sellers who complete their transactions using Billpoint. Any
auctions closing by the end date where payment is not
completed in full will not qualify.

ebaY UK posted on 27 May that they were changing the seller
requirements to use the Buy It Now Only feature. In order to list
with the new Buy It Now Only format, Sellers must have a
feedback rating of 10 or greater or have a Direct Debit on file.
These requirements are on ebay.co.uk and Ireland and Sweden
ebaY sites.

ebaY Australia is holding a promotion called the 10 Day Big
Brand Sale, from 27 May through 5 June. For more go to -

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) -

Antiques & Art   28438
Automotive 2737
Books & Comics 13924
Clothing & Accessories 22081
Coins, Paper Money & Stamps 39212
Collectibles 21656
Computers 8325
Electronics & Cameras 3772
Home & Garden 15398
Jewelry & Watches 39920
Movies & TV 10775
Music 8526
Sports & Outdoors 4593
Sports Cards & Memorabilia 50910
Toys, Games & Hobbies 34719
Video Games 2373
Other 6746
Total 314,105

As of 19Apr02 Yahoo Auctions had 329,060 (-40,688)
As of 7May02 Yahoo Auctions had 316,720 (-12,340)
As of 24May02 Yahoo Auctions had 314,105 (-2615)

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 -
Posted on 24 May at 19:PT that sellers modifying listings may
notice boxes for expedited or international shipping are
unchecked, even in cases where the listing had previously been
set to offer those options. This display issue affects only sellers'
view of listing properties; the options as set by the seller are
available to buyers

Amazon is adding catalogs to their marketing offerings. This
service is currently in beta and is free. Buyers can view this
mail-order catalog online, read customer reviews, and order
products by phone.

To add your catalog to Amazon go to -
Amazon.com Catalog Service
1200 12th Avenue South
Suite 1200
Seattle, WA 98144

Ever have a buyer claim you did not send their item but you have
proof you did? Sign in to Amazon, go to this page and fill out the
form for seller protection against charge backs-

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

* * * * *
Bidville is holding a promotion called Spring Fling Sale, from 25
May through 15 June.
Individual sellers' may offer additional promotions. To view the
sale go to - http://www.bidville.com and click on the Spring Fling
banner on the top of every page.

* * * * *
Sellyouritem.com (SYI) has added a Top-level category addition,
The Artists Showcase. On 17 May SYI celebrated one year in
existence, and announced a listing challenge for sellers; "50K by
the End of May".   Sellers who wish to participate must send an
email to Incen-@SellYourItem.com prior to reaching the
incentive goal. Sellers must also list 10 items that should be
running at the time the goal is reached.    Various rewards are
being offered, details are available on the Announcement Board

In the last 30 days 1043 auctions were sold for prices ranging
from $.01 to $102.50, with an average price of $2.59 for all items
sold in that period. This represents a 6.4 percent sell through
rate based on total listings for that period of time. Of that number,
12.5 percent had more than one bid, double the multiple bids
from the previous month. Currently on 24 May, the site stats
show 1.3 percent of active auctions have bids, with 10.3 percent
of those multiple bids. BuyNow! bids are not reflected in active
totals since they end immediately; but are included in the percent
sold figures indicated above.

Recent events at other auction sites have prompted a large
increase in registrations on-site. Some of these new sellers
have prompted questions about the future of SYI. Sheila made
the following comments in response to some of these

"Posted by She-@SellYourItem.com
On 05/22/02 08:25:53 PM: ... Actually, we don't want to get into
the corporate listings. We much prefer mom and pop/small
business. If we got into corporate listings, we wouldn't be any
different than ebay...
On 05/23/02 01:52:53 AM: We're not like ebay at all.   While it may
seem similar on the surface, it's very different. We run on an
entirely different platform. We have features that actually mean
something. Real time indexing of auctions, delayed launch, both
bidder AND Seller friendly, the list goes on and on. We are not in
any way, shape or form affiliated with ebay
On 05/24/02 05:10:33 PM: Good Afternoon Gentle Folks and a
Happy Friday to all!
Please don't take my posts out of context. It was suggested that
SYI court corporate sellers, hence my post. If corporate sellers
want to list here, that's fine.We just aren't going to go out and
entice them to sign up."

Other activities on-site include:
A group of sellers and bidders are sponsoring an SYI-Fest in
upper New York State the end of June; check the Community
Lounge for announcements about that event.
There are still some remaining Animal Fair Media's "Paws for
Style" auctions benefiting The Humane Society of NewYork
currently being hosted on site.

Support at SYI has requested that members submit their
comments and suggestions to
Categories go to
Direct questions about the site to
Live support board is at -
SellYourItem Wanted Board at -

SYI report brought to you by,
Karen Morgan

* * * * *
Are niche auction sites the wave of the future? They might be, as
they provide the ability to find a wide variety of products from
many sellers in an area of specific interest. They are a great way
to be spared from categories filled with "banned on ebaY" stuff,
and to find the specific kinds of items you are looking for. Think
of them as an online specialty shows. Many were started by
folks fed up with what has happened to their favorite category on
ebaY, and hoped to establish an alternative. Some were
established when ebaY closed the door on their category. They
all contain great information resources in their niche, and some
of the top folks in the respective niches often reside on these

Here are a few, some established, some successful and some
so new the paint is not yet dry on the walls, and the shelves are
still empty. Many of these sites suffer from low numbers of
sellers and items, and sell throughs in the 1 to 2% range,
though a few have sell through rates approaching respectable
levels and at least one, with a sell through that ebaY would love
to have. Most of the merchandise is listed at the selling price,
though some competitive bidding takes place of very desirable
items. All the negatives would be solved by USE, so if you have
a category you really enjoy, make sure you visit the sites in your
area of interest.

In general, all the sites work well and have a landscape familiar
to online auction and trading industry habitués. Most offer a buy
it now feature and several auction options. Most allow links or
even networking to your own website. This list is NOT
comprehensive, there are hundreds and maybe even thousands
of niche sites - here are just a few -

Adults Only -
Fetish Auction - http://www.fetishauctioneer.com/auction.shtml
879 items 26 with bids
This site is supported by the kink auction coalition

Antiques and Collectibles -
Old and Sold - http://www.oldandsold.com
2130 listings 179 items sold since 1 Jan with an average selling
price of $78.08.
35 items sold in Month of May, to date - average price $133.15

Everything Collectible -
556 listings 32 items with bids

Antique Photography -
Antique-Photography.Com -
270 listings, 27 items have bids. Primarily stereoviews, a
fascinating glimpse of the past.

Beads -
Just Beads - http://www.justbeads.com/
4539 listings Of 332 items ending in the next hour in their going
going gone section, 23 had bids. Some beautiful art glass

Children's Clothing and Accessories -
Two Buy Two.Com - clothing etc for multiple birth children,
singles also.
199 listings, no bids on open items in random checks

Eggs and Poultry/Fancy Birds
Eggbay.com - http://www.eggbay.com/
1342 listings - items in the egg and live bird categories have
upwards of 50% sell through. If you have a fancy for fancy
poultry, this is the place to shop.

Glass -
Just Glass - http://www.justglass.com/
25807 listings No way to really check bidding activity but
bids/sales appear few in random checks. Some beautiful
pieces listed.

Outdoor Recreation -
Eye For Deals - http://www.eye4deals.com/
Shelves are empty, 6 listings, 2 sales in last 46 days

Pens -
Penbid.Com - http://penbid.com/Auction/XcAuctionPro.asp
1111 listings of 33 items closing in the next day, 12 have bids

Pottery -
Pottery Auction - http://www.potteryauction.com/
950 listings. Of 55 items ending in the next 24 hours - 3 have

Religion themed Auctions
ePagan Auctions - http://epaganauctions.com/index2.html
1791 listings of 291 auctions ending in the next 24 hours, 15
have bids
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