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TAGnotes Wed 19 Jun 2002 Vol 4 Number 35 Issue 417

The Auction Guild Notes Wed 19 Jun 2002
Cel02 is here! June is Celebration month with special bargains
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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.
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BUY an advertisement and help us continue our work!!!
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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.
Will there be a Free Listing Day in June on ebaY US ?
There is NO guarantee that there will be a free listing day in June
as only the Dec FLD has been consistent. TAG thought 18 Jun
was the best bet, though many of the FLDs and the last June
FLDs were on Thursdays, because of ebaY live starting Friday.
Doing an FLD on Thursday would be inconsiderate of ebaY,
since a few thousand ebaY users are going to ebaY live
(particularly all the big sellers who received all expense paid
trips), but since when is ebaY considerate? It IS possible that IF
ebaY decides to do a June FLD it might be on 25 or 27 June, but
the publicity to have the max number of listings during ebaY live
should preclude that. TAG WILL send a special edition via email
to every subscriber as soon as we find out about the FLD, if
there is one. ebaY usually gives notice a few hours before the
FLD starts. If they don't do one in June, probably the next likely
date would be around 19 September - unless they get a severe
listing drop due to the implementation of SYI2.0, or some other
problem occurs causing a drop in their stock price. Just a
reminder - If ebaY does do a free listing day, plan on using your
own image hosting service as ebaY's iPix picture services tends
to crash early, and prevents or slows down listing to a crawl.

ebaY - on 15 Jun users reported receiving a blank page when
using the new Sell Your Item Form 2.0. ebaY reported that for
sellers with stores, this sometimes happens when the sellers
store categories includes an ampersand (&). The seller will get
the blank page whether the item is a store item or an auction. To
fix this sellers need to change the ampersand in their store
categories to the word "and". At 16:27 PT users reported getting
404 errors when trying to access ebaY Live auctions in Jewelry &
Timepieces categories.

On 16 June at 07:10:52 PT users reported problems with
search. At 10:11:05 PT sellers reported they were once again
not receiving their end of auction notices, or they were receiving
them very late, well after the transaction had completed, At
10:55:55 PT buyers reported receiving outbid notices that have
exclamation (!) marks instead or with the dollar sign ($). ebaY
posted 11:41:37 PT that the ability to search by Item Specifics
using description search in Tickets, Travel, Real Estate, PDAs
and Men's Clothing was down from 06:30 PT to 11:30 PT. At
20:34:08 PT users could not relist using SYI2.0, though relist
from the older listing forms worked. There were complaints
throughout the day of users not receiving end of auction notices.

On 17 June, users reported at 13:10 that Completed Items
search was down. At 18:04:25 PT users trying to list received
messages saying "Warning: Unable to send listing confirmation
notice Sorry, we could not send you your listing confirmation
notice via electronic mail. This is probably a temporary problem,
but if it persists, or you are having problems sending or receiving
mail, you may wish to contact your service provider. Since eBay
cannot send this e-mail, this is the only confirmation you will
receive for your listing."

Overall ebaY US ran relatively smoothly for the last few days, with
its normal ongoing persistent problems.

ebaY UK - On 15 Jun at 16:36:32 BT ebaY posted that UK
sellers were unable to sign in over the previous 24 hours to list
items to sell. ebaY believed this was due to the introduction of
Seller Verification on 14 Jun. ebaY said that some sellers found
that after registering for an ebaY Billpoint Payments account they
could do listings. In order for a seller to list items, they were
forced to sign up for ebaY Billpoint payments. this lasted until
18:11:27 BT, when ebaY temporarily disabled the Seller
Verification program.   ebaY fixed this problem at 09:32:51 BT on
16 Jun and returned the Seller Verification program. If UK sellers
have question they can email UK customer support at
uksup-@ebay.com [See info about ebaY UK seller verification
below - ed]

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 - From an article about the June Voices
meeting when a seller voiced a concern that the traffic to his
items had slowed to almost half since the influx of discounters
and wholesalers into his categories, Brian Burke ebaY senior
manager of community development, " ... argues that such
developments are a natural part of eBay's marketplace system.
"We haven't eliminated competition by putting it online," he said.
"We've probably actually enhanced competition.""   TAG sees this
enhanced competition as the death knell for the small seller who
built ebaY and made it attractive to the corporate sellers. That
would not be so bad if there WAS a level playing field, but we all
know there isn't and the corporate sellers receive advantages
not available to the smaller seller. In addition site design and
functions are all geared to the larger seller, in addition to them
receiving custom applications for listing, free of charge, and not
available to small sellers. One of their many perks. Another
quote of note - "Our communication, frankly, to the community is
broken," Bill Cobb, eBay's director of marketing, told the group of
12 at eBay's most recent "Voice of the Customer" session. "We
have to figure out a better way." TAG thinks that what ebaY sees
is not a communication problem, but really a propaganda
problem, as they have not been able to quiet the growing voices
of discontent. To imagine that ebaY will actually LISTEN to their
users is a fantasy, one that ebaY continually tries to propagate in
the press. Fortunately not everyone is fooled. Source -
Article By Brian Bergstein San Jose, Calif. (AP)

PQOD II - From the ebaY UK announcement board on 14 Jun at
17:17:51 BT, in a post where new ebaY UK sellers are now
required to register with a charge or debit card and bank
information (not required in the past for ebaY UK sellers) for
"seller verification", ebaY said, " Please note that all new sellers
will be automatically registered to accept eBay Payments as a
payment option; however, if sellers do not wish to accept eBay
Payments, they can de-select the eBay Payments box in the
Payments & Postage section of the Sell Your Item form." TAG
sees that ebaY tried to get ebaY UK sellers to sign up for
Billpoint by offering them free use of it, then by giving them a free
listing day if they used it, and now, since the previous efforts
must have failed, they are FORCING all new sellers to sign up
for it. Though ebaY says the seller does not need to offer ebaY
Billpoint payments, there have been thousands of examples
where ebaY will accept payment via Billpoint whether you offer it
as an option or not. They have been known to add it to your
auctions no matter what option you choose. UK sellers, be
warned, ebaY Billpoint has an unsatisfactory rating with the US
Better Business Bureau for good reason. TAG recommends you
fight this and if ebaY wont back down, move your auctions to QXL
or another auction site. You can also put a notice in your auction
description in big bold red letters that you do not accept ebaY
Billpoint payments. US sellers be warned, if ebaY gets away
with this on the UK site, you can expect it to happen on the US

TO AVOID SYI2.0 As Long As Possible -
Here are instructions on how to save a one page older version of
the ebaY sell your item form. At the end of June ebaY will make
the SYI2.0 the default, but a later version of the old form will
still be available on the ebaY site. At some point unknown ebaY will
eliminate the listing form altogether and will only have SYI2.0
available. As long as you have the old form saved on your
computer, you might be able to still use it for an extended time -
in fact you might be able to always use it, depending on what
changes ebaY makes to their system to block access to their
site by third party service providers. Saving this NOW will give
you an option if you can't or won't deal with SYI2.0, for an
extended period of time. This will work for any computer system
but probably not for WebTV. This information is from Snyderstr -
you can view his high quality Militaria auctions at -

Go to -
(copy paste the WHOLE URL in your browser address block
without spaces)
This takes quite a while to download.

Go to the toolbar on your computer and click on "file" then "save
as", then when the box opens save to your desktop as "HTML".
Once you test the form, you can make a special file for it, or leave
it on your desktop.

Or - On a PC, Right click the form and View Source. Save the
source file as an HTML file on your active desktop. Or save the
source coding and customize it to suit your needs (make sure
you save a separate copy in case your modification does not

Snyderstr says, "From that point on, you are no longer dependent
on eBay keeping the Old SYI form online. You can simply fire up
the form you saved on your desktop and use it until eBay kills all
the hooks into it, which may be quite a while since the eBay API
uses them, as well as a number of third-party products. Be
aware that if you LIST an auction with SYI V2, you will have to
RELIST it with SYI V2. Also, if you RELIST an auction from the My
eBay that was originally listed with the OLD SYI, you will now be
locked into the NEW SYI form for listing, relisting, AND revising it.
If you use SYI V2 to do *anything* to an auction, you are stuck
with it with no recourse. What you MAY want to do is to copy your
PAST auctions from your Seller Page so you have access to your
auction numbers. You can then use an OLD auction number to
RELIST an auction that was created with the OLD SYI and not be
locked into the SYI V2 until eBay drags you into it kicking and
screaming. [ed note - using the old listing will work for 90 days]
This will not work for very long, as eBay has a history of killing
hooks (as seen on eBay Germany and eBay Australia when they
forced the conversion to SYI V2 there). This conversion is NOT
going to be pretty or neat, but eBay really doesn't care. They are
convinced they know more than the people who use the system.
Good luck. Get to the page where you ACTUALLY are where you
fill in data, and THAT is the page you want to save, NOT the login
You only need to save the page where you fill in the actual data. If
you can save it to your desktop, it's the SAME thing as if you are
online, only you are offline filling it in. When you actually connect
to the net, and hit the submit button, your offline page "talks" to
eBay, and eBay has no clue you are using an "offline" form. To
list another item, just use your back button to return to the form
you saved on your desktop. When you "View Source" you are
generally sent to your default editor, which for most people is
Notepad. And notepad wants to save stuff as a TEXT (.txt) file,
which is NOT what you want to do. You want to SAVE AS and
then on the pull down menu, select "HTML" and save it with a
name like "OldSYI.html" on your Desktop. That will prevent the
"gobbledygook" effect, and just make a webpage link on your

ebaY is changing the end of auction (EOA) email over the next
few weeks. ebaY is placing an instruction box at the top of every
(EOA) email that will provide directions to buyers and sellers on
what should happen next. This information will be based on the
information the seller gave when listing the item. For instance, if
ebaY Billpoint payments is offered by the seller, the box will have
a "Pay Now" button and if Checkout is offered, there will be a
button that takes buyers to Checkout. Otherwise, the instruction
box will include easy links for the buyer and seller to contact
each other directly.

ebaY is not removing any information currently contained in the
EOA email [so it looks as if all the SPAM will remain - ed]. They
will now have a subject line, that tell the seller if their item sold
or not. The EOA email is available in both HTML – which allows for
clickable links - and text, with HTML the default for those users whose
mail program can accept HTML.

For more info go to -

These changes are also being made on ebaY UK and ebaY

ebaY and Sotheby have finally brought about their site merger.
The new site is at - http://sothebys.ebay.com/ but going to
www.sothebys.com will redirect to the ebaY site.

*The authenticity and condition of all items on Sothebys.com are
*Only qualified dealers and auctioneers may list items; to qualify,
each must apply and be approved by Sothebys.com.
*Registered ebaY buyers can use the site with their current info.

For more info go to -

After experimenting with a fixed price format on some of the
international ebaY sites, ebaY is now adding it to the US site in
July. ebaY says all other formats will continue, including the
auction-style format, the auction-style format with a buy it now
price, the store inventory format, and the ad format for real estate

The fixed price format allows the seller to have a fixed price and
change that during the duration of the listing until the listing ends
or the item is purchased. The seller will also be able to list
multiple quantities of the same item in the listing, allowing
buyers to purchase one or more of the same item.

The duration of fixed price listings are 3, 5, 7 and 10 days, and
the fees for listing, special features and final value fees are the
same as for auctions. The fixed price listings will appear in the
search results for auctions and will also have a separate tab. [ed
- Meg finally managed to get ebaY away from being an auction
site]. There is no indication if buyers will be able set an
advanced search for auctions only, or have a default setting to
show auctions only. If not they will either be forced to wade
through all the fixed price items to find auctions or remember to
click the auction tab for each search they run.
The new Tabs are -
*All items - will show all items offered in that search.
*Auction - shows auction-style items only.
*Buy It Now (BIN) - shows fixed price (FP) items, and those
auction-style items that offer a BIN option.

The All Items tab, you will show the bid price and the BIN price
for auction-style listings with BIN. The FP show the BIN price. To
preview go to -

To learn more about FP go to -

The ebaY @hoc toolbar is back. TAG WARNING - This toolbar is
spyware, and using the toolbar provides ebaY and its advertisers
an open front door to your computer for tracking info. Available
for Windows based machines only. By downloading and using
the Toolbar you give permission to receive any "urgent
communications" ebaY chooses to send you. To read a white
paper written about the @hoc toolbar by the Privacy Foundation,
though almost 2 yrs old, the issues that were raised are relevant
today. You need Acrobat Reader to read it, the @hoc stuff is
starting on page 26 to page 29, go to-
The @hoc toolbar "privacy policy" is at -
For the toolbar go to -

ebaY is changing its Help system. The new system will open a
new window with the help info when you click on the help tab.
ebaY claims it will keep the info updated. They also say it will be
better organized.

ebaY is moving billing features found on
http://pages.ebay.com/help/billing/index.html to a new "Seller
Account" location under the "Sell" area of the Navigation Bar.
They are moving information about ebaY's seller tools to a new
"Seller Tools" area under the "Sell" area of the Navigation Bar to
include Mister Lister and ebaY's SAP and SAB.
SYI2.0 has the new help system on it if you want to view how it

ebaY has changed the categories. To provide input on ebaY’s
categories, go to -
-BOOKS - claims to have completely overhauled this category.
-COLLECTIBLES - more visibility for Autographs, Metalware,
Science Fiction, and Trading Cards.   Expansions in Animals,
Cultures and Postcards.
-HOME & GARDEN - added Lumber, Plant Stands, Rakes &
-JEWELRY - new categories in Wristwatches including brands
such as Ann Klein, Baby-G, Guess & Tommy Hilfiger.
-POTTERY & GLASS - categories such as Steuben, Tiffany and
others are in the Art Glass category.
-EVERYTHING ELSE - now includes Gift Certificates in the Gifts
& Occasions area and expanded the brand categories in
Women’s Fragrances.

ebaY UK - Effective immediately, ebaY has added a seller
verification system to the ebaY UK site that now requires sellers
to place a credit or debit card, as well as their bank account
details, on file with ebaY and REQUIRES sellers sign up for
ebaY Billpoint payments. New sellers are required to set up a
UK Seller’s Account and submit a credit or debit Card and the
corresponding Bank Account details to ebaY for verification
purposes. ebaY, in conjunction with the now mandatory ebaY
Billpoint payments, will complete the verification process.
Established sellers (prior to 17 Jun) are not required to
participate in this process.

If a new seller submits a Visa or MasterCard details, ebaY will
automatically use that credit card for payment of fees on the
sellers ebaY account. Users who do not want to use their Visa or
MasterCard to pay their ebaY account may remove this card from
file and set up a Direct Debit Mandate or manually submit a
personal cheque each month (Caution - TAG does NOT
recommend allowing ebaY to direct debit your checking account
as this has proved to be a disaster for many sellers - with ebaY
charging hundreds of dollars in bounced check fees, multiple
debits of the same account for one bill, causing the account to
go into a bouncing status and hundreds of dollars in bank fees
as ebaY keeps charging and recharging the account)

Note that all new sellers will be automatically registered to
accept ebaY Billpoint payments as a payment option. ebaY says
that if sellers do not wish to accept ebaY Billpoint Payments, they
can de-select the ebaY Billpoint payments box in the Payments &
Postage section of the Sell Your Item form. Please see the TAG
PQODII comments above about how the "option" is not a real
one and how ebaY gets around it and tries to force sellers to use
ebaY Billpoint Payments. Also, please note that TAG does NOT
recommend ebaY Billpoint payments as we get many
complaints about it, and ebaY Billpoint Payments has an
unsatisfactory rating with the US Better Business Bureau.
To take a look at the Billpoint report go to this link and search for
Billpoint, click on the Billpoint name to get the report (and now
you know why ebaY is trying to change the name to ebaY
Payments, and distance itself from the Billpoint name).

ebaY AU - on 18 June placed an advert on their announcement
board for an Online Project Manager Position. The ad says - "An
excellent opportunity exists for a self-motivated individual to own
and project manage all facets of the eBay Australia product. As
part of the global product management team, acting as an
"ambassador" and a local point of expertise, you will represent
the local eBay business across all aspects of site and product
management. Involved in the investigation and collation of new
ideas and promotion of country specific features, you will be an
integral point of contact in Australia for eBay's business globally
and have extensive liaison with multi-disciplinary teams both
overseas and internally.

The ideal candidate will have very strong project management
skills, meticulous attention to detail, an ability to work to
deadlines and a passion for online products. The role will
demand a high level of communication and verbal reasoning as
well as an open minded and flexible approach to work. High
energy and proven internet experience will ensure this key
individual a dynamic future within the group.

Please contact Luke B Partridge, at Michael Page on (02) 9254
0273 or email your resume to syd.m-@michaelpage.com.au
quoting jobref LBP188."

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/

Want to use your website address in your ebaY User ID? Here is
a workaround. Put a name or word first and then include your
web address in parenthesis. So in TAG's case we could register
this ID - tag(www.theauctionguild.com). This will work and
circumvent ebaY's rules. You might even be able to put your
email address in the parenthesis.

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) -
As Yahoo's European Auction sites close down, other small
sites are stepping in to provide service to former Yahoo users.
Both UK based eBid -
http://www.ebid.co.uk/ and Germany based Hood.de -
http://www.ebid.co.uk/ are allowing former Yahoo Auction sellers
the ability to transfer their Yahoo feedback to their sites. For
more info see the article on the subject -

On the US -
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)
As of 14Jun02 Yahoo Auctions had 309,097 (-5008)

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 is offering free shipping on some items for orders over

Amazon will be running the Target online store in a few months.

Requesting refunds on Amazon -
You must file your request within 45 days of the zShops
purchase or Auctions close. Listing fees, Bid for Featured
Placement fees, and other merchandising fees are
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

* * * * *
CraftnShop - a new crafters auction site, approx 160 items for
sale.   http://www.craftnshop.com

* * * * *
PayPal and UPS are joining join forces to integrate shipping and
payment. For those sellers who regularly use UPS, this might
be a useful tool. For more info go to -

PayPal is moving its credit card processing business from
Intercept to Wells Fargo Bank. This switch is scheduled to take
effect no later than November 2002

PayPal got a letter from New York's Banking Department saying
that the department had concluded that PayPal is not operating
an illegal banking business. NY can still change its conclusion.
The state has encouraged PayPal to apply for a
money-transmitter license, which PayPal said it plans to do by
the end of the month.

PayPal is going to make a second offering of 6 million shares of
stock. Several insiders are selling a couple of million shares of
stock, 4 months after IPO.


* * * * *
CORRECTION - in the last issue we reported that -
Microsoft announced that users of its Hotmail service will no
longer be able to retrieve messages from other email accounts
unless they pay $19.95/mo for the service." This is
INCORRECT the fee for Hotmail mail retrieval service from other
ISP's will be on the order of $19.95 per YEAR, NOT per month.

* * * * *
States move to impose Net sales tax - Article by Andrea
Coombes CBS MarketWatch 12 June 2002

States are moving to unify their sales tax codes by this fall, and
collaborate on collection technology so they can collect online
and catalog sales tax revenue. Thirty two of the forty five states
that charge sales tax have joined the Streamlined Sales Tax
Project. Their purpose is streamline their tax code and to force
out of state businesses to collect local sales taxes on products
shipped into the state.

So far The U.S. Supreme Court rulings have protected sellers
from collecting these sales taxes because it is impossible for a
seller to reasonably figure out what the tax owed would be.
There are some 7,500 different state and local tax codes

States figure they lost an approx $7 billion in sales tax revenue
from Internet purchases alone in 2001, inspiring them to try to
work together on this. Each state legislature will have to vote on
accepting the multi-state tax compact, so now is a good time to
start lobbying your local state legislator and both educate them
and let them know how you feel on this issue. If the states can
get their governments to agree , state lawmakers will probably
head to Congress within the next two years with the argument
that the burden on vendors has been lifted. With easier tax laws,
plus tax-collection software provided by the states, they will
argue that they have created an environment in which any out of
state vendor can easily collect sales tax, whether the item is
purchased online, by phone or through mail order. Residents of
states that do not charge sales tax now would not be subject to
taxes of the seller's home state.

* * * * *
Opera.Com Browser is now available in Version 6.03. You do
not need to download the version with Java if you already have
the old version with java.

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
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