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TAGnotes Sun 7 Jul 2002 Vol 4 Number 38 Issue 420

The Auction Guild Notes Sun 7 Jul 2002
Buck98 Event Starts Tue 9 Jul 02. Bidding starts at $1.98 with
No Reserve http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/$buck98/
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*PLEASE NOTE * Flooding in South and Central Texas may
cause problems and delays with trading partners in the affected

Due to the changes in the way USPS now charges for shipping,
ebaY Checkout no longer works. ebaY chose to not update their
software to allow for input of zones based on the buyer's zip
code. To add a very useful shipping tool to your auctions, add
this code to your auction description block, and provide the
shipping weight in your auctions.
<form action="http://postcalc.usps.gov/speed.asp" method="get"
id="frmMain" name="frmMain" target="_blank">
<B>USPS Postage Calculator</b><br>Enter your ZIP Code
<input type="hidden" name="P" value="">
<input type="hidden" name="O" value="">
<input type="hidden" name="OZ" value="">
<input type="hidden" tabindex="4" maxlength="3" name="MT"
id="MT2" value="2">
<input type=text name=DZ size=5 maxlength=5>  
<input type="submit" tabindex="7" value="Show Rates"></form>
For full instructions and to see an example of the final product go
to - http://quidnunc.net/~smoothmove/usps.htm
You can also get the code for a very useful desktop tool to use
online, at this link -
These useful tools are brought to you by ROCKBOSS

ebaY - On 1 Jul at 03:44 PT users reported receiving messages
that the , "Item number not valid Sorry, the item number you
entered ........... either does not exist or does not apply to a
completed transaction"   This might be related to items the seller
did not receive an end of auction email. The feedback did not
show on the buyer's profile. At 04:16:31 PT users reported that
their "items I'm watching" list had disappeared.   At 08:39:36 PT
users reported problems with listing. At 12:38:29 PT users
reported ebaY was once again jerking around with My ebaY and
the numbers/totals on pages kept changing. At 13:27:25 PT
more users reported not receiving end of auction notices. At
14:47:00 PT users reported that since the My ebaY changes the
reserve price for unsold items was not showing and needed to
be. At 16:53:16 PT some users reported that their feedback was
doubled on their ME page as ebaY continued its code jerking. At
22:14:11 PT user reported that iPix was not working with the
SYI2.0 and a code 777 showed up whilst trying to load images,
but the image transfer worked with the old listing form.

On 2 Jul at 05:01:18 PT users continued to note that the My ebaY
page totals were still incorrect. ebaY said they were working on
it. At 05:19:59 PT negative comments about SYI2.0 started
coming in. Dozens of new posters started to show up on the
boards, all unhappy about SYI2.0. In addition, posters continued
to complain about the My ebaY changes.    At 06:36:18 PT users
reported that items relisted from unsold auctions to stores using
SYI2.0 were not showing up. The relist link that should have
been on the closed item to the relisted item was not there. ebaY
did charge for the relisting though.   At 06:47:49 PT users
reported that refreshing the sellers page returned a blank page.
At 07:09:51 PT ebaY reported that the ability to pay an account
with a credit card, register as a new seller or complete Checkout
was down. At 07:13:03 PT ebaY posted that ebaY Billpoint
payments registration was down. At 07:35:50 PT ebaY posted
that the ability to pay an account with a credit card, register as a
new seller or complete Checkout was down from 07:00 PT to
07:30 PT. At 07:44:13 PT ebaY posted that the ability to register
with ebaY Billpoint payments, pay for an item using Billpoint and
a credit card, or complete Checkout using Billpoint was down. At
07:44:25 PT users reported that when using their AOL browser,
they could not email a high bidder through ebaY because the
system was adding a %40 to the address. At 12:55:15 PT users
reported that advanced search had no field in which to input a
description.   At 17:50:13 PT ebaY posted that items were not
being moved from "Items I'm Selling" to the Sold and Unsold
tables in My ebaY.   At 18:44:56 PT ebaY noted that the ability to
list was down from 18:33 PT to 18:38 PT.   At 18:48:55 PT users
reported that the category page was not working. At 18:53:04 PT
the category selector was working on the old listing form but only
returning an empty gray box on SYI2.0.

On 3 Jul at 04:13:58 PT users reported several ebaY functions
were down for users attempting to access ebaY from the east
coast. Search was down, My ebaY was not working, there was
no access to the home page, bookmarked items would not
open. At 05:59:35 PT users again reported they were not
receiving end of auction emails from ebaY. At 07:50:58 PT users
continued to report the totals on My ebaY pages were incorrect.
At 08:57:39 PT users reported problems with SYI2.0. The
shipping section caused the page to freeze and would not permit
information entry. At 09:52:46 PT the payment reminder to a
bidder link was not working. At 10:59:10 PT ebaY posted that
SYI2.0 was down from 10:50 PT to 10:57 PT. At 11:00:39 users
reported relist was down. At 18:47:47 PT users reported
problems with listing as the form kept telling the seller to log in.

ebaY employees had a long weekend off and so ebaY did not do
maintenance on Friday 5 Jul.   TAG subscribers sent TAG
several emails throughout the day that ebaY had charged their
direct pay account twice for the same bill, in some cases putting
their checking account in default, and bouncing all checks and
direct debits on the accounts. Sellers also reported that the
amounts withdrawn were incorrect and did not match their
account balance on My ebaY. There were several posts on the
ebaY boards about double billing and one thread can be viewed
at -

TAG advises ALL direct pay users to check their accounts for
double charges and insure ebaY pays any charges incurred, if
ebaY's action caused the account to default. TAG does NOT
recommend the use of direct pay, as we have received many
horror stories of users who have been materially damaged by
ebaY's inability to correctly do anything consistently, even debit a
checking account accurately each month.   If you must use direct
pay, TAG strongly recommends the seller use an isolated
account for ebaY, not in any way associated with the sellers real
bank accounts.

On 6 Jul at 08:25:40 PT sellers reported a problem with SYI2.0.
When the seller got to the confirmation screen and went back to
make a change, the seller was diverted to a sign in screen. After
signing in the item automatically listed, even though it was not
completed, and no confirmation screen came up. At 11:08:46 PT
ebaY announced that ebaY said they will be working with their
banking service provider first thing Monday morning to correct the
affected accounts. ebaY claims they will email every seller who
was affected. TAG recommends that ALL users who pay via pay
direct check their accounts. ebaY said, "We understand that this
issue is a serious inconvenience to those users affected, and
sincerely apologize." and TAG thinks this is a serious
understatement. TAG wonders how many thousands of dollars
ebaY will have to pay out in bounced check charges, late fees
and the chain reaction of problems this caused some sellers.
At 19:32:58 PT US buyers posted receiving outbid notices in
Dutch and German.

On 7 Jul at 04:26:26 PT a WebTV user posted that SYI2.0 does
not work with WebTV. The submit button at the end of the listing
did not work. TAG believes the submit button requires javascript
and WebTV does not have javascript. TAG does not know if this
applies to some or all WebTV systems. The old listing form is
still available at -
http://pages.ebay.com/sell/index_old.html (also see below).
ebaY had a short crash between 19:56:58 PT and 19:59:51 PT.
Users reported at 20:09:46 PT that they were getting cgi error
messages whilst trying to view auctions.   At 07/07/200 20:14:32
PT ebaY posted that Sporting Goods, Sports Memorabilia, Live
Auctions and Sothebys.com were down from 20:07 PT to 20:10
PT. Users were unable to view items, bid on items or list items.

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 2 Jul in a conversation (?) on one of the
ebaY boards, ebaY's Michael Dearing - mcd@ebay - failed to
address any issues of import to the posters and instead
attempted to discuss the home page structure. He said at
20:01:04 PT, "... we'd rather try to address your concerns with
the form and make it better. What I'd also like to discuss,
however, is the category structure on the homepage. Anyone
game?" Needless to say Mr Dearing had no takers. When a
poster stated that My ebaY really sucks and SYI 2.0 sucks also,
mcd@ebay said at 20:30:25 PT, ".... thanks for recapping. Both
points have been made and heard loud and clear."
Unfortunately TAG believes that no input by sellers or buyers will
have any influence on what ebaY does, though they say they
listen to their "community" it is clear to everyone who uses the
site that they do not.

Board Post of the Day I, in the could not resist this one class -
posted by marginally*marginal on 1 Jul at 18:23:18 PT," .... The
BIN V2 (Fixed Price Format or FPF, not to be confused with FVF
(q.v.)) is replacing the Stores (Shops) all over the world... except
ebay.com (US). The Stores concept apparently was so
successful that eBay decided to replace it with something else,
and the BIN V2 is the something else. BIN V2 is available
everywhere but the US. Apparently there is some proprietary
methodology in the Search, since those items (like Store items)
do not show up in a US Limited International Search (USLIS)
from the US ebay site. However, they should appear in the
International International Search System (IISS, or to the
tragically hip: I2S2) (which is not to be confused with the USLIS,
which is not International International, it's only a Partial
International Search System (PI2S -- or even more tragically hip:
PISS)). Since the items will apparently only be searchable by a
miniscule subset of the Global ebay Economic Community
(GeEC), the listings are being offered for what they are worth, i.e.,
Free for Nothing. The bottom line is that the BIN V2 is basically
USLISS, not worth a PISS to US, unless you're a GeEC from out
of town." and However, the Korean eBay Software System
(KeSS) is incompatable with the eBay's Autonomous Software
System". What would TAG do without him? Find his excellent
Militaria auctions at -

BPOD II, in the method in their madness category, posted by
vanity-fair-prints on 2 Jul at 06:02:41 PT, "... the new listing
form was never meant to be easier. It is design to place before you all
the features they have for sale and hope that( in a moment of complete
madness ) you use one and PAY for one !" View the Vanity Fair items at
- http://www.vanity-fair-prints.com/

ebaY Billpoint Payments, after review of their Unsatisfactory
rating by the Better Business Bureau, the BBB has reposted the
ebaY Billpoint Payments Unsatisfactory rating (checked 7 Jul
02). BBB says, "Under standard reporting policy, the Better
Business Bureau routinely develops and issues reports on
companies about which we receive frequent inquiries, where
there are a pattern of complaints, or when a firm has been
unresponsive to complaints brought to its attention by the
Bureau. We also maintain reports on those firms, which are
members of the BBB and have agreed to maintain compliance
with BBB standards of membership. Our file experience shows
that the company has an unsatisfactory record with the Bureau.
Specifically, our records show a pattern of non-response to
consumer complaints brought to its attention by the Bureau."

This is a pretty sad state of affairs since responding to problems
is sufficient for a satisfactory rating, you do not have to fix the
problem to the customers satisfaction. This means that ebaY
just refuses to deal with the complaints, and appears to be trying
to change the Billpoint name to ebaY payments to distance itself
from this poor rating. TAG is also receiving reports from sellers
that ebaY Billpoint payments continue to charge back sellers
who use the information provided by Billpoint to ship items.
Billpoint provides false info and the seller ends up paying for it -
with a Billpoint penalty fee thrown in on top of the loss of the
item, item price and shipping.
To view the report go to -
Search for Billpoint, click on "search" then click on "report"

It appears that the charity auction publicized by ebaY for a
holiday at the Balmoral estate, was not quite the "rare
opportunity" as advertised. It turns out these holidays are
available as a matter of course to anyone, and at this time of
year, a week's vacation at Alltnaguibhsaich Lodge on Balmoral
Estate usually goes for about £730, the equivalent of $1022.
ebaY says they take responsibility for auction credibility and
warns that subscribers buy and sell at their own risk. For an
article on the subject go to -

ebaY is changing the way it shows the time left on an auction in
the search and listings results. Instead of the "ends PT"
currently displayed, with the date and military time in the Pacific
Time Zone that the listing will end, ebaY will show the remaining
"time left". This will be displayed in hours and minutes, rather
than the specific hour of the day.

Users who prefer "ends PT" can set the results pages to show it.
Set the default via a link in the "show only" box in the left-hand
navigation bar. Once the default is set to "ends PT", it will remain
that way for that user. Users must set the default to "ends PT" for
search and listings separately.
To see a preview of time left go to -

ebaY has introduced a fixed price selling format. This format
has been on the international sites for several months, and is
now going to be available on the US site. For now ebaY will
continue the other formats, including the auction format,
auctions with Buy It Now (BIN), stores, and the ad format for Real
Estate listings.

Sellers will be able to list a fixed price BIN for 3, 5, 7 and 10 days

at the same price as an auction listing. The items will appear in
auction search and will also have a separate sort tab. The seller
can modify the BIN price during the duration of the listing until the
listing ends or the item is purchased. Sellers will also be able to
list multiple items in one listing. And buyers will be able to
purchase more than one of an item.

ebaY will have three tabs on the search and listings pages - all
items, auction, and BIN. BIN will show fixed price and auctions
with BINs.

To preview tabs go to
For an example go to -
To learn more go to -

This item appears to be about what a fixed price listing will look
like, but curiously has no ending date -

ebaY is removing the completed items tab from the regular
search page. In a note at the top of the completed search tab,
you will see a message that says, "Important: "Completed Item"
tab will be going away. Please use the "Advanced Search" tab
when searching for completed item in the future." Unfortunately
it has been suggested that javascript might be needed to access
completed auctions as many of the items on the advanced
search page require javascript.

Sell your Item 2.0 (SYI2.0) is now the default listing form on
ebaY. From the time it became the default, there have been
hundreds of posts by sellers who find the form horrendous. It is
too long and too slow and has too many glitches. Sellers can
continue to use the old form by scrolling to the bottom of the very
first page of the SYI2.0 page after logging in.   Click on the link
under the "continue" button - "For a limited time, you may
continue to use our previous Sell Your Item form. " Bookmark
this page - http://pages.ebay.com/sell/index_old.html

You can also Login and go to this link and bookmark it. Copy
paste the entire URL into your browser window without spaces -


To relist on the old form and bypass the default relist on SYI2.0 -
Login. Copy paste the entire URL into your browser window
without spaces - Insert the ITEM number in BOTH places where
the ##### appears in the URL:

http://cgi5.ebay.com/aw-cgi/ eBayISAPI.dll?ListItemForSaleLogin

Old Page - http://pages.ebay.com/sell/index_old.html
New Page -

We plan to post this on the TAG website for future reference. To
keep the old listing page for the maximum amount of time, copy
the HTML to your desktop or a file and use that form offline, then
go online to post the form. The work around information is
brought to you by Snyderstr -

ebaY Trivia - a few issues ago we noted that visitors to ebaY's
home page had to accept 12 to 17 cookies. It now takes one
cookie to access ebaY's home page - WELL DONE ebaY! Glad
to see you removed MediaPlex from the home page. We do note
however that it takes at 1 to 3 cookies to access each and every
other page on the ebaY site, but that is at least manageable,
though still way too many cookies.
The browse page tries to feed you 11 cookies - mostly MediaPlex
ones. The category portal pages feed you upwards of 15. ebaY
really needs to get a grip on its cookie usage.

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

* * * * *
Amazon Auctions, zShops and Marketplace
Problems sellers wish they had - Velocity Limit -
Amazon sets certain $$$ sales thresholds. When you cross a
threshold Amazon sends you an email and tells you that you
need to call from your Amazon registered phone number and/or
reply to their email and verify your identity . They don't want a
seller with rapidly growing sales to disappear, leaving bereft
customers in their wake.

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

* * * * *
Yahoo Auction/Warehouse/Classifieds (YA) -
Yahoo Inc has redesigned their home page -

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)
As of 28Jun02 Yahoo Auctions had 291,421(-17676)

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

* * * * *
Sellyouritem.com is moving its hosting location. In the first few
weeks of July SYI is moving to a new web host, will get new IP
addresses and will be on a 10 meg connection to the internet,
where they now have a 4 meg connection. This connection has
the capability to be increased as needed. The new data center
has a redundancy with three separate ISPs. In addition SYI will
have a larger rack space for continued server expansion and
have a better backbone connection to the internet.

On 3 Jul at 12:35 ET SYI announced that at approximately 03:00
ET a major router in Florida malfunctioned shutting down access
to SYI. The router was temporarily repaired as of 12:15 ET, but
further slowness was expected.

In the last 30 days 1345 auctions were sold for prices ranging
from $.01 to $3,325, with an average price of $9.79 for all items
sold in that period. This represents a 3.7 percent sell through
rate based on total listings for that period of time. Of that number,
9.6 percent had more than one bid. Currently (8:34 AM EST 7/1)
the site stats show .8 percent of active auctions have bids, with
6.5 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.

Submit comments and suggestions to -
Send Category requests to -
Send questions about the site to -

SYI report brought to you by
Karen Morgan (Musiclessons & Kithaven @ SYI)

Visit her auctions -
Musiclessons - Eclectic Stuff
Kithaven: - Handmade Crafts, including Quilted Items
And their web page at -   
Morgan-Meadowsong Farm: http://www.hrtc.net/~mkmorgan/

* * * * *
TIAS.Com Seasonal sales increase starts this month.   July has
historically been the start of the seasonal increase in sales of
antiques and collectibles online.

"Over the past 7 years July has usually been the month where
sales for antiques and collectibles online begin to increase after
the spring lull." said Phillip Davies President of TIAS.com "The
weather in many parts of the U.S. starts to get very warm and
people retreat indoors with their computer's to escape the heat."

Historically, the three slowest months for the sale of antiques
and collectibles online are April, May and June.

Source - TIAS Newsletter

* * * * *
Opera.com The latest Opera version, Version 6.04, is available
for download at - http://www.opera.com

* * * * *
BlackMagic eLister for Macintosh computers $39.95 - ebaY
auctions only. Free updates

Calc Cycline 3 listing software - free for up to 5 users

More listings - TUCOWS -

* * * * *
USPS   - Shipping Center - online services page is now offering
certification to become eligible for special online Delivery
Confirmation™ and Signature Confirmation™ services, which will give you
the date, time and ZIP Code of delivery.

*As a certified customer, you establish an electronic
communications link with the Postal Service to exchange
acceptance and delivery data, and apply USPS standardized
barcodes to your packages.
*You can access a daily file containing scanning information on
all of your packages from the previous day or access our Web
site for individual inquiries.
Forms to apply -

Rate change will require zone charts, to figure out your
postage. Here is an excellent tool to develop a chart for your use
enter your ZIP code (Seller Zip Code) and then print it out.
Also -

* * * * *
Things we found whilst looking for other things -
A site to define, " recently coined words, existing words that have
enjoyed a recent renaissance, and older words that are being
used in new ways"
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






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