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TAGnotes Mon 15 Jul 2002 Vol 4 Number 39 Issue 421

The Auction Guild Notes Mon 15 Jul 2002
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This issue brought to you by the preceding subscriber ads,
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along with editorials, an image hosting directory and other info.

ebaY - Complaints about My ebaY and SYI2.0 continued with
great furor on the ebaY boards and across the OAI/OTI. Some
problems with My ebaY noted were, the reserve price missing
from sold items, items I have sold no longer shows the number
of bids, the organization, print size and type of item titles were
unreadable and disorganized. There are also endless and
ongoing My ebaY glitches that ebaY acknowledged in email to
users who complained, but no posts were made on the SAB. As
usual, ebaY is trying to hide their problems, and since ebaY has
made My ebaY a critical feature, sellers should request refunds
for all items they feel were negatively affected by the ongoing
problems with My ebaY.

SYI2.0 has been coming in for endless criticism, primarily
because it is too long, needs too many clicks and is way too
slow, particularly via a dial up connection. The only users who
seem to be able to use SYI2.0 are those with the same items
that just get continually relisted. Any seller who sells unique of
different items has found their listing time increased by a factor
of 5.   Added to that are ongoing glitches that causes SYI2.0 to
not work with Netscape, and pages to freeze.

For several weeks, users have noted that they are not receiving
end of auction notices. These notices appear irregularly or not at
all. They vary between the old form and the new "good news"
format. Hotmail email account holders, continue to have
problems with receiving any email from ebaY, despite Meg
Whitman's claim more than a month ago, of having solved the
problem with Microsoft with her phone call to Steve Ballmer. Meg
needs to get back on the phone as it appears he has solved the
ebaY problem with as much attentiveness as ebaY users get
from ebaY customer support.

ebaY continues to mislead their users as to the problems on the
site. The admissions, made in emails by those fortunate
enough to merit a response from ebaY, are not made on the SAB
where they should be. For example, this excerpt from an email
sent to a seller with My ebaY problem.   "Thank you for writing to
let us know that some of your sold items are not showing as
sold in My eBay. We are introducing some enhancements to My
eBay and we are aware that some members have reported that
sold items don't display correctly. We are working to correct this
problem as quickly as possible....... We believe that these
upcoming enhancements will make the My eBay feature easier
to use for both buyers and sellers. We thank you for your
patience while we work to correct this problem. Regards,
Whitney G. M. eBay PowerSeller Support" If ebaY is aware of
these problems, why are they not on the SAB, and is TAG the
only one chilled by the thought of more My ebaY

On 8 Jul at 11:39:34 PT users reported cgi3 not working properly
preventing sign in. Users kept receiving messages saying their
user ID was invalid. At 16:26:07 PT AOL users continued to
report the inability to use ebaY's mail system. ebaY continues to
get less and less compatible with AOL.   At 20:28:48 PT users
reported search was not working properly, with subsequent
search pages not opening.

On 9 Jul at 08:38:39 PT the ebaY site was down. At 08:45:14 PT
users reported cgi3 errors, preventing log in. At 08:45:35 PT
users reported all the main cgis going down across the site. At
08:45:47 PT users received messages that, "502 Connection
Failed This Web page could not be opened. There may be too
many people accessing this page or the page may be
unavailable. Please try again later." At 08:48:36 PT users
reported search was down.   At 08:49:37 PT users trying to
access the site received messages saying, "Input Error There
was an error in your input. Please go back and ensure that all
fields are properly filled in." At 08:54:43 PT the site was back up,
but at 08:57:16 PT users trying to relist received messages that,
"ArchivedItemsHost items are currently unavailable." At 08:58:32
PT ebaY posted that completed items were unavailable from
08:41 PT to 08:56 PT. Users also reported problems viewing
current items during that time.   At 10:07:01 PT cgi5 went down
preventing listing on the site.   At 10:09:29 PT cgi5 was back.   At
10:25:01 PT ebaY announced that the problem with ebaY double
billing direct pay users were being addressed. Users could
expect ebaY to fix the problems within 24-48 hours.   Users who
suffered from bounced checks, insufficient funds and other
charges triggered by ebaY's error, are required to contact ebaY to
attempt to recover those moneys. At 11:50:19 PT users reported
the feedback forum was down yielding invalid auction number
messages on recently closed auctions.   At 12:17:25 PT users
reported not being able to add to item descriptions, with the
submit button not responding.   At 16:37:21 PT, users reported
problems with seller and bidder search. At 18:07:26 PT users
reported that revisions to auction descriptions were not showing
up on the site, 10 hours after submission. At 14:15:20 PT users
reported bidder search was still not working.

On 10 Jul at 06:13:16 PT users reported that the add to/ revise
link works on the Canada site, because it was still using the old
link, but the new add to/ revise link on the US site was still not
working. At 09:32:56 PT users reported 404 errors in the Sports
Categories with some but not all auction descriptions showing
up.   At 10:28:26 PT users reported hearing from ebaY via email
that some areas of the ebaY site now require JavaScript in order
to properly load. Some users have been required to disable
JavaScript in order to access ebaY, as ebaY becomes
incompatible with more system. At 10:35:56 PT users reported
the chat boards not loading properly. Complaints continued
about the absence or lateness of end of auction notices. At
13:50:19 PT more problems with the chat boards were noted by
users, with "empty message" notices when clicking on the post
a message link. At 14:15:20 PT bidder search was down,
yielding invalid user ID messages when an ID was placed in the
bidder search block

On 11 Jul ebaY announced that at 13:17:01 PT the bidding and
selling tabs of My ebaY were down from 12:59 to 13:05 PT. At
13:27:59 PT users reported widespread errors in search in the
Toy category. At 15:47:27 PT users reported the “ask seller a
question” function was not working. At 16:41:33 PT users
reported the ebaY wireless system was down.

ebaY did maintenance on the site on 12 Jul from approx 01:00
PT to 03:00 PT. ebaY Billpoint payments were available but from
the ebaY Billpoint link only at http://www.billpoint.com. At
11:27:56 PT sellers reported that Mister Lister was down. At
16:22:14 PT users reported they were not able to access the
new help system. Users also reported problems with sign in for
bidding and leaving feedback. At 17:36:12 PT users reported
problems with the new bidding and watching section of My ebaY.
This function is supposed to allow 30 items but was only
permitting 20, despite saying that 30 were recorded.   At 19:03:10
PT users reported that there were more problems with My ebaY.
Sold auctions were showing up in the "unsold" section. At
19:51:21 PT reports continued about sold items appearing in the
unsold section of My ebaY.

On 13 Jul at 05:16:42 PT, users continued to report sold items
were showing in the unsold section of My ebaY. At 08:07:52 PT
ebaY posted that sellers could not make a one time credit card
payment from 07:11 to 07:34 PT. ebaY posted at 10:46:54
PT that this problem occurred again between 09:52 and 10:11PT.

On 14 Jul at 06:44:59 PT users continued to report a problem
with bidder search yielding user ID not valid messages. At
11:19:16 PT ebaY posted that listing was down from 10:55 PT to
11:08 PT. Users also reported problems with the interface
compatibility between Microsoft ME and some ebaY forms. One
possible solution was to disable "Active Scripting" on Internet
Explorer's Security tab for the Internet Zone, then clear your
cache, and temporary internet files to delete ebaY's JavaScript,
exit all browsers and try again.   For more info on ongoing
technical issues, check the ebaY technical issues forum at -
At 13:10:13 PT a user reported ebaY's iPix image system was
down. No images were uploading. Other users did not have this
problem. At 14:39:24 PT more users reported ebaY iPix image
uploading problems with SYI2.0, receiving an "error 1312" when
trying to upload an image. At 17:19:08 PT users reported the My
ebaY watching page was coming up blank.   The SYI2.0 listing
page would not accept the category selected. There were also
continued complaints about problems with ebaY iPix images not
uploading. At 18:08:49 PT a user reported all their auctions had
seller pays shipping as the default on listing, but others did not
have the same problem. Seller should check their items and the
listing form to insure the options are set correctly. At 19:59:28 PT
sellers continued to report the ebaY iPix image problem on
SYI2.0 though it worked with the old listing form.   These
problems were reported again at 20:08:02 PT.

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 in her MAB posting about the purchase of
ebaY, Meg@ebaY said on 8 Jul 04:51:19 PT, "Since many of our
members offer PayPal's services, this acquisition makes a
tremendous amount of sense. Integrating PayPal's services into
our platform is something that many of our members have
asked us to do. We believe it will enhance our members'
experience by allowing buyers and sellers to trade with greater
ease, speed and safety. " As TAG sees it, sellers might have
asked for easier access and integration of PayPal to ebaY, but
they preferred PayPal to remain an independent company in
competition with ebaY.   The only persons to benefit from this
acquisition, are the insiders at ebaY for whom this will keep the
stock price high and the insiders at PayPal who get to cash out
early. The stock holders, the employees are sure to lose. The
sellers and buyers who will be required to pay higher fees for
poorer service will not gain anything. This monopolistic
acquisition will have long term negative repercussions on users,
and TAG predicts that if the DOJ does not prevent it, sellers can
expect to see ebaY requiring all sellers to offer the acquired
payment system.

Board Post of the Day - in answer to a distressed buyer about
not being able to see the bids they placed on an item they did not
win, marginal*antics said on 14 Jul at 09:57:38 PT that, "........
People have been discussing the changes to My eBay for the
last several weeks here. The reason you can't see your bid is
because eBay changed it! They make changes because they
can....not because they're useful to the rest of us."

Watch for their auctions at -

Late on 7 Jul, ebaY announced that it was going to buy PayPal
for approximately 1.5 billion in stock. This very expensive
acquisition garnered a comment on the ebaY announcement
board by Meg Whitman on 8 Jul 04:51:19 PT. Meg tried to make
this purchase appear to be something desired by users at ebaY
live. It was well known that the acquisition was in negotiations
and that it was more a matter of coming up with a high enough
offer rather than if the purchase was going to happen.   The very
visible presence of PayPal at ebaY live left little doubt in the
minds of ebaY's users.

Though the demise of Billpoint was mentioned in passing, no
comments as to its failure, financial losses etc were made in
any of the press releases or pink posts (including Meg's to the
"community"). It remains to be seen how many employees will
lose their jobs at Billpoint and PayPal if the acquisition goes
through.   It also remains to be seen how much the ebaY
"community" will be required to pay for this latest attempt to keep
ebaY's stock price up.

ebaY says that they will end PayPal's association with online
gambling sites, reflecting 8% of PayPal's revenue. TAG predicts
that if the deal goes through, ebaY will end the PayPal debit card
with it's 1.5% rebate, and many other free PayPal benefits. It
remains to be seen if PayPal's promise of forever free personal
accounts will survive the buyout, though even PayPal has
squeezed those down so far they are now a marginally functional

ebaY info about the acquisition
Press Release http://www.shareholder.com/ebay/releases-2002.cfm
Frequently Asked Questions
Web cast of conference call with Meg

Several class action suits have been filed to date, to attempt to
stop this acquisition. ebaY filed a note with the SEC that on 10
Jul, "a purported class action complaint was filed in the Superior
Court of the State of California for the County of Santa Clara (No.
CV809326) by Dominic A. Castaldo, an alleged stockholder of
PayPal, Inc. (“PayPal”). As previously reported by eBay Inc.
(“eBay”) in its Current Reports on Form 8-K filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission on July 11, 2002 and July
12, 2002, three other purported class action complaints have
been filed in the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware in
and for New Castle County by alleged stockholders of PayPal.
Each of the complaints name as defendants PayPal and each
member of its board of directors as well as eBay. Each of the
complaints are purported class actions that allege, among other
things, that (i) eBay controls PayPal, (ii) the defendants have
breached fiduciary duties they assertedly owed to PayPal’s
stockholders in connection with PayPal entering into the
Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of July 7, 2002, with
eBay and Vaquita Acquisition Corp. and (iii) the merger
consideration is unfair and inadequate. The plaintiffs in each
lawsuit seek, among other things, an injunction against the
consummation of the merger and an award of unspecified
compensatory damages." You can view the posting at -

ebaY has made the change displaying ending time of a listing in
search and listings results.   This change is not yet appearing
across the site. The option appears to appear and disappear as
you reload the same page. Instead of the ending time as "Ends
PDT/PST", with the date and military time in the Pacific Time
Zone that the listing will end, it now displays "Time Left", with the
amount of time left in the listing displayed in hours and minutes,
rather than the specific hour of the day.

If the page is showing time left, and you prefer to view time
remaining by the old method, set the default via a link in the
"Show Only" that will say "View ending times" box in the left-hand
navigation bar. Once the default is set to "Ends PDT/PST", it will
remain that way for that user until changed. Set the default for
search and listings results separately.

ebaY is adding the item specifics feature in animation art and
photographic images under collectibles. The item specifics
feature is currently available in the Tickets, Travel, Real Estate,
Men's Clothing, Wristwatches and PDAs categories.

Sellers will be able to list using Item Specifics this week. The
ability to search by Item Specifics will not be available until next

In an unannounced move ebaY appears to have removed
thousands of items from the Everything Else:Gifts &
Occasions:Gag Gifts, Novelties:Risque Novelties category. ebaY
is no longer allowing fetish and or bondage items to appear on
the visible side of the site curtain, and is no longer allowing
BDSM items on the site at all, even behind the mature audiences
curtain. Sellers may no longer use the term BDSM in their

For sellers looking for other venues to sell these items, there is
a site called Fetish Auctioneer at www.fetishauctioneer.com.
Sellers report they are having about a 6% sell through rate,
though ebaY's latest moves might well improve that even further
on this fairly new site. A group working for the betterment of
sellers of "adult" and "kinky" items can be found at -

As TAG sees it, ebaY had no problem having the most "adult" of
items on the site until they got into bed with the likes of Disney.
When they needed the very successful "adult" categories to build
their business they had no hesitation in using them, and are
now having no problem slamming the door in the face of these
sellers. In an email to a seller ebaY said, "Our decision to
enforce this policy was strictly for business reasons. We feel that
BDSM items do not belong on our site and as such we are no
longer allowing them. If we feel that items are being marketed
as BDSM items, then we will take what we feel is the appropriate
action." ebaY acted on this unannounced policy change without
warning to any of the sellers.

All sellers should be concerned with this behavior on ebaY's
part, because one can never know when their category will
become the target of some large corporation in the very unlevel
playing field that ebaY has become.   TAG cautions all sellers to
not keep all their eggs in ebaY's basket, and to work together to
build other venues and methods to sell their wares online.

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 announced on 9 Jul,
that they have reduced the commission rate they charge on all
Electronics and Camera Marketplace
transactions from 15% to 10%. Commission rate for all other
product lines remains at 15% at this time.

For more info on Amazon Marketplace Fees and Pricing, go to -

On 9 Jul Amazon also announced that only authorized sellers
would be able to list using condition code "new" any items in
Electronics, Camera & Photo, Kitchen & Housewares, Outdoor
Living, and Tools & Hardware. Sellers may still use the "new"
condition code in all other product lines.

"Authorized Sellers" are those sellers authorized by a specific
manufacturer to sell that manufacturer's products at
Amazon.com. For more information about becoming a
recognized Authorized Seller on Amazon.com, go to -

On 10 July Amazon users posted about a widespread and
sometimes intermittent problem with access to their transaction
payments account. This has affected some sellers for 10 plus
days and other not at all, intermittently or for shorter periods of
times. Amazon does not seem to have a solution, but
suggested to one seller that passwords of over 8 character
might be part of the problem. There has been no resolution of
this problem and it appears that Amazon CS has no cure for their
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 in an announced move, where every user was
notified via email and in advance, on 11 Jul, moved their servers
to a new data center.   Though the site was down for several
hours, it came back earlier than expected and with visibly faster

Their new IP address is

* * * * *
Carnaby.Com sellers have banded together to hold a
“Christmas at Carnaby” July Sale.
From 18-28 July, Carnaby sellers will list Christmas items like:
clothing with Christmas designs (shirts, suspenders, socks,
ties), tree topper angels, decorations of all kinds like wreaths,
lights, tree skirts, and figures of snowmen, reindeer, Santa etc.
or anything else. Most items listed for the sale should be holiday
related, but gifts for early Christmas presents will be allowed
also. To find these items buyers can type in keywords: Xmas or
July. Or click on the “Christmas at Carnaby” banner on the

There will also be a banner contest for the member who designs
the best “Christmas @ Carnaby” banner. The banner will be
displayed on the Carnaby homepage for the 10-day Christmas
focused auction. Banner contest deadline is on 17 July.

Participating sellers can be found at -   
To learn more go to the Carnaby Café at -

3844 items for sale Unfortunately there is no way to easily
browse all listings or view all auctions ending soon. This makes
bargain hunting an endless sea of clicks.

* * * * *
PayPal - has added a space for a withdrawal fee to its utility to
withdraw funds and send them to a bank account. The screen
appeared as follows -
Amount: $10.00
Withdrawal Fee:   -$0.00
Amount to Bank Account: $10.00

According to PayPal, there are no plans to add a withdrawal fee
for personal accounts. Withdrawal fees do apply to Non US
bank accounts. No word yet on withdrawal fees for Premier
and/or Business accounts.

PayPal is being investigated for allowing money transfers to
online gambling sites, by the New York State's Attorney General.
Article at -

PayPal info about ebaY acquisition can be found at -

* * * * *
C2it.Com - is an online third party money transfer system, owned
and operated by CitiBank. Though it is currently free to use the
system for payments in the US, there were fees in the past that
could be paid by the buyer or seller, and TAG imagines there will
be fees at some point in the future.

To register you must provide your social security number and
birth date. This is standard operating procedure for a real bank,
which CitiBank is, and is required by banking regulations. We
attempted to register and could not get through the process due
to an error message. We called their 24/7 customer service,
waited on hold about 15 seconds for a CS rep (2200 ET on a
Sun night). The CS rep tried to access the account for us,
couldn't, and said we would have to wait 48 hours for it to unlock.
We also asked a couple of other questions about ways to set up
accounts, and the CS rep quickly found out an answer for us.
We will report on our progress with this registration in future

Here is some info on how c2it works. When you set up a c2it
account, you are establishing an individual non-interest bearing
transactional account with Citibank, F.S.B. You can send cash to
recipients within the United States, send International money
transfers to recipients in over one hundred countries, transfer
cash from your c2it Account to your Linked Accounts, get cash,
request cash, and add cash to your c2it Account. Both the
sender and recipient must have c2it accounts. All transactions
made through the c2it service will pass through your c2it

You may have up to nine e-mail addresses linked to your c2it
Membership. You can add credit card accounts from which you
would like to send, get, and add cash to your c2it account. A card
account may only be linked to one c2it Account at any time. At this
time, debit card accounts may not be used to get cash. You can
also link to bank accounts, but the address on your Bank
Account statement must be the same as the mailing address on
your c2it Membership. All Linked Accounts must be with financial
institutions in the United States. If you use a credit card to fund
your account, you have to check with the credit card company to
see if they will count it as a charge or cash advance, and if fees
will apply. All accounts are FDIC insured to a total of $100,000
for all CitiBank accounts.

Once money is picked up by a recipient it is non-reversible and
non-refundable, and Citibank is not responsible for any money
you send to the wrong email address. Recipients must request
c2it to get cash before the money is moved into their account,
and you have 90 days to do this in once cash is sent to you.

Limits are - 1 day       4 consecutive days
Send Cash $500        $1000
Get Cash     $1000      $2000
Add Cash    $2000      $2000
Transfer Funds from my c2it Account to any Linked Account
$1000 per day and $3000 in 4 consecutive days.
For extensive details go to -

Contact phone numbers (800) 200-3881, 24 hours a day, 7 days
a week. Calling from outside the United States? Call collect 24
hours a day, 7 days a week, at (904) 954-7222

* * * * *
Interesting article on SPAM lawsuit brought by WA State.
PLEASE NOTE: Many long links we post in TAGnotes must be
copy/pasted into your browsers URL/Address box in pieces, with
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