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TAGnotes Sat 20 Jul 2002 Vol 4 Number 40 Issue 422

The Auction Guild Notes Sat 20 Jul 2002
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This issue brought to you by the preceding subscriber ads.
Please support them, by clicking on their links and buying their
products. Email TAG for advertising rates.
TAG does not endorse the companies or products advertised
Why TAG is Concerned about the PayPal acquisition - and you
should be too...    Editorial

We have several problems with the PayPal acquisition, and right
at the top of the list is that once ebaY gets its hand on PayPal,
they will have full access to every transaction ever made by any
user since the inception of PayPal. ebaY will be able to look into
your individual account and see every online transaction that
went through PayPal. They will have the name, address, phone
number, bank account info, and credit card info on you and every
person you have had transactions with through PayPal. Do you
use PayPal to sell on other OAI/OTI sites or on your own web
site? ebaY will now be able to tell what you sold, how much you
sold and to whom. Have you been sending money via PayPal, to
your best friend? ebaY will know to whom and when it was sent.
Made any donations or paid court fines using PayPal? ebaY will
know and be able to add the information to your customer file.
Concerned yet?

Unhappy with the idea of ebaY having all this information on
you? You think, 'ok, I will just go close my PayPal account and
then ebaY will not be able to get any info on me.' Unfortunately,
this is not true. According to PayPal, all your PayPal information
is kept on file for a number of years. No customer information is
deleted when you close your account. PayPal says the
information has to remain on file to cover possible fraud
problems. The only thing you will keep from ebaY by closing
your account, is your future transactions, not your past ones. And
they will still have all the other info in your account.

TAG queried PayPal as to what info ebaY would get and when
they would get access to it.   PayPal answered that such issues
would not be dealt with until after the merger was approved, and
since the merger was not complete, TAG's concerns were
hypothetical. TAG held that once ebaY got its hands on the info,
protest would be futile, as the horse would already have
escaped the barn. We wondered why these issue were not
addressed in advance of the buyout completion, and why PayPal
did not make clear exactly what would happen to their
customer's information. We were left with the message that we
were overreacting. It was at this point that we asked the
question, "What would happen to our information if we closed
our account now? Would it be wiped off the site?" And that is
when we were told that all info was kept for years, which made a
mockery of all the previous answers. If PayPal's policy is to keep
all info for years, and that it is never removed, even if a customer
requests it to be, then ebaY will get it all. It appears that the
only way ebaY will be denied this information is for the buyout to be
disapproved by the government, or by a class action or Dept of Justice
lawsuit that prevents ebaY from getting access to the
information if the buyout is approved.

This issue is only one of the many issues that concerns TAG. If
interested you can read the complete editorial on the TAG
website at - "ebaY/PayPal Violates Trust"

We strongly suggest that every PayPal customer concerned with
this buyout, contact the Department Of Justice Antitrust Division,
and other relevant agencies, and express your concerns. A few
thousand emails would certainly garner the attention of the DOJ.
It is very unlikely that the deal will be stopped, but enough effort
may prevent ebaY getting access to the mass of inside business
information, that will be available to them, if nothing is done
NOW to stop the transfer of such information.
Dept Of Justice - http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/contact/emailatr.htm
Write to - antit-@usdoj.gov
Federal Trade Commission - http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/antitrust.htm

You should also contact your Congressional representative and
your Senator(s), and make sure they also hear your concerns.
The time to act is NOW, to prevent the problem. Do not follow
ebaY's or PayPal's advice to wait and see, which distills down to
"don't worry, be happy". They would be thrilled if we all just let
them go ahead unchecked to do whatever they like, in whatever
manner they like.

ebaY - on 15 Jul at 06:19:31 PT users reported that they couldn't
copy paste information from the new ebaY End of Auction (EOA)
email.   Other users noted that you can now click on the email
addy and it opens an email form for you, with the item noted. At
06:40:01 PT users continued to report they were receiving EOAs
sporadically or not at all.   At 06:41:37 PT users reported that
mystery items were showing up on their Watch list in my ebaY
even though they have never used My ebaY or the watch list. The
first knowledge of this, was an email notice the item on their non
existent watch list was ending. At 07:52:50 PT users reported
the feedback system was not working returning invalid item
number messages. At 12:14:39 PT ebaY reported that the ability
to list items was down. ebaY claimed it was only affecting some
users.(TAG understands - only the users trying to list were
affected, not the others)   At 16:15:40 PT users reported Mister
Lister (ML) was down. ML collections were bouncing back as
undeliverable with permanent fatal errors. At 18:10:08 PT ebaY
posted that listing on the site was slow from 11:00 PT to 13:30
PT.    At 18:37:47 PT, users continued to report being unable to
leave feedback.   At 22:58:20 PT users reported having problems
with SYI2.0, and were not able to change the shipping
information or payment instructions.

On 16 Jul at 06:34:30 PT users were still reporting problems
with Mister Lister (ML) continuing from the previous day.
Collections loaded the previous night were still not showing on
ebaY. At 06:51:08 PT sellers trying to use SYI2.0 reported they
could not list because they could not get past the category page.
After selecting the subcategories, the number in the category box
did not show up. At 07:26:21 PT sellers reported they could not
upload ML collections.   They received emails from ebaY saying
"user unknown." At 10:48:30 PT ebaY reported that there were
discrepancies in search results using the item specifics product
finder in the categories where item specifics are available:
tickets, travel, real estate, men's clothing, wristwatches, PDAs,
animation art and photographic images. Users who searched by
attribute in these categories did not get the same results as
those in the search results for those categories. ebaY expected
it would take 48 hours to fix this problem.   At 11:13:20 PT, users
reported seller search was returning jumbled results with the
sections mixed up. At 18:32:04 PT sellers reported that they
could not get ebaY to recognize their Square Trade certification.
ebaY denied the verified users the ability to list in the travel
section. At 22:38:34 PT users reported the watch feature was
not letting them record a full 30 items.

On 17 Jul at 13:42:07 PT, ebaY posted that the ability to list items
with item specifics was down. At 14:34:10 PT ebaY announced
that there were discrepancies in search results using the item
specifics product finder in the categories where item specifics
are available. Users who searched by attribute in these
categories did not get the same results as those in the standard
search results for those categories. ebaY said it may take
several days to fix this. At 14:44:14 PT ebaY noted that the ability
to list items with item specifics, was down from 12:30 PT to
14:00 PT. At 15:59:14 PT, users reported that they were having
problems listing. The detail page wouldn't load from the picture
frames on down.   At 20:44:58 PT users posted that the 'add to
description' function was not working.   At 22:49:53 PT, a user
reported they were getting notices from their Norton virus
scanner software, that the newest version of ML was
contaminated with what appeared to be a virus called
Bloodhound W32.2. After much investigation and confusion, it
appears that this latest ML download has coding that makes
Norton think it contains a virus. According to ebaY, there is a
new function in the Mister Lister program of retrieving the
attribute information from the ebaY API, and this was causing the
problem. TAG wonders what other kind of information ebaY is
attempting to "retrieve".

On 18 Jul at 06:05:30 PT users reported completed search was
not working. At 12:43:13 PT users noted that the missing info in
My ebaY - number of bidders in the item sold section and
reserve price on unsold items - needed to be returned to My
ebaY. Users say they need this information in My ebaY, and if
ebaY made any attempt to listen to their users they would return
these items immediately. At 15:55:11 PT a user reported that
whenever they submit a one time credit card payment to ebaY, it
takes it as a double submission and charges the card twice.   
This seller is using AOL as their ISP. Users also reported that
the "List Locally" feature was not working. At 20:20:07 PT users
reported SYI2.0 not working. They could not get the shipping
cost section to take any information.

On 19 Jul ebaY took their site down for maintenance from 01:00
PT until 03:00 PT. Both the ebaY system and ebaY Billpoint
Payments were down.   At 06:32:19 PT users reported that they
could not access My ebaY, Seller's Pages or Search. Board
access took several attempts. At 10:23:53 PT ebaY
acknowledged that the ability to list was down from 10:00 PT to
10:07 PT. At 10:29:02 PT ebaY reported that users could not
view account status or pay ebaY accounts with a credit card was
down from 10:00 PT to 10:20 PT. At 12:25:09 PT users reported
search was down, and were receiving 'page cannot be
displayed' messages.    At 17:53:31 PT a seller reported that
ebaY had ended one of their auctions over 48 hours earlier, but
never notified the seller of why.   At 18:24:45 PT users reported
relisting was causing browser crashes and required manual
reentry of images. At 21:05:15 PT users were receiving input
errors whilst trying to view items. At 22:56:46 PT users reported
the feedback system was down, and they were unable to view
feedback for another user.

On 20 Jul at 10:14:52 PT a user reported waiting to snipe an
item on ebaY and having a pop up screen tutorial on how to bid
come up, preventing them from making their last second snipe.
At 13:25:17 PT some users reported ebaY was very slow.
Images on auctions were also not downloading.

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 I - whilst interjecting herself in a
conversations about Norton Virus alerting users to a "virus" in
the newest Mister Lister download Kelley@ebaY on 18 Jul at
02:33:08 PT said, "..... I downloaded Netscape 4.79 to install on
my computer. I had updated Norton earlier today before going to
work. I had the same experience that you are having with Mister
Lister. I now know how aggravating it is! ............. Kelley,
Community Development" What a revelation! Now all ebaY
needs to do is extrapolate that revelation and require all their
employees to list 10 items a day for 10 days and complete every
transaction using ebaY's kludge of a system, before they are
allowed to make a single suggestion to any user, answer a
question or change a single bit of coding on the site. They
should also require every employee, including management, to
list and complete at least 5 items a month using all ebaY's
systems, so they too can experience the problems, frustrations,
outages and impossibilities the rest of users experience. Maybe
if they all " now know how aggravating it is!" to use ebaY, they will
make some of the changes needed by users and leave what is
not broken alone.

PQOD II - On 18 Jul at 14:03:39 PT Meg posted her message to
ebaY Users about 2nd Quarter earnings. She said, "Today, eBay
announced the financial results for its second quarter ending
June 30th, 2002. I'm very happy to report that eBay had another
excellent quarter, delivering record results across the board.
This clearly demonstrates the vibrancy of our marketplace and
the continued loyalty and dedication of our community. As we
saw at eBay Live, eBay's community members are the key to our
success. Every day, you help build an ever more successful
marketplace. We look forward to working together for even
greater success in the future. Thank you, Meg " TAG thinks that
if anything in this short message was true, and ebaY had any
concern for their "community", SYI2.0 would be gone, My ebaY
would be fixed, Mister Lister would be restored and then left
alone, fees would be reduced, and ebaY would put a real world
responsive appeal system in place to handle suspensions,
ended auctions and other punitive actions. Until Meg shows the
actions that verify her words, she will remain a prevaricator with a
forked tongue, and the community will remain the commodity
she has turned it into.

These are for you Meg. Make your statement, " eBay's
community members are the key to our success", something
you act on rather than words you say but don't believe.

Board Post of the Day I - Posted by krzltd on 15 Jul at 07:02:42
PT, "... well the program I spoke of pulls up all of the addresses
for you. I agree that there are a lot of things that Ebay 'should'
do! But let's face it...they don't do it and they're not going to do
And they really just don't care! So you have to find a 'workaround' that
suits you."

Board Post of the Day II - Posted by webnet on 19 Jul at 10:42:43
PT, "I'd like to take an opportunity to thank all those people here
that have given support over the years. I hope that I can still
participate in a hobby capacity. And will continue to run my
website operations. Our motto was "Failure is not an option" but
we didn't count on our business partner 'eBAY' doing everything
possible to assure our demise. "Only a Dollar" "just a nickle"
"12.95 a month to use Sapro" "rate hikes" "lack of phone support
or any support" "nonpaying bidders running rampant with
recourse". And other assorted fiascos. I can say for the first time
in 5 years I'm actually looking forward to going back to a
conventional job 40 hrs a week. Happy selling to all!"

Board Post of the Day III - Posted by marginally*marginal on 19
Jul at 10:55:52 PT, "eBay *can* be an interesting hobby, webnet.
The mistake many people made was assuming this sandbox
was a professional operation instead of just an electric yard
sale. eBay hasn't changed a bit, it's the *perception* of eBay that
has changed. It's still run by people who are basically clueless
and making silly or nonsensical decisions "on-the-fly", all the
time making noises about "nothing like this has ever been done
before" and similar specious arguments. The stuff is still the
same stuff, just more of it. The people are still the same people,
just more of them. The problems are still the same problems,
just more of them. And the customer support is still the same
customer support, except less of it. It still amazes me that eBay
has a nose-bleed P-E after all these years, but then again, they
never were much more than smoke and mirrors. It's *always*
been OUR stuff that makes this place work. It certainly isn't
anything that eBay has done."

On 17 July at 22:49:53 PT, users reported the newest Mister
Lister download triggered Norton Virus Scan to quarantine ML
files, identifying the file as a virus. ebaY finally succeeded in
fixing Mister Lister until it broke. As usual, ebaY at first denied
that there was any problem. At 23:55:53 PT on 17 Jul
Kelley@ebaY said, " News: The problem comes from the latest
update of Norton's, not Mr. Lister. It is being detected exclusively
by Norton's as a possible, but unknown virus. This mistake only
occurs to users running NAV [Norton AntiVirus - ed] with the 7/17
update. Kelley, Community Development." On 18 Jul at 08:33:54 PT ebaY
responded to email - 'Thank you for letting us know that you are
encountering a virus notification when attempting to download, update or
use your Mister Lister software. I understand how frustrating this would
be for you and would be glad to assist you with this situation. We have
similar reports from some of our Mister Lister users within the
last couple of days who say that their anti-virus software detects
the "bloodhound" virus and then quarantines the MrLister.exe
file. There is a new function in the Mister Lister program of
retrieving the Attribute information from the eBay API. Since the
information has to be sent back to Mister Lister, it may appear as
a "bad inbound communication" to your anti-virus software. To
work around this issue, be sure that you have the correct
Attribute information in your program, by manually updating the
Attributes. To do this you will need to disable your Anti-Virus
software and click "File - Update Categories" in Mister Lister. I
would also suggest that you contact the Symantec technical
support team through the page that I have provided below as
they will be able to assist you in permanently resolving this
issue. Thank you for your patience." Thread on the subject at -

In response to a user, Symnatec immediately analyzed the
submission, found it was a false positive, updated their anti virus
download to allow for the Mister Lister problem, and responded
the way a good and responsive company should. In contrast,
ebaY denied the problem had anything to do with them, blamed
Norton, did nothing to let their users know about the problem, did
not post anything on their announcement board and left it to their
users to get the problem fixed and a workaround figured out.

The fix is to update your Norton anti virus files, and either remove
the Mister Lister file from quarantine, or completely remove
Mister Lister and download it again. If this still does not work,
turn Norton off, go to Settings, Uninstall and get rid of Mister
Lister. Your templates will not be affected. Download the current
Mister Lister, After Mister Lister installs, go to File and click on
Update Categories. This will run for about one minute and when
it finishes, turn Norton on again.

ebaY seller drexelantiques will hold a workshop on Wed 24 Jul
from 17:00 PT to 19:00 PT. This workshop will cover how to write
fair, cordial terms, write a good description, and provide the
information a customer needs to buy your item. Learn how to sell
yourself and the item to your customer in a limited space.
The workshop will be on the workshop board.

ebaY has changed the available email format preferences from
which users may choose. Users can receive ebaY emails in
HTML or text only format. It will take several days for ebaY to
make these new preferences available to all users.

To change the email format preference and view the list of
applicable emails - *Click on the link:
it will take you to Change Your Notification Preferences page.
*Choose your Email Delivery Format for Transaction Emails and
Billing Emails.
*Press the Save my Changes button.
You can also get to this page by going to My ebaY, selecting the
Preferences tab, and clicking the "Change my notification
preferences" link.

ebaY is testing a free tool for ebaY store sellers called
Merchandising Manager. This tool allows sellers to SPAM
potential buyers with related items for sale by the seller, on the
Bid Confirmation and Checkout Confirmation page. This is
aimed at increasing related sales. Sellers with a featured or
anchor store, will also have related items appear on the View
Item page of their item.

To learn more about Merchandising Manager go to -

ebaY is changing the art categories. The Collectibles - Art"
category (#555) will go into the Art category (#550). ebaY will
make most of the subcategories currently under "Collectibles -
Art" part of the Art category except for Artistic Nudes and
Decorator, Designer. ebaY will discontinue these categories. In
what TAG finds an interesting piece of censorship and enforced
control, in order to list artistic frontal nude pieces within the
relevant art categories, ebaY will force sellers to use the "Nudes"
Item Specifics attribute, under the 'Subject' heading, which will
also force that seller to use the SYI2.0 form.
ebaY is moving the calendars category moves to Collectibles:
Paper & Postcards, and will move Paint-by-Number to Hobbies.
The Pin-Up category remains in Collectibles: Animation, Photo

ebaY is starting up the fixed price format this coming week.
Sellers can list items with a fixed Buy It Now (BIN) price
throughout the duration of the listing until sold. Fixed price
listings will have the same duration options (3, 5, 7 and 10 days)
as auction-style listings, and will incur the same Insertion,
Feature and Final Value fees. The fixed price format will only be
available on the new SYI 2.0 form.

For example of the three tabs go to -
To learn more about the new Fixed Price format go to -

ebaY has finally managed to convince the Better Business
Bureau to change Half.Com and Billpoint to a satisfactory rating.
You have to work really hard to get an Unsat from the BBB since
all you need to do is address the problem, not solve it to the
satisfaction of the person who complained. A positive BBB rating
does not say much, but an Unsat says you refuse to deal with
the complaints at all. If you have any unresolved issues ebaY
has not addressed in reference to ebaY Billpoint Payments, or
Half.Com, NOW is the time to file a complaint with the Better
Business Bureau.   ebaY is much more likely to address your
problem, since they do not want to get their long standing
unsatisfactory ratings back again.

BBB Website at - http://www.bbb.org/
To file a complaint go to -

And if you need a good laugh go to -

Ongoing Issues and Information
See the TAG website for miscellaneous ebaY info at -

You pay ebaY for services, so if you don't receive them, 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/

CONTACT INFO 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 - Amazon is
expanding their web site affiliates program. They are setting up a
new program that will allow third party web site operators to add
features and content from Amazon's site into their sites. Web site
operator affiliates will be able to have Amazon's product reviews
and descriptions, as well as its search system, wish lists and
other features on their sites. Amazon will not charge web site
owners who use its features. Amazon's Web services program
allows developers to tap into Amazon's features via XML or
Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), an XML-based standard
that allows two businesses to communicate and exchange
information over the Internet. Web site owners will be able to
use the Amazon shopping cart but not the one click payment

For an article on this go to -
For a link to the current affiliates program go to -
TAG has not found a link to the new program but will provide it as
soon as we do.

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 email is filtering email and changing words in the email
you send. For an article on this strange censorship program go
to - http://news.com.com/2100-1023-944315.html?tag=cd_mh

As of 14Jun02 Yahoo Auctions had 309,097 (-5008)
As of 28Jun02 Yahoo Auctions had 291,421(-17676)
As of 19Jul02 Yahoo Auctions had 274,253 (-17168)

Yahoo Auction counts brought to you by

Yahoo contact Information

* * * * *
uBid.com has added listing fees to their current final value fee.
Listing fees are - from $0.01 - $9.99 =.05; $10.00 - $24.99 = .15;
$25 - $49.99= .35; $50.00 and up =0.75
The reserve fee is .50
Final value fees are -
$0 - $25   - 5% of the closing price
$25 - $1,000 - 5% of the first $25 ($1.25) plus 2.5% of the
remaining closing price
$1,000 and up - 5% of the first $25 ($1.25) plus 2.5% of the first
$25-$1,000 ($24.38) plus 1.25% of the remaining closing price

uBid has a three tier system of which the person to person tier
gets third class treatment.   TAG feels uBid does not do enough
to police the scammers on its site, and that taints all sellers in
their person to person market. Though uBid does clearly warn
buyers that they should not complete any sale with a wire
transfer, uBid appears to allow these scammers to continue to
run items on their site unchecked.


* * * * *
PayPal - in the last issue of TAGnotes we talked about the
withdrawal fee line showing up on US accounts. According to
PayPal, there is no plan to charge any domestic accounts,
Personal, Premier or Business, for withdrawals. Premier and
Business accounts are charged fees for receiving payments.   
International users are charged for receiving payments and for
withdrawals. PayPal says the withdrawal line was added to
support a change in their international product.

PayPal also says that there is no membership fee to join and no
fee to change a charge card. The $1.95 fee that occasionally
pops up for US PayPal users, should only happen if there is
some problem verifying the user. If you get charged the fee, call
PayPal and see if they can figure a way to accomplish verification
without you paying for it.
PayPal contact info can be found at -
Phone - (877) 672-9725

PLEASE NOTE: Many long links we post in TAGnotes must be
copy/pasted into your browsers URL/Address box in pieces, with
no extra spaces, to get them to work due to HTML limitations
Have any information for us? email us at
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