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TAGnotes Sun 8 Sep 2002 Vol 4 Number 46 Issue 428

The Auction Guild Notes Sun 8 Sep 2002
$Buck98 Event Starts 9 Sep 02 Bidding starts at $1.98 with
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This issue brought to you by the preceding subscriber ads,
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products. TAG does not endorse the companies or products

5800 subscribers. 5 Sep was the 3rd Anniversary of TAGnotes.
Give us an anniversary present and get one other person to sign
up for TAGnotes!
Will the ebaY US site have a FREE Listing Day in Sep? TAG's
best guess for a US FLD is Thursday 19 Sep though Tues 24
Sep or Thu 26 Sep should not be ruled out. ebaY has held FLDs
for Canada, AU, UK and Germany, and some of these sites have
had two or three FLDs in the last few months. We would guess
that if ebaY holds a US FLD it will be for fixed price Buy it Now
only, even though they have held free auction and fixed price
FLDs on other sites.

ebaY - On 25 Aug from 10:30 PT to 1033 PT ebaY users
reported they could not sign in on the ebaY discussion forums.
At 18:10:47 PT listing was down returning, "This function is
currently unavailable" messages. At 22:23:53 PT users received
"Page cannot be displayed" messages whilst trying to access
the site.

ebaY was stable on 26 Sep with no outage problems reported by

On 27 Aug at 15:01 a user reported My ebaY not accessible
though they tried using different browsers and different
computers.   At 18:08 PT jer-@ebay.com posted that the alleged
"glitch" that allowed/tricked buyers into using checkout and ebaY
Billpoint (soon to be ebaY Global Payments, once the PayPal
buyout is complete) despite the fact that the seller did not offer
Checkout and/or Billpoint, was fixed. At 18:00:17 PT users
reported that the buttons for Checkout and Billpoint were no
longer appearing in My ebaY for sellers not accepting either. At
18:16:38 PT users trying to list received, "I.E. Exp. Script Error,
Line 14, Char 13, Error: The"caller server (not server application)
is not available and disappeared, all connections are invalid.
Call did not execute. Code O." messages. Using third party
listing programs yielded input error messages. At 20:39:56 PT
users reported very slow page loads.

On 28 Aug at 05:57:29 PT users reported that on relisting, they
were having problems removing the ebaY Billpoint payments
option from the auction. After unchecking the box the option still
appeared on 'review' and had to be unchecked again. It also
appears that if you choose "Other Online Payment" option on
your listings, you will have to recheck it on relist as ebaY
unchecks it.   At 09:35 PT users reported completed search was
only working for title search and not for title and description
search. At 11:10 PT users reported that cq-search.ebay.com was
down. This lasted until 11:30 PT when search was working
again albeit very slowly.

On 29 Aug at 12:41:15 PT ebaY posted that some complex
searches with more than one keyword or that includes keywords
to exclude were not working properly causing slow results from
12:25 PT to 12:35 PT. At 18:24:59 PT users reported that
changes on ebaY's search page corrupted their internet view
settings forcing them to readjust their settings. At 18:38:42 PT
users reported that searching for an item was retuning unrelated
results. At 20:45:59 PT ebaY posted that ebaY Billpoint
payments was down from 19:02 PT until 19:59 PT.

On 30 Aug ebaY took their site down for maintenance from
approx 01:00 PT until 03:00 PT. Both ebaY and ebaY Billpoint
payments were down. At 04:58:45 PT users posted that search
corrupted their internet view settings, forcing them to readjust
their settings. At 06:35:54 PT users reported that search was not
working and that they received, "Our Site Is Temporarily
Unavailable Due To Scheduled Maintenance. We are sorry, but
our site is temporarily unavailable due to weekly scheduled
maintenance that occurs every Friday from 1:00 AM to 3:00 AM
PST." Users continued to get these messages whilst trying to
access ebaY, searching, listing and revising items. This
problem continued until 07:48:55 PT. At 10:26:13 PT users
reported problems with My ebaY. At 11:00:25 PT users were
having problems with completed search, getting "Not Found The
requested URL /search/search.dll was not found on this server."
messages.   Users also reported having problems with
accessing their ebaY auction counters through Andale. At
12:46:05 PT users reported search problems. At 13:12:26 PT
the search problems continued, preventing users from getting
any searches accomplished. At 13:50:40 PT users reported the
feedback system was very slow when attempting to leave
feedback. At 17:33:11 PT users continued to report search not
working, and this problem continued to be reported through
17:40:19 PT.   At 19:42:08 PT a seller reported hearing from
bidders who could not get the ebaY bid entry field to display
using Netscape v4.76. At 20:11:14 PT users reported that
reloads were very slow on the ebaY boards, and the whole sight
was very slow.

On 31 Aug at 22:25:11 PT ebaY reported that sellers could not
make one time credit card payments to ebaY from 21:51 PT to
21:55 PT.

On 1 Sep at 11:12:34 PT users reported that the feedback
system was down until 11:16:38 PT. At 11:40:47 PT users
reported that once again ebaY was no longer communicating
with Hotmail addresses.

On 2 Sep at 18:48:34 PT users reported that search was down.

On 3 Sep at 20:57:58 PT sellers reported the revise function was
not working. Changes made were not "taking" and had to be
repeated. the revise page was also very slow, taking 10 minutes
to reload.

On 4 Sep at 09:46:01 PT users reported that ebaY pages were
not loading. At 10:51:54 PT ebaY posted that due to high activity
on the site, users were having access problems from 09:35 PT
to 10:05 PT.   At 11:45:44 PT users could not reload ebaY pages
and received "this page can not be displayed" messages. At
11:55:35 PT, users received "This function is currently
unavailable..." messages.   At 12:03:33 PT users continued to
report site wide problems, receiving "This function is currently
unavailable" At 12:34:38 PT the whole site appeared to be
crashing with all kinds of access problems, and glitches
appearing and disappearing with every refresh. At 12:54:44 PT
users reported feedback numbers started to fluctuate up and
down with no actual changes in the users feedback profile
occurring. About Me pages appeared and disappeared, along
with their logo next to the users ID. At 13:37:12 PT users
reported they were not able to log into the ebaY site with their
established ID. Users were getting kicked back out for an invalid
password. In addition the site kept asking for a four digit security
number, that was provided. TAG wonders what ebaY is testing
now. At 13:34:09 PT users reported ebaY search was returning
erroneous results, showing zero items where there were items
listed, re-requesting the search and getting expected result and
then sorting the search and being taken back to zero. At
14:48:44 PT users reported that Mister Lister was not showing
up, the site was not navigable, listing was down, sellers lists
were not available, search was down. At 14:51:14 PT users
reported receiving, "Page cannot be displayed" errors on search
and seller search. At 14:55:10 PT users reported ebaY pages
loading very slowly, though no problems elsewhere on the net.   
Clicking on the seller list link eventually loaded for some users if
it did not time out first. At 14:57:48 PT users continued to report
search down. At 14:58:34 PT users could not access
bookmarked About Me pages. At 15:00:08 PT sellers search
was still down. At 15:35:13 PT users continued to report search
still down. ebaY posted at 15:52:06 PT that some members
reported search results slow from 11:42 PT to 12:02 PT. ebaY
included their platitude that "eBay was aware of this issue and
worked quickly to resolve the situation. We do apologize for any
inconvenience this may have caused. Regards, eBay" This is
noteworthy in light of the information that came to light on 6 Sep.
See PQOD II. At 17:04:36 PT users reported problems with
Mister Lister until 17:16:53 PT.   There also continued to be
widespread reports that for those using Checkout ebaY was
sending the buyers incorrect shipping info, which ebaY
acknowledged was happening and advised sellers to " opt out of
Checkout until we can check and see if there is a bug on
this issue and get it resolved."   

On 5 Sep at 10:35:13 PT ebaY reported that title search was
down from 09:50 PT until 10:10 PT.   At 11:14:03 PT a user
reported that the drop down menu on their ebaY spyware tolbar
was not working. At 15:34:44 PT the first of what was to be an all
day problem was reported, with ebaY's homepage returning
javascript errors using Netscape. At 15:46:46 PT users reported
being unable to list or relist due to ebaY returning javascript
errors on the ebaY legal PayPal button. This problem was
reported until 21:34:10 PT. The only way to list or relist was to
remove the PayPal logo/button, list/relist the item, and then add
the PayPal code using revise, the PayPal site or a tool such as
the one click add to description service provided by Vrane.Com.
At 16:40:15 PT users reported that once again My ebaY pages
were showing sold items in the unsold section. This has been a
chronic reoccurring problem since ebaY's last My ebaY changes.
In the past the item will eventually migrate to the sold section, but
this happens well after the transaction is completed by buyer
and seller. This glitch completely nullifies the usefulness of the
sold and unsold sections of My ebaY, and has caused buyer and
seller much confusion and annoyance. This problem was
reported throughout the day until 20:40:01 PT.   At 17:03:49 PT
some users reported they could only access ebaY through the
ebaY UK site.   At 17:16:39 PT users reported that whilst doing a
normal listing using the old listing form, they received a
message stating they were in violation of ebaY's surcharge
rules. This incomprehensible message did not apply to
anything in the listings, and there were no deviances from
sellers normal listing text or procedures. At 17:35:49 PT users
received "Network Error Unable to read URL from host
cgi3.ebay.ca: Connection reset by peer" messages.

On 6 Sep, ebaY took their site down for maintenance from
approx 01:00 PT until 03:00 PT. Both ebaY and ebaY Billpoint
payments were down. At 05:45:12 PT users reported seller
search was down. At 06:14:37 PT users reported getting error
messages whilst trying to access auctions and the feedback
function. At 07:40:36 PT users renewed their reports of sold
items appearing in the unsold section of My ebaY. Users
reported these problems until 08:55:09 PT. At 12:18:00 PT
users reported that keyword search was not working. Search
result pages would not open.   At 12:11:10 PT users reported
that they could not open auctions using Netscape due to an
ebaY induced incompatibility between Netscape, javascript and
the PayPal logo. At 16:03:49 PT users reported that search
results were downloading very slowly or not at all.   At 16:30:53
PT SYI2.0 was not allowing sellers to revise items. The site was
erroneously reporting the item with less than 12 hours to go, or
saying the item had a bid so it could not be revised. Neither
situation was true.   There were also widespread reports of third
party service providers software not working, so users of
AuctionSubmit and BidSniper reported their software was no
longer working on ebaY. In addition, users reported they had
ceased to receive ebaY status emails, with the last one received
dated 5 Sep.

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- On a chat thread about the latest
Checkout"glitch", at 18:08 PT on 27 Aug 02, Jerry@ebaY said, "
Hello, It appears that the bug has been fixed, and buyers will no
longer see a "send my info" or "request total" button on their
MyeBay pages if the seller has turned off the Checkout feature.
I've been able to confirm this with my own test listing earlier
today. I'm sorry for the confusion and extra emails this bug
caused. Jerry eBay Community Development" Though TAG is
thankful that this has been resolved and once again the seller
gets some limited control over their own auctions,
TAG holds that this "glitch" was an effort by ebaY to see how
much furor Checkout would cause when forced on sellers a
second time. It appears that posts across ebaY and the OAI/OTI
with sellers closing Billpoint accounts, and statements that as
soon as ebaY took over PayPal, those accounts would be closed
too, along with calls by the media, must have convinced ebaY
that sellers objections to Checkout had not died.

PQOD II - On 5 Sep, users noticed that commonly used search
words had suddenly stopped working. On contacting ebaY
about this, one user was told, "... The search for the single word
"lot" is no longer searchable by design. I have forwarded your
email to our ProductDevelopment team for their consideration in
future changes to the site. We are sorry that this change has
negatively affected you and value your input as we continue to
make changes on the site. ....... Regards, Gary C. L. eBay
PowerSeller Support" TAG sees the loss of keywords used in
searches as bad enough, but the REAL implication of this is that
on 4 Sep, when the site was down for what ebaY reported as
'accidental' problems that lasted for 2.5+ hours, was really an
ebaY induced search outage caused by ebaY removing search
words and changing the search coding while the site was live.
They not only lied about the extent of the problem, but they lied
about the cause, and once again defrauded sellers out of their
fees. If ebaY is going to make site changes, they need to warn
sellers in advance of the day and time these changes will occur,
and then let the seller make an informed decision as to whether
the seller wants to risk having auctions running during that time
frame. Anything else is FRAUD on ebaY's part, compounded by
their lies that "eBay was aware of this issue and worked quickly
to resolve the situation." There were only issues CAUSED by
ebaY, and resolved when ebaY stopped jacking the site code.
ebaY owes refunds to ALL sellers who had auctions running on
the site, when sellers had a reasonable expectation that ebaY
would not intentionally cause outages.

ebaY is seeking free advice from their users on ebaY's billing
product. Looks as if they are planning the PayPal tie-in. To
provide input go to -

Deadbeat Bidders Article - "deadbeat rates can vary between 5
percent and 15 percent" and "eBay spokesperson Chris Donlay
said “that sounds high,” but added that “I have not heard
a sitewide statistic.”" For full article go to -

ebaY has changed Checkout. If ebaY Billpoint payments (soon
to be ebaY Global payments) is offered and payment details (e.g.
shipping/handling costs) are specified by the seller, the former
"Checkout" button will now be displayed as a "Pay Now". If
Billpoint is available but the total amount to pay is not known,
clicking the "Request Total" button will request the total from the
seller. If the seller does not accept Billpoint but uses Checkout,
the "Send Payment Information" will give the buyer the send
payment method and ship-to address for the seller through
ebaY's Checkout process.   If the system works.

Sellers that have Billpoint accounts but prefer another method of
payment should stop using the auto-insert logo for Billpoint
(don't check it on the SYI page), and should not put the shipping
amount in the Shipping section. Those TWO things will trigger
the PayNow button at the top of the closed auction, on My ebaY
(for the buyer) and in the EOA notice from ebaY.

Did you need another reason to cancel your Billpoint account?
Billpoint has once again won back their Better Business
Bureau's UNSATISFACTORY rating. They finally got a
Satisfactory out of the BBB, but it only lasted a few weeks. Think
about what things will be like once they get their hands on

ebaY has changed their registration and sign in pages. To view
the change go to
Sign in change -
Review and Confirm Your Bid change -
ebaY will also reduce the number of pages needed to register

ebaY will display the buyer's zip code on the listing page, after a
listing closes. The zip code will only be visible to the high bidder
or buyer and the seller. For Dutch listings, the sellers will be able
to see the zip codes of all winning bidders. In addition, the
buyer's zip code will also now appear in End of Auction emails
and the Send Invoice page of Checkout. The zip code displayed
will be to the buyer's preferred shipping address, on file with
ebaY. However, buyers may sometimes want to ship to a
different address, and buyers and sellers should contact each
other to verify that the zip code displayed is correct. Buyers
should also be sure that their shipping address on file is up to
date, so that the correct information is displayed to the seller. To
do this, buyers should go to the My ebaY preferences page and
click "Update my stored shipping information".

ebaY is changing SYI2.0, but unfortunately in TAG's and the
majority of sellers view, not trashing it and going back to the
drawing board for a complete revamp.   The form should be
either completely customizable to eliminate all features not used
by the seller, or at least back to a reasonable size one page

ebaY says that all entered information that is not format-specific
will be retained. That the preferences page for picture options
will be accessible from My ebaY or SYI2.0. And that the 'country'
field will defaul to the seller's country of registration and
allegedly simplify the pictures & details page and decrease download
times. SYI2.0 is going away, and ebaY is ignoring the pleas and demands
of a majority of their sellers to provide a simple listing form.

TAG recommends the best solution to this problem is list
elsewhere. We recommend ioffer.com, sellyouritem.com,
popula.com, carnaby.com, for postcards and ephemera
playle.com, for eggs and poultry eggbay.com There are many
sites to choose from, all of whom provide easy to use interfaces
and real customer service.

ebaY has added some discussion boards. The new boards are
called - The Front Porch and The Homestead, and new category
boards Needle Arts & Vintage Textiles and Health & Beauty.

ebaY is holding a chat on how to make an About Me page on Tue
10 Sep from 17:00 PT to 19:00 PT. This takes place in the ebaY

ebaY has added new audio tours for buyers and sellers
Learn to Buy -
Learn to Sell -

ebaY is making changes to the search and listings results
pages. The completed search results will now look the same as
search results for active items. For Buy It Now items, ebaY will
insert the quantity sold into the bids column. There will be no
active Buy It Now tab. When searching, ebaY will sometimes
recommend alternate spellings. This dictionary will grow with

In addition, completed auctions will only return 15 days of results
instead of 30. The impact of this is not yet fully clear, as it
might mean that sellers will only have access to 15 days of their
completed auctions. Completed search will remain at 15 days,
where it has been for over a year. In TAG's view this shows that
ebaY has once again lied to users, since we have been waiting
nearly four years for them to fulfill their promise to restore 60 day
completed, and where they promised to restore 30 days to
completed search as soon as they stabilized their infrastructure,
paid for by the last price increase. Instead, ebaY has chosen to
purchase a 30 million dollar jet, and allow Meg Whitman to cash
out $740 Million in stock options in seven months. In addition,
ebaY has purchased PayPal for 1.5 Billion and just spent 65
Million for rest of ebaY Australia. Yet ebaY can't afford to provide
their paying customers a stable site, with the promised features
in completed search and items, nor support a simple one page
form. TAG thinks ebaY has its priorities askew for a site that
alleges it is community based.

If you have an old bookmark for the completed auctions page,
you will need to set your bookmark to -

In an unannounced move, ebaY has eliminated some keywords
from search, so you can no longer search for a word such as
"lots" anymore. TAG would appreciate hearing from users, what
keywords they use, that are no longer available as a search

ebaY has changed some categories.
-ANTIQUES & ART Antiques and Art are now separate
-COLLECTIBLES new Japanese Animation Characters
categories. Some categories have been moved up in the
structure: Holiday & Seasonal, Rocks, Fossils & Minerals, Vanity
& Shaving, and Vintage Sewing.
-COMPUTERS & OFFICE Office Products, formerly found in the
Business & Industrial area, are now with Computers.
-JEWELRY, GEMS & WATCHES   ebaY is removing brand
names from the watch subcategories in the Wristwatch
categories. ebaY wants sellers to use item specifics to
distinguish their watch by brand. Unfortunately sellers must use
SYI2.0 in order to include item specifics and item specifics is a
very unreliable part of ebaY with frequent breakdowns.

ebaY is paying Ecorp $65 million in cash to get full control of
ebaY Australia and New Zealand. The deal is expected to close
in September or October.

ebaY has moved management around. Matt Bannick is its new
senior vice president of global online payments. Bill Cobb,
formerly the company's senior vice president for global
marketing, will replace Bannick as head of ebaY's international
operations. The changes are effective immediately. For full
article go to -   http://news.com.com/2100-1017-956787.html

For sellers looking for their relisting fee refunds TAG has heard
from sellers who insisted ebaY provide them with refunds
without the seller jumping through hoops and providing the
information, and sellers HAVE RECEIVED REFUNDS! Estimate
what you think you should be getting and demand a credit on
your account for that amount. Don't take no for an answer, be
calm but firm in your demands and you should get your credit.

Request refunds from the online form at -

Click on 'Billing' click on 'Credits/Refunds'
Click on 'I was expecting a credit but it's not on my account.
Where is it?'
Click the button that says 'Continue'.
Ignore what is on the page and scroll to the bottom and click on
the button on the lower right hand side 'Contact Support'.
Fill in the form, tell ebaY you have not received automatic relist
refunds since 1 August and in accordance with the user
agreement they are required to provide you with these refunds.
Tell them you estimate your refunds should be $xx.xx and you
expect to see that amount credited to your account immediately.
If ebaY says no or says you have to jump through hoops to get
your refund, write back once more, tell them you expect the
refund and refuse to do their work for them and your next
complaint will be to the Better Business Bureau. If they still say
no, file a complaint with the BBB from this link -

Keep your correspondence with ebaY friendly, calm, but firm. If
they force you to take this to the BBB make sure you get a refund
sufficient to cover some of your time and inconvenience in
addition to the relisting fees they owe you. TAG figures ebaY
made upwards of $72,000 a day on this, and since they did not
inform sellers, defrauded thousands of sellers out of their refund

Not everyone is happy with ebaY

What ebaY Isn't Telling You

Ongoing Issues and Information

See the TAG website for miscellaneous ebaY info at -

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 - On 27 Aug Amazon
continued to post the Marketplace and zShops Sold listing
information (and related feedback and relist links) problems,
where all such info prior to 23 Jul remained unavailable via the
Seller Account. Also the Order Fulfillment Report information
prior to 8 Jul is also still unavailable. Amazon updated this daily
until 3 Sep at 18:57 PT when Amazon conceded that they would
nvever be able to restore this information and sellers would have
to make due with their Amazon Payments Account pages. To
access this information, click on the "Manage your Amazon
Payments account/View billing history" section of the Seller

On 4 Sep Amazon reported at 13:00 PT that zShops Storefronts
displays are updating more slowly than usual. Sellers may
notice feedback and featured items, as well as any other edits,
not updating within the expected time frame. They repeated this
message at 15:17 PT and noted that sellers are encouraged not
to ship until the completed status appears in Seller Account
information, or until "Sold--Ship Now!" e-mail is received.

On 6 Sep at 14:55 PT Amazon again acknowledged that some
listing information is not updating to the Seller Account in a
timely manner. As a result, Open, Closed and Sold account
displays may not reflect current listing states. To find current
listing status, sellers should view the details from within the
Amazon Payments section of the Seller Account. Pro Merchant
Subscribers may also generate an Open Listings Report to
review their active listings.

Amazon has changed the listing display to the advantage of the
Amazon Marketplace shoppers. You can see the new format by
visiting the product info page for any Marketplace-friendly
Amazon.com item.

On 30 Aug Amazon posted they are currently testing two styles of
linking to Marketplace items. Some visitors to the stores will see
a single link to "New & Used," while others will see separate
links to "New" and "Used." During this trial, Amazon will monitor
performance of each design style and post a follow-up.

NEW! Amazon Contact Info Page on TAG website -

* * * * *
Yahoo Auction/Warehouse/Classifieds (YA) - Is holding a 99
cent no reserve showcase until 13 Sep 02.
Showcase cost 15 cents per day the item is listed.

The Mail Abuse Prevention System (MAPS) put the IP address for
Yahoo's stores in its database. This was due to a SPAM
message, circulating since Feb 02 linked to a Yahoo Store.
Unfortunately the IP address listed in MAPS' Realtime Blackhole
List is used by all Yahoo stores, not just one storefront, so all
storefronts were blocked. For article go to

LATHROP2000 a seller at Yahoo Auctions is organizing a sellers
event 15-25 Sep 02.
For details go to - http://auctions.yahoo.com/booth/lathrop2000

As of 23 Aug02 Yahoo Auctions had 269,875 (+8791)
Yahoo Auction counts brought to you by

Yahoo Contact Information

* * * * *
PayPal was down on 3 Sep from 15:34:42 PT until 20:03:54 PT
though some users had access problems until 20:36:45 PT.
Users continued to report the site slow but working.
The outage caused problems with auction listings and web
pages because PayPal logos were not loading and caused
pages to hang and time out.

* * * * *
Bay-Town.Com is down. A search on 1 Sep yielded the a
message that - "The Auction Solution suffered a hacker that
disrupted and destroyed much of the data on our main server on
8.27.02. We are fixing this problem. No personal information
was compromised during the attack as it is ONLY on our banks
servers. We will return ASAP You can still reach Snipeware
HERE http://snipeware.bay-town.com/bidmaster.cgi"
The Auction Solution Team.
If you have any billing questions contact

* * * * *
BeSeen.Com emailed their users that they were closing down
as of 26 Aug 02. Their site now carries a notice that they are
gone. http://www.beseen.com/beseen/index.html

Have any information for us? email us at
TAGassist Contributors
Monterey Trading Co Auction Showcase http://snipurl.com/357


Paloma5 http://snipurl.com/356


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