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TAGnotes Sat 9 Nov 2002 Vol 4 Number 52 Issue 434

The Auction Guild Notes Sat 9 Nov 2002

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This issue brought to you by the preceding ads, supporting TAG
through their advertising dollars. Please support them, by
clicking on or copy/pasting their links and buying their products.
TAG's new advertising rates are at -

TAG does not endorse the companies or products advertised      
6000 subscribers
TAG's web host BigStep is taking their site down for
maintenance for 4 to 8 hours on 9 Nov at 19:00 PT to approx
05:00 PT on Sun 10 Nov so the TAG website will not be available
during this outage.

ebaY - On 26 Oct sellers reported problems with Turbo Lister
(TL) causing computer crashes. Problems appeared to be
related to TL update downloads. The suggested workaround for
this is to completely delete TL from your computer and download
the complete program from ebaY rather than the updates. At
07:03:17 PT sellers reported problems with Mister Lister. The
problem appeared to be with ebaY iPix incompatibility, and
deleting all ebaY iPix images appeared to solve the issues. At
11:14:18 PT ebaY posted that search with multiple keywords or
searches with terms excluded, was down from 08:40 PT until
10:55 PT. At 16:58:33 PT ebaY was jacking the code on the site
causing the feedback stars to change color.

On 27 Oct at 09:59:34 PT users reported problems with PayPal.
Using the "Buy it Now" button yielded error messages.   At
11:11:06 PT users reported a site crash lasting a few minutes
through 11:13:22 PT. At 13:53:39 PT users complained about
the sign in procedure causing users to sign in twice, with the
second time needing a number gif/jpeg. At 16:58:05 PT search
yielded arbitrary results, pulling up totally unrelated items. At
17:02:13 PT users reported slow reloads on ebaY pages. At
17:04:49 PT search was again returning arbitrary results
unrelated to the item searched for. At 17:09:55 PT
these search problems continued unabated.

On 28 Oct at 02:30 PT Road Runner had a primary server down,
effecting images on ebaY auctions and access to ebaY.   Sellers
also reported ongoing Turbo Lister update/download problems.
At 06:30:19 PT sellers who hadn't updated TL reported getting,
"Network problems are preventing Turbo Lister from
communicating with Ebay." At 10:31:18 PT users trying to
access their PayPal info received "info not available" messages.
At 14:45:22 PT sellers using Road Runner continued to report
that their images were gone from their auctions.   At 14:52:23 PT,
ebaY users reported problems with sign in, as neither their initial
sign in, nor the back up sign in with a number gif/jpg feature,
were working.   At 15:22:00 PT users reported more sign in
errors.   At 16:49:20 PT users reported widespread site
problems with many parts of the site crashed. At 17:56:22 PT
users reported cgi6 returning blank pages preventing access to
seller lists. At 20:54:08 PT Turbo Lister users could not get
farther than the category receiving "Leaf Category" requests. At
23:09:41 PT users reported search not working, returning only a
small percentage of actual items listed. At 23:15:59 PT users
reported the PayPal site "down for maintenance" for the second
time since the ebaY acquisition, reflecting a huge increase in

On 29 Oct at 08:43:56 PT users trying to access ebaY Billpoint
payments received DNS errors and messages that the website
can't be found.

On 31 Oct at 13:56:38 PT users reported that page loads were
very slow. At 14:14:30 PT users were having problems signing
in. At 21:12:17 PT sellers reported the items they had listed
were not showing in My ebaY. This turned out to be a basic flaw
in My ebaY, which can only show 800 items, including all items,
open and closed, auctions and fixed price. There is an option for
the seller to see all items but the seller would not be able to sort
the list by price, ending time, etc. At 21:38:23 PT, attempts to
sign in caused the password to jump into the user ID box. This
could be deleted, and the information re-entered, but the primary
solution appeared to be waiting for the entire sign in page to
download before entering any information. At 22:51:37 PT
sellers reported SYI2.0 was not working returning, "page cannot
be displayed" messages. At 23:00:56 PT users reported the
vulgar checker was preventing users from signing in.   

On 1 Nov, ebaY was down for maintenance from approx 00:30
PT to 03:30 PT. PT. At 06:14:59 PT users reported title search
was not working properly, returning arbitrary search results.   
Buyers continued to post broken search problems at 06:50:20
PT. At 11:02:13 PT the password jumping problem on sign in
continued. At 19:24:08 PT sellers reported that the revise feature
was not working, with data disappearing.

On 2 Nov at 09:03:45 PT users reported getting 'page cannot be
displayed' messages whilst trying to access ebaY pages. Posts
on some of the message boards were not going through.   

On 3 Nov at 07:19:38 PT both title and title and description
search had not updated since 1 Nov in some categories.   At
12:08:58 PT sellers reported that it was taking upwards of 20
hours for title/description search to update and index the listed
items. At 12:20:28 PT some categories were still showing a
date/time stamp for updates of 1 Nov at 17:38 PT. This severely
impacts sellers with critical info in the description. At 12:52:04
PT the password jump at sign in continued. At 23:18:22 PT ebaY posted
that in some categories title/description search, indexing was slower
than normal.   ebaY said it included ebaY Motors, Computers, Home and

On 4 Nov at 06:20:07 PT users reported problems with My ebaY.
The 'bidding on' section was not showing.   At 08:41:11 PT ebaY
posted that the ability to view completed items was down from
08:04 PT to 08:15 PT. At 08:18:34 PT the 'about me' pages went
down rapidly joined by My ebaY at 08:25:34 PT. My ebaY came
back up at 08:31:19 PT. ebaY posted at 08:47:14 PT that My ebaY was
down from 08:04 PT to 08:30 PT. At 10:16:56 PT ebaY crashed, with some
accessibility if users were willing to way 3 to 5 minutes for pages to
load. This affected all searches, viewing
auctions and bidding, in addition to My ebaY and all other ebaY
functions. ebaY posted at 10:53:27 PT that users were getting
slow downloads on ebaY pages.   At 11:08:32 PT users
continued to report very slow downloads on search, opening
auctions and across the site. At 11:16:29 PT ebaY posted that
that users continued to get slow downloads on ebaY pages.   At
11:27:47 PT ebaY again posted that users were loading much
more slowly than normal.    At 11:44:50 PT ebaY posted that
users, including those using AOL, and Netscape, were not able to access
ebaY. At 12:05 26, pages were taking from 1.5 to 3 minutes to download.
At 12:09:16 PT users reported problems accessing search. Some users
reported page loads taking upwards of 6 minutes.   Users reported the
site back up at 12:48:40 PT. ebaY Germany users reported outages for
over two hours running concurrently with the US outages. At 13:04:26 PT
ebaY posted that users experienced slowness across most ebaY pages and
functions from 10:10 PT to 12:45 PT. ebaY said, "The issue affected some
ISPs and browsers more severely than others" and ebaY claims not all
users had problems. As always TAG sees the users not having problems as
those who did not attempt to access ebaY during this time, as reports of
problems using the US site were universal. At 13:24:03 PT ebaY posted
that they had fixed the problems with title/description search going on
since 1 Nov. Sellers reported that items in their stores were not
showing properly in My ebaY. The seller did not receive email notices
that items had sold and the sold items did not appear in the items sold
list. The items available had not decrease by one, and the items sold
did not increase by one.

On 5 Nov at 13:47:44 PT users posted getting messages saying
"Our Site Is Temporarily Unavailable Due To Scheduled
Maintenance' whilst trying to access auctions. At 15:28:43 PT
users reported intermittent sporadic glitches across the site
lasting until 15:35:47 PT. At 15:37:30 PT, users reported getting
input errors on reload. At 15:44:11 PT users reported slow page
loads across the site. Some users were able to overcome the
problems by switching to the Opera browser. At 22:42:08 PT
users reported that the jumping password on sign in problem

6 Nov at 08:20:17 PT users reported a brief period of "page
cannot be displayed" messages whilst trying to access ebaY,
but the site was stable for the rest of the day.

On 7 Nov at 10:07:47 PT, ebaY announced that access to the
ebaY home page was slow from 08:45 PT to 09:57 PT. The
ebaY navigation bar at the top of ebaY pages was also not
visible during this time. At 10:28:07 PT ebaY posted that their
help pages were down from approx 08:45 PT to 10:25 PT. At
12:04 PT, sellers reported that Turbo Lister defaulted their
listings to include the gift icon, adding 25 cents to the listings
for an unwanted "option". The site was stable for the rest of the day.

On Fri 8 Nov, ebaY and ebaY Billpoint payments were down for
maintenance from approx 01:18 to 03:20.   PayPal was down
from approx 00:00 PT 03:00PT for maintenance.

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 a 60 Minutes II interview in talking
about the buyers and sellers on ebaY, Meg Whitman said, “We
actually do work for them,” she says. “That is not a myth.
That is not a p.r. spin. That actually happens to be the case.” TAG
says that actions speak louder than words. If there were any truth in
this, then sellers in particular would receive a share of the record
breaking profits, in fee reductions at the least. If there was any
truth in it, ebaY would be a not for profit organization where the
"community" received their fair share. As Meg just cashed out another
300,000 shares of stock (taking her total for this years cash out to
just under one BILLION dollars) and along with other insiders, sold 28
million in ebaY stock, it is obvious to one and all who ebaY IS working
for and why.

PQODII - When a user posted "I can't use the 99 cent listing
promotion....but I do like the penny gallery days!" ebaY VP
Michael Dearing said in response on 9 Nov at 15:51:06 PT, "then
you should like what's coming next week. ;)" So TAG supposes
there will be more penny gallery days coming up next week

Board Quote of the Day I - On 4 Nov at 18:54:36 PST
marginally*marginal said, "eBay contracts with spyware
companies regularly. Altfarm.mediaplex is the one they use to
snoop and poop for your preferences in items that you search,
so they can pop up ads to distract you from possibly buying
something here, and going somewhere else to get it. The other
spyware company they contract with is AtHoc, which designed
their toolbar. Same sort of deal, they snoop and poop what you
search on, and then collect that data for analysis and resale to
spammers, so you get "targeted email solicitations" based on
your eBay habits. The easiest thing to do is just fence off the
altfarm.mediaplex sites, and 404 them. Scrub your machine with
Ad-Aware, filter your cookies, flush your cache constantly, and
toss your cookies regularly. This process pretty much invalidates
any data they get on you, and it is therefore fairly useless to them
for resale purposes. Have fun, surf safe." View his website at -

BQOD II - In a conversation about Turbo Lister www.bllamb.com
said on 5 Nov at 22:55:40 PT, "......I found the trick to getting
turbo lister to work...You have to download it, then delete it out, then
download it again, start it up, then download the updates, the when it
hangs up, delete it out, download it again, and wait for it to update
again...then start it up and when it hangs up, delete it out again, then
download it again, start it up, wait another hour for it to download the
updates and then it may work for one day till you have to download the
updates again.....try that and see if works for you.." View his website
at - http://www.bllamb.com

On 8 Nov ebaY announced they were going to give a 10 cent
listing discount for listings starting at or below 99 cents with no
reserve, from Mon 11Nov at 00:00:01PT through Sun 17 Nov at
23:59:59 PT

This is for single quantity regular auction-style listings, single
quantity ebaY Motors non-vehicles listings, and single quantity
fixed price listings. ebaY will charge a listing fee of $0.20 on the
U.S. site (www.ebay.com) for each listing, and 40 cents for those
qualifying listings if listed in two categories. The discount will
apply to listings created prior to the promotional period
(November 11-17, 2002), but scheduled to start between
November 11 and 17th. For more info go to -

NOT INCLUDED - Multiple quantity Fixed Price, all Dutch
Auctions, all ebaY Motors Vehicles, all Real Estate, all
Sothebys.com, all Live Auction, all International, all Professional
Services and all Store Inventory listings are excluded from the
Start Low, Pay Less promotion. The discount does not apply to
listings with a start date prior to 11 Nov, or those listings revised
during the promotional period, or those created during the
promotional period (Nov 11-17) but scheduled to start after 17
Nov. All other fees apply .

During this promotion, you may list using the Sell Your Item form,
Mister Lister, Turbo Lister, Seller's Assistant Basic and Pro, and
the ebaY API.

Political (soft money) 2002 election cycle donations by ebaY
Ranked 15 of the top 20 Computer/Internet related industries -
Gave - $207,250 Democrats 58% Republicans 42%
In the 2000 cycle ebaY was 14 of 20 giving -
$446,300 Democrats 83% Republicans 17%

As promised, ebaY's quiet period starts tonight a midnight PT.
After many years of seller feedback and requests to not make
major changes that destroy site reliability and confuse and block
buyers during the important holiday buying season, ebaY posted
today that they will implement this request between 10 Nov and
31 Dec. ebaY US will observe a "quiet period" with regard to the
release of major new features and functions on the site. They
will continue to release new code as part of regular maintenance
during this period, but limit the release of new features. The
quiet period does not include ebaY Motors or the ebaY
International sites.

Changes that will happen despite the quiet period -
*ebaY will continue the first phase of PayPal integration in early
to mid-December.
*ebaY is doing what they are calling a minor update to the
category structures in mid-November. The December category
structure update has been moved into January.
*ebaY will offer several price promotions to Sellers for
discounted listing fees and features.
*ebaY says they will let users know if the major release of a new
feature becomes necessary during the quiet period, but ebaY's
"sincere intention" is to honor the quiet period.

Here is a tool for finding ebaY category numbers

ebaY is adding a for fee template function to their listing pages.
ebaY will charge 10 cents per auction to use their simple HTML
code, something that is available all over the internet for free.
Though this feature is currently free in Turbo Lister, and ebaY
says it will continue to be free, it is unclear if a seller will be
charged 10 cents for having the feature in a relist.   ebaY
customer service reps do not appear to know the answer to this
question, and some say that if the item was listed with Turbo
Lister with a free template, it will remain free on relist, other CS
reps are not sure.
For more info about this feature go to -
To view a sample go to

Police have charged some alleged thieves using ebaY as the
"fence" in their illegal operations. These heretofore power
sellers, are charged with using ebaY to sell stolen goods
procured by a team of shoplifters supporting drug habits.

ebaY is predicting what toys ebaY thinks sellers should stock up
on this year for the christmas spending spree. To get ebaY's
predictions go to -

TAG wonders if ebaY will pick up the bill if their prognostication
turns out to be false.

ebaY has a questionnaire for Trading Assistant clients who have
hired a Trading Assistant.   To take survey go to -

"Will eBay and PayPal share my information?
Your privacy is very important to us. We will share information
between eBay and PayPal only in accordance with each
company's respective Privacy Policies. Your information will
continue to be protected and secured the same way it is today.
As always, we will give advance notice of any changes to the
Privacy Policy of either site."
In other words - dance dance dance - YES

In what appears to be evidence of both ebaY hypocrisy, and ebaY
applying rules as it wants, rather than across the board on their
propaganda claim, but in actuality mythical, "level playing field"
ebaY who prohibits the listing of weapons and even BB guns,
has allowed the listing of a Russian MiG 21 Fighter Jet Weapons
Prefer the MiG 29? -
Or maybe you would like to "fix it" yourself -

ebaY's rules prohibit - "Firearms include all "pre-ban," sporting,
collectible, curio & relic (C&R), and antique firearms, regardless
of their capability to fire a shot. Any item that is designed to
propel a metal (or similar) projectile is covered by this ban,
regardless of that item's present ability to fire." and " Generally,
ordnance (military weaponry, ammunition and related parts) is
not permitted, even if the user states that the item is
"unserviceable" or has been "demilitarized" or "demilled,"" But
they are allowing these major functional weapon

TAG reported a while ago that ebaY had eliminated certain
search words such as LOT. User experimentation has shown
that if you put the eliminated search term in parenthesis, it will
work. For example, search for a particular category, then search
for the word "lot" within that category using the parenthesis.

ebaY is holding a store workshop on Mon 11 Nov from 17:00 PT
to 19:00 PT.

ebaY has a new version of their spyware toolbar ready for
download. They are recommending that only new users
download this one, and current users wait for the next
auto-upgrade version available in the next couple of weeks.

Phillip Bloch's fashion column -
Rudy Maxa's travel column -

Even Microsoft had the good sense not to use "PP" for their
Power Point logo. It makes one wonder on whose advice ebaY
is relying for logos, though maybe the PP PayPal logo fits right in
with ebaY's dog urinating on household goods ads.

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 , zShops and Marketplace - On 27 Oct at 19:16 PT
announced they were doing maintenance on Amazon Payments
at 23:00 PT, preventing Auctions and zShops transactions, and
delaying Amazon Marketplace purchases. Payments tools and
information were also down. This was completed at 28 Oct at
04:57 PT

On Oct at 08:30 PT Amazon reported that the Marketplace
information in Seller Account "Open" pages was not displaying
any details.

On 29 Oct, users reported that the auctions bulk loader was not
working, with no estimated fix date. Amazon has also removed
the Pro-Merchant feature that allows sellers to relist "until they
sell". This option is no longer available on the bulk loader for
auctions, with the remaining options being "do not relist" and
"relist once for free".   Amazon says that the Pro-Merchant
Agreement does not guarantee any function of features.

On 30 Oct at 14:59 PT Amazon reported that a portion of sold
listings were appearing in the "Closed Listings" section of their
Seller Account, but not in their "Sold Listings." This was a display
issue, and details of sales made through Amazon Payments
were in the Amazon Payments account area. This was fixed at
09:13 PT on 1 Nov.

On 5 Nov at 17:17 PT Amazon reported that the single item
listing and relisting forms for Auctions, zShops, and Amazon
Marketplace were broken and not accepting listings. This was
fixed at 19:18 PT on 5 Nov, went back down gain at 22:17 PT and
was back up on 6 Nov at 00:18 PT.

Amazon live telephone customer service 16 hours a day
Auction/zShops/Marketplace have no customer support on
Toll-free in U.S. and Canada: (800)201-7575
Auction Pro phone number 1-877-251-0696
NEW! Amazon Contact Info Page on TAG website -

* * * * * * * * * *
Yahoo Auction/Stores/Classifieds (YA) -
Current Showcases -
Front page featured $3.00 per item per day, gives your item a
chance to rotate on the front page of Yahoo! Auctions. Includes
all other showcases for free.

99Cent no reserve auctions through 6 Dec - 15 cents per item
per day.

Holiday Showcase through 18 Dec - 20 cents per item per day.

Promotion rebates - Sellers receive a 50% rebate on the final
cost of promoting an auction, if the auction closes with a winner.
The maximum rebate per auction is $25. This rebate amount is
automatically credited to the seller's account to use for payment
to promote future auctions.

Yahoo's site design changes appear to many sellers to be the
final shot in the Yahoo Auctions foot that kills the seller. Users
posted on the Yahoo Auction boards that the home page takes
much longer to download and that search result lists will not fit
on a 15" monitor requiring scrolling to view items. A big
objection for buyers is that only 25 items show on a page
making searching very tedious (something we at TAG strongly
agree with).   

Sellers have lost the "hot auction" feature on the front page that
was a big attraction for window shoppers. This has been
replaced by the Featured Showcase. Sellers claim sales are
down 80% since the site redesign.   Sellers also note that the
featured image is now 1/3 the size it was previously, making the
image too small to be of much use window shoppers.   Because
of this change, there is no longer an advantage to feature an
item. Sellers also lost the direct link to search for a seller that
was on the home page. Since Yahoo Auctions is a secondary
site at best, buyers often come looking for sellers they are
familiar with on other online sites. Now they have to dig to deep
to figure out how to find those sellers on Yahoo Auctions.

Completed search is now only available from a tab on Advanced
Search. Users can no longer run a search for an item then get
the completeds for the same search.

As one long time Yahoo Auction supporter and seller said,
"Yahoo destroyed Yahoo no matter how hard we all tried to save

Yahoo Listing Fees -
Yahoo Auction Numbers 7 Nov 2002 -
Antiques & Art   23847
Automotive 2609
Books & Comics 17187
Clothing & Accessories 18889
Coins, Paper Money & Stamps 23494
Collectibles 18218
Computers 5803
Electronics & Cameras 4802
Food & Beverage 587
Home & Garden 10689
Jewelry & Watches 23048
Movies & TV 9282
Music 8300
Sports & Outdoors 3394
Sports Cards & Memorabilia 49895
Toys, Games & Hobbies 31732
Video Games 2690
Other 5095
Total 258,791

As of 15Sep02 Yahoo had 265,155 (-4720)
As of 19Sep02 Yahoo had 448,829 (+183,674)
As of 15Oct02 Yahoo had 268,023 (-180,806)
As of 7Nov02 Yahoo had 258,791 (-9232)
Yahoo Auction counts brought to you by
Ongoing Issues -

Yahoo Contact Information

Yahoo Customer Support form
email - auctions--@yahoo-inc.com

* * * * * * * * * *
SellYourItem.Com is holding a promotion in conjunction with
National Real Jewelry Month. Sellers who list 5 new auctions in
one of the Jewelry categories will receive a 30 day homepage
seller ad to run at their choosing. Additionally, any auctions that
sell during the month of November in the qualifying categories
will receive a credit equal to 1/2 their final value fees for those

If you plan to participate during SYIs National Real Jewelry Month
celebration, send your Seller ID to Incen-@SellYourItem.com
Check the announcement board for details at -

* * * * * * * * * *
More sites to take a look at - these for UK sellers -
Bloke in the Pub - www.theblokeinthepub.co.uk
FreeServe - http://auctions.freeserve.com/default.htm
QXL - http://www.qxl.com/cgi-bin/qxlhome.cgi/EN/GBP--QXL/

* * * * * * * * * *
Looking for a place to chat about the OAI/OTI? Try -
Mootropolis.com - http://www.mootropolis.com/
My Auction Friend - http://myauctionfriends.com/forums2/
SoupGirl - http://www.soupgirl.com/forum/

* * * * * * * * * *
UPS is raising rates. Ground shipping will go up 3.9% and the
surcharge for packages going to a home will increase 5 cents a
package. New rates go into effect 6 Jan 2003

* * * * * * * * * *
Foreign Shipping Label - This site has a list of the most popular
translations of "Do not bend" "Fragile" in various languages, so
sellers can copy them and put them on their packages when
shipping items abroad

* * * * * * * * * *
Contact your US Representative - let them know that is any
issues come up about online trading that you would be happy to
be their subject matter expert!
Have any information for us? email us at
TAG Subscribers often contribute information reported on in
TAGnotes. Visit their auctions or websites.
TAGassist Contributors

reston_ray http://snurl.com/8ra







Not just a venue
email us - tag@theauctionguild.com
"I've never described myself as neutral... I'm not neutral... But
that doesn't mean I'm not honest." - Chris Hedges
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