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TAGnotes Wed 15 Jan 2003 Vol 5 Number 1 Issue 440

The Auction Guild Notes Wed 15 Jan 2003
SELLERS: AuctionHawk announces new pricing plans!

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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 advertising rates are at -

TAG does not endorse the companies or products advertised         
6400 subscribers
Which do you prefer? Mister Lister or TurboLister Please Vote -

Many sites are joining the Froogle search engine, currently in
Beta testing. We have seen notices of approval from Froogle on
BidVille, and iOffer.Com, and items from TIAS.Com and
RubyLane.Com both are showing up in Froogle searches.

TAG strongly believes that with some tweaking Google's Froogle
search engine could be the great equalizer for online trading.
Froogle is for folks with individual website also! We strongly
recommend that sellers investigate the opportunities that
Froogle offers, but even more important BUYERS need to check
Froogle FIRST. It will be the input of buyers to Froogle that will
make Froogle a success.

To search Froogle go to - http://froogle.google.com/froogle
Advanced Froogle Search -

Merchant Information -
Data feed form to get you site on Google -

Contact Google about Froogle -

* * * * * * * * * *
ebaY - Please Check These Pages for COMPLETE ebaY
OUTAGE Details
ebaY Outages 1 - 30 Nov 2002 -

ebaY Outages Details 1 - 31 Dec 2002 -

ebaY Outages Details Jan 2003 -

1 Jan 2003 - ebaY users had problems with the ebaY spyware
toolbar, gallery pics not showing and Turbo Lister failing to
update. Seller's lists were slow, and PayPal went down in the

2 Jan - From 12:20 PT on ebaY was down on and off all day.   
The large number of ebaY auctions ending as a result of free
listing day overwhelmed the ebaY system. Unfortunately, those
unlucky sellers who had auctions ending during the times when
buyers could not bid lost money. The worst outages ran from
12:20 PT to 16:14 PT and from 19:43 PT to 21:52 PT. ebaY lied
about the times and extent of the outages therefore not providing
refunds and auction extensions as per their user agreement.

3 Jan - ebaY was down for maintenance. Users had problems
during the day with Mister Lister, Turbo Lister and My ebaY.
Some auctions were shown as ended before they were
scheduled to end.

4 Jan - The site was stable

5 Jan - End of auction notices were late, and gallery images
were not indexing.   There were several short duration outages
during the day. At 12:40 PT buyers could not open auctions and
seller search and lists were down. The site had problems again
from 21:02 PT to 22:51 PT.

6 Jan - Users had problems with search and the chat boards.

7 Jan - SYI 2.0 replaced SYI1.0 to the dismay of sellers across
the OAI. ebaY Motors users also had problems with SYI2.0.

8 Jan - Site was relatively stable with short periods of problems
and outages.

9 Jan - Users reported problems with PayPal. The feedback
system was down from 16:20 PT to 18:46 PT. There were
widespread outages from 22:46 PT to 23:04 PT.

10 Jan - At 06:42 users reported search was not working
properly, with problems that lasted for several hours. Turbo
Lister continued to cause problems for sellers. There were
several outages of the feedback system during the day. The site
went down from 19:29:31 PT to 19:40:00 PT with problems that
lasted through 20:41:28 PT.

11 Jan - Sellers had account problems from 07:37 PT to 08:05
PT. The feedback system was down from 17:19 PT to 18:38 PT.
At 20:02:59 PT users reported SYI2.0 down.

Full details of ebaY's outages can be found on the TAG website
at - http://www.auctionguild.com/generic103.html

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 - On 22 Dec bobmill posted at 13:11 PT,
"I can unconditionally guarantee everyone that there will, in fact,
be a free listing day before the end of the calendar year. Yes, I
know when it is. Yes, I have 2100 items ready to go up. No, I can't
reveal the date." TAG finds it interesting that this individual who
has always denied that he and his spouse are ebaY employees,
should have had advance notice of this FLD. It also proves
TAG's theory that there is no level playing field at ebaY, were
some users get information others don't have access to. How
many other users received advance notice, and why were they
entitled to such information?    http://snurl.com/lc9

PQOD II - After announcing the free listing day to take place on
26 Dec, users queried about why the notice is always so short,
and about ebaY's ability to keep their site running.
gwyn-@ebay.com said on 25 Dec at 18:13:41, "... I try to post
around this time every time we do one. We try and give about six
hours notice, though I have heard that in the early days it was
later. I have always posted around this time, though. .... we feel
good about the system - like I said, we're psyched and ready to
go!" Unfortunately "psyched and ready" were famous last words,
as ebaY was crashed for hours during the FLD, with blockages
on the API connected sites, preventing thousands of listings
from going through. As ebaY listings increased 6.2 million, it is
not surprising that the site crashed. Maybe ebaY should
consider a new system for rewarding their users with free

PQOD III - On 31 Dec at 12:29 PM in a memo from Henry Gomez,
to all ebaY employees, Mr Gomez said, "Given our upcoming
efforts to keep all employees informed, we thought it might be a
good time to remind everyone that public disclosure of corporate
e-mails, memos and other materials potentially violates
confidentiality obligations that each eBay employee owes the
company. You may recall that in November two internal e-mails
were sent to an Internet website. Leaked internal information can
be damaging to the company by creating rumors and
speculation among our users, the press, investors, employees
and many other important stakeholders. Needless to say, the
unauthorized disclosure of company-related information to third
parties for non-business related purposes is prohibited.
Employees who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary
action." and "You should never speak to a reporter about eBay
business unless an eBay PR representative has approved the
conversation. In all cases, an eBay PR representative will be
present when you speak to a reporter." TAG wonders what ebaY
thinks it is inventing and developing to need such top secret
security. TAG also wonders just what it is that ebaY, a publicly
held company uninvolved in any creation of what would normally
be viewed as 'critical' technology, is trying to hide from their
'community' and stockholders. We also find it amusing that their
own employees have been kept in the dark about operations at
ebaY, as this memo reveals. TAG is thankful ebaY employees
are not intimidated by ebaY's absurd secrecy policies.

Board Quote of the Day I - sent by a subscriber via email -
ebaY's New Years Resolutions -
1.) Make SellYourItem at least twice as time-consuming and
three times as needlessly complicated as it is now.

2.) Add at least one new feature per month that no one
requested and that further burdens the already overtaxed servers, while
ignoring features the site desperately needs.

3.) Quit cold-turkey doing anything about preventing deadbeat

4.) Continue to treat mega-seller corporations better than
individuals, and continue to deny that it's being done.

5.) Acquire at least four flourishing companies, then run them
into bankruptcy through staggeringly incompetent mismanagement.

6.) Hide contact information even deeper to make it impossible
for anyone to reach an actual human at ebaY.

7.) Buy at least one new yacht and one new private jet for Meg.

8.) Make bigger and more blatant lies about site uptime.

9.) Jack around with live code more often.

10.) Raise fees on both ebaY and PayPal.

BQOD II - Posted by red-deer on 19 Dec at 17:23:47 PT and still
not fixed, "..Turbo Lister is a worthless piece of crap that's been
throwing *Network* errors for days now. Could someone at
eBay get off their azz & fix the problem, or better yet scrap that
overbloated piece of junk & keep Mister Lister for those of us that
don't need 20 screens to list ONE freakin item. FYI - IMHO your
SYI 2 was also designed with morons in mind. Happy Holidays!"

BQOD III - Posted by 007 on 24 Dec at 11:40:31 PT, "Hey...I have
seen alot of posts this am and yesterday from long timers. Who
knew it would last? (Ebay that is) (Not me thats for sure) And
eating this dog food ain't that bad once you get a taste for it."

BQOD IV - Posted by marginally*marginal on 27 Dec at 21:02:53
PT, "Turbo Lister is a program that was designed to market
revenue-enhancement for eBay. You need to realise that SA and
Turbo Lister are *owned* by eBay, and are expressly designed to
separate you from your money. You really need to get a
third-party tool you can work with, so that you aren't intimidated
into buying into features simply because eBay thinks they are
"Too Kewl fer Skool!" and patting you on the back while their
hand is fishing in your back pocket.."

BQOD V - Posted by auction*concoctions on 5 Jan at 19:35:01
PT, "... and EBAY just for the record...SYI2 SUCKS RAW EGGs
and you should be ashamed of yourselves...IMO...(not that my
opinion matters)...just wanted you to know how I feel about you
forcing it down our throats.....and your lame reasoning for not
keeping both forms SUCKS too... "

BQOD VI - Posted by marginally*marginal on 8 Jan at 09:36:25
PT in comparing the accuracy of the survey on Mister Lister VS
Turbo Lister (see link at the top of ebaY reports), "That is not a
scientifically conducted survey.... You are asking people who
actually USE the products what they prefer, instead of a random
sample of respondents who have never used either one. I'm
sure if you used the scientific method, you'd get tens of
thousands of people who have never listed on eBay to vote for
Turbo Lister -- if for no other reason than it is not as sexist and
"sounds" faster."

BQOD VII - Posted by partzman on 9 Jan at 15:54:52 PT, "Dear
eBay, Do you really want to know what I think of your newest
features and listing format? Can't say it in public!!"

Updated instructions for blocking ebaY SPAM and Pop Ups.
These are the updated instructions -

1) While in MSIE, go to TOOLS on the ribbon bar. Click "Internet
Options" at the bottom of the Pull-Down list.
2) In the Internet Options, go to the SECURITY tab.
3) Click the RESTRICTED SITES icon.
4) Click the SITES button. 5)Add these URLs in the box provided:
http://*.ebaypromo.com/ ** and ** https://*.ebaypromo.com/
(Note: the "*" is a wildcard that will disallow *ALL* URLs in that
particular block, which is a known ebaY Pop Up SPAM generator)
6) Click the ADD button as you add SPAM sites until you run out
7) Click OK to close that screen.
8) Click OK again to close the first screen. You're done.

For AOL.
1) Go to SETTINGS.
2) Preferences
3) Choose Intenet Properties (WWW).
4) Follow steps 2-8 above.

In Opera.
1) Top ribbon: Click File
2) Slither to Preferences
3) Left Pane: Click "Windows"
4) Next Screen: Right Pane: In Browser Windows, set the
Pop-Ups to REFUSE
5) Apply button.
6) OK button. For Netscape NS7: Use the procedure for Opera,
you may have to poke around to find the settings, but they ARE
there. http://www.lavasoft.de

NOTE: If you change your RESTRICTED strings to be
*://*.whatever.com (star-dot-colon-slash-slash-star-dot) format,
you kill http://, https://, and ftp:// access.

Instructions compliments of -

Third party service providers are having increasing difficulty
keeping their services functioning with ebaY. This appears to be
affecting those services that have not bought into the overpriced
ebaY API even more than those that have. It appears to TAG, that
ebaY is causing these problems on purpose, for no other
reason than to break the backs of third party services not paying
revenue to ebaY. An example of this was recently found by ebaY
user marginally*marginal. On 5 Jan he noticed that ebaY had
changed the shipping string on the item listing page from "U.S.
Shipping and handling" to "United States Shipping and handling"
(and made it two lines instead of one). A change such as this
would break all sorts of third party programs that use string
matching for parsing the content of the page. There appears to
be no valid or logical reason to do this, other than to mess up
other people's code.   Now anyone who is parsing the page
needs to change their shipping constant to "United
States\nShipping and handling" (for example, if they are writing
in java) which means all the code has to be recompiled,
redistributed, and re-updated. This is just because ebaY jacked
with something that wasn't broken to begin with.

To check on a seller's negative feedback only, try this program.
Requirements: Windows 95/98/ME/XP/NT/W2K PC, 266Mhz or
above, Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 (or above)

Note: It will not work with Netscape or Opera. Some subscribers
that tried it reported problems with it crashing, but it is worth a
try to see if it will work.

Harris Poll Online is conducting a survey about online collectible
purchases, with the main emphasis on buying on ebaY.
Questions included the users experience with sellers and their
ebaY experience, but were made to sound as if all experiences
were ebaY experiences, rather than the more realistic separate
ones between the site and the service provided by the
independent sellers.

ebaY took the old SYI form, relist and revise off ebaY, during the
week of 6 Jan. The boards have been busy with posts of anger
from sellers who feel the form is too slow, too long and too

ebaY has contracted for the addition of an extended warranty
option to the current warranty program buyers can purchase
through NewCorp. Buyers will be able to purchase an extended
warranty option, on products that come with an existing 90-day,
6-month, or 1-year manufacturer or seller's warranty.

NewCorp offers a Standard Warranty for products with no
warranty and Extended Warranty for products with an existing
manufacturer's warranty

For more info go to -

ebaY posted about the power seller healthcare agreement they
have made with Marsh Advantage America to provide individual
health care plans to power sellers. These healthcare solutions
are only available to registered US power sellers and can be
viewed by power sellers only via power seller portal pages by
clicking on "Health Care Coverage".

Power Seller portal page -
Health Care Solutions log in -
ebaY health care

TAG has the overview info about this program posted on our
website at - http://www.auctionguild.com/generic105.html

PayPal Seller Protection - Note that for a seller to be eligible for
seller protection on items $250 or more in value, the seller
needs to provide an online proof-of-receipt in the form of a
SIGNATURE from the recipient, and as always, must be sent to
the buyers PayPal verified address. Sellers protection is not
currently available for electronically delivered items. Seller
protection covers up to $5,000 per year of payments received by
the seller through PayPal. Only US sellers sending items to US
buyers are eligible.

ebaY is holding a Winter Fashion Brand promotion 16-23 Jan.
This will be promoted on the ebaY home page and the clothing
portal page and on Google, Lycos, and other Internet sites. For
details go to -

The latest version of Turbo Lister is available.
The new version includes:
* Support for Stores "Good Til' Cancelled" duration
* Support for importing listings from Seller's Assistant Basic
* Previous/Next buttons added to Edit Item panel
* Messaging for program updates
* Support for CIP (Customer Initiated Payment) methods for
international sites

Current users of Turbo Lister can upgrade their program by
selecting, "Tools" > "Check for Program Updates" in the
program. To download Turbo Lister for the first time, or for more
information, go to - http://pages.ebay.com/turbo_lister/

If you are having trouble with the download, a workaround is to
delete your current version of Turbo Lister and do a complete
new download of the program instead of the update.

ebaY's Billpoint payment system - ebaY will start removing the
program this week - 13 Jan. This process will take some time.   

During this first phase ebaY will remove Billpoint as a payment
option for all new auction-style, Fixed Price and Stores Inventory
listings on ebaY. Sellers will no longer be able to list with
Billpoint as a payment option on the Sell Your Item form or
through listing tools. The Billpoint payment option will no longer
be available for any new, relisted, or pending listings created
after mid-January.

If you list in ebaY Store Inventory, you should select "Other
On-line payment services" to indicate that you accept PayPal.
After mid-February, PayPal will be available as a payment option
when listing for Stores. ebaY will extend Billpoint availability as a
payment option in ebaY Stores until mid-April 2003. This extra
time will allow the vast majority of active 30-Day, 60-Day, 90-Day
and 120-Day Store Inventory listings with Billpoint to expire
naturally. If you have Store Inventory listings that extend beyond
mid-April (including Good-'Til-Cancelled), these listings may be
cancelled at that time.

Also beginning the week of January 13th, PayPal will be further
integrated into My ebaY. Buyers will see the "Pay Now" button
change to "Paid" status once payment through PayPal has been

In mid-February 2003 – Billpoint will be removed as a payment
option for Fast Deposit on ebaY Motors and PayPal will be
available as a new payment option. PayPal will also appear as a
new payment option for ebaY Store listings. Selecting "Other
On-line payment services" to indicate that a Store seller accepts
PayPal will no longer be required. If you have outstanding Store
Inventory listings at this time that include Billpoint as a payment
method, you should consider revising them to remove Billpoint.

In mid-April 2003 - The Billpoint Refund function will be removed.
Billpoint sellers should issue all remaining refunds prior to 15

On 30 Apr - The www.billpoint.com site will be shut down.
Access to the Billpoint Account Summary will no longer be
available. You should download your Billpoint payment history
prior to 30 Apr if you wish to keep a record of your transactions.
Billpoint customer inquiries after 30 Apr may be sent to
custom-@billpoint.com. This mailbox will be re-directed to
another ebaY help desk.

PayPal accounts will not be automatically created for Billpoint

ebaY is again changing the Sports Memorabilia categories.   
Preview the changes on the Sports Memorabilia and Trading
Cards Discussion Board. http://snurl.com/l36

ebaY has added policy and safe trading content to the Help
system. ebaY is also adding search to the Help system. Once it
is fully launched, there will be a search box on all the Help

ebaY is removing two of tabs within the Advanced Search area.
The Item Number search tab and the Completed Items search
tab will both be removed. These search capabilities are
available within other tabs of Advanced Search. To search for
completed items, check the "Completed Items only" checkbox,
on the Advanced Search page. Users can do an Item Number
search from any search box.

ebaY has added a new list of items to the prohibited items on
the ebaY Motors site. These prohibitions deal with items such
as used airbags, odometer modification devices, radar
detectors, imported & emission non-compliant vehicles, license
plates and catalytic converters.
For more info go to -     http://snurl.com/lcb

According to a press release - ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Jan. 8
/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- CSG Systems, a provider of customer
care and billing services, will be providing these services to
ebaY Inc. ebaY will use the newest version of CSG Kenan/BP to
support the real-time rating and billing requirements on
transactions completed each day.   So it appears that ebaY will
be switching to instant charge deductions rather than monthly
billing of sellers accounts, though how this will change ebaY's
current billing scheme remains to be seen.

In the ongoing patent lawsuit between MercExchange and ebaY,
Returnbuy, a company that lists on ebaY and is partially owned
by ebaY, has capitulated and settled with MercExchange, buying
a license for the patents held by MercExchange. In exchange,
MercExchange has agreed to dismiss its claims against the
Ashburn, Va.-based company. That leaves ebaY and its wholly
owned subsidiary, Half.com, as the remaining defendants in the

MercExchange has already settled with Overture Services, and is
awaiting a decision on an administrative action it filed against
Priceline.com in 1998.   Channel Advisor is also among its

Article at -

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 19 Dec at 15:04 PT,
Amazon posted that the seller account open pages information
was not displaying open Marketplace listings. The listings were
still appearing on the Offer Listing Page for the items, and they
were all available for purchase. Sellers can find current listing
status within the Amazon Payments section of the Seller
Account. Pro Merchant Subscribers may also generate an Open
Listings Report to review their active listings.

On 20Dec at 16:35 PT, Amazon noted that some Amazon
Payment transactions were taking longer than usual to complete
processing. Sellers are encouraged not to ship until the
completed status appears in Seller Account information, or until
"Sold--Ship Now!" e-mail is received. Amazon posted that they
had fixed this problem by 18:35 PT.

On 22 Dec Amazon sellers reported they were not receiving their
payments for sold items from Amazon.

On 24 Dec at 10:40 PT Amazon announced that they were still
working on the open listings not showing in the Marketplace
problem, so far without success.

On 30 Dec at 18:47 PT Amazon posted that there were problems
sending Amazon Payments earnings to seller bank accounts.

On 31 Dec at 15:42 PT, Amazon announced that they fixed the
payment problem on Monday 30 Dec. Sellers could expect their
money owed by Thu 2 Jan, or Fri 3 Jan.

Despite Amazons claim, the payment disbursement problems
continued, and on 7 Jan at 20:39 PT Amazon posted that the
issue with delayed Amazon Payments disbursements had finally
been fixed, and affected sellers were contacted by e-mail.   

The Amazon chat boards yielded a simple but effective tip. Make
sure you mark packages in bold print (with a marker or block
letter stamp in black or red) with the class of mail.   This makes
sorting go faster for postal workers and makes it more likely that
your package will be sorted and shipped sooner, Some
programs, such as Endicia, provides the capability to add the
class designation on the shipping label.   Consensus reflects
that marking the class next to where the postage is placed is
most effective, though marking the back of the package might
also be helpful.

Amazon live telephone customer service 16 hours a day
Auction/zShops/Marketplace have no customer support on
weekends. 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) - Is holding a free listing
day today 15 Jan (please see TAGnotes special edition notice
sent at 0900 PT today)
Yahoo Auction Counts
Antiques & Art   16544
Automotive 1522
Books & Comics 12020
Clothing & Accessories 15345
Coins, Paper Money & Stamps 34466
Collectibles 13032
Computers 5787
Electronics & Cameras 2655
Food & Beverage 892
Home & Garden 6649
Jewelry & Watches 18940
Movies & TV 7231
Music 6275
Sports & Outdoors 3144
Sports Cards & Memorabilia 44733
Toys, Games & Hobbies 23602
Video Games 1914
Other 3966
Total 218,717

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)
As of 28Nov02 Yahoo had 262,841 (+4050)
As of 6Jan03 Yahoo had 218,717 (-44124)
Yahoo Auction counts brought to you by

Ongoing Issues -
Yahoo Contact Information

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

* * * * * * * * * *
RubyLane.Com started a bit of controversy recently, when they
proposed a restriction on their sellers that items listed on
RubyLane could only be listed on RubyLane, and not be
concurrently listed on other sites. Though originally slated to go
into effect on 1 Feb, RubyLane received much input from their
sellers and are looking at other alternative and more flexible
ways to try to achieve their goals, without imposing hardships on
sellers.   http://www.rubylane.com/

* * * * * * * * * *
TIAS.Com announced that TIAS would continue to have an open
listing policy. If you sell your merchandise through TIAS you can also
list your merchandise other websites. TIAS has observed over the past
year that online antique and collectible merchants are listing their
inventory in more locations on the Web than ever before. Different Web
sites have different customers, so listing on multiple websites
increases the number of potential buyers.   

* * * * * * * * * *
Superseller, Krause's auction newsletter, has disappeared from
the net. Attempts to access the site at
http://superseller.krause.com/ yields "No web site is configured
at this address." This happened without notice to subscribers
since the last issue on 23 Dec.

Have any information for us? email us at
TAG Subscribers often contribute information reported on in
TAGnotes. Visit their auctions or websites.

TAGassist Contributors




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email us - tag@theauctionguild.com
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