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TAGnotes Tue 25 Feb 2003 Vol 5 Number 3 Issue 442

The Auction Guild Notes Tue 25 Feb 2003
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To search Froogle go to - http://froogle.google.com/froogle
Advanced Froogle Search -

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

* * * * * * * * * *
ebaY - Please Check These Pages for COMPLETE ebaY
OUTAGE Details

ebaY Outages Details 1 - 31 Jan 2003 -
ebaY Outages Details 1 - 20 Feb 2003 -

There is no room in this issue for our normal short daily
synopsis of ebaY's outages and problems.   There were outages
and problems every day so far this month, with the worst seller
money losing site crashes happening on 6 Feb, 9 Feb, and 14
Feb. PayPal has had almost daily outage problems and ebaY
has had to take it down for emergency maintenance on several
occasions. The ebaY/Andale counters no longer work, and there
have been daily problems with Turbo Lister. The full details of
ebaY's Feb outages can be found on the TAG website at -

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 - in a conversation about ebaY site
stability and service mc-@ebay.com said on 3 Feb at 21:09:38
PT, " ... that is not too much to ask at all. You have a right to
outstanding and excellent service from eBay. I will ensure that
the SYI bug you experienced is reported and, once identified,
fixed. For API-related questions, you should email
randy.-@ebay.com . He runs that group and would be happy
to help you." ebaY users may have a "right" to such service,
since they pay for it, it is a shame there are not many folks at
ebaY who will provide such service.

PQOD II - in a speech to law enforcement by ebaY's Joseph
Sullivan at the Cyber Crime 2003 conference in Connecticut, Mr
Sullivan said, "We don't make you show a subpoena, except in
exceptional cases," Sullivan told his listeners. "When someone
uses our site and clicks on the `I Agree' button, it is as if he
agrees to let us submit all of his data to the legal authorities.
Which means that if you are a law-enforcement officer, all you
have to do is send us a fax with a request for information, and
ask about the person behind the seller's identity number, and we
will provide you with his name, address, sales history and other
details - all without having to produce a court order. We want law
enforcement people to spend time on our site". This is actually
pretty old news as to ebaY policy but TAG wonders if it is a
change to ebaY's practice. Over time, TAG has heard from
several law enforcement agencies, wondering how to get past
ebaY's roadblocks so they could get cooperation from ebaY.
From all that TAG has heard ebaY is NOT cooperative with law
enforcement, and most prosecutions of scammers have
occurred in spite of ebaY not because of ebaY's cooperation.
Maybe this speech heralds a policy change at ebaY. See full
article at http://snurl.com/u32

TAG also finds it intriguing that to get a libelous feedback
removed, ebaY needs a court order but ebaY will give any law
enforcement agency for any reason (not even a suspicion of
criminal activity needs to be demonstrated) information on every
word you have spoken, every item you have bought or sold, how
much you earned or spent (are your IRS records clean?) and
who you have dealt with, name address and phone numbers.
Something appears a little out of balance here.

PQOD III - during another board appearance by
mc-@ebay.com, when asked about the holiday season
destroying Hallmark pop up promotion that killed thousands of
dollars in last minute bidding for sellers, mc-@ebay.com said
on 19 Feb 17:43:01 PT, " ..... I don't think we will do it again."
TAG hopes we can take that to the bank, and that ebaY users
never have to endure such a devastating promotion again.
Unfortunately, this is the same person who promised a holiday
"quiet" period. One needs only to view the ebaY outages and
problems for December to see how legitimate that was.

PQOD IV - in a conversation about gallery special features,
mc-@ebay.com said on 19 Feb at 18:32:02 PT, "Gallery boosts
conversion rate (probability of successful listing) by 8% and final
price by 11% for the site overall. Much more in some categories
than others." Unfortunately, it also increases your listing fee on
items under $9.99 by 83.3%. TAG still holds that gallery is a
waste of money and the primary beneficiary is ebaY. If gallery
really increased sellers bottom line as stated, ebaY would make
gallery free as it would increase ebaY's final value fees also, but
not by 83.3%

Board Quote of the Day I - in a discussion of Turbo Lister and
SYI2.0, marginally*marginal said on 3 Feb at 21:01:07 PT, "I'd
like to say for the record, that since eBay has *forced* users into
using SYI 2.0 (which *SUCKS*, by the way), I've had no choice
but to go to an outside vendor for practical software (since that is
apparently beyond eBay's current level of technical ability). And it
looks like eBay has made changes (again!) to break the
software (again) for what is a cosmetic change (again). Is there
any chance eBay will just STOP jacking with the back end stuff
so that we can LIST stuff for sale? Is that TOO hard a concept to
wrap yourself around? SELLING stuff is *WHY* we use eBay. If
you make it *IMPOSSIBLE* to list, it makes it impossible to
SELL." and "Oh, yes. That REVISE your item has GOT to change.
Do you REALIZE you have to go through *14* pages *JUST* to
revise the title, price, category, and sell-to country? That is
*IRRATIONAL* (being kind here, it's actually **INSANE**) and
needs to be addressed SOON. Without the API, we have NO way
to get at an auction to revise it, other than that kludge you all
call RYI 2.0"   Check out his great Militaria at -

BQOD II - whilst asking for advice about problems they were
encountering when trying to list auctions on ebaY
texic-@aol.com said on 8 Feb at 20:04:26 PT, " . . . Thanks
for the advice. I'm just an occasional seller and would prefer to
use the eBay system, unless it becomes impossible -- and it is
beginning to look that way from my perspective." Old West
memorabilia - http://snurl.com/u4b

BQOD III - during another Turbo Lister conversation,
etvi-@aol.com said on 9 Feb at 18:53:23 PT"... Mister lister
requires Ebay to store you listings, Turdo Lister stores the
listings on YOUR computer. Mister Lister is a one page, easy to
use form that allows you to ignore all the fee based features that
Ebay wants you to use. Turdo Lister forces you to consider these
features. ML was designed for the benefit of its members, TL
was designed for the benefit of Ebay. I hope this answers your
question." See hundreds of collectible laser discs at -

BQOD IV - Posted by tjbailey on 14 Feb at 08:38:00 PT, "ebay
runs like an old 1 cylinder 'hit & miss' engine. POP, thump thump
thump thump, POP, thump thump thump POP, then someone
drops a monkey wrench in the gearbox. POP BANG
SCREEEEECH, then the only thing you can hear is a Blue Jay
whistling 1 mountain range over. Need a well designed
affordable website? Go to http://www.tjbailey.com/

BQOD V - in a conversation about the fee increases,
marginally*marginal said on 17 Feb at 17:31:26 PT, "eBay is
raising fees so that they can more firmly entrench the fixed retail
price model they aspire to. They see more of a future in retail
than in auctions. This is a not-so-subtle way of telling the
collectible community to go take a hike."

BQOD VI - in a conversation about the live chat with Michael
Dearing VP of ebaY Marketing. marginally*marginal said on
Feb-19-03 at 17:36:23 PT, "... actually, I did learn several things.
1) eBay seems to think that the FIRST thing a person looks for
on eBay is somehow of mysterious significance. 2) They are
amazed that someone who buys a computer buys collectibles
and clothing. 3) They track "cohorts" and apply rules to clusters
of people based on behavior of the group. 4) They seem to think
that categories are MORE important than a decent search
engine. 5) They are aware that more characters in the title would
help sellers, but apparently are only realizing this after we have
been *SCREAMING* for longer titles for the last 6 years. 6) Mr
Dearing likes to answer the softball questions more than the
hardball stuff. 7) eBay MARKETING is *unaware* of
"Recommended Firsts" siphoning bidders off of eBay.

BQOD VII - in a discussion about the gallery stats, joe said on
19 Feb at 21:04:15 PT, "Just remember, the folks at ebay who
are telling you of higher returns on Gallery items, are the same
folks that are telling you that SYI 2.0 is faster, easier, and more
efficient to use than the old listing form."

ebaY is removing Mister Lister in May 2003. So far Turbo Lister
has been a failure for thousands of users and TAG recommends
sellers try third party software such as the highly regarded and
free auctionsubmit.com. http://www.auctionsubmit.com

If you want to join the thousands of users in Turbo Lister hell
who have downloaded Turbo Lister, go to -
Or order the CD (so far we have heard the CD does not work
either) for $2.99 from -

We would like to thank all of our members who have used Mister
Lister over the years. We hope that you find Turbo Lister even
more efficient and easier to use, and that you will continue to
provide your invaluable feedback for the enhancement of Turbo

For more information about the death of Mister Lister go to -

ebaY has a new version of Turbo Lister available. The new
version has support for ebaY Australia, France, Spain,
Netherlands and Belgium (French and Dutch); support for
additional photos for ebaY Motors vehicles listings and Vehicles
Picture Pack; support for Buy It Now feature for Sothebys.com

Many users have been unable to download the upgrade or get it
to work once downloaded, so if you feel you must use Turbo
Lister, TAG recommends you do a complete uninstall and then
reinstall the program from scratch.

ebaY is once again attempting to implement their for fee listing
HTML designs. Listing Designer is now available from the Sell
Your Item form.

Listing Designer allows sellers to choose a theme and layout
from a selection, and have that theme and layout applied to their
description. There is no need to know HTML to use Listing

Listing Designer will be available from the Pictures and Details
page, and sellers who prefer not to use it can minimize it on their
screen. The introductory fee for the feature will be ten cents per
listing. The feature is currently available in Turbo Lister, and will
continue to be free for listings submitted using that tool.

To learn more about Listing Designer, go to -

The Seller Information Box is now showing up in several
categories. This will continue to propagate across the site over
the next few weeks. For more info go to -

ebaY is planning on changing the Knives & Swords Category. To
view the details go to -

ebaY is planning on changing the Stamps Category. To view the
details go to -

ebaY is planning on changing the Crafting, Art Supplies category
and proposing to move the entire Crafting, Art Supplies category
from Toys & Hobbies to the Home category.
To view the details go to -

ebaY has posted a new users agreement on the PayPal site. All
new PayPal accounts will be required to agree to the new User
Agreement at signup. PayPal members with existing PayPal
accounts will have 60 days to agree to the terms of the new User
Agreement. To view the new PayPal User Agreement go to -

A line by line review of this new user agreement will appear in
the next issue of TAGnotes. Our initial review did not look good
for users, (and so far we have refused to accept the agreement
on our PayPal account, as has our associates) but we will
reserve final judgment until we have thoroughly compared the
old and new agreements.

PayPal is now available for ebaY Stores and ebaY Motors

*Sellers may select PayPal as an option from the SYI form.
*ebaY's Checkout will now be optional in stores.
*Credit cards will no longer be a requirement for Store Sellers.
Sellers will be able to choose whether or not they would like to
accept credit cards.

Store Inventory listings that extend beyond mid-April with Billpoint
as the only payment option will be ended. Once PayPal is live,
sellers will be able to revise their Billpoint-only items and select
another payment method. In April, if the listing still has Billpoint
as the only payment method it will be ended.

PayPal accounts will not be automatically created for Billpoint
users. More info on the PayPal integration in Stores can be
found at the ebaY Stores Community Board.

After over a year of delay Verisign is finally going to provide the
ID Verify service for ebaY. For more information on ID Verify go
to - http://pages.ebay.com/help/basics/f-verify.html

ebaY is looking for more space in the Bay area. ebaY is looking
for more than 300,000 square feet. ebaY's lease on its
headquarters at Hamilton and Bascom avenues expires in 2006.   

To find ebaY's Live support link 24/7 go to -

ebaY has modified the feedback system so users get more info
pages in an attempt to better educate them on how and when
certain feedback is appropriate. ebaY will change the order of
the positive, negative and neutral feedback buttons as well as
separate the space between each button. In addition, they are
going to provide information about contacting other users to
encourage users to work out disputes before leaving negative
feedback.   The current pages will remain the default for now and
ebaY says they will provide advanced notice before the new
pages become the default page for leaving feedback.

A scam email that looked as if it came from PayPal contained an
email worm. It was attached to the message as a compressed
file called AccountManager.zip, which contained an executable
file that installed a program to intercept and log keystrokes on
the user's computer in order to steal passwords and other
confidential information.   To read more go to -

Paypal is looking for Customer Service people to work in
Nebraska. Go to - http://snurl.com/ui7

The boards have been plastered by messages from folks getting
a screen on ebaY search that says "Recommended Firsts" that
takes up a large part of the screen. This appears to be caused
by some kind of spyware/scumware that has infiltrated the users
computer. TAG is not sure what the source of this scumware is,
if ebaY is propagating it or where it is originating from. This is a
PROGRAM that has placed itself on the users computer and
must be removed. To get rid of "Recommended Firsts" Go to
this page -
sp (copy paste this entire url from http to .asp)
Where you will find downloads for both Ad-Aware and Spybot.   
Download both programs.

Install the Spybot application, open the application, and update
the reference file. Click the "Online" button... Click "Update" in
the expanded menu... Place a check mark next to "Includes"
(that's the reference file)... Click the "Download Update" button.

The source of Recommended Firsts appears to be a company
called NexTag -   http://www.nextag.com/

Ad Aware will also take care of this scumware. To download go
to - http://www.lavasoft.de and download Ad-Aware

To get more information on what scumware is on your computer
and what you can do to get rid of it, go to -

This info brought to you by Rockboss2000

ebaY is changing and increasing fees on ebaY US, AU, CA
effective 4 Mar 2003. ebaY is increasing the Reserve and Home
Page Featured fees and decreasing the bold fee. All other fees,
including insertion fees, Final Value fees, other feature fees, and
fees for ebaY Motors Vehicles and Sothebys.com, will remain

Changes to the fee structures on the Australian and Canadian
sites will take place on 25 Mar 03. ebaY will not change other
international sites at this time.
AU changes -
CA changes -

The Bold fee is decreasing from $2.00 to $1.00.

This change applies to all auction-style, Fixed Price and Dutch
listings in all ebaY.com categories, including ebaY Motors
non-Vehicles categories (Parts and Accessories and Everything
Else) and Real Estate auction-style format.

The bold prices for the various stores listing durations are -

Duration                 Current Price            New Price
30 days                   $2.00                        $1.00
60 days                   $3.00                        $2.00
90 days                   $4.00                        $3.00
120 days                  $5.00                        $4.00
Good 'til Cancelled $2.00 every 30 days          $1.00 every 30days

The Bold fees for ebaY Motors Vehicles and Real Estate Ad
Format remain unchanged.

ebaY is drastically increasing the Reserve Fee on items with
reserves of over $100.   Since reserve fees are used to protect
against ebaY's constant outages, TAG sees this as the worst
kind of extortion, a "protection" scheme at its worst.
Reserve Price                Reserve Price Fee
$0.01 - $24.99              $0.50
$25.00 - $99.99              $1.00
$100.00 and up              1% of reserve price

Listings with a Reserve Price of $100 and up will have a Reserve
Price fee of 1% of the Reserve Price. The maximum Reserve
Price fee will be $100.00.

For example, a listing with a Reserve Price of $1,000 will have a
reserve fee of $10.00. This change applies to all auction-style
listings in all ebaY.com categories including ebaY Motors
non-Vehicles categories (Parts and Accessories and Everything
Else), and Real Estate auction-style format. The Reserve fee for
ebaY Motors Vehicles and Real Estate Ad Format remain

The Reserve Price Fee will continue to be fully refunded if the
item sells.

*Home Page Featured -ebaY is adding a second level of pricing
for Home Page Featured based on quantity of items in the
listing. For a single item listing, the fee will remain unchanged
at $99.95. When the quantity of items in the listing is two or
greater, ebaY will increase the fee to $199.95.

As always, ebaY claims these fees are for the "good of the
community" and that the fees help ebaY "to build a vibrant
marketplace". Of course as TAG sees it, the truth is that it keeps
the stock price boosted so that the ebaY insiders can continue to
cash out billions in stock options as fast as they are allowed to
do so.   The real result will most likely be that people who sell
high reserve items will create multiple zero feedback throw away
IDs, and when the item looks as if it wont sell, bid above the
reserve amount so that the item "sells" and eliminate the reserve
charge, and then the seller will file a Non Paying Bidder claim to
get the final value fees back from the ebaY. The other thing this
will encourage to an even greater degree than occurs currently is
shilling. Items will be shilled to make them reach what would
have been the reserve price, with the seller again using the NPB
program to retrieve final value fees on unsold items. This will
become a standard business practice for sellers of high priced
items, and ebaY is forcing this on sellers through their own
unscrupulous and rampant greed. What TAG hopes is that
sellers will see the light and list these items on their own
websites and on sites such as sellyouritem.com and ioffer.com.
With the Froogle search engine growing by leaps and bounds,
venues other than ebaY should become more attractive as ebaY
continues to make their site less attractive to sellers and buyers.

This information about ebaY Web Bugs was posted by
marginally*marginal and we though it might be of value to users

What is a web bug and what does it do?
A web bug can collect personal info like your e-mail address,
health interests, political affiliations, personally identifiable
information, sexual disclosures... anything you express at the
website where the web bug is located. It can also track data on
your search habits. The ebaY SPAM advertising networks store
this data in a profile so that their ad network can show you
banner ads "coincidentally" suited to your interests the next time
you visit. It also stores your IP address, the URL of the page you
just came from, the URL of the page you are viewing, the time
when you viewed the page, what kind of browser you're using. In
addition it can track any preset cookie values, and once a bug is
hooked to a cookie, then there's no telling what else they can get
out of you.

What can you do to prevent web bugs?
Zone Alarm pro filters web bugs. You have to specifically tailor
your firewall to disallow the URLs of the web bug server. The
ones on ebaY are altfarm.mediaplex.com,
adfarm.mediaplex.com, and www.qksrv.net You can also try

And in related information about scumware and other
vulnerabilities, heed the words posted by marginally*marginal,
"People, PLEASE! Do NOT follow the links you uncover in scam
emails. If your security is the LEAST bit lax (like you have ActiveX,
javascript, open ports, your IP number unstealthed, etc, etc)
scammers will KNOW your machine is online and can attack it,
regardless of whether or not you submit ANY info. Just going to
the PAGE to "look" is sufficient. Unless you are a pro (and there
are MAYBE two or three that post here I consider in that
category), then DON'T play with hackers. It's just not worth it. .
free test at .. https://grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2"

View his site at - http://www.snyderstreasures.net/

For now, a free way to avoid all the SYI2.0 problems is to
download this free program. Unfortunately, it is only compatible
with Windows based systems -

Auctiva Mister Poster (Mister Lister substitute) tool in Beta 3 now
ready for download at - http://snurl.com/plw

For those having trouble uninstalling the ebaY spyware toolbar
try CyberMedia unInstaller tool. You can download this at -

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.

ebaY has changed their threaded boards with a new search
function and the ability to preview a post. The new search will
allow search by user name, search by a keyword or by date or
date range. ebaY also changed the board snitch feature so a
new page opens to report an alleged posting violation. Users
need to update their bookmarks.

CSV Faq for those looking for information on creating Comma
Separated Value files for importing and exporting information to
and from ebaY TurboLister and Excel spread sheets go to -

In a quietly made move ebaY and Burger King cancelled their BK
Rewards (sm) loyalty program on 22 Nov 02. Nothing was
posted about it by ebaY and there was no press release. All
member accrued points expired on 22 Nov.

Ongoing Issues and Information
ebaY power seller healthcare
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
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

* * * * * * * * * *
ePier is holding a free listing and no final value fee period until
27 Feb 2003.

They also have an ePier seller who is willing to help other users
identify glassware. For assistance send an email to Bridges
Through Time and include any description, markings, or
picture(s) you have. Email Armando at
cambr-@houston.rr.com   or   imw-@houston.rr.com

* * * * * * * * * *
iOffer.Com has opened a new concept in stores, available to
iOffer users for free. iOffer sellers pay no store fee, or listing
fee, only a final value fee on items sold. With iOfferStores a buyer
can selects the items they desire, be it one item or several.
Once they are done selecting, they make the seller an offer on
the entire bundle.    The seller can than either accept the offer or
make a counter offer. This system allows the seller to
give the buyer a volume price break. iOffer charges the seller a
final value fee based on the total transaction rather than each
individual item.

An iOfferStore is automatically created for any seller who has two
or more items listed on iOffer. Sellers can easily mirror all of
their ebaY items on iOffer using iOffer's Mr. Grabber tool.


* * * * * * * * * *
More than eight million Visa and MasterCard accounts
throughout the nation were accessed after the computer system
at a third party processor was hacked into, according to
representatives for the card associations. The hacked company
has been identified on CNN as Data Processing International.
This company does business as DPI Merchant Services in
Omaha, Neb., and was recently acquired by TransFirst. They
said in a statement Thursday that "information targeted by the
system intruder did not include any personal information that
could relate a card number to an individual. ... (P)ersonal
information including account holder name, address, telephone
number and Social Security number were not obtained through
the attempted intrusion."

Both DPI and a federal law enforcement official familiar with the
case told CNNfn on Wednesday that so far there has been no
reported misuse of the information stolen or evidence that any
individual account has been tampered with.

For articles on this story see -

* * * * * * * * * *
Free Auction Counters that work (unlike ebaY/Andale's)

* * * * * * * * * *
For those doing their own web pages, check out this Meta Tag

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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