Home   |  TAGnotes   |   TAGblog   |   TAGchat   |   Services   |   Fraud   |  Contact Us   |   Site Map
TAGnotes Thu 6 Mar 2003 Vol 5 Number 4 Issue 443

The Auction Guild Notes Thu 6 Mar 2003
Find thousands of products from sellers throughout the Internet.
Members may also sell their products through our marketplace!

Free Stuff For Collectors - Have A Little Fun!
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
For Great Deals On Your Favorite Music, Check Out
Dandylion Records ! http://www.dandylionrecords.com
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Discover the Secrets of 25 Successful eBayPowerSellers in their
own words at http://powersellerinterviews.com/ebook/index.html
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Looking for a great read? Find it at Book Owl Books. Mention
TAG and get FREE SHIPPING. http://www.bookowlbooks.com
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
$2sday launched EVERY Tuesday. Bidding starts at
$2 NO RESERVE!! http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/$2sday
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
HOT Fashion Item-Ostrich Feather-Trim Handbags
U.S. Made Wholesale/Retail www.antiquesandporcelain.com
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
What items $ell on eBay? Don't Guess! Get 100+pages of eBay
info Only $8.95 http://www.aolmemorabilia.com/clkbnksales.html
     * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Looking for reliable image hosting? Check TAG's image hosting
directory at - http://www.auctionguild.com/generic80.html
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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         
6900 subscribers
FROOGLE - the shoppers search engine
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 Details 1 - 31 Jan 2003 -
ebaY Outages Details 1 - 28 Feb 2003 -

What follows is a short synopsis of ebaY's outages and
problems. The full details of ebaY's Feb outages can be found
on the TAG website at -

20 Feb - There were early morning ebaY site access problems.
PayPal related problems included problems with the payment
button on auctions, and PayPal revealing the sellers email
address to any who clicked on the PayPal link. ebaY email
system stopped working in the evening, and there were
problems with adding images through the API.

21 Feb - ebaY took its site and PayPal down for weekly
maintenance from approx 1-3AM PT. The site crashed at
12:24:30 PT and buyers received error messages when trying to
view auctions until 13:31:04 PT. Sellers had problems with
Turbo Lister throughout the day, and problems submitting
listings with S?YI2.0 in the evening. At 19:26:55 PT users
reported search anomalies, and a little later users of Macs
and/or the Netscape browser, reported they were getting strange
font changes when viewing auctions. ebaY is aware of the
problems caused by their latest code jerking and are allegedly
working on restoring compatibility to Netscape and MAC

22 Feb - Sellers reported listing problems around mid day, but
the site was stable overall for the day.

23 Feb - In the early morning there were problems with posting
on the ebaY chat boards. At 11:18:559 PT buyers reported being
unable to bid on items. This lasted for about 10 minutes but
cropped up again at 16:13:56 PT. Users reported they were not
receiving end of auction notices, a problem that continued
throughout the day. There were My ebaY problems in the
evening that continued through 22:27:33 PT. Users also
reported slow reloads across the site for the rest of the day.

24 Feb - Some sellers reported items listed the previous
evening were missing form their sellers list. ebaY had problems
with their one time payment system through 12:009:27 PT. In the
evening, there were Turbo Lister problems and a widespread
slowdown of page reloads across the site that sent users to
ebaY Canada in order to access the ebaY US site and get pages
to load.

25 Feb - ebaY was again jacking with the site code, this time
causing problems with the way seller's descriptions were
appearing on auctions. Adding a close font command at the
beginning of the description box appeared to solve the ebaY
glitch. Several third party service provider programs were also
broken due to ebaY code changes.

26 Feb - Sellers reported continued Turbo Lister problems and
missing end of auction notices. Otherwise, the site was stable.

27 Feb - At 13:53:55 PT ebaY crashed. Buyers could not access
auctions and could not bid. This problem continued until
14:25:04. The new Turbo Lister update download was causing
the program to disappear from seller's computers.

28 Feb - There were problems with tech support for API users.
At 12:37:07 PT users received error messages whilst trying to
access the ebaY chat boards. At 14:52:12 PT ebaY was no
longer recognizing established sellers, denying them access to
their auction info. There were more problems with the ebaY
spyware toolbar, and continuing problems with Turbo Lister.

ebaY Outages Details 1 - 28 Feb 2003 -

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 - At a Goldman Sachs technology
conference Meg Whitman talked about the future of ebaY.   The
article quoted Meg saying, "EBay was seeing rapid growth in
Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands and was planning to
return to the Japanese market, Meg Whitman said in a dinner
address at the Goldman Sachs technology conference ..."
"Despite strength in the company's international business,
which she believed may outpace its U.S. operations one day,
Whitman said the geopolitical climate could affect sales." TAG
thinks Meg's prediction for ebaY's international business
outpacing US operations may very well come true, but not
because the international sites do so much better. With ebaY
US sell through dropping steadily, now believed by TAG to be in
the range of 30%, and the movement of high priced items off
ebaY due to the absurd and outrageous 1% reserve auction fee,
US listings and sales and profits may very well drop to the level
of the international ones. To see the article -

PQOD II - In a leaked Memo about ebaY Technology
Organization Changes Meg Whitman said on 25 Feb at 14:46
PT, "Technology Organization Changes Bay and the technology
team have a full slate of opportunities and challenges ahead.
Our key goals include:
* Improving time to market
* Keeping cost commitments and becoming the lowest-cost
* Managing accelerating site growth with high availability
* Doubling product delivery capability while meeting aggressive
* Enabling eBay as a platform
* Working fast with quality, and
* Continuing to build an environment that strengthens and aligns
relationships among business units, product and application
development teams"

TAG wonders if ebaY employees get a corprospeak dictionary to
interpret such statements into English, or if the goals are so
jargon filled and incomprehensible, that no one actually has to
do anything. TAG wants to know to whom ebaY has made "cost
commitments" and how ebaY, the highest priced trading site on
the net can have a goal of becoming the "lowest-cost provider".
Or maybe the question should again be to whom ebaY is trying
to become the "lowest-cost provider" and who will be the ones to
pay for that goal. What is "high availability" which is different
than site stability, but why should it be different? TAG enjoys the
insight obtained by these internal memos, and has the highest
praise for the employees that have the courage to send them to
InternalMemos.Com. We applaud you, and your strength of
character that keeps you from being intimidated by ebaY.

TAG has added the technology structure to the ebaY contact
page on the TAG website at

PQOD III - in an announcement on the ebaY site on 6 Mat at
13:34:32 PT, ebaY said, "In the meantime, we will continue to
build the Half.com business in order to provide you with the best
experience possible." Since Half.Com has managed to
maintain an Unsatisfactory rating with the Better Business
Bureau since ebaY took over Half, "the best experience possible"
should not be a high bar to get over. It takes a special effort to
get and keep an Unsat from the BBB, as ALL a site has to do to
get a Sat, is answer complaints, NOT address them to the
customers satisfaction.

Board Quote of the Day I - posted by marginally*marginal on 20
Feb at 17:13:46 PT, "... it's getting to the point where it is just
plain stupid to use eBay's software to navigate the site. I've got
several different programs I use now, all built by people who do
not work for eBay. I have a listing program, a relister, a search
program, sniper/bidder program, and auction accounting
management. The ONLY times I use eBay anymore are to talk
on DNF, or Revise an item. Or on a rare occasion do something
like cancel a bid. That's it. eBay couldn't write decent software on
a bet. It's one of the reasons they are being sued by several
companies already. They stole the designs they use rather than
hire coders that could write code from scratch without stepping
on other people's intellectual property."
Check out the great Militaria at - http://www.snyderstreasures.net/

BQOD II in a conversation about Turbo Lister and in answer to
seller comments about how bad Turbo Lister is, katiyana said
on 26 Feb at 12:48:59 PT, "The will of the Ebay community is to
the will of the Ebay Community doesn't fill Meg's pockets with our
nickels and dimes so what we want doesn't matter. Most bulk
listers don't like it AT ALL because it's so much slower than ML."
View her offerings at -   http://www.katiyana.com

One of TAG's associates was very surprised recently to receive
an email stating the charge card they had on file with ebaY had
expired and had been removed. The email said to follow the
links provided to add a new card. This raised several alarm
bells, first of all because the card had not expired (ebaY had
recently charged another account with the same card), and
second of all because the email provided click links, and ebaY
knows there are rampant scams using what look like legitimate
links that are used to steal personal information. Careful
checking showed the email was NOT a scam but had actually
come from ebaY (and ebaY had removed the unexpired card
from the account). Our associate checked the URL of the link
provided with the one on the ebaY site, and they were identical.
Our associate wrote to ebaY (ccing several ebaY addresses
including me-@ebay.com) about this and said,

"it ASTOUNDS me that ebaY would send such an email with
LINKS rather than just tell the customer to go to the ebaY site log
in and update from their My ebaY page. NO WONDER so many
folks fall for these scams - you are making it easy for the
scammers by sending emails such as this!

Kevin P just said - "In these phantom e-mails, the attempt is to
induce the user to follow these instructions. Don't do it! Don't use
the software and don't follow the links in the e-mail. (Only) go to
PayPal by entering the site's URL directly in the browser."

It would be nice to see ebaY practice what they preach - for a

Though shocked that it took this email to get ebaY to wake up to
reality, we were at least pleased to see that this email triggered
a policy change, when our associate received the following,

"... I wanted to let you know that effective immediately, in a
response to these fraudulent emails, our outgoing messages now have
eliminated almost all links and instead we have instructions using the
Site Map on the site. Thank you for your suggestion, and it's been put
into practice! ... Jennifer B. A. eBay Billing Support

TAG hopes our subscribers will let us know if this has actually
been put into practice by ebaY, and that our subscribers will also
keep spreading the word to NEVER go to a web site via an email
link to update personal information, but always go directly to the
site via your normal links and log into your account to check or
update information.

In answer to the problem ebaY just created with their obscene
price increase on reserve auctions, ebaY is now threatening
sellers with suspension if they take action to protect themselves
from severe losses. At some point, sellers will realize that ebaY
does not want their business and is no longer interested in the
auction format.

A seller always had the right to end an auction for any reason at
any time. Last TAG knew the seller DID own the item, NOT ebaY.
Due to legal restrictions ebaY can't prohibit sellers from
canceling bids and ending auctions, but they sure don't hesitate
to use intimidation techniques to try to accomplish the same
result. ebaY says this is just "clarification" when what it really
is, is a threat. Of course how ebaY defines " Chronic" and "abuse" is
ambiguous, and allows ebaY to suspend one seller for 1 act of alleged
violation, yet allow other sellers to do the same thing dozens of times
and get away with it. The user agreement policy on this can be seen at

The PayPal User Agreement analysis will be posted on the TAG
website in the next few days at

UK PayPal users received an unexpected present from PayPal
on 27 Feb. UK Sellers and Buyers could download Dollars from
their PayPal account for approx 5 hours on the 27th on a near
equal parity rate of $1 to the £1 when it is normally about $1.56
to the £1. For example, normally $100 would equal £60 but was
transferred at £100. The reverse happened also, so sellers who
were expecting the receipt of £100, normally $156 instead
received $100.

ebaY/PayPal pink wyno-@ebay.com posted the good news
on 27 Feb at 23:15 PT saying, "Hello All: As promised, here's the
full story on the FX problem of earlier today. Between the hours of
09:52 to 14:36 GMT, an incorrect rate for Pound Sterling was
posted on the PayPal system. Every fund conversion that
occurred during this time period involving Pound Sterling was
affected. Those users impacted will be notified by PayPal via
e-mail within the next 48 hours. Members due a refund will be
credited during this timeframe.

Also, I’m happy to report that those of you (including
post-it-id) who received a "bonus" during this timeframe will not see
any adjustment to your accounts. :o)
We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion that this
problem caused you.
Kind regards, Wynonna"

Another article on the Article on the mid Feb cyber crime
conference held in Connecticut, and Internet Fraud -

After its first attempt ended in abject failure, ebaY is planning on
having another try at integrating Half.Com into ebaY. This is
slated to take place during 2004, when the Half.com brand and
site will go away. As always, expect major site outages because
of this integration, as ebaY's kludge of code will break with every
change and attempt at integration.

ebaY is featuring the toys that buyers from the major chains have
been previewing in private meetings and at other toy shows
around the world. ebaY said, "While it may be a bit too early to
predict if these are going to be the breakout hits of the year,
they're certainly in the forefront of the competition."
To see the Hot Toy Trends for 2003,

ebaY has updated the categories again.
-ANTIQUES - new categories in Antiquities, Architectural &
Garden, Asian Antiques and Decorative Arts.
-COLLECTIBLES - new Sci-Fi Autograph categories, and new
categories in Animals, Pop Culture, Tobacciana, and Vintage
-DOLLS & BEARS - new Barbie categories for Holiday Angel,
Holiday Celebration and the Nutcracker series.
-HOME - new categories in Home Décor, Food & Wine and
-MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS - additional types of Amplifiers, Bass
Guitars, Keyboards and Drums. Sheet Music in this category.
-SPORTS - Sports Memorabilia containing Autographs, Trading
Cards and Memorabilia & Team Merchandise.
-TOYS & HOBBIES - new brands in Model Trains, Gaming Cards
expands to include additional games and new categories for
Magic the Gathering.
-TRAVEL - new Business Cases category
-EVERYTHING ELSE - Health & Beauty additions, women's
fragrances, eye shadow, and foundation brands, epilators,
hearing aids, and acupuncture products.

The ebaY live in Orlando FL registration page is up on the site.
The charge to attend is $60.00, quite a price increase from the
$25.00 fee for the first ebaY Live. TAG assumes ebaY will again
be inviting several hundred people for an all expense paid trip to
ebaY Live, and it looks as if the regular users who attend will be
the ones who pay that bill out of their registration fees. TAG
recommends you wait to register, so that if registration is as
slow as it was for the first ebaY Live, ebaY will probably cut the
price. TAG finds it interesting that none of the promotional
information tells what the price is to attend. the only place you
find the price is once you have gone through the entire
registration process.

ebaY says that ebaY Live is open to everyone 18 and over, but in
fact some people were banned from attending the first ebaY Live
conference. http://pages.ebay.com/ebaylive/

ebaY is holding an ebaY Live poster contest. The grand-prize
winner of the poster contest will receive a trip to this year's event
in Orlando, Florida. The contest ends at 23:59:59 PT on 4 Apr.
For full details and the official contest rules go to -

To chat online with others about the event or to discuss and
share ideas about the poster contest, go to -

Have ideas for "alternative Do it ebaY posters? Email us a scan
in jpg format and we will post it on the TAG website (keep it
"appropriate" please)

ebaY is holding ebaY University sessions in Nashville,
Tennessee on Sat 8 Mar, and will in Omaha, Nebraska (March
29th) and Colorado Springs, Colorado (May 10th).

ebaY must be keeping their legal teams busy as they are facing
another patent law suit, this one against PayPal technology.
Tumbleweed Communications Corp, says it owns the
technology for the personalized links that PayPal sends via
e-mail. The links direct customers to private information about
their online transactions. Tumbleweed also has a similar case
against Yahoo Inc. Tumbleweed has convinced several
companies to sign licensing agreements, including Hallmark,
American Greetings, and DST Systems Inc, which use email
links to notify E-Trade Group customers about financial
information. DST Systems Inc agreed to pay more than $1
million in back royalties and 4 cents for every future message.
The case will go before a federal judge in July to determine the
scope of Tumbleweed's patent claims.

In a press release, Dr Pepper/Seven Up Inc said it had struck a
marketing deal with ebaY Inc. for a rewards program called
"Liquid Loot." Terms of the deal were not disclosed. An ebaY rep
said the soft drink maker is paying ebaY a fee to manage the
program and use ebaY's brand. Under that rewards program,
buyers of soft drinks such as 7 Up, Dr. Pepper and A&W Root
Beer will get special codes that can be redeemed for points,
which can be used to bid on promotional merchandise, concert
tickets, compact discs and other prizes on ebaY. Participants in
the loyalty program will receive email about new auction items
and current promotions. ebaY will also have more Dr
Pepper/Seven Up's ads on the ebaY site.   TAG is endlessly
surprised that these companies never learn that ebaY is more
likely to be the kiss of death than the avenue to great wealth.
Burger King can probably testify to how little they got from their
ebaY program, and TAG imagines that Hallmark does not have
much good news to report either. The market research folks for
these companies must not be doing their homework, but instead
fall all over themselves wanting to believe ebaY's falsified
numbers that make ebaY look like the place to advertise. With
all the con artists using ebaY to scam folks, TAG sometimes
wonders if it is not ebaY itself perpetrating the biggest scams.
Maybe it is the recognition between thieves that makes ebaY
such an attractive venue for the scammers.

PayPal has put together a user unfriendly 'user agreement'. It is
probably time for sellers to consider other ways to get payment
for auctions, if only to protect their financial information. The
best alternatives are check or money order. TAG also knows of gold
power sellers who have never accepted credit cards or any
payment system such as PayPal, and they do fine. For
international payments. the Western Union BidPay money order
system http://www.bidpay.com/ appears to work very well.
Sellers do not need to be signed up for it and the buyer bears all
costs. Paying Fast is a similar money order buying service

For instant money transfer there is C2it.Com, which at least has
the advantage of being part of the Citibank group and subject to
banking laws. There is also PayDirect
http://paydirect.yahoo.com/ the Yahoo payment system linked
with HSBC bank, so also governed by banking regs, that can
also be used on any site or website. Another payment system is
Valid Cash, who does not appear to have any credentials (much
like PayPal) and uses money from checking or Money Marker
accounts (currently free).   Of course if you do a sufficient amount
of business you can always open a merchant account with a
bank to accept credit card payment. Shop around as fees can
vary widely! We also keep hearing that MasterCard/Visa is
working on an instant online payment system, but have not seen
it materialize yet.

ebaY Motors has changed the Sell Your Item form for Passenger
Vehicles. ebaY will pre-fill a form for most 1992 or later
Passenger Vehicles. The pre-filled form will have a list of
standard and optional features for the vehicle. The 17-digit VIN #
determines the year, make, model of vehicle and populates the
selling form with a list of the specific standard equipment (such
as Power Windows) and optional equipment (such as CD
Player). You check the boxes of features installed on your

ebaY is changing categories in ebaY Motors. ebaY deleted
categories such as Bugatti and Yugo. They also combined the
'Other Makes' categories into one category and added replicas to
the kit car category. Parts & Accessories got new categories with
additions to Audio and Video..

To move an item to another category, go to -

To submit categories suggestions go to -

Recommended First is popping up all over the ebaY site. It
resides on your computer and is scumware. For more
information go to -   
or - http://www.doxdesk.com/parasite/SubSearch.html

Recommended Firsts can be removed by AdAware

and Spybot - http://spybot.eon.net.au/

A free downloadable tool to sort negative feedback, available for
windows based machines-

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 - Amazon users reported that
Amazon was having major upload problems. The auction bulk
loader was throwing errors with listings placed in correct
categories, but with messages saying they were in invalid
categories. This is an intermittent problem, though there are
periods when the bulk loader does not work at all. Amazon
could not predict when they would fix the problem.

On 13 Feb at 14:12 PT, Amazon said that between 10:00 PT. on
Wed 12 Feb and 09:00 PT on Thu 13 Feb, Amazon Payments
was not accessible from Seller Accounts. During this period, no
reports could be generated with Payments transaction details,
and "Sold--Ship Now!" notifications may have been sent prior to
"You have a buyer" notifications. Buyers were able to submit
payments for their purchases during this time.   Amazon said
they fixed the problem, but a related problem was preventing the
entry or editing of checking account data. Sellers may encounter
this error: "The account number you entered did not match the
account number found at the bottom of your check. Please enter
your checking account number again."

On 27 Feb at 12:38, Amazon posted that some auction listings
were not appearing in search results when using the Auctions
search feature. Additionally, some auctions have been delayed
in updating from "Opening Soon" to "Open." Searches from
zShops pages were displaying normally.

On 3 Mar at 15:08 PT Amazon noted that sellers were still
reporting that a portion of their Auctions listings were not
updating within the expected time frame.   Auctions listings may
show incorrect status within the Seller Account > Your Inventory >
View Items display. Amazon said they were working on this

The American Customer Satisfaction index gave Amazon.Com a
score of 88, the highest score ever recorded in any service
industry. Unfortunately the criteria used is not readily available,
but it appears to be how Amazons retail customers felt about the
service and products on the site, not how the Merchant/Seller
customers rated Amazon.   

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) - Yahoo has both a Movie
Awards Showcase going at
and a Celebrate St. Patrick's Day on Yahoo! Auctions page.

The Yahoo Auction March newsletter is up and there is a useful
article on auction safety
tips for buyers and sellers.

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)
As of 1Feb03 Yahoo had 282,198 (+63481)
As of 13Feb03 Yahoo had 220,763 (-61435)

Yahoo Auction counts brought to you by

Ongoing Issues -
Yahoo Contact Information

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

* * * * * * * * * *
Neopost is discontinuing their Simply Postage postage meter
and scale in favor of their more expensive IJ25 system, that
carries a service charge of $17.95 / month. Though there is no
public post about it on the site, it is no longer possible to
purchase the Simply Postage product, and there is a user only
message on the home page that says, "Attention Simply
Postage Customers!Please Log In to review upcoming changes
to your Account Server and Learn about the IJ25 Migration
Program"   http://www.simplypostage.com/

* * * * * * * * * *
Endicia.Com as of 29 Mar 2003, appears to be backing out of an
agreement with some sellers that signed up with Endicia
through a third party company that Endicia hired a couple years
ago to sign on new users. These users were promised a
special rate of $10 a year as a lifetime rate. It now appears that
Endicia is reneging on this promise. Endicia is not even
honoring the annual membership renewals already paid by
users, but are making their price increase to standard -
$9.95/month or Premium - $15.95/month, retroactive.

* * * * * * * * * *
ImgStudio.com announced they are closing down and
disappearing into the great cyber graveyard in the ethernet. They
will be gone 31 Mar 2003 and all accounts, albums, and images
will be deleted. If you have images stored there, now is the time
to retrieve them    http://imgstudio.com/

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

TAGassist Contributors






Not just a venue
email us - tag@theauctionguild.com
All trademarks are the property of their respective owners
Copyright 1999 - 2003 The Auction Guild Inc All rights reserved