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TAGnotes Thu 1 May 2003 Vol 5 Number 8 Issue 447

The Auction Guild Notes Thu 1 May 2003 Part II
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* * * * * * * * * *
ebaY - Please Check These Pages for COMPLETE ebaY
OUTAGE Details

ebaY Outages Details 1 - 31 Mar 2003 -
ebaY Outages Details 1 - 30 Apr 2003 -
* * * * * * * * * *
As always, there are too many ebaY outages and problems to
list here in TAGnotes. The full details of ebaY's Apr outages can
be found on the TAG website at -

ebaY had widespread problems including crashes and
problems that blocked the ability of buyer to find, view and/or bid
on auctions on 20, 22, 28, and 29 April.

TO REQUEST REFUNDS from ebaY go to
or use the ebaY Billing link at http://snurl.com/86w
Don't take NO for an answer, keep requesting until you get the

Pink Quote of the Day I - On 17 Apr in a forum about Turbo Lister,
sylve-@ebay.com, "Turbo Lister *does not* update every day.
All it does each day is *check* for updates. We update the
program about every 6 weeks. In addition to that, categories and
item specifics can also change and require updating in the
program. Still nowhere close to every day however. It may be
your opinion that Turbo Lister isn't fast, but there are thousands
of users that may not agree. Many, many users do find Turbo
Lister easier, faster, and better. Of course if it's not ideal for
you there are lots of choices out there. Sylvester" Unfortunately for
users, Turbo Lister updates every time they open the program, it crashes
computers, does not work more than it does, and has been a mess since
the day it was launched. But then what would users know...

PQOD II - In an email on 23 Apr 03 Sco-@ebay.com said, "As
for LiveWorld and the moderation team, we knew that there
would be a period of time for everyone to get used to the
moderation team and the report button. We saw the same thing
happen to the discussion boards when we launched it there. As
for posts being pulled, as long as you do not violate the board
usage policy, your post will not be pulled. Only posts that are in
violation of that policy are pulled. Thanks again for reporting the
prior issue. Scooch" Unfortunately an ebaY board poster
received a warning and threat of suspension from the board
monitors that said, "Hello xxxxx, Recently we became aware that
your eBay registered account was involved in the following
activity: Advertising merchandise, auctions, services or
commercial web sites which is not permitted at eBay. This is a
copy of your post:

Posted by xxxx (459)   on Apr-XX-03 at 22:43:01 PDT
"I'm sorry. The board you have reached....
440 ....is no longer in service. The *new* link for answers to your
questions is....
orWantsToChat&site=16485391 Please make a note of it".

..... Therefore, we respectfully request that you refrain from this
activity in the future to avoid the possibility of a suspension of your
eBay registration. .... Regards,Kellie eBay Moderation Team" The
'commercial' web site the illegal post linked to? ebaY.

Board Post of the Day I - In a conversation about LiveWorld,
marginal*antics said on 2 Apr 03 at 6:52:06 PT, " ....Now, be nice!
It probably took eBay a long time to find a company with
programmers worse than their own!"

BQOD II - And in another of the endless complaints about Turbo
Lister, penhook said on 15 Apr 03 at 18:35:26 PT, "I think Turbo
Lister should be renamed to Turtle Lister as it is 10 times slower
than Mister Lister." View their auctions at http://snurl.com/19mi

BQOD III - And more on Turbo Lister, Posted by
marginally*marginal on 17 Apr 03 at 13:27:05 PT, "Learn how to
list items more easily (than toggling in the individual ASCII bytes
in Octal...), faster (than draining the oil out of the crankcase of a
'36 Ford flatbed in Alaska in January), and better (than a running
a red hot poker in your ear and stirring it until you can taste the
*snap* -crackle- *POP* of your synapses frying...) with eBay
Turbo Lister."

BQOD IV - In a post about ebaY spy systems and scumware,
computerchip said on 24 Apr 03 at 21:44:51 PT, "I am new to the
chat board so forgive me if this content is wrong for this room. I
just installed spybot on my computer to weed out spyware
adware etc. To my surprise most of the content for removal was
my ebay tool bar. It said the following: According to
information to advertisers (including even IP, viewed pages, etc.)
is given only in non-personal identifiable version; and to external
service providers only with your agreement. But this toolbar uses
adfarm.mediaplex.com as a relocator when you click on 'My
eBay' or do a search. A possible GUID is also transmitted to the
relocator (MediaPlex) server. Your typed keywords are
sometimes also transmitted to DoubleClick. In combination with
tracking cookies (something MediaPlex and DoubleClick are
known for) this would allow MediaPlex and DoubleClick to track
you. eBay is not interested in giving any statement about this,
which raises further suspicions. Have any of you heard of this
problem? Is it anything I need to worry about? Some other
cookies it did remove were from DoubleClick. Thanks for your
help and tolerance with such a large note" and, " Its weird, now
when I click on the hyperlink for eBays privacy-appendix2, spybot
pops up with a message that it successfully blocked the
download of MediaPlex. Its not safe yet!!!" TAG once again warns all,
that it is no longer safe to go anywhere on ebaY without protection.
Even viewing the Privacy Agreement can give you a case of cooties (code
for the bugs websites implant in your computer).

BQOD V - On the massacre of ebaY Discuss New Features
board posters psychicsam said on 26 Apr 03 11:41:09 ET, " It
was just typical reactionary damage control stemming from
incompetence at the highest levels. First, they farmed out the
boards to the low bidder. Second, they didn't monitor the actions
of the subcontractor. Third, the subcontractor made frequent and
glaring coding errors from Day One, and many of them were
pointed out in posts to the board. It took them THREE days just
to change from PST to PDT, and that was a ONE LETTER
cosmetic change to the code. Fourth, the same coders who
couldn't figure out how to synchronize the board clock with the
US Navy time standard were the same ones who left the door to
the control panel in an open URL. Fifth, when this glaring error
was brought to light in a post, and found to be potentially
dangerous in that it exposed personal information, those that
scrolled the offensive URL off the board were sanctioned. And it
got worse from there."
View his website at - http://www.snyderstreasures.net/

BQOD VI - And about the subject of what ebaY goals are,
psychicsam said on 27 Apr o3 at 12:42:23 ET. " The Good News
in all this is that there are a BUNCH of sellers (and buyers) with
*years* of trading experience (and *contacts*) motivated to list
and bid here. This is a seminal opportunity to take advantage of
this unfortunate faux pas by TOP [ebaY] damage control. Listing
and bidding is what we *do*, and with the kind and GENEROUS
support of SYI [sellyouritem.com] and the dedicated core of
long-time SYIers, we can use this to our mutual advantage. TOP
has made no secret that they don't like auctions, they don't like
collectibles, and they don't like the people that like that stuff.
Fine. Let them have their bulk liquidators, cars, and condos. We'll
just take our toys and play in this nice, *CLEAN* sandbox SYI has so
graciously laid out for us to use." See his auction at

ebaY announced that they have changed their user agreement
and privacy policy. These changes will take effect on 25 May
2003 for users who registered before 8 Apr 03. TAG will do a
line by line comparison and get it up on the website prior to the
agreement going into effect, hopefully by mid May.
To see the revised Privacy Policy go to -

ebaY is changing the appearance of Gallery pictures on the site.
*ebaY is changing the background color of gallery images from
black to white.
*They are increasing the sharpness setting of the Gallery
This will only affect Gallery pictures uploaded after ebaY makes
the changes. To see a preview of the changes go to -

Articles on the arrests made by the Federal Trade Commission
against online auction scammers. The 57 actions are just a
start, but TAG is hopeful that it is the start of an ongoing process
that will provide some deterrence to scammers, and inspiration
and precedence to other law enforcement agencies.
Don't miss the award winning series on auction fraud on
This series should be read by everyone thinking about buying
online, as they show potential buyers just what to avoid.
Forewarned is forearmed, and knowing how to separate the
good from the fraud online is a great tool to put in the hands of

The FTC has updated their website with an online auction fraud
page at -
It is a good start, but does not give any kind of guidance as to
what to look out for, and how to recognize the hallmarks of a
scam before you get taken.

Meg posted her first quarter notice on the MAB, "Today, eBay
announced the financial results for its first quarter ending March
31, 2003. I'm very happy to report that eBay had an outstanding
quarter, delivering record results across the board. This clearly
demonstrates the vibrancy of our marketplace and the continued
innovation and dedication of our community. eBay's community
members are central to our success. Day after day, you help
build an ever more successful marketplace. All of us at eBay
look forward to working together with you for even greater
success in the future. Thank you,   Meg"

It is fascinating to juxtapose this with a quote from a warning
email received by an ebaY user for posting an ebaY phone
number on an ebaY chat board. Warnings are recorded on the
posters "snitch file" and a warning for any other infraction
anytime in the infinite future may result in permanent
suspension from ebaY and may include removing the ability to
trade on ebaY at all.

" Hello xxxxxx, I noticed that you posted eBay's phone number on
an eBay Board. Since eBay does not have the staff to handle
large quantities of incoming phone calls, and increasing our
staffing levels to handle an increasing number of calls would not
be cost-effective, we would greatly appreciate it if you would
refrain from providing the number to others, especially in public
forums such as discussion boards and chat rooms......Deann
eBay Moderation Team"

Of course to make this even more absurd, ebaY feels individual
sellers can easily afford to provide staff to handle any phone
calls that bidders might want to make, as they give seller's
phone numbers out to all and any bidders. And who made a
profit of millions and millions of dollars this quarter, not to
mention the one Billion dollars in stock that Meg cashed out this
past year?

For more info on the filings go to -

An article on option costing, and its affect on profitability can be
found here -   http://snurl.com/19us

An excellent article on ebaY can be found in the 22 Apr issue of
The Wall Street Journal, by Staff Reporter Nick Winfield.
Unfortunately it is not available online unless you subscribe to
WSJ. It is titled, "Stock of eBay Acts Like ... eBay, But How Can
Shares Stay Lofty? The Bullish Projections Assume Gigantic
Rise in Online Shopping" Some quotes from the article -

"Under one scenario for meeting long-term growth forecasts,
eBay could need more than one of every three adult Americans
by the year 2010 regularly bidding on, listing or buying goods on
its site.

"This is very similar to the late '90s, where we did crazy things to
justify valuations" of Internet companies, says George Sutton, an
analyst at Craig Hallum Capital Group LLC, a securities
brokerage firm and investment bank in Minneapolis with no ties
to eBay and who has followed the company in the past but isn't
currently. "I don't think this is any different."

But investors buying shares at these high prices may not be
aware of the huge numbers of users and giant increases in
shopping activity that the more-bullish projections require. "This
is priced for 50% growth as far as the eye can see," says Nick
Moore, a portfolio manager until last week at Jurika and Voyles, a
hedge fund in Oakland, Calif., that doesn't have an eBay position.
While eBay has many positive attributes, he says, at its current
stock price "it's an accident waiting to happen."

Assuming that shoppers continue to spend an average of $513
a year in eBay purchases and eBay continues to get almost all of
its revenue in the form of seller fees on millions of transactions,
an eightfold increase suggests eBay would need a whopping
222 million active users and 494 million total registered users by
2010. (It would need fewer total users if the portion that is active

Now, eBay executives have predicted that the company's
international business will overtake its domestic operations --
jumping to, say, 60% of total revenue from 25% last year. But that
means it still could need about 89 million active users and 198
million total registered users on its home turf by 2010. Since the
U.S. Census Bureau projects 236 million adults in the U.S. that
year, the upshot is that the San Jose, Calif., company could need
almost 38% of the adult population to be active eBay users to
meet the more-bullish 2010 Wall Street estimates."

The article says ebaY could increase growth by increasing the
amount each user spends on ebaY.

"But 13% annual growth in user spending far exceeds increases
seen in the past. Last year, the revenue eBay pulled in from each
active user was $44, a 5% increase from $42 in 2001. In other
words, eBay will have to nearly triple the annual growth rate in
user spending to meet forecasts.

Of course, many users will likely shop more on eBay. But some
investors think it will be hard for the company to radically
increase the amount users spend on the site the further it gets
away from its core base of enthusiasts. Also, encouraging more
shopping from users could boost marketing costs, which could
crimp profits.

Google and Overture operate advertising services that display
links on popular Internet search engines when users punch in
"keywords" that businesses have rented -- "computer monitor" or
"DVD," for instance. Increasingly, these services are catching on
as ways to drive customers to the Web sites of small merchants
-- the same audience of sellers that make up the backbone of

Some merchants say they prefer advertising on Google and
Overture because it lets them sell through their own Web sites,
instead of having to pay commissions for sales made through
eBay's site. "I'm not against eBay per se, but there's a lot of
clutter," says Ron Henderson, president of Auntie's Beads, a
Grapevine, Texas, business that sold about $3 million in jewelry
through its own Web site last year, doing very little business on

PayPal has been flooding users email boxes with daily emails
reminding the user that they have X number of days left to sign
the new user agreement or PayPal will close their account. With
over 40 days remaining until the deadline, that is much
unwanted email. PayPal claims it is a glitch that has been fixed
to only send a once a week reminder.

TAG is recommending that all users close their PayPal
accounts. Despite the great convenience of the service, the
changes in the ebaY privacy agreement presents too many risks
for users. ebaY says they will give all your information, including
your social security number, your mothers maiden name, your
bank account and credit card info etc etc to ANY law enforcement
or government agency that asks for it. They do not require any
evidence of wrong doing, no subpoena, court order etc, just an
emailed or faxed request. This is a very dangerous thing and
unprecedented. There is no indication how ebaY will even verify
that the alleged law enforcement agency is real, and there
appears to be nothing in place to prevent a legitimate law
enforcement or government person with a grudge against an
ebaY user, from using their official position to gather what
should be secure information.

JunkBusters has filed a complaint challenging this privacy policy.
Jason Catlett said that in its privacy policy's summary, ebaY says
it will turn over personal data to outside agencies only when
absolutely necessary. But the more detailed policy states that
ebaY will turn over such information at ebaY's discretion and
without a warrant or subpoena.
To read the articles and complaint go to -

Account hijacking is an everyday occurrence on ebaY. TAG has
been encouraged to hear that ebaY appears to be giving these
cases quick attention. From what we can see and have heard
from users, after being notified of a hijacked account, ebaY
closes the account down and ends all the auctions (legitimate or
not). They then contact the real account holder and after fixing
and verifying the information, restore the account. The
reinstatement appears to take ebaY from 3-7 days, depending
on when in the week the problem happens, with weekends
usually not a time when anything gets resolved. ebaY needs to
make this information more widely accessible without having to
be an ebaY Guru in order to find it, and hopefully they will.

To contact ebaY when your user ID and password are not
working and you can't get into your account in the case of
account theft - go to the ebaY Account Theft page. There is both
a contact email form you do not to be logged in to use AND if you
scroll down the page there is a LiveHelp button to Trust and
Safety that you do not need to log in to use.
Account Theft Help Page is at -
Live Support Button to Trust and Safety -

It is NOT safe to use ebaY unprotected. All users should use
firewalls and scumware protection when swimming in the ebaY
pool - and in fact everywhere on the net.
For more information go to -   
or - http://www.doxdesk.com/parasite/SubSearch.html

ebaY University upcoming classes - Columbus, OH Sat 3 May,
San Jose, CA on 21 Jun.

ebaY has a new version of their scumware spyware toolbar
available for download. Please see the Board Quote of the Day
about what one user found about this toolbar BEFORE you
download it. This opens the door to your computer to ebaY and
gives them full access to everything you do. And if this is not bad
enough, the leader of info harvesting, Mediaplex has access to
all this info about you - so even if you trust ebaY do you trust
Mediaplex? In TAG's view, neither are worthy of your trust.
To download go to -   http://pages.ebay.com/ebay_toolbar

ebaY Motors sellers can now add a Buy It Now price to a reserve
price listing, and can also remove the reserve price on vehicle
listings in ebaY Motors. They can add a Buy It Now price on a
reserve price listing anytime before the reserve is met. They can
also remove the reserve price anytime before the reserve has
been met. For more info go to -

In the next two weeks, ebaY is introducing a new payment option
for sellers. This option will require buyers to pay immediately
when a buy it now item carries this feature. If the seller chooses
to use this payment option, buyers will see a notation next to the
Buy It Now (BIN) button, on BIN and Store items, stating that the
seller requires immediate payment. After clicking the BIN button,
the buyer will be asked to complete payment through PayPal,
which handles credit cards, PayPal funds, and other instant
payment methods. Once the payment is confirmed, the listing
will officially end. Until a buyer completes the payment, the listing
will continue to run. Multiple buyers can be trying to pay at the
same time, and whoever confirms their payment first will get the
item. . Shipping and all other costs must be provided when the
item is listed so that buyers know exactly what to pay without
having to wait for seller instruction.

This feature will initially appear in the Tickets & Experiences
categories and the Media categories: Books, Movies &
Television, and Music.
To see a preview go to -
For more information go to -
TAG wonders if this option will raise antitrust issues.

ebaY's April Seller Newsflash is available at -
Though primarily a selling tool for ebaY products and selling
features, these McNewsLetters have info that users might find of
some use. You can get these newsletters by email, but as with
everything on ebaY they are loaded with Mediaplex cooties. To receive
the newsletters change your direct mail preference at


* * * * * * * * * *
Amazon, zShops and Marketplace - On 7 Apr at 16:59 PT Amazon
reported that a portion of Auctions listings were not closing or
updating within the expected time frame. Auctions listings were showing
incorrect status within the Seller Account > Your Inventory > View Items
display. This issue delayed email notifications, prevent buyers from
finalizing a winning bid through Amazon Payments, and delay the
automatic relisting of any new auctions from the originals. Amazon said
they were working on it.

On 10 Apr at 18:32 PT Amazon posted they were still working on
the issue.   

On 11 Apr at 19:04 PT Amazon announced that the problem of
delayed Auctions listing updates was fixed.

On 14 Apr at 18:33 PT, Amazon posted that sellers were
reporting that a portion of their Amazon.com zShops and/or
Amazon Marketplace listings were not displaying within the
Seller Account, and are unavailable for edit even though listing
confirmation emails had been received. In addition, some
zShops items were waiting to update within "opening soon."
These issues affected items listed on or after 11 Apr. The
majority of affected listings should appear as available for
purchase; availability to buyers can be confirmed via search and
browse. If any listing was sold before necessary cancellation or
edits were made, sellers may need to refund a buyer's purchase, and can
then relist the item.

On 15 Apr at 10:17 PT Amazon Marketplace listings were having
display issues. The minimum available price for items was not
being displayed on the product detail page, and the Marketplace
listing page was not displaying seller details. At 12:44 PT the
display issue with Amazon Marketplace listings was fixed.
Pricing and seller details were visible, and buyers could make

On 25 Apr at 17:12 PT Amazon posted that sellers reported that a
portion of their listings were appearing online and available for
sale, but are not appearing in the "Open Listings" section of their
Seller Account. This issue impacted listing display and editing,
but did not prevent buyers from purchasing open items.

A group of Amazon book sellers have put together an event
called Sellers Conference 2003 in Seattle. The cost is $60.00
for the 15-18 August 2003, and limited to a total of 80 people.
For more details go to -
http://snurl.com/19t3 or http://www.bigriversellers.com/

Amazon has been criticized for child privacy violations. The
groups, which included the Electronic Privacy Information Center,
Commercial Alert and the Center for Media Education, cited toy
reviews on the web site from several users younger than 13 who
list their age and either home address or e-mail address,
though listing of such information is barred by the law. For an
article on the subject go to -

Amazon Contact Info Page on TAG website -


* * * * * * * * * *
Yahoo Auction/Stores/Classifieds (YA) has changed the fees on
the Boats & Jet skis Category. This category now has the same
pricing as Automotive Vehicles - $5.00 fixed listing fee and
$15.00 fixed final value fee.

Yahoo has added a net wide products search now in beta
testing, that allows comparison shopping and locating items
available on the web. This includes Yahoo Shopping sites and
also crawls the net for products. TAG found it lightening fast,
even on dialup, but unlike Google and Froogle, there seems to
be no way to request your site be crawled, or if there was TAG
could not find it.   http://products.yahoo.com/

Yahoo auction counts as of 1 May 03
Antiques & Art   17591
Automotive 1700
Books & Comics 17918
Clothing & Accessories 17337
Coins, Paper Money & Stamps 20267
Collectibles 14835
Computers 5439
Electronics & Cameras 2771
Food & Beverage 368
Home & Garden 8034
Jewelry & Watches 24224
Movies & TV 7798
Music 6109
Sports & Outdoors 2292
Sports Cards & Memorabilia 40130
Toys, Games & Hobbies 24643
Video Games 2233
Other 3071
Total 216,760

As of 6Jan03 Yahoo had 218,717 (-44124)
As of 1Feb03 Yahoo had 282,198 (+63481)
As of 13Feb03 Yahoo had 220,763 (-61435)
As of 16Mar03 Yahoo had 227,074 (+6311)
As of 1 May Yahoo had 216,760 (-10314)

Yahoo Auction counts brought to you by

Yahoo Contact Information


* * * * * * * * * *
SellYourItem.com - Sellers who donate their auction proceeds
to Operation USO Care Package and put the keyword
DonateUSO in their auction title will receive full credit for their
Final Value Fees. A front-page rotating banner ad links to all
auctions with the DonateUSO (one word) keyword. For more info
go to -
To find these auctions just do a title search for DonateUSO

SellYourItem regularly selects auctions for home page feature at
no cost to members.
They pick interesting items, titles and/or descriptions to add to
the home page. Even though an item may be common, if it's presented in
an interesting fashion, they might feature it! ALL listings (with the
exception of the Mature Audience Category) are eligible for the home
page feature. In addition -
Auctions ending with the number 250 will receive a Bold Listing.
Auctions ending with the number 500 will receive a Highlighted
Auctions ending with 000 will receive a Featured Category
All of these enhancements are courtesy of SellYourItem.com.

A group of sellers are running an SYI99 event on
sellyouritem.com. Hundreds of items are listed at 99 cents with
no reserve. The event ends in less than 2 days. To find items
search SYI99 in title search.

Sellers can pay their bill via PayPal from this link -


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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