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TAGnotes Mon 26 May 2003 Vol 5 Number 8 Issue 447

The Auction Guild Notes Mon 26 May 2003
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This issue brought to you by the preceding ads, supporting TAG
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The complete TAGnotes archive can be found at -

TAG does not endorse the companies or products advertised         
7100 subscribers   
TAGnotes *
TAG is guessing that ebaY will hold a Free Listing Day of some
sort in June, possibly the week of 9 June with our guess being
12 June. We think they might do this so that ebaY users will
have a positive attitude towards ebaY during the ebaY Live
propaganda conference at the end of June. This might also help
counteract some of the negative response and media coverage
brought on by the demise of Mister Lister.
ebaY - Please Check These Pages for COMPLETE ebaY
OUTAGE Details

ebaY Outages Details 1 - 31 Mar 2003 -
ebaY Outages Details 1 - 30 Apr 2003 -
ebaY Outages Details 1 - 18 May 2003 -
* * * * * * * * * *
As always, there are too many ebaY outages and problems to
list here in TAGnotes. The full details of ebaY's May outages can
be found on the TAG website at -

ebaY had tech issues including crashes and problems that
blocked the ability of buyer to find, view and/or bid on auctions on
2, 14, 17, 18 and 20 May.

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 - In an attempted cover-up of the
ebaY/Liveworld security breach where anyone on the internet
was able to view the ebaY board snitch files, ebaY banned all the
people on the Discuss New Feature (DNF) board who
discovered the breach. With the outspoken regulars gone, it was
not surprising to find a couple of ebaY non-employees
attempting to make it look as if the suspension of so many,
made no difference to users who come to the DNF for help. In a
post that displayed her lack of professionalism and the general
attitude of ebaY towards their favored (the OBN's) and unfavored
(the truth speakers), cla-@ebay.com said on 30 Apr at
20:55:47 PT, " jtshadow2000, and ozme, I wanted to stop in and
thank both of you for your work on the DNF Board, as well as your
work here. I know it hasn't been too easy, and just wanted you to
know it is noticed, and appreciated. *dudette, scely10, dolphin2,
disdannie, **zipman**, mbs_ec, like-oldstuff, flying-glove,
air*america*, **christymj**, meganteron, snoopzilla - all of you
who help out here in the EC "neighborhood", kudos and many
thanks! Ya'll have made this a phenomenal place! Hope I haven't
missed anyone else who's been making a difference - please
alert me if I did! :-) Claire eBay Community Development". Claire
of course "missed" the folks who provide and have provided for
years, 24/7 support on the Q&A board and of course on the DNF
board. It is of no surprise that of those mentioned by Claire, one
would find names also found on the list of snitches and voices
'converts'. Interesting how many services some ebaY users
perform for ebaY.

PQOD II - And in the ebaY never learns category - or maybe it is
just that ebaY does not care, ebaY destroyed the Motorcycle
categories, decimated the UK clothing categories and have now
caused havoc in the US music categories. On 19 May at 12:34
PT mae-@ebay.com said, "Hello everyone, We're really sorry
about the frustration the recent category restructuring has
caused. We have had to make many changes to the music
category in order to prepare the category for attributes-based
search (item specifics). In doing so, we had to restructure some
areas to reduce confusion among buyers and sellers on where
to look for items. In the long term, these changes--in
combination with attributes-based search--will provide a much
better browsing and search experience than what is available
now. We're sorry for any disruption to your business. As a short
term fix, we'll be reintroducing some genres for 45 records as
soon as possible in the next available category roll-out window."
This engendered comments from users such as - "I learned
awhile ago (from my George Orwell dictionary) to translate
'improvement' as 'it was working fine but we thought we'd mess
with it anyway'." and "if it ain't broke, fix it till it is broke".
This means several weeks of losses of hits and sells for music
sellers, but since it will not negatively affect the ebaY stock price
Meg W can safely say, "What me worry". At least with the ebaY
UK clothing categories, refunds were made to sellers, but then
there is actual competition in the industry in the UK, unlike the

Board Post of the Day I - More on ebaY/Liveworld,
palmen-@yahoo.com on 26 Apr at 22:41:20 PT said, "From
the liveworld.com website. . . “The LiveForum discussion board
empowers collaboration with leading-edge technology that
supports dialog, frequent use, membership, and loyalty. Users
connect with each other, posting messages at their own
convenience. The resulting thread of conversation brings them
closer to sponsoring companies, closer to each other, and more
likely to consider themselves connected to a particular brand,
product, or organization.” . . . These folks and Ebay have to be
joking and are flat out lying…….They have in a short time cause
mistrust, vigilantism amongst community members and lastly
created a perceived enemy out of technological blunder caused
by this so-called leading-edge technological firm (Liveworld),
which trades on the NASD pink sheets (garbage companies) at
a big whopping 0.03 cents per share. . . (((((Long live the

BQOD II - And on another security related issue, poppycrock said
on 27 Apr at 12:02:01 PT, "Dear eBay, I've had to change my
email addresses at least 5 times in the past year due to the
volume of spam interfering with my business. I only use eBay on
the internet, and have always assumed it had something to do
with this site. My firewall is being continually pinged while logged
in. And I am not feeling very secure on this site anymore. And
since the latest change to Liveworld, I am also getting the latest
hacker scammails, which I never received prior to three weeks
ago. Somehow, these hackers are getting my email address
from here....?????" Why are email addresses so available to
scammers and spammers on ebaY? ebaY said that the use of
User ID aliases and the lack of easy access to users email
addresses would prevent such email harvesting. Unfortunately,
it has not slowed down the spammers or scammers one iota.

BQOD III - And more on the ebaY/Liveworld issue, barn*babe
summarized the issue in a nutshell, on 1 May at 14:41:53 PT, ". .
. why should the regs continue to come back here and help out
for free, when they have been kicked in the teeth time and time
again by the PTB for things they had no control over? Have you
even read the archives? Do you know what happened? Approx.
20 people were suspended from posting for 7 days to infinity..for
viewing a url that was sent BY EBAY TO A POSTER! And not only
were those who viewed the url kicked off, but anyone who was in
the room at the time was kicked off! It's the same as being jailed
for being a witness to a murder when you were just an innocent
bystander! Then Claire's post just rubs salt in the wounds, and
flames an already tense situation! I've never in my life seen such
pathetic business practices. The board wouldn't need coverage
if ebay hadn't overreacted to cover up their own big mistake."
View their items at http://snurl.com/1fr1

BQOD IV - On ebaY customer service, posted by deradler1 on 6
May at 07:55:14 PT, " The web form is ebay's way of screening
the questions that it wants to answer from the ones it doesn't. If
they ignore the ones they don't want to answer, eventually they
[the users] will go away in frustration and disgust."

BQOD V - Posted by tenner3 on 12 May at 02:59:51 PT To
paraphrase Joseph Heller, eBay only does what we permit them
to do. View their items at -

BQOD VI - And on ebaY privacy or the lack of it, posted by
shjames on 18 May at 16:35:02 PT, " ATTENTION EBAY PINKS:
SIX (6) of my best customers have emailed me in the 10 days
indicating that they're permanently leaving feebay because they
do NOT like feebay's new (NON) privacy policy. Each has told me
that other sellers have agreed to sell items these people see on
feebay off feebay by simply ending auctions. I LOVE IT!! Feebay's
own voracious greed machine has begun eating itself. Has
anyone at feebay ever heard of the Sherman anti-trust laws?"
View their items at http://snurl.com/8ql

ebaY partner iPix reported in their SEC form 10-Q that their
contract with ebaY will expire 30 Sep 03. ebaY is in negotiations
with iPix to acquire rights iPix's Rimfire technology. iPix may
receive up to $15 million in aggregate consideration as a result
of their negotiations with ebaY, or ebaY may just let the contract
end completely. For more info go to -    

ebaY ended service with Mister Lister (ML) on 12 May. ebaY will
allow use of the ML reviewer through 26 May. Alternatives to try
are the free programs - AuctionSubmit and Auctiva's Mister
Poster - an ML style program.

AuctionSubmit -
MisterPoster -

There are also dozens of for fee third party listing and auction
management tools available on the net to suit almost any user's

For more information about the demise of ML, go to -

Microsoft is backing off some programs they have been working
on, used by ebaY, in the My Services products introduced in
March 2001 under the code name HailStorm.

ebaY appears to have decided to stay in San Jose rather than
move elsewhere. ebaY said they plan to buy the West San Jose
office complex it now leases and keep company headquarters
there. ebaY might buy a five-building campus owned by Novell in
North San Jose. ebaY Chief Financial Officer Rajiv Dutta said
the company has decided to buy the 460,000-square-foot ebaY
Park, a complex of buildings formerly known as Greylands
Business Park, once its lease expires in 2005.

ebaY has a new page they call their Learning Center. This page
has links to various information on using ebaY. Find the
Learning Center at -

ebaY has launched an 'Anything Points' program. This program
is geared at forcing sellers and buyers towards using PayPal as
their payment system, since it is only through PayPal use that
this is available. The program allows users, for a fee ($19.95
per year) paid to Points.Com, to convert a limited list of partner
participant's points to PayPal cash for use on ebaY only. Points
are worth one cent each, but do not convert on a one to one
basis, so for example 20,203 American Airlines points are worth
$100 through PayPal. Point values vary by participant. There is a
points calculator here - http://snurl.com/1fbk As a bonus for
signing up, ebaY users can get a one time $13.50 PayPal credit
on their account, when they pay the $19.95 annual fee.

There are very few participants at present, with American
Airlines, Hilton Honors, Esso, Fuji Film, and Midwest Airlines
being the most prominent.

To learn more about ebaY Anything Points, go to -

Is ebaY changing its logo? ebaY has created a new logo for this
program, the letters in white e B a y enclosed in circles of color,
red blue yellow and green - the current ebaY logo colors.   

ebaY is once again changing categories. To give your opinion
on category (though in TAG's view it is a waste of time as ebaY
does not care what your opinion is) changes go to the
suggestion form at -   http://snurl.com/18y5

-BUSINESS & INDUSTRIAL new categories in Industrial Supply,
-COLLECTIBLES new Knives, Swords & Blades categories.
-ELECTRONICS & COMPUTERS accessories by phone model
and camera type.
-HOME new categories for both inside the home and out
-JEWELRY & WATCHES new breakouts
-MUSIC new categories
-MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS New cats for Amplifiers, Sheet Music
and Song Books
-SPORTS new categories in Conditioning & Low Impact;
Exercise Monitors, Computers; Fitness Accessories; and
Strength Training
-TOYS & HOBBIES breakouts in Miniatures, Role Playing, War
Games, Radio Control, Disney, Hello Kitty, and Lord of the Rings
-MOTORS new categories in Parts & Accessories and
Passenger Vehicles including Wheels, ATV Parts category, and
a Tools category in Parts & Accessories.

ebaY is changing the Checkout pages. According to ebaY these
are allegedly cosmetic only and include -   
*Instructions for the buyer during the Checkout process
*Organization of the Checkout information
*The availability of the seller’s payment address to the buyer
earlier in the Checkout process
For more info view Checkout FAQs at -

ebaY has made changes in the Real Estate categories. ebaY
has expanded binding auctions to properties in all 50 states
(including the District of Columbia). Binding auctions will appear
within the Land, Timeshare, Residential and Commercial
categories. To read more about binding auctions, go to -

ebaY has made price changes in the Real Estate Categories -

For the Timeshares and Land categories:
*For 3, 5, 7, and 10-day binding auction and Fixed Price listings,
Insertion fees are now $35, and Final Value Fees are now $35.
*For 30-day binding auction and Fixed Price listings, Insertion
fees are now $50, and Final Value Fees are $35.
*For 3, 5, 7, and 10-day non-binding auction and Fixed Price
listings, Insertion fees are now $35. For 30-day non-binding
auction and Fixed Price listings, Insertion fees are now $50. No
Final Value Fees will be charged.
*For 30-day Ad format listings, Insertion fees are now $150. For
90-day Ad format listings, Insertion fees are now $300. No Final
Value Fees apply.

For the Residential and Commercial categories:
*For all binding auctions, regardless of length, insertion fees
remain the same, and the Final Value Fee has been removed.
*For all non-binding auction and Fixed Price listings, there were
no changes to pricing.
*For Ad format listings, there were no changes to pricing.

ebaY/PayPal is no longer allowing PayPal to be used for the
purchase of adult items on ebaY or anywhere else. This goes
into effect 12 June. TAG has heard rumors that ebaY is advising
their adult item sellers that the seller may not be able to put a
PayPal logo in their auctions/store items, but they can still accept
PayPal payments. If there is any written (email etc) evidence of
this, it would be a violation of anti trust laws, and such evidence
should be sent to the Dept of Justice.

TAG has been hearing from various sources that there are
several Attorney Generals offices looking into PayPal's activities.
If you have had a problem with PayPal or have an ongoing case
outstanding with them please make sure you report it to your
state Attorney General's office. If they don't have something going
with PayPal they soon might, as other states receive settlements
on issues. To find your state Attorney General online, go to your
home states website and there will be a link there.

ebaY is making changes to sign in they feel will boost security
on the ebaY site. According to ebaY, these changes will be
'invisible' to users, but will interfere with those users who use the
permanent log in feature - Keep Me Signed In Until I Sign Out.   
TAG has heard from users who lost making last second bids
since they believed they were signed in but weren't, and lost
critical seconds because they had to sign in to place their bid.    
Plan accordingly if you have last minute bids to place. If you no
longer remember your password use this link to recover it -

ebaY has created new icons for users who get a new user ID or
who change their user ID. For the first 30 days after joining ebaY
or changing an ebaY user ID, members will get these new icons.
To view the icons go to -

ebaY is going to be adding item specifics in the Movie category
in the next few weeks. For more info go to -

In an effort to give ebaY tighter control over the item listing page,
ebaY is completely changing this page.   ebaY plans to make the
change in July on the ebaY US site.
Currently the "Watch this item" feature is not active in the preview,
but will be available once the change has been made. The new
page will take bidders and buyers back to the item page to see
their bid or Buy It Now confirmation. This will not show up during
the preview period. The preview page is also not usable by
WebTV users, but ebaY claims that WebTV users will be able to
access the page once they implement the change.

In an interesting change ebaY will now prevent sellers from
using their own HTML or templates that change the background
or any other part of the item page. The only place the seller will
have any control and be able to use HTML is in the description
block itself - ebaY will take full control over the remainder of the
page.   It remains to be seen how this will block certain features
provided by third party services.

To see the preview you can click on the preview page on any
active auction, or go to -
Send comments to prev-@ebay.com

ebaY has changed the ebaY Motors home page and category
portal pages. ebaY has tried to make the Motors categories
more consistent. They have added a 'How-to' Center and
highlighted Motors services for buyer and sellers. To see the
new pages go to -

ebaY has a new search engine in beta test -

ebaY has added a PayPal only immediate payment method on
Buy It Now items. If the seller chooses to use this payment
option, buyers will see a notation next to the Buy It Now button
stating that the seller requires immediate payment. After clicking
the Buy It Now button, the buyer will be directed to complete
payment through PayPal. Once the payment is confirmed, the
listing will officially end. Until a buyer completes the payment, the
listing will continue to run. This is currently available in a
limited numbers of categories.

Sellers who choose to require "immediate payment" must have
a PayPal Premier or Business account. 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

To view an example page go to -

For more info go to -

ebaY is changing the way the feedback score and star are
shown. They will now both appear in parenthesis.

ebaY has finally added the ability to make payments to ebaY via
a sellers PayPal account. Sellers registered on the US or UK
sites, billed in USD, GBP, CAD, EUR, or YEN will be able to
make a one-time payment to their ebaY seller account using
PayPal. Sellers can access this feature via either the "Accounts"
tab on My ebaY or from the Make a One Time Payment page.
The seller must make payment in full using PayPal within 5 days
from the invoice date to avoid overpayment via an automatic
payment method. http://snurl.com/1fmx

For more info about paying ebaY seller fees using PayPal go to -

ebaY has added the ability to sort Trading Assistants by
category, so potential customers may now sort by area code,
state, country or category.

To add a category specialty to a Trading assistant profile go to
the Trading Assistant page and click on "Edit your profile" (in the
right hand column) to add a category specialty information.
ebaY is also planning on adding search by ZIP code capability in
the future.

Closing arguments in the Norfolk, Va., MercExchange v. ebaY
patent infringement trial concluded on Thu 22 May. The jury has
the case and there should be a decision next week. No matter
what the decision, it is sure to be appealed by the losing party.

Recent articles on ebaY -

Fraud and Scammers on ebaY

Users angry over the Demise of Mister Lister

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


* * * * * * * * * *
Amazon, zShops and Marketplace - on 15 May at 21:10 PT
announced that they would be doing "reactive maintenance" on
their system that would impact web site performance.
The maintenance could cause delayed updates for listings that
have been sold, cancelled, or newly listed. Delays may extend to
how listings are displayed on the site, both in search and
browse, and in the Seller Account.

On 16 May at 23:24 PT, Amazon posted that the Marketplace and
zShop inventory file processing (eg Book Loader and Inventory
Loader) was temporarily suspended. Files could still be
uploaded and would begin processing at approximately 03:00
PT. New listings would not available for sale until the file
processed. The website item listing pages were unaffected by
this and were working. Auction Bulk Loader was also
unaffected. Sellers might still notice a delay for some listings to
appear in their Seller Account. Amazon hoped to have this fixed
by Sun evening. All Marketplace listings were available for view
and purchase by buyers.

On 21May at 22:37 PT, Amazon posted that starting at 20:00 PT
that the Marketplace and zShop inventory file processing (eg
Book Loader and Inventory Loader) was again temporarily
suspended. Files could still be uploaded and would begin
processing when the activity is complete. Note that new listings
are not available for sale until the file is processed. The website
item listing pages were not affected by this and were working.
Sellers might still notice a delay for some listings to appear in
their Seller Account. All Marketplace listings were available for
view and purchase by buyers.

On 23 May at 18:25 PT Amazon posted that some recently
created Auctions had remained within the Seller Account
"Opening Soon" section for a longer than normal time period,
and they would fix it as soon as they could.

Amazon Contact Info Page on TAG website -


* * * * * * * * * *
Yahoo Auction/Stores/Classifieds (YA) has a showcase for
Father Day. The showcase runs until 15 Jun and costs $.20 per
day to join. http://snurl.com/1fok

Auction Counts as of 13 May - pre FLD
Antiques & Art   12794
Automotive 1859
Books & Comics 13351
Clothing & Accessories 17269
Coins, Paper Money & Stamps 20163
Collectibles 15203
Computers 6107
Electronics & Cameras 2776
Food & Beverage 241
Home & Garden 7289
Jewelry & Watches 21770
Movies & TV 7755
Music 6938
Sports & Outdoors 2215
Sports Cards & Memorabilia 34707
Toys, Games & Hobbies 22419
Video Games 2615
Other 3537
Total 199,008

Auction Counts as of 15 May - post FLD
Antiques & Art   23327
Automotive 3964
Books & Comics 35267
Clothing & Accessories 27851
Coins, Paper Money & Stamps 31916
Collectibles 33802
Computers 11147
Electronics & Cameras 4712
Food & Beverage 653
Home & Garden 17754
Jewelry & Watches 31489
Movies & TV 14500
Music 14969
Sports & Outdoors 5203
Sports Cards & Memorabilia 77183
Toys, Games & Hobbies 46122
Video Games 4613
Other 7957
Total 392,429
Auction Counts brought to you by

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)
As of 13 May Yahoo had 199,008 (-17752)
As of 15 May Yahoo had 392,429 (-193421)
Yahoo Auction counts brought to you by

Yahoo Contact Information


* * * * * * * * * *
SellYourItem.com - is celebrating their second anniversary. If
they hit 60,000 listings by 31 May, they will provide several listing
incentives to their sellers.

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

Sellers can pay their bill via PayPal from this link -


* * * * * * * * * *
iOffer.Com has launched their Mr. Grabber 2.0. This tool allows
users to mirror their listings and bring over feedback rating from
other sites. Mr.Grabber supports ebaY, Amazon and Yahoo!

* * * * * * * * * *
TIAS.Com has released their annual report on ebaY listings of
antique and collectible merchandise. The report compares the
first quarter of 2002 and the first quarter of 2003 and uses data from
about 50,000 items loaded to ebaY via TIAS merchants.

Here is what they found - The average selling price of an item
sold on eBay by a TIAS dealer was $28.43, down 32% from last
year's $41.80. For comparison, the average selling price was $50.49 for
the first three months of 2001. The sell-through rate for this same
period was 26% as compared to a sell-through of 38.4%.in 2002, a drop of

This is consistent with TAG's estimate based on anecdotal
evidence of an overall sell through rate for ebaY of approx 40%

TIAS has been in business online for over 8 years and currently
has over 490,000 items listed on their site and their merchants
serve over 170,000 customers a day.

* * * * * * * * * *
Sellers who receive BidPay money orders through BidPay.com
may have been sent a bad money order by Western Union's
BidPay service. It turns out that BidPay sent out thousands of
Western Union money orders with a misprinted router number
on the bottom. These money orders will be rejected by banks, as
the number is invalid. if a seller deposited such a money order,
it will be returned and the seller will get charged bank fees for
the bad money order. Allegedly, BidPay has contacted any
sellers who received these invalid money orders. If a seller is
charged by their bank for fees on these bad money orders,
BidPay will reimburse the seller, but says it is the seller's
responsibility to contact BidPay and FAX the info to them.   To
reach BidPay call 1-800-350-5952.

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

TAGassist Contributors

Mandolion http://snurl.com/1fbq





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