TAGnotes Sun 20 Jul 2003 Vol 5 Number 9 Issue 448
Auction Guild Notes Sun 20 Jul 2003
Online databank of problem auction users. Members report
scams, non-paying bidders, non-performing sellers, more.
http://www.AuctionRedFlag.com. Free membership & forum.
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Go to the Source for the Best info on learning how to buy and sell
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This issue brought to you by the preceding ads, supporting TAG
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clicking on or copy/pasting their links and buying their products.
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The complete TAGnotes archive can be found at -
TAG does not endorse the companies or products advertised
It has been 2 months since the last full issue of TAGnotes. Once again,
we offer our apologies to our subscribers. The military duties of our
editor have made it extremely difficult for us to get TAGnotes out. We
will keep on doing what we can, when we can, and hope our readers will
continue to bear with us. Thanks for your ongoing support.
This issue will primarily cover June events; with the new item listing
page and ebaY live covered in the next issue.
ebaY - Please Check These Pages for COMPLETE ebaY
ebaY Outages Details 1 - 31 Mar 2003 -
ebaY Outages Details 1 - 30 Apr 2003 -
ebaY Outages Details 1 - 31 May 2003 -
ebaY Outage Details 1 - 30 Jun 2003
* * * * * * * * * *
As always, there are too many ebaY outages and problems to
list here in TAGnotes. The full details of ebaY's outages can
be found on the TAG website
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 a discussion about the destructiveness of
the snitch buttons on the chat boards, and the impact of the unjust
suspensions and snitching on the DNF board in particular, email@example.com
said on 15 Jun at 18:51:25 PT, ". . . , nice to see you. I understand
your concern, but I cannot believe the button itself makes it impossible
to carry on the tradition of DNF, which was much stronger and long-lived
than any one link on the page. " A grand delusion on the part of VP
Michael Dearing, but then he appears to delude himself about much of
what goes on at ebaY.
PQOD II - and in continued discussion of the snitch button and the
impact that such fascist tactics have on free and honest discourse,
firstname.lastname@example.org said on 17 Jun at 15:00:30 PT, ". . . , I will never say
never, but I highly doubt that the report button will be taken off of
this chat. . . The button is a simple tool that members can use to
report posts that violate the board usage policy. It should not hinder
any interaction between any community members." and at 15:33:20 PT, " .
. . I am sorry that you feel this way. The only posts that are taken
down are those that violate our board usage policy." Another well
brainwashed ebaY employee spouting party line lies with the utmost
PQOD III - Posted by email@example.com on 18 Jun at 21:45:49 PT,
subject of commercial ads in the end of auction notices, said, ". . . I
agree with your point. That placement, as I understand it is an
advertisement for their eBay business that they paid for. Pay for
placement in emails is available at a market price." And then at
21:52:50 PT, after talking with someone who actually knew what the deal
with the ads was, said, "Yes, . . . I believe that they can. Because
the cost of doing so is extremely high, we negotiate those deals one at
a time." Is it surprising that the Vice President for marketing, does
not even know or understand how ebaY is marketing to advertisers? First
he says that it would be unfair to make 'special' advertising only
available to certain ebaY sellers, then a few minutes later, after
getting the party line from ebaY, says that due to the 'cost' only
'special' customers can get to negotiate for these ads.
PQOD IV - On the subject of the very short time frame for completed
auctions, and was asked if more completed info would be available to
users, McD confirmed what had been long expected and predicted by TAG,
when he said on 18 Jun at 22:28:37 PT, "Yes, there is, . . . We are
developing a subscription service for that. How far back would you want
to go? The database is pretty enormous nowadays (~10 mil completed items
per week...)." So ebaY users can expect to pay for what they already
own, the completed item info. ebaY will steal this copyrighted info and
sell it back to their users.
Board Post of the Day I - On the realization that there would be no free
listing day janesgem said on 2 Jun at 22:53:39 PT, "I am so glad that
eBay is not giving the U.S. a free listing day. I would not be able to
resist listing if it was free. Since it is not free & with Mr. Lister
gone etc., I have no desire to make myself miserable using either
turbolister or SYI2 form to end up with the new listing page that looks
like something a 5 year old designed. I am enjoying going swimming and
enjoying the summer. Thanks, eBay." and then about the new design for
the auction item page, at 23:26:13 PT, ". . . , it looks like they had a
contest for 5 year olds to see who could make the auction page look the
worst. Someone won."
BQOD II - Is ebaY selling user names to spammers, or do they just have
such poor security that spammers can harvest email addys without a
problem. One ebaY user, com501, in a post on 3 Jun at 10:53:29 PT
theorized that, " Oh, GEEZ. I can't believe THIS! TOP [ebaY] has been
selling user names and email addresses to SOMEBODY. I just got an email
to my regular (registered) email address that I used for a new user name
that I have only had for 15 days 'over there' and the ONLY place the
unique email address is used was when I registered 'that' exact account.
Now I am getting VIAGRA SPAM. How do they DO that? It HAS to be that
someone is selling ID's...." View his items at -
BQOD III - In reference to an article that talked about sales on ebaY
redbird107 said on 11 Jun at 15:44:03 PT, "it should have read "their
customers sold $15 billion in goods "IN SPITE OF" eBay's *help*"
BQOD IV - After downloading the ebaY toolbar on 17 Jun at 15:51:48 PT,
the2ndfloodofgod made an unpleasant discovery and said, "What's with
this Ebay tool bar? Since when did Ebay start dealing with spyware? I
downloaded the Ebay tool bar, and the first thing it tried to do was
communicate with mediaplex.com! I'm never downloading another thing from
Ebay again! If Ebay is willing to deal with know spyware/adware web
companies like Mediaplex, then I'm done trusting Ebay! Why does every
single company that makes it big because of it's users, decide to
violate and betray their users, so they can make ever more money? I
guess I already answered my own question..."
BQOD V - Commenting on the public response to the 60 minutes show about
ebaY, firstname.lastname@example.org said on 18 Jun at 22:01:22 PT, "ouch...eBay
just got a bad rap on 60 minutes about fraud in the form of letters from
viewers...saying that eBay turns it's head on fraud in exchange for the
fees it earns...hmmmm, could that be true?"
BQOD VI - And on the adding and removal of the ebaY scumware toolbar,
psychicsam said on 26 Jun at 9:31:58 PT, "Add/Remove programs built by
spyware companies do NOT always do what they say they do (*BIG*
surprise, huh?). Spyware and scumware is called that for a *reason*."
View his auctions at - http://snurl.com/1uk6
BQOD VII - After being informed that ebaY was going to sell back ended
auction information to users, bits-n-pieces said on 20 Jun at 4:36:28
PT, "I know I'm stating the obvious here, but I just can't get over that
ebay is going to take all our hard work and "sell it back to us". I'm
not for a minute suggesting that we should have to give them permission
- that would be a nightmare, but at some point they have got to learn
there is a limit to how often their hand is out or in our pockets. Maybe
once they take a look at the numbers they will change their minds. I
think the figures will only show a steady decline in sell through
percentage and a drop in price in many categories over the last couple
of years. Hardly the kind of promotion they want to do." View her
auctions at -http://snurl.com/1uk8
On 11 Jun, ebaY tried to force a change on the book sellers by shifting
the book categories to what they are calling their entertainment
marketplace. TAG theorizes that this so called marketplace will soon
take on the methods and style of Half.Com. ebaY is soon to "close"
Half, but what TAG thinks will happen will be that ebaY will just shifts
this entertainment marketplace to what is now Half, and include the
items now and Half and also on in the new entertainment marketplace in
ebaY search. This will include the Books, DVDs & Movies, Entertainment
Memorabilia, Music and Video Game categories.
Due to the furor caused by this change, ebaY temporarily backed down and
restored the book categories, but this is sure to be a temporary
retreat. ebaY posted on the announcement board that, "We have heard
your comments and now have a better understanding of your perspective
about why the Books Category does not belong under "Entertainment" at
this time. Over the next few days, books will be returned to its former
place on the Homepage as a separate link. In the future, we will do a
better job of working with you in advance of changes of this nature."
Needless to say, ebaY will listen as well as they ever have, which is
not at all, and will do what they want as soon as they think they can
get away with it.
There is currently a group of approx 270 book sellers, who are working
together and looking to organize an alternative to ebaY. They
understand that it is just a matter of time until ebaY makes changes
that will be deleterious to booksellers and only profitable for ebaY,
and they want to be ready. ebaY has refused in the past to make those
changes desired by the bookselling community to clean up the book
categories and enforce standards. ebaY allows many unscrupulous sellers
to trick buyers and the reputable booksellers all suffer for it. Since
ebaY will not do anything, and they are forcing booksellers off ebaY
anyway, many booksellers perceive that the time is right for them to act
in a concerted manner, and create an alternative.
This group is currently looking at making an agreement with
Intergalactic Inc to control the intellectual property, name and
archives of AB Bookman, a company that was the Bible of the used/out of
print/Antiquarian book market for 50 years. In addition to these online
sellers, there are also many brick and mortar booksellers who are
showing an interest in joining this group and expanding their market
through AB Bookman and through online auctions and fixed price sales.
Negotiations are in the earliest stages, but should be of great interest
to the entire legitimate book selling industry. If you want to
participate in this new venture, and keep on the front edge of what
could be a huge change in the online auction and trading industry, join
the group at -
It appears that for many months, ebaY has been regularly double charging
sellers for their monthly payments. This is currently happening to
sellers who pay their ebaY bills via a one time payment on their charge
card or PayPal debit card. This has happened in the past to those who
pay via their checking accounts, though that tends to be much more
noticeable due to bouncing checks. When notified by the
seller of the
double billing, ebaY does issue a refund, but it can take them two weeks
or more to provide the refund, giving ebaY an interest free loan.
As usual, ebaY has tried to blame the seller, saying the seller must
have hit the submit button twice. TAG has learned that this is an ebaY
wide problem, occurring on international sites also, and that ebaY does
know about it. Once again, ebaY is lying to their users, both by not
telling them about the problem, and then trying to blame the seller when
the seller notices the problem. We found this out when an ebaY employee
accidentally emailed a reply to a user who had the problem, instead of
the ebaY employee who sent the users email to him with instructions to
report similar instances on their non US ebaY sites. The user who
received the email forwarded it to us, so we were able to confirm that
once again ebaY was knowingly lying to their users and defrauding them
Articles on ebaY Stock options -
ebaY is buying FairMarket Inc for $4.5 million in cash. They will buy
almost all of FairMarket's technology and business assets in the third
quarter of this year. FairMarket is a commercial listing tool site.
ebaY has added a discussion board for the service category sellers.
ebaY services categories range from custom manufacture to individually
personalized items, including calligraphy, clothing design, web design
and many other services. ebaY's services category is under the
Everything Else section.
Starting 1 Jul, ebaY added Value Added Tax (VAT) to all their charges on
their sites in the European Union. These taxes apply to people who
reside, have a permanent address, or are established in the European
Union. These EU taxes do not apply to sellers residing and established
in the US, Canada and Australia, nor do they affect the fee structure on
eBay.com, eBay.ca and eBay.com.au. For more info go to -
ebaY has added a 1 day duration option for second chance offers. This
gives sellers the option for a quicker turnaround time. Sellers can now
have 1, 3, 5, and 7 day second chance offers. Second chance offers
enable a seller to offer an item to under bidders if the winning bidder
does not complete their purchase, or if an additional duplicate item is
available. For more info on Second Chance Offers go to -
ebaY has purchased a substantial part of iPix image services. For the
details go to -
As of 12 Jun ebaY/PayPal no longer allows PayPal to be used for the
purchase of adult items on ebaY or anywhere else. Of course,
prevents a seller from letting their buyer use PayPal as long as the
buyer makes the purchase "generic" and disguises what it is actually
ebaY has changed their page header -
ebaY has added a shipping calculator to the auction listing page. This
is optional for the seller to use. The calculator supports US Postal
Service and UPS. There is no charge to use calculated shipping rates.
Currently, the calculator support shipments within the United States
only. For more information, go to -
ebaY has added item specifics to the movies category. Item specifics
adds searchable criteria in addition Title search and Title and
Item specifics are available in the Tickets, Travel, Real Estate, Art,
Wristwatches and Men's Clothing categories. Sellers can choose to
include Item Specifics in their listing or not, and buyers can choose
whether or not to search for these details. Item specifics greatly
slows down the listing process for sellers adding at least two more
pages to click through on the listing form.
For more information go to -
Item Specifics Overview
Item Specifics Product Finder
Item Specifics View Item Page Example
ebaY has made changes to the End of Auction and End of Transaction
emails sent out by ebaY at the close of a listing. These emails will
now include the first initial, last name, city and region of the trading
partners. For example, this would read as: J. Smith, San Jose, CA, USA.
The purpose of these changes is to users know more about the location
and identity of the buyer or seller. The new emails also include some
trust and safety messages, though these messages appear to be primarily
aimed at selling buyers on overpriced ebaY "safety" features. ebaY has
also added third party advertisements the these emails. Real Estate,
Motors, Live Auctions, Merchant Tool and Co-brands are not included at
ebaY has eliminated the ability for one user to search for another user
by email address. This affects functions such as Bidder Search, Seller
Search, Feedback Profile Search, and others, and extends across all
International ebaY sites.
ebaY said they made this change to help protect against unsolicited
marketing emails ("spam"), and fraudulent emails made to look like they
have come from ebaY or PayPal.
TAG has seen absolutely no indication that this will protect users
against bots that spider the site and harvest email addresses, hackers
who break into ebaY systems and steal passwords and hijack user IDs or
that it will protect users in any way. What it does do is prevents
those who find hijacked accounts and expose the fraud on ebaY, from
cross checking information, and effectively forcing ebaY to shut the
If ebaY wanted to protect their users, there are very simple steps they
can take. One step would be to require that all passwords combine
numbers and letters and have a minimum number of characters. This is
the most basic kind of password security, and effectively prevents
alphabet programs from stealing passwords. The other thing ebaY can do
is limit the number of times a user can enter their user ID and password
whilst trying to log in, so that, for example, after 5 attempts the user
would be locked out and it would take a call to the ebaY 24/7 customer
service line to get the account unlocked. Because ebaY would have to
provide 24/7 customer service, they will not take the most basic kinds
of precautions that would stop millions of dollars in fraud being
perpetrated on their site each year. TAG sees this latest info access
change as facilitating the scammers and thieves, instead of helping
In stores, ebaY is allowing sellers the option of selecting the way
their store listings are sorted. The four ways a seller can display
their items are:
Store sellers can set their display choice through the "Item Display
Order" option in the Store Builder, and will be able to change it at any
time. If the seller wants to have their listings displayed with the
highest priced items first, they will not have to change the default
Stamps.com Inc., is suing ebaY/PayPal for breach of contract.
Stamps.Com said that PayPal failed to fulfill an agreement to launch a
new service that would have allowed PayPal customers to buy and print
postage online with Stamps.com technology.
ebaY has increased their investment in EachNet, ebaY's partner in China.
ebaY will acquire the remaining share of EachNet Inc., the
Delaware-based company that, in cooperation with local subsidiaries,
To see the ebaY propaganda press release, go to -
ebaY has changed the categories... again -
-BUSINESS & INDUSTRIAL includes more Raw Materials & Scrap, with
breakouts of Aluminum and Steel. Welders, Cutters expand, as do
Oscilloscopes. Also new subcats in Other Industries such as Apparel
Manufacturing, Process Equipment, Semiconductor Manufacturing and
-CLOTHING, SHOES & ACCESSORIES added subcats in Women's Accessories,
Handbags - Belts, Hair Accessories, Handbags, Bags, Hats, Scarves,
Wraps, Sunglasses, Wallets and Wigs,
-COINS Bullion gets a subcat and Coins: World and Paper Money: World are
re-ordered by world geography.
-ELECTRONICS & COMPUTERS Cables, Adapter Cards get new subcats as do
Motherboards, PC Cases and Power Supplies. Wireless Networking expands
and the Ink Jet and Laser Jet categories are also changed.
-ENTERTAINMENT now has DVDs & Movies, Entertainment Memorabilia, Music
and Video Games together in one great spot. ebaY temporarily backed
down on adding books to this category, but not for long.
-HOME new subcats in Baby Gear & Furnishings, Home Décor, Kitchen,
Dining & Bar, and Windows & Floors.
-JEWELRY & WATCHES new subcats in Men's Belt Buckles, Bracelets,
Chains, Necklaces, Cufflinks and Rings. And Vintage, Antique gets new
subcats for Bracelets, Earrings, Necklaces, Pendants & Lockets, Pins &
Brooches and Rings
-SPORTS new subcats for Fly Fishing, Fly Tying Materials, Tools
breakouts and Bobblehead cats for Minnesota Twins, Montreal Expos and
Oakland Athletics. New subcats in Trading Cards.
-TOYS & HOBBIES new Contemporary and Vintage subcats in He-Man and
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Aircraft, Bikes, Motorcycles, and Hot
Wheels in Diecast, Toy Vehicles get Contemporary and Modern subcats.
Also Warhammer categories in Miniatures, War Games!
-EVERYTHING ELSE Health & Beauty gets changes in Bath & Body Works as
well as in Estee Lauder, Lancome and Mary Kay lipsticks. Services has
An interesting excerpt from a The Nation article about the security
conference held early in 2003 - June 20, 2003 eBay Security Chief
Turns Website Into Arm of the Law
"The talk, "Working with Law Enforcement," was delivered at the
CyberCrime 2003 conference in Mashantucket, Connecticut. Sullivan, who
left the Justice Department to become senior counsel for rules, trust
and safety at eBay last year, told the audience of law-enforcement
officials and industry executives that he didn't "know another website
eBay acts particularly quickly to grant law enforcement extensive access
to user information without regard to established legal procedures that
protect individuals from civil rights abuses by the state. Brags
Sullivan, "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." "I will hook you up with the Paypal people. They
will help you get the information you're looking for."
ebaY will now allow 20 identical item listings at a time of general
admission tickets, in the Tickets category. This is an increase over
the previous limit of 10, due to the fact that tickets expire.
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 NEWS search link on Google -
ebaY CONTACT Info
* * * * * * * * * *
Amazon, zShops and Marketplace - On 4 Jun at 21:31 PT posted that their
would be a 24 hour period where processing their uploads would be
delayed. All files could still be uploaded and would process as soon as
possible. No action was required on the part of the seller.
On 7 Jun at 11:11 PT Marketplace and zShop inventory file processing (eg
Book Loader and Inventory Loader) was temporarily suspended on 6 Jun.
Files could still be uploaded and would process when the activity
On 23 Jun at 21:56 PT Amazon posted that some third-party systems were
offline from 21:00 PT to 22:30 PT on Mon 23 Jun. Seller tools,
including reports and loaders, were
It appears that sellers who are in the Alibris-Amazon program, are being
forced to either close their Amazon Marketplace account or leave the
Alibris-Amazon program. Some sellers feel that this is to prevent the
same item being listed many times on the site. To read more about this
go to - http://snurl.com/1ujz
Amazon Contact Info Page on TAG website -
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Yahoo Auction/Stores/Classifieds (YA)
Yahoo has added some quick links to help with various issues. To
contact Yahoo about account security issues go to -
To change your password, go to -
For information about keeping personal info secure on Yahoo, go to -
Users can now save favorite categories, sellers, and searches and set
alerts to have new results sent directly via email. This can be set via
"My Auctions" via the "Favorites" link.
Sellers can lower the start price of a live auction without any bids.
This can be done via the "Manage Your Auction" page by clicking on the
"Lower Start Price." If the auction does not have any bids, the seller
can enter a new lower starting price.
Buyers can now blacklist a seller. People on this list will not be able
to bid on any of your auctions, and you will not be able to bid on their
Sellers can now save their preferences for listing using the submit
page. Sellers can set the auction length, shipping policies, minimum
bidder rating, closing time, and other criteria.
Yahoo auction counts
Antiques & Art 15506
Books & Comics 11518
Clothing & Accessories 16342
Coins, Paper Money & Stamps 19758
Electronics & Cameras 2421
Food & Beverage 271
Home & Garden 7209
Jewelry & Watches 20825
Movies & TV 7567
Sports & Outdoors 2391
Sports Cards & Memorabilia 35046
Toys, Games & Hobbies 20699
Video Games 2032
Total auctions on 18 Jun 191,208
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)
As of 18 Jun Yahoo had 191,208 (-201221)
Yahoo Auction counts brought to you by
Yahoo Contact Information
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SellYourItem.com - Have you always wanted to bring your whatnot to the
Antiques Road Show to find out what it is and how much it is worth? If
you enjoy the Antiques Road Show, come join the online version.
SellYourItem.com now has a "What Is It?" board where you can post your
image, or a link to an image of an item and have SYIers figure out what
it is, and what it is worth. The board is visited by folks with
immense amount of experience, ranging from McCoy Pottery to Militaria,
and anything in between. You can find the What Is It? board at -
* * * * * * * * * *
iOffer.Com Stores are free and offer several features, including the
ability to sort within the store, add items to a shopping cart and make
an offer on the whole package. Buyers and sellers can negotiate the
terms of the sale.
To download auctions from other sites which can be run concurrently on
iOffer, use iOffer's import tool, Mr. Grabber 2.0. Mr.Grabber supports
ebaY, Amazon and Yahoo!
* * * * * * * * * *
BIDPAY MONEY ORDER PROBLEM -
Bid Pay has still not resolved all the issues and problems created when
they printed and sent sellers invalid Money Orders. These Money Orders
all bounced, and sellers are having to jump through hoops to get their
Money Orders replaced, and their bank charges paid. BidPay customer
service told sellers that their bank could call BidPay to get the
correct ABA number to redeposit the checks
BidPay can be reached at 1-800-350-5952.
TIAS.Com has purchased Collector Online - http://www.collectoronline.com
TIAS will re-launch the site, retaining many of its previous features.
Merchants will have the ability to move items from their Collector
Online store to ebaY and Yahoo Auctions
TIAS.com also owns and operates Curioscape.com, AntiqueArts.com
and Earthling.com. http://www.tias.com
Have any information for us? email us at
TAG Subscribers often contribute information reported on in
TAGnotes. Visit their auctions or websites.
THE AUCTION GUILD and eTRADERS GUILD
Not just a venue
email us - email@example.com
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Copyright 1999 - 2003 The Auction Guild Inc All rights reserved