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TAGnotes Sun 31 Aug 2003 Vol 5 Number 11 Issue 450

The Auction Guild Notes Sun 31 Aug 2003
Read The Most Up-to-Date and Most Comprehensive eBay
How-to Manual for Everyone http://snurl.com/13kp
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What items $ell on eBay? Don't Guess! Get 100+pages of
eBay info Only $19.95 +FREE Bonus! http://snurl.com/146y
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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 -

The complete TAGnotes archive can be found at -

TAG does not endorse the companies or products advertised         
7600 subscribers   
ebaY - Please Check These Pages for COMPLETE ebaY
OUTAGE Details

ebaY Outages Details 1 - 31 May 2003 -
ebaY Outage Details 1 - 30 Jun 2003
ebaY Outage Details 1 - 31 Jul 2003
ebaY Outage Details 1 - 31 Aug 2003
Not yet posted

* * * * * * * * * *
As always, there are too many ebaY outages and problems to
list here in TAGnotes. ebaY has had major outages almost
every day since the new item page was launched on 7 July, and
these problems continue unabated.   Sellers should request
refunds of all listing and final value fees if they feel their
auctions were negatively impacted by these endless, ebaY
induced outages. 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 an interview by and for ebaY's Aug 03
Chatter online newsletter, Lynn Reedy Sr. Vice President of
Product, Development, and Architecture answered these
questions, "What's unique about working here?" with, "The
Community. I've worked at a lot of companies that have
customers, but customers are different from Community. Every
single day we are interacting with the Community, and they really
are part of our team. Outside of eBay, how many developers are
reading Community boards and Voices emails looking for
potential problems? At eBay it's so ingrained in everything we do.
That really is different." and, "What's the most telling thing you've
heard from an eBay Community member?" with, "I think the most
telling thing I've heard from the Community is, "Don't mess up
my business." eBay is the platform, not the business. It's
important we understand that and articulate and grow that
vision." Can Ms Reedy be for real? She appears to understand
the uniqueness of community input and has heard loud and
clear that ebaY needs to stay out of their seller's way, not build
obstacles, and let their sellers use the venue to market their
product. Yet with all this, "getting it" it is obvious to TAG, that
there is a major disconnect between the knowledge and the
practice. Either that, or a Senior VP has absolutely no ability to
influence anything at ebaY. Either way, it makes Ms Reedy as
much use as to ebaY's customers, the sellers, as a rubber
wrench, as it does no good to talk the talk but not walk the walk.

PQOD II - On 9 Aug at 09:50:56 PT an ebaY user queried ebaY
live support about the chronic (since 7 Jul) problem with gallery
images appearing to potential buyers. The user, kstsells,
posted, "I just want to make sure that "New to EBay" people can
see the gallery pictures without all this trouble. It makes
searching so much more fun! Also, as a seller I use the gallery
on every listing but will stop it if they are not easily accessible".

In an incredible answer, Kent@ebaY live support responded,
"Right, I believe the gallery images are shown by default, just
could have been a glitch, but will double check. But don't stop
using the gallery, that's not good. Threats won't get things fixed,
if you know what I mean. Thanks for using LiveChat, and have a
great day!" TAG is sure ebaY does not want its sellers to stop
using the gallery feature at 25 cents an item, despite the fact that
ebaY is defrauding the sellers, since they know the feature has
not worked properly for just short of 2 months. As far as sellers
go, TAG hopes that was not a threat but a promise.

Board Quote of the Day I - After an appearance by Claire clearly
expressing her contempt for the regulars on the DNF board,
deradler1 said on 31 Jul at 17:26:24 PT, "The idea that Claire, or
any other pink, would have the time to come here and scold us
for violating board policy is akin to the captain of the Titanic
admonishing a shuffle board player for cheating while his ship
inks beneath him..." View his auctions at - http://snurl.com/27hn

BQOD II - On the subject of the forced change of user IDs,
duch-@speakeasy.org said on 1Aug at 02:04:41 PT, "I
thoroughly object to this arbitrary changing of user IDs! My e-mail
address is my identity; it is my means of communication with
potential new customers. I have used an e-mail address as a
user ID for 6 years with no adverse effects. Having a non-email
user ID actually makes it EASIER for hackers to hijack an
account because the hacker can HIDE their activity beneath a
"nickname" ID and conduct fraudulent activity unknown to the
account owner. An e-mail ID, however, makes it impossible for a
hijacker to divert transactions to another e-mail address
because the actual user ID would have to change -- thereby
alerting the owner immediately. . ." View her items at -

BQOD III - and on the same subject hrsbaygal said on 1 Aug at
19:41:37 PT,". . ., you must have misunderstood! eBay is doing
this for our own good. They are protecting us from the bad guys.
(They want to be the sole predator)."

BQOD IV - Posted by pcspap on 2 at 09:06:26 PT, "It is amazing
how the talk on the street has changed concerning ebay. Two
years ago it was,"Ebay this" and, "Ebay that". Everyone was
buzzing about ebay. Last week I went to set up day at an Antique
Show and the buzz is about how bad ebay has become. How
hard it is to shop. How it's not fun anymore. There were dealers
there that I haven't seen in two years and they have stopped
using ebay and say that if they can't make it at the shows, they
are going to find something else to do. Yesterday, at some
estate sales it was the same thing. Half the people waiting in
line were saying bad things about ebay or telling stories about
how it's changed for the worse. This bodes badly for this once
great sales platform. EBAY YOUR ARE HURTING PEOPLE WHO
"COMMUNITY" BACK TO EBAY." View their auctions at -

BQOD VI - And once again the forced User ID change,
redbird107 said on 7 Aug at 08:09:36 PT, ". . . I find it interesting
that eBay is going to all this hoopla for "a small percentage of the
Community".....they never seem to care about the small
percentage of the community when it comes to forcing new
features down our throats. eBay, do you think you could *at
least* have a forwarding feature in place for those folks that have
used their email addy as their ID for years...you know, like one of
etvideos' customers types in his email addy in search of his
seller ID and instead of you just saying ......."SORRY THAT IS AN
INVALID ID"........you could direct them to the new ID?????? "
View her items at - http://snurl.com/27hl

BQOD VII - And on lawsuits ebaY is facing deradler1 said on 7
Aug 03 at 09:37:02 PT, ". . .- Of course it is cut and dry to
us....that is what idiotbay has lawyers for...To confuse the
jury....Say, how are they going to get a jury of their peers....Are
there still 12 CEO that have ruined companies that aren't in
jail???" View his auctions at - http://snurl.com/27hn

Have an opinion of Meg Whitman's performance as CEO of
ebaY? Go to the Forbes CEO opinion site and express it -

ebaY has changed the web forms used to contact ebaY
customer support. The old forms were accessed at
http://pages.ebay.com/help/basics/select-RS.html and
http://pages.ebay.com/help/basics/select-support.html   ebaY is
automatically redirecting users to the new page. ebaY has
combined the previous link to one form.
The new form is at -

This is a much slower system, as the user must download page
after page in order to find out what the various options are, to find
the closest one to their problem. The user can't view all the
possibilities without opening many new pages, forcing a new
download for each page.

A much faster, though not necessarily any better result, may be
reached by using the live support links at -
Live help -
Live Support Button to Trust and Safety (hijacked accounts,
suspended accounts) -

In May ebaY changed the fee structure in ebaY Motors for
vehicles. We have been getting several questions on this and
hope the following clarifies the issue.

ebaY claims that state regulators have contacted them with a
warning that by charging a final value fee on vehicle auctions,
ebaY is acting as an unlicensed automobile broker. ebaY has
figured out a way to escape responsibility for this legal violation
and double their non-refundable charges to sellers at the same
time. ebaY is no longer charging a final value fee on vehicle
auctions, instead in addition to the $40. non-refundable listing
fee, there is now an additional $40. non-refundable transaction
fee. The transaction fee is added when the first bid is made on
an auction with no reserve, or on a reserved auction when the
reserve is met. For passenger vehicles and other vehicles, the
transaction fee is $40. For motorcycles, the transaction fee is
$25. Sellers will have to pay both the listing and transaction fee
even if the sale ends with a deadbeat buyer, and no actual
transaction takes place. As always, ebaY gains great
advantages by encouraging and supporting dead beats, and by
having an unstable site that prevents bidding and buying.
For more info on ebaY Motors fees go to -

ebaY has also changed the bidding rules on ebaY Motors in the
motor vehicle categories including passenger vehicles,
motorcycles, and other vehicles.   This change only applies to
reserve auctions, and removes proxy bidding on bids below the
reserve price. Instead, the highest bid below the reserve will
become the current price of the item. The reserve must still be
met for the auction to end successfully. For more info on this
bidding change go to -

ebaY is now allowing sellers to lower the reserve and Buy It Now
prices on vehicle listings. The tool will allow reserve and/or Buy It
Now prices to be lowered multiple times during a listing. When
the seller lowers the reserve price, the new price will post on the
item page. The new reserve price will also be emailed to all
users who have placed a bid on the item. For items where the
reserve price was not lowered, the reserve will still be hidden,
and will not be revealed to bidders at any point.

ebaY has added ebaY stores to the ebaY Motors categories for
items other than vehicles.
*Motors sellers can open a store and have the functionality that
other ebaY sellers receive in stores
*Motors Categories will now be included in the stores hub page
and stores navigation
*Store sellers that list in Motors will now be able to set up
custom categories in their store for their Motors listings
*Motors sellers will be able to list their Parts and Accessories in
store inventory format.
For more info go to -

ebaY has changed the default for listing duration for store
inventory in the SYI2.0 listing form. The new default is Good 'Til
Cancelled (GTC).   Sellers are cautioned to make sure they
check the duration they want (30, 60, 90 or 120 days or GTC).   
ebaY will no longer offer shorter store durations (3, 5, 7, 10 and

As reported in earlier issues of TAGnotes, ebaY has purchased
the iPix technology and will provide image hosting themselves.
iPix was never reliable, but sellers can expect this situation to get
worse, as ebaY is less reliable still. Sellers who use this
service should now add ebaY picture service failures to their list
of occurrences where they ask ebaY for refunds of listing and

ebaY picture services will work much as iPix did.   The
functionality is very similar to the current iPIX-hosted solution.
For those sellers who use the full-featured version, they will have
to download a new ActiveX (spyware) control. The basic version
of ebaY picture services will not have to use the ActiveX
download. All active photos previously uploaded using iPIX will
be transferred to the new ebaY picture services, so they will still
be available.

For those having problems, go to -
Click “Ask about Selling (for sellers only)”.
Select “Photo issues” as the topic and “Ask about eBay
Picture Services” as the subtopic and click Continue.
You will then have an option to email Customer Support or
speak to a Live Chat representative.

Sellers do not have to use ebaY picture services. To opt out,
click the link above the picture section on the Picture and Details
page of the Sell Your Item form that says “Return to eBay Picture
Services hosted by iPIX.” You can also opt out on a per-item
basis when revising or relisting an item.

For more info go to -

ebaY has added an ebaY Group function to their site. As these
groups have the same restrictions and fascist controls in place
as the ebaY boards, TAG does not see any value in opening one
of these groups. Online auction users are much better advised
to go somewhere their group will not be monitored and
censored, such as Yahoo Groups or Topica.

Users can start a group, or join another group by visiting the
Group Center page at -
For more info go to -
To view the Groups rules, usage policy and guidelines (but don't
forget the unwritten rules) go to.

To provide input on ebaY Groups send email to

ebaY now has a program to reimburse large sellers for
advertising ebaY in offline media outlets. Depending on the
sellers power seller status, sellers can get up to $8,000 per
quarter towards offline advertising. Power sellers with an ebaY
Store, or a power seller who is also a Trading Assistant, who
advertises their business in newspapers, magazines, or
catalogs, can get reimbursed by ebaY of 25% of the cost of
running the ad.

For more info go to -
Ad sign up page -
Ad customer support -

ebaY has added a previously used category function to the
SYI2.0 listing page. Sellers will be able to find the categories
they have previously used in a drop-down menu and will show
up to 10 categories.   

ebaY is now allowing users to save up to 100 favorite searches
in My ebaY.   They are also allowing up to 30 email updates
when new items that match search terms are listed.

ebaY has added a feature called 'My Recently Viewed Items' to
the search results and listings pages. Users with this option
turned on from their My ebaY preferences page, now see a box at
the bottom of these pages containing the three items they have
viewed most recently, as well as their three most recently used
keyword searches.   While adding this feature, ebaY also added
'see similar items' links that took potential buyers from the paid
for sellers page to the pages of other seller's items. The
immediate furor this policy violating advertising raised amongst
sellers, brought this 'error' in coding to ebaY's notice, and was
removed after a few days.

ebaY is once again testing new home page designs. They have
been running home page tests for approx a year.

ebaY has once again announced that they are changing the
trading assistant directory. This has been promised for several
months, but has yet to materialize. ebaY is directing trading
assistants to update their profiles at this link -

ebaY will now allow gif images in addition to jpg formats for
gallery images. Now all they need to do is get gallery to work -
as it has been virtually non-functioning since July.

ebaY continues to add item specifics to various categories.
Sellers can choose whether or not to include item specifics in
their listings, and buyers can choose whether or not to search for
these details, but ebaY is slowly but surely tightening the noose
around seller's necks and forcing them to use these item
specifics or not have their items show up in searches.

ebaY is also changing the structure of the video games category
to facilitate ebaY's addition of item specifics. For more info about
item specifics go to -
For more info about the changes in the video game cats, go to -
item specifics are now included in Tickets, Travel, Real Estate,
Art, Wristwatches, Clothing, Shoes & Accessories, Pottery &
Glass, Music and Movies categories.

ebaY has made more category changes in the never ending
category changes ebaY enforces on users. The latest changes
are in -
-BOOKS with new breakouts under Education & Textbooks,
Magazines & Catalogs and Nonfiction Books About Collecting.
-BUSINESS & INDUSTRIAL with new breakouts in Agriculture,
Industrial Supply, MRO, Printing & Graphic Essentials and Retail.
breakouts throughout Women’s Clothing.
-COLLECTIBLES with new breakouts in Decorative Collectibles.
-DOLLS & BEARS with new breakouts under Miniatures.
-ELECTRONICS & COMPUTERS with new breakouts in
Computers & Office Products and Software.
-ENTERTAINMENT with new breakouts under Music.
-HOME with expansions in Bath and Bedding, Kitchen, Dining &
Bar, Pet Supplies and Tools.
-MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS with additions in Equipment, Guitar,
Harmonica, Percussion, Pro Audio and Woodwind.
-SPECIALTY SERVICES with a new top-level category for
Specialty Services including Artistic Services, Printing &
Personalization, Restoration & Repair, and Web & Internet
-SPORTS with breakouts in Baseball & Softball, Equestrian,
Fishing, Golf, Inline, Roller Skating, Martial Arts, Paintball,
Scooters, Scuba, Snorkeling, Tennis, Water Sports, Racing -
NASCAR, and Trading Cards.
-STAMPS added new countries and new breakouts in the United
States and throughout the world.
-TOYS & HOBBIES with new breakouts in Diecast, Toy Vehicles
and TV, Movie, Character Toys.
-EVERYTHING ELSE with new breakouts in Health & Beauty for
Body Lotion, Sun Care, Fragrances, Hair Care, Makeup, and
Nutrition & Wellness.

ebaY is now working with the American Philatelic Society (APS)
within the Stamps category on ebaY. The APS has developed
guidelines for selling philatelic (stamp) material on ebaY. These
guidelines are in addition to ebaY's general listing polices and
are intended to address some of the specific issues related to
selling philatelic items.

To find the guidelines for selling stamps go to -

Authenticator Pre-Certified category to sport memorabilia. This
is designed for brand-authenticated sports memorabilia listings
sold with proof of authenticity from specific industry-recognized

In order to list items in this category, sellers are required to
include a mandatory "Authenticator Pre-Certified" section in their
Item Description, which offers a standardized display of required
information about the item. Seller feedback must be 25 or
higher. The item must be delivered with proof of authentication
from one of the following authenticators:Global Authentication,
Steiner Sports, Mounted Memories, Tristar Productions,
PSA/DNA, Upper Deck Authenticated and Online Authentics.
Sellers must display clear scans of both the item and the proof
of authentication. Sellers must include the Authenticator
Pre-Certified section in their listing. for more info go to -

ebaY will be changing the Toys & Hobbies and Dolls & Bears
categories in the next couple of months.    ebaY will not be
combining the Toys & Hobbies and Dolls & Bears categories at
this time, though they are planning on doing so in the future. If
you have any comments or suggestions email them to

ebaY has added a top keyword search that results in a page that
groups the items by categories (e.g., Books, Movies, Toys) rather
than the standard search results page.
ebaY continues to expand this change and TAG wonders if it is
partially responsible for the complete failure of 33% to 66% of
search attempts buyers have complaining about for several

ebaY made a serious error with their Vintage Clothing category
changes. This has caused an uproar amongst vintage clothing
buyers and sellers alike. Vintage clothing sellers reported being
devastated by the latest changes in their field, with their items
stuck in arbitrary categories and great sale losses. In addition,
by dividing the items by type of clothing first and then by age,
ebaY has destroyed the flow of how real buyers search for such
items, showing once again how ebaY makes changes in spite of
user input. As one seller succinctly put it, "I also take extreme
exception to the view that eBay was "given the 'green light'" to
institute the changes as they were published on July 8. If you will
take the time to read that thread, you will see that quite a few
suggestions were made at that time, NONE of which were
incorporated into the category changes." 240 vintage clothing
folks signed a 'petition' to change the category back to
era/date/time period first.

Both buyers and sellers of vintage items are complaining that
the changes have had a severe negatively impact on their ability
to buy and sell. The level of the furor was great, with the vintage
clothing sellers considering their options with one possible
option being an effort to move the entire category to another
online auction and trading site. This appeared to catch ebaY's
interest and on 27 Aug, ebaY responded and opened some
threads to try to do some damage control. ebaY also posted that
there would be a Vintage Clothing discussion board next Thu 4
Sep to try address the problems the and "to determine next
steps."   ebaY will announce the time on 2 Sep.

ebaY has finally added a maximum password hint limit on their
secret question page. When users try three times and put in
wrong information ebaY gives them a message that says, "
Sorry, you have exceeded the maximum number of possible
attempts.   An e-mail has been sent to you with instructions on
how to replace your forgotten password. Your current password
will remain active until you respond to the email."

ebaY has adjusted their 2nd Qtr earning to reflect the 29.5 mil
they had to pay to MercExchange for infringing MercExchange's
patents. ebaY says they will change their fixed price procedures
so they are not infringing, but it remains to be seen if they can do
so. http://snurl.com/27hz

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
Spy Sweeper is from Webroot.


* * * * * * * * * *
Amazon, zShops and Marketplace - On 9 Aug Amazon performed
scheduled maintenance on selected third-party systems from
21:30PT to 23:30 PT During that time, seller tools, third-party
platforms, and Amazon Payments were down. Buyers could not
purchase anything during this time in either Marketplace, zShops
or Auctions. All auctions that were scheduled to end during the
outage were extended per the site policy.

On 24 Aug, Amazon performed scheduled maintenance on
selected third-party systems from 12:00 to 12:45PT. During this
down time, some segments of Amazon Marketplace, Auctions,
and zShops listings were unavailable on the Web site. Seller's
reports were also down.

On 31 Aug, Amazon performed scheduled maintenance on
selected third-party systems from 12:00 to 12:45PT. During this
down time, some segments of Amazon Marketplace, Auctions,
and zShops listings were unavailable on the Web site. Seller's
reports were also down.

Many sellers have had great luck selling on Amazon's
Marketplace (books, electronics, DVDs etc). It IS an option all
sellers should investigate -

Amazon Contact Info Page on TAG website -

* * * * * * * * * *
Yahoo Auction/Stores/Classifieds (YA) is running several
Back to School Showcase runs until 15 Sep 03

Autos Showcase runs until 30 Sep 03

Free Shipping Showcase until 12 Sep 03

Yahoo has their August newsletter up on their site. It includes an
article on how to personalize end of auction emails.

The Yahoo! PayDirect site has been updated. PayDirect may be
used on any site for transmitting money online.

25 Jul 03 Post FLD
Antiques & Art   37132
Automotive 3833
Books & Comics 27996
Clothing & Accessories 31370
Coins, Paper Money & Stamps 28384
Collectibles 29055
Computers 9889
Electronics & Cameras 7848
Food & Beverage 684
Home & Garden 20439
Jewelry & Watches 32116
Movies & TV 18263
Music 11180
Sports & Outdoors 6087
Sports Cards & Memorabilia 81928
Toys, Games & Hobbies 45010
Video Games 5588
Other 7504
Total 404,306

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 (-2213)
As of 25 Jul Yahoo had 404,306 (+213098)
Yahoo Auction counts brought to you by

Yahoo Contact Information

* * * * * * * * * *
PictureList.Com appears to be having some serious problems.
TAG has heard from several subscribers that their images
hosted on PictureList are not showing on their auctions. The
PictureList site is up, but their contact page has been up and

To Contact them -
genext information systems
Fred Anderson
25422 Trabuco Rd. Suite #105-T
Lake Forest, CA 92630
US 949-292-9419
Contact page -

Make sure you have your images backed up somewhere and do
not pay for any services until you get some kind of response from
the owners as to what is going on.

* * * * * * * * * *
United Traders of New Zealand is a new site that has formed so
that New Zealand's online auction and trading users can come
together for mutual support and information. Their first battle
appears to be against the Trade Me site who allegedly
threatened their users via email, that if the Trade Me feedback
was referred to on another site, Trade Me would suspend the
seller from their site.   It appears that Trade Me was basing their
claim on a lawsuit that ebaY supposedly brought and won to
gain proprietary rights to all the sellers feedback accumulated on
the ebaY site. Though ebaY does claim the feedback should
only be used on their site, no such law suit ever occurred and
several sites transfer users ebaY feedback numbers.

New Zealand Auction and Trading sites to try -
* * * * * * * * * *
The Online Auction Users Association (OAUA) has had to delay
their voting for board members due to technical difficulties on
their site.

View the info about the candidates at
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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