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TAGnotes 29 Sep 2003 Vol 5 Number 12 Issue 451

The Auction Guild Notes Mon 29 Sep 2003 Part I
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TAGnotes will be in 2 parts due to the amount of information and
changes in the last few weeks.
FREE STORE LISTINGS 3 SEP - 2 OCT 03 - see below
ebaY - Please Check These Pages for COMPLETE ebaY
OUTAGE Details

ebaY Outage Details 1 - 31 Jul 2003
ebaY Outage Details 1 - 31 Aug 2003

* * * * * * * * * *
As always, there are too many ebaY outages and problems to
list here in TAGnotes. Sellers should request refunds of all
listing and final value fees if they feel their auctions were
negatively impacted by the 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 attempt to appear to be listening to
the "community" by appearing on the ebaY Discuss New
Features board (DNF) gianni@ebay said on 12 Aug at 14:15:56
PT, "About addressing concerns and acknowledging problems,
isn't that what I have done here today? I have stated that we know
not everyone is happy and we are open to hearing any
suggestions about how to improve the current new Item Page.
What else would you like?" It would have been nice if ebaY had
listened to the comments of their "community" in the first place,
when the preview page was posted. ebaY received all the
comments they are now, suddenly, paying attention to.

PQOD II - And the silent majority is once again made material to
justify any position, when gianni@ebay said on 12 Aug at
14:38:22 PT, "And there are just as many if not more that are
happy that don't say anything. It's going to be like arguing night
and day, so we'll have to agree to disagree. :) My email address
is always open to anyone that wants to contact me. I do have to
get going now. Thanks for the opportunity to come and speak
with you. I enjoyed it very much. Best! Gianni" All is for the
best in the best of all possible worlds, according to ebaY, and the
comments of their verbal "community" immaterial in the face of their
obviously happy silent "community". Oh yes, and that
address is gia-@ebay.com

PQOD III - A post from an ebaY pinkette on 20 Aug at 20:43:15
PT, by bluegrass_advisory_board, "OK, this is my first post here.
And I'll probably make it my last because I have something to say
and it will hold true, most likely, no matter what. First of all, I
am a Voices member. Bash me all you want. I am just like all of the
other Voices members I have met and talked to. We are no
different than anyone else on eBay. We work hard to research
new ideas which are presented to us from eBay. Many of these
ideas we have ourselves. Many of our own ideas are ideas
which stem from personal experiences. A large portion of the
ones I've heard so far pertain to only a small percentage of the
users. Usually a personal need. eBay does a very good job of
evaluating these ideas and looking at all sides of the ideas. And
they aren't hesitant to shoot down ideas which will aid only a
small percentage of users. At the same time, the ideas which
eBay presents to us are well researched. They look for options
and programs which will benefit a great number of people. THEY
JUST TO CAUSE US DIFFICULTY." TAG wants to know when
ebaY started to research anything, or did much of anything to
help their users. ebaY's goal and sole reason for being, is to
make billions for a small number of people. Was the Hallmark
pop up last holiday season one of these well researched ideas
that benefited the majority of their users? Checkout? The 5
page listing system? The non functioning search engine?
Turbo Lister? The limit on completed search? The lack of
refunds during ebaY induced outages? The endless lies about
their site reliability or lack of it?

PQOD IV - In another pinkette posting, when ebaY users
questioned why ebaY wasn't being more active about making
changes to the item listing page that had so negatively affected
sellers, jtshadow2000 said on 27 Aug at 07:52:30 PT, "One of
the reasons they are waiting until after Christmas is because
they are going to have the 90 day moratorium on rolling out any
new features before Christmas like they did last year. There isn't
enough time to do it now and still adhere to that........" TAG finds
this beyond laughable, since the alleged 90 day moratorium in
2002 never actually happened anywhere except on paper. In
addition, ebaY already has a full schedule of changes planned
right through the holiday season that is sure to cause site
instability, which the sellers always pay for.

Board Quote of the Day I - In a response to the Gianni silent
majority post, pretties4me said on 12 Aug at 14:39:51 PT, "ebay

BQOD II - And in another response to same, posted by toscar on
12 Aug at 15:21:31 PT, ". . . The "happy" ones are those Ebay oh
so silent mystery members who are the same ones who
"overwhelmingly" request all of these new features!!!..LOL."

BQOD III - On poor sales pretties4me said on 13 Aug at 14:17:57
PT said, ". . . the economy is bad, the worst in years. So lets run
out and mess up the auction pages so anyone who might still
want to bid gets so frustrated they log off and keep their $$$.
Wow, the ebay way. I am impressed!!"

BQOD IV - In objecting to "pinkette" posts 007 said on 13 Aug at
18:18:04 PT, "The entire idea of why this board was created has
been forever altered by Ebay Mgmt. I resent reading any post
placed here for the purposes of softening the true feelings of
business sellers, bidders and bona fide users who post their
OWN true opinions here. Being *guided* to post something
positive here is not a good thing. It's Spin. And BS. But, it is
after all what many of us have come to expect from EBAY Mgmt."

BQOD V - On the subject of ebaY "statistics" joe said on 14 Aug
at 5:28:33 PT, ""Users with email address IDs are 4 times as
likely to get their account hacked." "Messages from users with
'@ebay.com' in their user ID are close to 100% likely to be filled
with misinformation, disinformation, untruths, partial truths &
downright lies."

BQOD VI - Posted by ballard_prints on 15 Aug at 06:35:11 PT,
"eBay's strategy of trying to make every page self-explanatory to
someone who has never seen a computer is absolutely absurd.
Have any of the eBay execs' ever posed the question "How come
we were able to grow at 50%+ year after year if no one could
figure out how to use the site?" Instead, they've embarked on this
mission to make everything foolproof for someone who was
time-transported from the Middle Ages. The result: every function
is bloated with multiple pages, consuming enormous resources
and greatly increasing the time required to do even the simplest
of tasks. The coding for all those pages have become an
absolute quagmire for the programmers - it's gotten to the point
where things are so bloated that trying to make one little change
will screw things up in eighteen other places. I've got news for
you eBay - turning one page forms into five, six, seven or eight
page forms WILL NOT help newbies - they'll be lost and long
departed before they finish. Users DO NOT have unlimited time
to dork around on your site. Time is precious to your users!
You've taken away what were the prime reasons for using the
site to make a purchase - time and convenience. If you had put
just 1/100 of the effort in writing good tutorials for new users who
want to self-teach themselves to use the site and left the site
simple, you would have been far, far ahead of where you are
now. My guess is that most new users wouldn't even use the
tutorials - they'd do the same thing they did in the past and just
ask a friend how to use the site. Your "Grand Plan" has done
nothing but turn off both new and experienced users to the site.
Pull your heads out and take a real look around at what you've
done to the place! . . ."

BQOD VII - On ebaY's goals, janesgem said on 16 Aug at
10:51:24 PT, "eBay is best at 1. taking the sellers money. 2.
Blowing smoke. 3. Making the upper management wealthy. That
is all."

BQOD VIII - On ebaY's true goal in removing email IDs from ebaY
and not from PayPal, etvideo2aolcom said on 21 Aug at 05:15:57
PT, ". . . Email IDs are not a problem at PAYPAL. Either they don't
care about spam or it is because there is no way to avoid fees at

BQOD IX - On the subject of the irony in ebaY's semi secret
"voices" program, redbird107 said on 21 Aug at 07:42:38 PT, "
'Voices?' I don't like the irony of the program. The very name
connotes talking and yet the members are required to sign a
Non-disclosure. Say what?"

BQOD X - ebaY's "community" values in review, posted by
deradler1 said on 21 Aug at 10:46:02 PT, "eBay is a
(community)? that encourages open and honest communication
among all its members. Unless we don't like your opinion.
Our community is guided by five fundamental values:
We believe people are basically good. Except DNFers.
We believe everyone has something to contribute. Unless we
don't like your opinion
We believe that an honest, open environment can bring out the
best in people. That is why we have a Report Button
We recognize and respect everyone as a unique individual.If you
were all more like us, we would like you more.
We encourage you to treat others the way you want to be treated.
That is why we allow trolls to come onto the boards using "0" IDs
in order to bash the regulars.
eBay is firmly(?) committed to these principles.
And we believe that community members should also honor
them—whether buying, selling, or chatting with eBay friends.
Unless it suits us to change our minds

BQOD XI - On ebaY's efforts to make things better and more user
friendly, particularly for new and inexperienced users
anti-@comteck.com said on 25 Aug at 15:09:16 PT, "had a
lady in this afternoon ... 60 something , saw me on the computer
and asked me what had happened to ebaY ... she said " did i
know why they changed it and made it so much slower " " could i
tell her why they made everything all new and complicated?" ...
said she was "just lost" now ... she has not even looked on ebay
for weeks ..... thanks meg, but i did get a counter sale from your
faux pas.

BQOD XII - Posted by hauptman on 25 Aug at 18:47:41 PT, "I'm
beginning to think everything eBay says translates to "sod off""

In another secretive move, ebaY has removed the ability to opt
out of checkout if you use PayPal. A seller can still opt out of
checkout, but it is a much more confusing thing to do. You have
to go to My ebaY, Preferences, Update payment preferences,
select Show Pay Now button for PayPal only, leave the PayPal
Preference unchecked, scroll to the bottom and click submit.

As far as TAG can tell this is the only way to "opt out" of checkout.

Those sellers who still want to offer PayPal can just add the
HTML for the PayPal logo/link to their description block, but their
auction will not appear in the PayPal screening in advanced
search, or have the PayPal option at the top of the auction. It
appears that in order for sellers to use PayPal through ebaY's
check offs, they must accept checkout and all the other ebaY tie
ins. To view a thread on the subject

ebaY is now allowing sellers who use their own image hosting
or third party services to have an image that appears at the top of
the item page. This top image appears automatically on new
and existing listings if a seller has specified a picture URL in the
self-hosted URL field of any listing tool that supports this field.

To opt out of this image, sellers are advised to put their images
in the description block. Leave the Picture URL field blank. If you
want the camera icon to appear next to your listing in search and
listings, click the checkbox labeled "The description already
contains a picture URL for my item”.

ebaY/PayPal is changing the way they automatically insert
PayPal logos into ebaY listings. For open listings, PayPal will now be
included in the Payment Methods Accepted section. For closed listings, a
gray Pay Now button will appear at the top of the listings, making
PayPal the most prominent payment option for those sellers that accept
it and allow ebaY/PayPal to automatically insert this info. For those
who use checkout, those preferences will remain the same. Item with
automatically inserted logos will be included in PayPal filtered
searches and will also automatically be included as an accepted payment
method on all ebaY listings, replacing the yellow Pay Now button.

If you do not wish to have PayPal automatically inserted into your
listings, you must update your PayPal preferences to not accept
PayPal automatic insertion.

Sellers who use listing tools (third party auction management
software, services or ebaY listing tools) who do not have PayPal
selected as a payment option in their listing tools, but who do
have automatic insertion turned on in their PayPal Account
Preferences will not automatically receive the automatic
insertion. Instead, PayPal will continue to insert PayPal logos via
the old automatic insertion function into the listings of these
sellers until the 31 Oct 03. To continue having PayPal logos
automatically inserted in listings after 31 Oct, sellers using
listing tools will have to select PayPal as a payment option
through their listing tool or service provider. Sellers can also
insert their own PayPal logo manually in their listing description
using HTML.

In another change, ebaY/PayPal is changing the rules for sellers
who have a PayPal ATM/Debit card and currently receive the
1.5% cashback discount.

For those with current PayPal Preferred Debit Cards, ebaY will
automatically turn on the PayPal Preferred preference. If you
want to turn this preference off, you can do so from PayPal's
profile tab or from your payment preferences page in My ebaY.
Turning off the preference will remove card holders from
receiving the 1.5% cashback discount.

The requirements for receiving 1.5% cashback after 25 Sep are
as follows:
1. Obtain and activate a PayPal MasterCard ATM/Debit Card.
2. List at least one item on ebaY every three weeks, and have a
valid ebaY user ID and password registered with PayPal.
3. Make sure PayPal is the only online payment option you
advertise in your ebaY listings.
4. Maintain an active PayPal Premier or Business account.
5. Have the PayPal Preferred on ebaY preference turned on.

This announcement failed to address those sellers who have a
PayPal ATM/Debit card and currently receive the 1.5% cashback
discount, who do not use ebaY at all. This announcement
appears to be anti-trust as it forces all sellers who receive the
cashback discount to now sell at least one item every three
weeks on ebaY. TAG assumes this was just an error on
ebaY/PayPal's part, that will soon be corrected, as it also violates
the promise made to the Dept of Justice that the two companies
would be run independently.

ebaY is trying to add the ability to combine multiple purchases
into a single payment. Buyers will be able to send a single
combined payment for multiple items purchased from a seller.

The sellers will have the option of sending a single combined
invoice for multiple items purchased by a buyer. Remember that
in most cases ebaY opts users in and you then have to go and
opt out, so check your preferences on all these changes. For
example the buyer combined payment function will be on by
default. For more info, go to -

ebaY has had the feature on the site but had to take it down
again due to problems. ebaY warned that if a buyer tries to pay
for an invoice that was previously generated by the Combined
Payments feature while the feature is still offline, they may
receive an error message. However, buyers can still pay for
items individually.

ebaY is adding the optional immediate payment method for Buy
It Now and Stores items in all categories. Sellers who choose to
require immediate payment must have a PayPal Premier or
Business account. 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 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. 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 see a preview of this option go to -
For Frequently Asked Questions go to -

ebaY has removed the ability to view email addresses from the
feedback page on transactions 90 days old. For those sellers
and/or buyers who want to retrieve the complete email address
list of ALL the people they have dealt with in the past, don't delay,
because this option is sure to soon disappear from all the ebaY
sites, and go to your My ebaY preferences, under "Sign In
Activities" check the box to "See email addresses when viewing
User IDs - if you are involved in a transaction." Then go to
the ebaY UK site or the ebaY de site while it is still available so
you have a complete record of every person you have dealt with.
Copy paste the information into a word document. If you are like
the folks at TAG, we have LEFT more feedback than we have
received, so you might want to harvest the addresses from your
feedback left link from the feedback tab in My ebaY, rather than
what you received (though of course you could retrieve both).

ebaY is adding 1 day listings to the currently available 3, 5, 7,
and 10 day durations. To list a 1 day listing, sellers are required
to have either a minimum feedback rating of 10 or be ID Verified.
Though ebaY indexing has improved over the last couple of
months, TAG sees a 1 day listing as a poor risk and waste of
money, on the very unstable and flawed ebaY system

ebaY is running a promotion until 20 Nov 03, called "Imagine
What You’ll Find – Imagine What You’ll Win" promotion.
Partners such as Loews Theatres, Gameworks Restaurants, Premiere
Magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly Magazine, GMR Magazine, Graceland,
E! Cable News, and Street Teams are distributing game cards with an
"Imagine Code" that you can enter for a chance to win one of eight
$5,000 weekly grand prizes or over 5,000 entertainment items. No game
card is necessary. You can also enter by going to
Rules - http://www.imagineandwin.com/rules.asp

ebaY continues to try to get their stores program off the ground,
with limited success. They are once again holding a stores free
listing promotion from 30 Sep to 2 Oct 03. List items in store
inventory for 30 days, from Tue 30 Sep at 00:00:01 PT (12:00AM
plus one second on 30 Sep) and Thu 2 Oct, at 23:59:59 PT
(11:59 PM plus 59 seconds on 2 Oct). If you list the store item as
a good 'til cancelled (GTC) item, the first 30 days are free, and a
fee added after the first 30 days. ebaY will charge all other fees
(Gallery, Bold, Featured Plus and other feature fees) and other
Store Inventory extended duration surcharges. The listing must
be placed and started during the promotion period.

In October, ebaY will pilot a program whereby ebaY store sellers
can earn store referral credits on their accounts when they
promote their store outside of ebaY and generate sales. Store
sellers must -
1. Promote their store or store inventory items outside of ebaY
through other web sites, emails to buyers, keyword ads, or
off-line promotions. For example, include a promotional
message ("See more great items at my ebaY store!") and your
store's URL in email communications or printed materials.
2. A buyer sees the promotion and goes directly into your ebaY
store or one of your store Inventory items.
3. The buyer purchases one of your store inventory format items.
4. On your monthly invoice, you will be charged the regular Final
Value Fee, but will also receive a store referral credit. Like the
final value fee, the store referral credit is based on the final
value of the item. The Store Referral Credit is equal to half of your
final value fee of the item.

All store sellers are automatically eligible for store referral
credits. Please note that when you include a link to your ebaY
store on other web sites or in email, you must include the
following referral code at the end of the URL: &RefID=store.

For instance, your URL should look like this:
Including this ensures that we know your buyer came to your
store from outside of ebaY.

For more information on the store referral credit go to -

Of course the real truth is that if you are going to promote
something, you should promote your OWN store on your OWN
website. Then you will save listing fees, get ALL your final value
fees, and increase your own customer base. In fact all sellers
should be using ebaY as a tool and a conduit to bring customers
to their own website, not using ebaY as they primary marketing

This links should help AOL and IE users speed up their access
to ebaY -
This link will give you information on protecting yourself from
ebaY scumware and redirects -   
This link will provide you with codes to over ride ebaY scripts and
customize YOUR listing page.

ebaY continues to convert over from ebaY iPix images to their
own service, using the iPix software they acquired . To use the
full featured version of ebaY picture services, sellers have to
download an ActiveX spyware control.   The basic version will
work without the download, but users can expect the same level
of service for ebaY pictures that it gives its customers generally.
As always, sellers are better off using their own web space or
one of the reliable third party services to host their images, if
they want those images to appear consistently. For more info on the
ebaY service go to - http://snurl.com/2idc

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

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 3 Sep Amazon posted at
17:22 PT, that they had recently launched some display changes on the
offer listing page on which Amazon Marketplace listings appear. Details
about shipping estimates and international shipping were reformatted.
When first launched last week, an error created decimal "rounding" on
seller ratings and omitted the international shipping option on some
listings. These display changes were fixed, and the new format launched
on 2 Sep tonight. To see an example of what an Offer Listing Page looks
like, go to - http://snurl.com/2idd

On 11 Sep at 20:47 PT, Amazon posted that there were
problems with delays to seller uploads. Some were taking 24
hours or longer to upload.   

On 17 Sep at 16:01 PT, Amazon posted that some Amazon
payment transactions were taking longer than usual to complete
processing. Amazon warned that sellers should not ship until
the completed status appeared in Seller Account information, or
until "Sold--Ship Now!" e-mail was received.

On 19 Sep 12:59 PT. Amazon reported that the inventory upload
tool was down along with reports. In addition, some Marketplace
listings were active, but remained in opening soon, not moving
to the offer listing page. At 14:53 PT, Amazon posted that the
inventory upload tool was working again and sellers should be
able to access their reports. The problem with the Marketplace
listings remained.   

On 26 Sep at 13:07 PT, Amazon reported that SKUs were
missing in "Sold--Ship Now!" notifications and in certain areas of
the Amazon Payments account. SKUs could be found by
reviewing the detail page of a listing; this information is at the
bottom of the page.

On 27 Sep at 12:55 PT, Amazon posted that they had fixed the
missing SKU problem.

Amazon is working to develop a web search engine to function in
the same manner as Google and Yahoo in directing consumers
to merchandise online. Amazon set up a subsidiary called A9 in
Northern California to develop the search technology. For more
info read this article at -

Amazon Contact Info Page on TAG website -

* * * * * * * * * *
ePier.com has added some features to their site. One feature
they added is the ability of users to send electronic greeting
cards. The card has a link to the ePier site and has plans to add
a link to the auctions of the seller who sent it.

* * * * * * * * * *
Shopping.com has joined BizRate, Yahoo and several other
shopping portals to allow buyers to comparison shop.
Shopping.Com offers Merchant Accounts to seller of all sizes   

* * * * * * * * * *
AuctionSagesoftware.Com has added a free ebaY buyer
searching tool software program to their product line. For more
info go to -

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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