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TAGnotes Mon 24 Nov 2003 Vol 5 Number 13 Issue 452e

The Auction Guild Notes Mon 24 Nov 2003
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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 -

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The complete TAGnotes archive can be found at -

TAG does not endorse the companies or products advertised         
7900 subscribers   
TAG still remains behind on both issues of TAGnotes and on the
ebaY outage reports. We will continue to do our best to catch up.
Due to the long delay since the last full issue of TAGnotes, (dtd
30 Sep 03) we have much ground to cover. This will necessitate
2 or even 3 issues in the next few days. This first issue will cover
only ebaY issues.
see information below

ebaY - Please Check These Pages for COMPLETE ebaY
OUTAGE Details

ebaY Outage Details 1 - 31 Aug 2003
ebaY Outage Details 1 - 30 Sep 2003
ebaY Outage Details 1 - 31 Oct 2003
Not Posted
ebaY Outage Details 1 - 24 Nov 2003
Not Posted
We are still running approx 2 months behind on outage reports
* * * * * * * * * *
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 - During a discussion about the ebaY
spyware/scumware toolbar, ma-@ebay.com said on 17 Sep at
14:19 PT, ". . . Thanks for your question. Let me first address the
"spyware" question. eBay Toolbar currently uses the same
tracking mechanism that ebay.com uses—namely, Mediaplex.
We use it not to track where you’re going or what you’re
looking at, but to understand what buttons on eBay Toolbar are used the
most. Basically, we want to understand what functionality users find
useful. However, we understand that the perception exists that eBay
Toolbar is spyware and that this is deterring users from downloading and
using it. Since we think users would really benefit from using eBay
Toolbar, we’re currently investigating removing the Mediaplex tracking.
Mediaplex tracking does not, however, take up any extra bandwidth. Hope
that helps!" and when a user asked for more detail about Mediaplex
cookies and spyware that are notorious for harvesting user personal
information and cross referencing it with usage patterns, Mary said at
14:42 PT, "It's up to the advertiser as to how they want to employ
Mediaplex cookies and what to do with the data. eBay Toolbar only uses
cookies as mentioned above. eBay's usage of Mediaplex is not shared
with other advertisers. The cookies that are dropped from eBay Toolbar
are only used by eBay and not for the purpose of serving up other banner
ads. So, you will not get any extra pop-ups or ads because of your usage
of eBay Toolbar. " And so ebaY goes on with its claims of innocent
tracking that fools no one, with a toolbar program that sets off every
spyware alert system available.

Board Quote of the Day I - Posted by untaimed-outlaw on 4 Sep
03 at 15:51:30 PT, "Should eBay be ashamed of themselves for
all the crap they so mindlessly do or should we be ashamed of
ourselves for putting up with all of their endless BS?"

BQOD II - Posted by cmra-@desoto.net on 13 Sep 03 at
15:16:11 PT, "Wow!! I haven't been on e-bay for some 5 months.
Went to post some items for auction and was absolutely
astonished at the lack of activity. The last time I was here, there
was alot of buyers bidding on multiple auctions for the same or
similar items. One "buyer" bid on a dozen Les Paul electric
guitars. Bought 1 and stiffed the rest. Another "buyer" bid on
every Shure mic at auction and bought none. I got nailed in both
of these incidents and 2 others. Now I notice that the number of
items placed at auction seems to be very low and the bidding is
ridiculously low. I've seen items worth more than 6 or 7 hundred
dollars with no bids- or with few bids for a total of 50 bucks.
There are a great deal of items (at least in the pro-audio section)
that receive no bids after 7 days. Is this my imagination? What

BQOD III - In a discussion about the new listing page and how
unhappy users were about it, bllamb said on 15 Sep 03 at
07:31:49 PT, "I thinks the new sell page is an example of the
right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing and neither
hand having a clue to begin with.. A prime example of "NOT"
having a clue is the AB board showing "How to opt out" click the
checkbox labeled "The description already contains a picture
URL for my item”......Well, the ONLY place in the world that will
work is SYI 2.0 since there is "NO" value or input argument for
that statement for the ebay API which means NO 3rd party tools,
Not even ebay's own tools that use the API will be able to opt out
since the code in order to do that doesn't exist...... Now why
would ebay release code to put 3 of the same picture in the ad
"before" releasing the code to "opt out" of having 3 of the same
picture in the ad?.....Simple.....They don't use the site to sell
on......And, They don't listen to anyone that does...." and ". . .
and the preview didn't show the big blue box of extra added crud ebay is
putting on the end of auction page either......And it didn't show that
no email address for the winning bidder would be shown for any store
items or fixed price items without having to go to another page.....and
with all the suggestions the users sent in....the page still looks like
the preview.....ebay's really
listened well to all the sugestions..." View his items at -

BQOD V - In a very ebaYish Freudian slip brickandbridget
noticing the slip posted on 17 Sep 03 at 05:25:44 PT said, ". . .
FEE could be the word- Frustrated and Exasperated over eBay! I
got a kick out of the info on half.com's "evolution" with eBay.
Checked out the pre-filled item FAQ last night, and # 8 says that
the feature is completely "fee". Hope they mean "free", but it is
probably "fee". Sent the typo to Mr. Dearing, and Mr. Bannick.
Maybe they'll fix it. . . " Learn more about her offerings from

BQOD VI - In talking about the one day listing now available on
ebaY, web-lines2 said on 17 Sep 03 at 15:04:29 PT, " 1 day
listing? (on the AB).... How about a Zero Day Listing?.. that's
where you just pay the fees, (you won't sell your stuff anyways so
why even bother putting it in the search!) - Saves time.. no need
to create a listing description, no need to use the horrible listing
softwares... no photos needed...etc etc." Get information about
her offering from - http://members.ebay.com/aboutme/web-lines/

BQOD VII - On the subject of sellers making profits on ebaY over
time, bllamb said on 18 Sep 03 at 08:36:40 PT, "Personally, I'm
kinda tired of filling meg's collection plate....3 years ago, I had
about a 70% sell-through rate and doing over 100k a year in
sales on ebay.......2 years ago, that dropped to about a 30%
sell-through rate....this year, it's down to about a 10%or less
sell-through rate....In the last 2 days on one account....42 no
sales and 2 sales.....on another account....30 no sales and 5
sales.........I've went from running around 7 to 8 hundred ads on
ebay to about 40 to 50......Ebay sales aren't even enough to pay
ebay listing fees anymore......From day 1 of my selling on ebay, I
was a silver power seller doing over 10k per month......Now,
Lucky to do 2k per month...........I give up......Keep up the good
work Meg...." View his items at - http://www.bllamb.com/

BQOD VIII - On the subject of how poorly ebaY works for sellers,
with the awkward and cumberson listing and relisting process,
kareen said on 29 Sep 03 at 22:25:17 PT, "Last week I posted 4
auctions....it took one hour. They were only relisted ads. I'm ready to
post some news auctions, but if relisted ones take that long I don't
think I have the time or stamina to do it. Maybe I could
schedule a entire day off somewhere and post them. It's not like I
have a life. Why is it so hard? Why does it have to take so long?
Why doesn't it get BETTER?" View her items at -

BQOD IX - The latest ebaY promotion elicited from joe on 30 Sep
03 at 11:40:49 PT, "***eBay Entertainment 'Imagine What You'll
Find' Promotion*** "Heck, we here at ebay don't know what you'll
find, either, as the search engine has been screwed up for
almost 3 years now."

BQOD X - On the subject of ebaY's motivation,
etvi-@aol.com said on 30 Sep 03 at 11:57:10 PT,
"mc-@ebay.com - If eBay depended on FVFs instead of listing
fees, maybe there would be a little more concern about all the
changes that have interfered with sales. After all as long as we
keep listing, why should eBay care if we sell anything?"

BQOD XI - Scary Halloween costumes? Posted by joe on 7 Oct
03 at 04:52:16 PT, "I think I'm gonna wear a "Meg" mask this
Halloween, figure I'll scare the hell out of any ebay sellers that
happen by. I can hear the conversations between parents &
children... "Billy, how much did she take from your bag?""

BQOD XII - The advice of an experienced and successful ebaY
seller - take it to heart! Posted by manuals2go.com on 8 Oct 03
at 06:28:55 PT, "The best place to sell ANYTHING (under 50 lbs)
is on your own website. NOTHING else can come close"
View his items at - http://manuals2go.com

ebaY is holding a 10 cent Fixed Price Listing Day on ebaY US
(www.ebay.com) 25 Nov 03 starting at 00:00:01 PT (12:00 AM
plus one second) and ending at 23:59:59 PT (11:59 PM plus 59
seconds). All listings must start on 25 Feb 03 to be eligible for
the discounted listing fee.

All insertion fees for Fixed Price listings will be 10 cents
(normally 30 cents). Feedback requirements apply (min 10
feedback or ID verify for single item listing, feedback of 30 or
greater and minimum 14 days registration on ebaY for multiple
item listing) to list in the Fixed Price format. ebaY will still
charge all other fees (including insertion, final value and optional
listing fees such as Gallery, Featured Plus!, Highlight, Scheduled
Listings, Bold, Subtitle, extended duration insertion fees, etc).

This promotion does not apply to Auction-Style listings with and
without the Buy It Now option, Live Auctions, International, Motors
Vehicles, Real Estate, Ad Format, Professional Services, and
Store Inventory listings (eBay Motors non-vehicle listings are
included). For more info go to -

Users are questioning if ebaY's car warranty program is anything
more than a scam. The ebaY car warranty program can be
found at - http://pages.ebay.com/ebaymotors/services/warranty.html
A user posted that they put in a claim and it was denied. In this
case, a buyer said a hard part in their transmission broke at 420
miles rendering the vehicle undriveable, but the insurer denied
the claim. It makes one question what the warranty does cover if
not something such as this.

ebaY has severely limited the number of contacts users can
make in a day, using ebaY's email system. Users with zero
feedback may only make one contact a day, and users with 1 or
more feedback may make 10 contacts per day, down from 100
per day. The work around for this is for ALL users (sellers and
buyers) to have an about me page with their email address on it,
and that sellers include an email address in every listing.   This
will also protect users against hijacked accounts where the
legitimate seller's email address has been changed by the
scammer who uses the account to contact potential buyers and
fools the buyer into thinking the legitimate account is theirs by
using the ebaY email system. In addition, users can register
multiple User IDs all closely related, and buy one item with each
ID, so they have back up, in case they need to make more than
10 contacts in a day.

ebaY has also added text to warn potential buyers that
responding to unsolicited contacts is risky. This is true
particularly from bottom feeders who offer an item for a
spectacular price and ask for payment via Western Union wire
transfer or money gram, the guarantee of a scam.

ebaY claims that this is a "security" measure to protect bidders
from scammers who use the ebaY system to contact potential
buyers and complete fraudulent off ebaY deals. Unfortunately,
this is a complete lie and a scam on ebaY's part, as the
scammers have an unlimited number of valid ebaY User IDs
they can hijack. The only ones who are actually limited are
legitimate users. Scammers say they can hijack accounts at
will, and all evidence points to the truth of this, as the number of
hijacked accounts is endless and as fast as users can report
and get a scammer shut down, several more appear in their
place, with obviously no control on ebaY's part to limit this. A
recent news report about a scammer points this up -   

ebaY is no longer allowing sellers to use third party listing
services, and provide an "ebaY legal" link to that service if that
third party service also provides sniping tools.

According to an email suspension notice sent to a seller ebaY
said, "You are right in that credits to 3rd party companies who
provide services to the listing of an item are allowed to be placed
within the listing, provided that it's done in such a manner that
complies with eBay's Links policy. However, linking to a
page/site/service that provides "sniping" services is not permitted."

According to ebaY's ever fluid rules, no link is allowed to any site
that "encourage buyers to place their eBay bids through a site
other than eBay"   Of course to find this information, you have to
go to the users agreement -
Click on the listing policy link -
Click on links -

ebaY is closing auctions and suspending sellers, for having
such an otherwise legal link. For example this link is now
grounds for suspension -
Complete Auction Management for Auction Buyers and Sellers
with the words Auction Tamer a link to this page -

Coming soon, no links in ebaY listings to third party services?
ebaY has banned all links to third party services on the ebaY
Germany site, unless it is to an ebaY approved third party.
Sellers can no longer have links to their image host, their listing
tool provider, their payment system or any other service unless
ebaY has the service provider on their approved list. ebaY is
ending auctions and suspending users who have these now
prohibited third party links. In addition, it is still ambiguous of
sellers can include an email address in the listing, as the policy
appears to not allow this, but TAG is still waiting for official
confirmation from ebaY on this.

TAG strongly suggest that all sellers and all third party service
providers start to petition the Department of Justice and Federal
Trade Commission to prohibit ebaY from putting the same policy
in effect in the US. These complaints should be presented as
an anti trust violation, restriction of trade, and the jeopardy of
ebaY's venue only status if they are allowed to put a similar
policy in place on ebaY US and other ebaY sites. If you do not
act now, ebaY will try this, and the impact could be devastating.

From the announcement on ebaY DE -
"The new policy is as follows:
eBay does not permit its users to place links for external
websites and resources on the ebay item pages. This applies
whether it is a static URL or an active link or just a part of it. .
. .
eBay will permit listings that contain links to external ebay
affiliates (affiliates are authorized eBay service partners that
provide shipping, payment, or escrow services or insurances) . .
. eBay reserves the right to end listings which do not comply with
these terms. Under this policy, eBay may in its sole discretion,
determine whether the listing falls within this rule. Violations of
the policy may result in suspension from eBay."

ebaY is now giving sellers the option to receive a listing
confirmation email for any item that uses the listing scheduler
feature. The email will confirm when the listing starts. To opt in
for this email, go to this link to change preferences.
For more info on scheduled listings go to -

Unfortunately, sellers can expect these emails to be as reliable
as other ebaY emails, which is not at all.

ebaY continues towards its elimination of Half.Com slated to be
completed by the summer of 2004. For more info about the
transition go to -

As part of the conversion of Half.Com, ebaY has added prefilled
info to the Books, Movies, Music and Video Games categories.
Users can use ISBN and UPC codes, as well as keywords, to
pull up stock listing information. Sellers can then select content,
including stock photos and supplemental information (like song
lists, film descriptions, etc.) For more info go to -

The prefilled info should also work with Turbo Lister, and other
third party bulk systems. It will also eventually be compatible
with ebaY's seller pro program.

ebaY has added a calendar reminder feature that lets users add
a reminder to their personal calendar program to alert you when
a listing is about to end. You do not need to be signed in to ebaY
to use this feature. If your calendar program and browser
support this feature, clicking on the "Add to Calendar" link will
open an appointment window with the listing details pre-filled.
This link will appear near the bid button at the top of the Item
page. In Microsoft Outlook for Windows you would then need to
click "Save and Close" to save the reminder to your personal
calendar. This feature will work with most browsers, including
Internet Explorer 6, and applications such as Outlook. The alert
will not be updated if the item is ended early. For more info go to

ebaY has teamed up with online charitable auctioneer
MissionFish to provide a new charity fundraising platform for
ebaY called ebaY Giving Works. This will give sellers the
opportunity to list items on the site on behalf of their favorite
nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits will be able to raise funds by
listing items as well. Charity items will be listed on MissionFish using
the Giving Assistant (a process very similar to eBay's SYI form).
Sellers will choose which organization they'd like to support, and what
percentage of the funds will go to the nonprofit. MissionFish will then
handle all the paperwork, such as providing the appropriate receipts to
the seller for tax purposes. Once the item is listed, the item page
will display a special icon, (not yet showing on the site as far as TAG
can find) as well as information about the donation. Buyers will also be
able to find charity listings by going to -

From what TAG can observe, there are several problems with
this entire process. To start with, ebaY charges full listing and
final value fees to the seller, so are making their full profit on
these transactions. The way things stand, currently the only
method to search for these items is a very limited entry point on
the giving works page. If ebaY was serious about this project
and really meant to actually benefit charities, they would have a
search box on advanced search page buyers could check off to
search for all items that show the charitable ribbon logo,
identical to what they now have for their gift box icon. Until ebaY
does this, they are merely making their typical facade show of
helping, instead of anything approaching a material effort. In
addition, without this search capability, it is meaningless for
sellers to do charitable auctions through MissionFish, as it will
only add a middleman to whom they have to pay additional fees
above their ebaY fees, taking money from the object of the
donation and providing it for MissionFish's administration cost,
instead of all the money going direct to the charitable
organization if the seller just sold these items on their own.
ebaY should also be donating all the fees they earn on these
charitable listings, or even better, not charging sellers who
participate, any fees at all on the items they list for charity.

TAG has worked with the folks at MissionFish in the past, and
they are a great crew, worthy of support. TAG hopes their
association with ebaY does not destroy what they are trying to
accomplish, and that ebaY steps up to the plate to do more than
put on a show for public consumption.

For more info go to - http://www.ebay.com/charity
FAQs, fees etc - http://pages.ebay.com/givingworks/faq.html

ebaY has changed the PayPal buyer protection plan. PayPal will
cover buyers for up to $500 for claims of non-delivery or
significantly not as described on qualified ebaY listings.   For
more info go to - http://www.ebay.com/paypal/pbp.html

ebaY/PayPal will automatically add this feature for eligible
sellers (whether they want it or not), who check off PayPal as a
payment option in their listings, and who are in the U.S. or
Canada with verified Premier or Business PayPal accounts. The
accounts must be in good standing and the seller must have
ebaY feedback of more than 50 with at least 98% positive
feedback. In addition, to be covered, the listing must be on
www.ebay.com or www.ebaymotors.com in qualifying
categories. Sellers must select PayPal as a payment option
when they list the item. PayPal buyer protection is only available
for tangible goods (items which can be shipped). Qualified
listings will have a PayPal buyer protection shield that will
appear in the Seller Information Box. All buyers worldwide are
eligible for free coverage provided the listing displays the PayPal
buyer protection shield, they use PayPal to pay the seller at the
same PayPal account used in the listing, and file their claim
within 30 calendar days of payment. Buyers may only receive two
PayPal buyer protection claim awards per year.

To opt OUT of this program, the seller will have to call PayPal
(PayPal contact info - and refuse to participate. Sellers who
participate will need use protective language in their
descriptions, and keep careful records, photos etc to protect
themselves from "significantly not as described" returns, and
also mark items with black light visible marks to insure the item
returned is the one they sent. PayPal will recover any loses from
the seller if they can, so this is not really an insurance program,
except in the case of outright fraud where there is no legitimate
seller to recover their money from. Of course, the real
scammers with add a fake PayPal protection logo to their
listings, just as they currently do with Square Trade, PowerSeller
and other logos that appear to legitimize them.

This will not replace ebaY’s current standard purchase
protection program that covers between $25 and $175. worth of

ebaY is changing their Selling Manager and Selling Manager Pro
programs. ebaY will be adding the ability to file more than one
non-paying bidder alert and Final Value Fee request at a time.
For more info on the changes go to -

ebaY is adding a page with an ebaY glossary and frequently
used ebaY terms. They will also include a community jargon
page of terms frequently used by board posters.   ebaY says
these pages are works in progress, and they will add new terms
and update definitions as time goes on.

TAG wonders if the TAG acronym will ever make ebaY's
community list . Send your input for the ebaY glossaries to -

Buyers paying for ebaY items using the Pay Now button, need to
make sure their primary ebaY address is the same as their verified
PayPal address. Sellers need to send items to verified PayPal addresses
to avoid fraud.

Buyers with a PayPal verified address can make it their primary
ebaY address when paying for an item, by clicking the "Change
shipping address" link on the Review Purchase page and then
click the "set as primary address" link next to the PayPal
confirmed address. If you do not see your PayPal addresses,
click the "Use PayPal addresses" button to access your PayPal
shipping addresses. You can also make these changes in My
ebaY, by going to the Preferences tab and clicking "Update my
stored shipping information".
For more info about the Review Purchase page go to -

ebaY third quarter earnings results can be found at -

ebaY has added a USPS shipping page to their site at -
All the same information is available from the USPS site -

As is the downloads to print your own labels for express and
priority mail with or without postage, and delivery confirmation
free with priority mail and 13 cents with all other mail, if you
print it yourself. http://snurl.com/34nt

ebaY is now offering gift certificates that can be used for any item
on ebaY whose seller accepts PayPal. For information on how
to purchase gift certificates, go to -

ebaY also offers a shipping calculator during the listing process,
but users warn that it is very inaccurate and will, at best, only
provide a guideline for buyers.

SONY Corp is denying warranty coverage for "new in box with
warranty" items sold on ebaY by unauthorized dealers. SONY
says that non-authorized sellers are selling "used"
merchandise, no matter that it is still in its sealed package. In
order for SONY to honor the warranty the items has to have a
copy of the dated store receipt from an authorized dealer.   

Relisting ebaY Buy In Now items are once again reverting to a
default listing duration of 3 days, despite what the original listing
indicated. Sellers are cautioned to carefully check the duration
on their BIN relists.   

ebaY is running an "Easy to Buy" promotion through 19 Dec 03.
Designed primarily for corporate sellers of new merchandise,
and to increase PayPal use on the site, to qualify users must
have -
1. 50+ Feedback
2. 98% Positive (it will be interesting to see if this is enforced as
many corporate sellers can't meet this criteria)
3. Be a verified member of PayPal
4. Business or Premier PayPal Account
5. You have a U.S. or Canadian PayPal account
6. Your PayPal account is in good standing
7. You must select PayPal as an accepted payment option on
ebaY's Sell Your Item form or when using bulk listing tools such
as Turbo Lister or Seller's Assistant
8. Sell new merchandise only
9. Sell using the fixed price format only
10. Copy and paste the HTML code we will provide to you into
your item descriptions.

Interestingly, we at TAG have not seen a single promotion for this
anywhere on the net or off. Nothing shows up on Google.
Searching ebaY for the phrase easy to buy also yields no results.

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

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