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TAGnotes Tue 25 Nov 2003 Vol 5 Number 14 Issue 453

The Auction Guild Notes Tue 25 Nov 2003 Part II
Get O'Reilly's eBay Hacks. A cool tips & tools book for buying
and selling on eBay. Trade smarter and safer-and automate
tasks with the eBay API. More info: http://oreilly.com/eb2
Your Source for Quality New Victorian Reproduction Lamps of
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Looking for something to read?    IDOBOOKS
Check my latest listings at http://snurl.com/2pco
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Go to the Source for the Best info on learning how to buy and sell
on ebaY. Marsha Collier's Fabulous Finds http://snurl.com/13kp
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Looking for reliable image hosting? Check TAG's image hosting
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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 -

The complete TAGnotes archive can be found at -

TAG does not endorse the companies or products advertised         
7900 subscribers   
This is the second issue of TAGnotes in our catch up attempt.
There will probably be a third issue at the end of the month.
ebaY - Please Check These Pages for COMPLETE ebaY
OUTAGE Details

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

* * * * * * * * * *
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 - When asked by users why ebaY was
doing little or nothing to stop all the obvious scams on the ebaY
Motors site, ew-@ebay.com said on 6 Nov at 19:10 PT, "Even if
we doubled the current number of eBay employees, we would
not be able to 'police' the site adequately. Doubling staff would
mean doubling fees, and I know how you all feel about the fees.
This is why the eBay community uses the "neighborhood watch"
approach. If you are sitting on your porch and you see someone
painting on your neighbors fence, are you going to call the police,
or wait for a patrol car that may or may not drive by? Do it eBay!
~Ewan~ eBay Motors". TAG finds this is a patently ridiculous
argument. Citibank has approx 200 million customer accounts
in more than 100 countries (as per their 3rd Quarter earnings
report), and they provide 24/7 toll free customer service
worldwide. Not only that, if any individual's credit card starts to
show a change in pattern, Citibank CALLS you and checks to
make sure all is well. Yet ebaY, despite all their claims of super
duper intelligent software that allegedly has artificial intelligence
and learns to spot patterns of fraud, ebaY makes not the
smallest effort to control the most obvious easy to spot patterns
of fraud on their site, but relies on their users to do the police
work. Add to that the fact that ebaY has tied the fraud spotters
hands behind their back and blindfolded them, making it very
difficult to track down scammers. Then add the element that
those who regularly report fraud to ebaY are labeled as trouble
makers by ebaY, and have their auctions ended on the slightest
pretext and their accounts suspended for even the most
accidental and minor infractions. One would think ebaY was
supporting fraud instead of fighting it.

Board Quote of the Day I - ebaY's VeRO program has most
users confused, and this was succinctly put by johnd70 on 15
Oct 03 at 09:38:05 PT, "How about just listing whats in the VERO
program so we know beforehand whether we are violating one of
eBay's 3.5 billion policies??' View his items at -

BQOD II - More words to the wise for those selling from their
websites, vintagecat said on 16 Oct 03 at 08:25:47 PT, "The
stampede of bidders away from the site continues. I received
this email from a website customer this morning: "Thanks so
much. I'll send a check today. I'm glad you all are concentrating
on the Web site presentation instead of that eBay morass,
however rewarding that approach has been for many
individuals". And a website customer just phoned in her cc
number for a purchase. She said she used to spend thousands
on eBay each month in the vintage clothing categories. She has
not bid on a single item since they rearranged the categories a
couple of months ago. She said she used to love coming home
each day and going through the items but it is just too much
trouble now." View her items at - http://www.vintagecat.com/

BQOD III - On the subject of seller success on ebaY, filboid42
said on 27 Oct 03 at 02:08:05 PT, "Yeah I think this will be my
last sale on ebay. This new listing system is another clever
marketing ploy. In other words you will most likely have to list
again because NO ONE will see your item unless they dig deep
and are lucky. I listed an item "several hours ago" to use there
term and they are right it doesnt show up. I bet they won't be
handing out re-imbursements for these listings. There are
alternative auction sites that I am going to start taking a serious
look at. I also took a few weeks off from selling items and lost my
power seller status. Punishment I guess for having been a
"100% Positive Feedback" loyal customer."

BQOD IV - On what is instead of what used to be,
etvi-@aol.com said on 30 Oct 03 at 18:24:20 PT, ". . . The
current mismanagers at eBay have turned an exiting wild
treasure hunt site into a boring, complicated, time wasting, over
priced, unworkable nightmare. All money wasted on stupid
commercials would be better spent on trying to return the site to
what it was before." View his items at - http://snurl.com/34xw

BQOD V - A pink shows up on the DNF board to tout a new
feature, and pretties4me said in response on 4 Nov 03 at
16:19:31 PT, "Well, I tell ya, ebay has BRASS ONES 1/2 the
freaking site isnt working and Kenny comes in to hawk another
new and worthless feature. Bravo Kenny, job well done. You can
sleep tonight knowing you spread the good work..now, son (and
at ebay that is always kinda iffy)Why dont you get your bosses to
get the features they have had in place for, oh, I dunno, 6 or 7
years to work? You know, like bidding, pictures, selling? Gosh
dang it...just keeping it up would be nice."

BQOD VI - And on the same subject, bits-n-pieces said on 4 Nov
03 at 16:20:28 PT, " HI KENNY! While I'm really glad that ebay
has another unf (useless new feature) for you to play around
with, how about poking the techies to fix the serious existing
problems! My ebay page is still not working (about 2 weeks
now), search doesn't work most of the time the way it is
supposed to, the site was glitchy like crazy off and on all day
Sunday etc etc etc. I recently went through days on end when I
couldn't use SYI2 because it would stall on page 3. I ignored all
bone headed fixes supplied to be by your inadequate tech
support, just waited it out, and POOF, all of a sudden it works
again. I changed nothing on my puter, which only proves my
contention that the problem was on your end all along. While I'm
on a rant, any seller who is stupid enough to pay $0.50 to add
something that subtitle thing when putting the words in the
description for free is exactly the same thing gets exactly what
he/she deserves - ******* by ebay and not even kissed!" View her
items at - http://www.angelfire.com/jazz/thisandthat

On 23 October, several subscribers reported to TAG about a
scheme to exploit Google search, ebaY's affiliate program and
sellers copyrighted listings on ebaY and on their own websites.
What the exploiter did was use keyword spamming, stealing text
and pictures from online shops and listings (particularly ebaY
listings) to get paid for the clickthrus, by redirecting keyword
searches found on Google through the exploiters' sites.   The
exploiter used dozens of domains through the Be Free
marketing platform, which claims to be an, "Affiliate solution
provider offering a range of program solutions to advertisers and
merchants. The Be Free Marketing Platform is the most effective
way for today's leading commerce and content sites to attract
web viewers, convert them to customers and to keep them
coming back." http://www.befree.com, with ebaY being one of the
affiliates listed in the program. http://www.befree.com/clients/   In
addition the exploiter was an ebaY API partner,

ebaY refused to take action against the person who perpetrated
this blatant copyright abuse, by saying that the exploiter, one Ryle
Goodrich, who is a member of the ebaY API along with being an
ebaY affiliate, was entitled to steal any information he wanted
from ebaY's sellers. This convoluted thinking was erroneously
based on the clause in the user agreement that gives ebaY,
"non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free,
sublicensable (through multiple tiers) right to exercise the
copyright, publicity, and database rights (but no other rights) you
have in Your Information, in any media now known or not
currently known, with respect to Your Information. eBay will only
use Your Information in accordance with our Privacy Policy."
ignoring the first part of this clause, section 6.3 of the user
agreement, "Solely to enable eBay to use the information you
supply us with, so that we are not violating any rights you might
have in that information" and ignoring the Privacy policy that
states that ebaY will not "sell or rent your personal information to
third parties for their marketing purposes without your explicit
consent", but even more importantly violating the part of the user
agreement that is included by reference that states, "What does
Section 6.3 of the User Agreement regarding Your Information
mean? Under Section 6.3 of the User Agreement, you agree
"solely to enable eBay to use the information you supply us with,
so that we are not violating any rights you might have in that
information, you agree to grant us a non-exclusive, worldwide,
perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, sublicenseable (through
multiple tiers) right to exercise the copyright and publicity rights
(but no other rights) you have in Your Information, in any media
now known or not currently known, with respect to Your
Information. eBay will only use Your Information in accordance
with our Privacy Policy." This clause allows eBay to host Your
Information (as defined in the User Agreement) on our Web site.
Because hosting material on a Web site involves copying, eBay
needs your permission to store such material on our servers in
order to comply with copyright law. As stated in the privacy policy,
eBay does not sell or rent any personally identifiable information
about you to any third party. This section of the User Agreement
is absolutely necessary in order for eBay to accept, store, and
use Your Information on our servers." As this clearly shows,
letting anyone use your information, including your copyrighted
listing information, for anything other that displaying this
information on the ebaY servers, is a direct violation of the ebaY
User Agreement.

So once again ebaY did not take action against this partner and
affiliate of theirs, and spouted the convenient parts of the user
agreement that fit their excuses, ignoring the parts that made
what they were doing a breach of contract.

Fortunately, Google was able to recognize a copyright/trademark
thief when then saw one, and they removed all the links as fast
as they could find them or they were reported. If you find other
such activity, forget ebaY (unless you file a class action against
them for breach of contract) and go direct to Google who will act

Thread on the subject with all the details -

ebaY has added a Security Center and the Spoof Email
Protection Tutorial at -

These pages have much information of great value to users, and
if they read them, they would be able to avoid much in the way of
fraud. Unfortunately, as with everything ebaY does, this
information is hidden and not up front in the users face where it
needs to be in order for them to access it. All links to these
pages are below the fold, and in small print mixed in with many
other links, when there should be a large colorful button at the
top of every ebaY page that says Avoid Fraud or Trade Safely,
and links to this section of ebaY.   This information is much more
critical than for example "powered by IBM".

ebaY is now requiring sellers to sign in manually every time they
open a new browser window to list items for sale. The "keep me
signed in" option will no longer be available on the SYI 2.0
page. ebaY will no longer use cookies to remember
sellers from a previous selling session.

ebaY has added subtitle capability to titles for a fee of 50 cents.
These subtitles only index on item/description search and do not
show up on title search. TAG sees this as a very expensive and
useless feature. For more info go to - http://snurl.com/35bv

ebaY has updated their categories -
ANTIQUES - new breakouts in Asian Antiquities.
BUSINESS & INDUSTRIAL - new breakouts in Construction,
Farm, Industrial Supply, Industrial Automation, MRO, Safety &
Security, and Restaurant, and the elevation of Plastics
Equipment & Materials, Process Equipment, Semiconductor
Manufacturing, Textile, Apparel Manufacturing, and
Woodworking, Retail Equipment & Supplies, and Other
CLOTHING, SHOES & ACCESSORIES - new breakouts in Men's
Accessories and changes in Vintage.
COMPUTERS & ELECTRONICS- changes in Laptops, Desktop
PCs and Software.
ENTERTAINMENT - new breakouts in Music in Pop and
Rock-n-Roll. New breakouts in Desktop PC Drives &
Components, Networking, Portable Audio & Video, and
PDAs/Handheld PCs.
HOME - Wallpaper under Home Décor, Floors & Windows and
new breakouts under Table Lamps and Dogs.
JEWELRY & WATCHES - changes in Vintage.
SPORTS - new breakouts in Camping, Hiking, Backpacking, and
Hunting, Cycling, Exercise & Fitness, and Golf, and Cards with
changes in Baseball-MLB, Basketball-NBA, Boxing,
Football-NFL, Golf, Hockey-NHL, Racing-NASCAR
TOYS & HOBBIES - breakouts for hot Holiday toys.
WHOLESALE LOTS - new breakouts in Art, Books, Business &
Industrial, Clothing, Shoes & Accessories, Collectibles,
Computers & Electronics, Dolls & Bears, DVDs & Movies, Music,
Musical Instruments, and Everything Else.

ebaY has added a one day listing duration to their current 3, 5, 7,
and 10 day durations, sellers will be able to list their items in
auction format for a 1-day duration. To list a 1-Day Listing,
sellers are required to have either a minimum feedback rating of
10 or be ID Verified.

TAG thinks sellers should know that with ebaY's unreliable
indexing, a one day listing might very well be a waste of money.
This will also facilitate scammers who can list fraudulent or
stolen items and move them before anyone has time to find
them, or get the item shut down, given ebaY's extremely slow
reaction time, and non existent service over the weekends. This
might also facilitate listings that sellers know will trigger a VeRO
complaint, as the seller will probably also be able to get the item
sold before the VeRO has time to react, particularly if they time
the listing for a weekend day.

Some sellers have reported that relistings are now defaulting to
one day listing durations. Again sellers are warned to carefully
check their relists before submitting them to make sure ebaY
has not changed their desired settings to something highly
undesirable for the seller, but profitable for ebaY.

ebaY and MBNA are now issuing an ebaY anything points
charge card, where users get anything points for their "bonus"
instead of a 1 or 2% cash back as with many other cards. The
card is currently available in the U.S. and Canada. For every
dollar charged, cardholders will earn one ebaY anything point,
(worth approximately one cent) which can be used towards
almost any listing on the ebaY site, provided that the seller
accepts PayPal as a payment method. Anything Points can also
be used to pay part or all of ebaY seller fees account balance.

To activate an ebaY anything account go to -
For more info go to - http://anythingpoints.ebay.com/faq/
To apply for the ebaY anything points Mastercard online go to -

ebaY is now allowing sellers to offer ebaY anything points to
buyers as a reward for winning and paying with PayPal.
Participating listings that offer points will be designated with a
special graphic. To offer points -
* The seller goes to http://anythingpoints.ebay.com/offer.html and
clicks Offer Points to sign into the new ebaY Anything Points
Offer Manager.
* The seller can choose to offer between 1 and 5 Anything Points
per dollar on the final value of the item to be paid back to the
buyer. Sellers pay ebaY one cent per point.
* When buyers pay for participating listings with PayPal, points
earned will be automatically credited to their Anything Points
account balance at PayPal within 24 hours.
* Sellers will pay only for Anything Points that are awarded to
buyers. If the item doesn't sell (or the buyer doesn't pay with
PayPal), then the seller will not be charged.

For more info go to - http://anythingpoints.ebay.com/offer.html

ebaY has added several new listing designer themes. The
types of themes are category-based, holiday/seasonal and other
designs. Listing designer themes are available from the SYI2.0
form and incur a fee for use, or are free through the Turbo Lister
bulk upload tool.

ebaY has added Diecast, Toy Vehicles, Radio Control, Digital
Cameras and Cell Phones categories to those using item
specifics. In addition, item specifics is available in the Tickets,
Travel, Real Estate, Art, Wristwatches, Clothing, Shoes &
Accessories, Movies, Music, Video Games, Books, and
Magazines categories.
Item Specifics FAQ
Item Specifics Overview
Item Specifics Product Finder
Item Specifics Item Page Example

ebaY Australia is holding a 1 cent gallery week on ebay.com.au
between the hours of 12:00:01am AEDST, Friday 28th November
and 11:59:59pm AEDST, Thu 4 Dec.

ebaY has changed their policy on selling stamps on their site.
Sellers who sell forged stamps, facsimiles, and reproductions
will be required to clearly and indelibly mark these items as such
on either the front or back of the stamp in order for it to be sold
on ebaY. Listings for these items also need to clearly state that
the item is a forgery, fake, reproduction, or facsimile.

For more info about authenticating stamps, go to -

Guidelines for selling stamps on ebaY can be found at -

ebaY has slightly modified their feedback removal policy. You
can read the current policy here -

The time limit for requests to remove feedback for false contact
information is 90 days from the end of the listing, or 30 days from
the date the feedback was left. ebaY may consider removing
feedback when the feedback is left by a person who was
ineligible to participate in the ebaY marketplace at the time they
left the feedback. For example, this could apply if a suspended
member registers a new account under a different User ID and
then leaves feedback. It could also apply if an underage user is
using the site without parental supervision. In both of these
cases, the person leaving the feedback is ineligible to leave
feedback, so any feedback left would be eligible for removal.
They may also remove feedback when the feedback is left in
relation on an illegal item, if the item is verified by law
enforcement to be illegal. The item must be an illegal item, and
not just an item that violates an ebaY policy.

The feedback removal policy is still glaringly unfair, in that it
does not address feedback left by deadbeats, who should not be able to
leave feedback as they did not complete the transaction.

ebaY is also changing the way the member feedback profile
appears, is making their usual pretense of consulting the
"community" and will then introduce the new design early in
2004. To view the planned changes go to -
TAG thinks the new design is infantile, with silly brightly colored
icons. another useless change by ebaY. To provide input send
comments to - feedbac-@ebay.com

ebaY has added the ability for sellers to include specific return
policies in their payment instructions box, and changed the title
of the box to "Payment Instructions & Return Policy” . They have
also added a reminder on the SYI2.0 page to remind sellers to
specify their policy. For more info go to -

In an attempt to get sellers to opt for the very questionable and
very expensive home page featured option, ebaY is offering a
discount on this feature on the U.S. site (www.ebay.com) until 31
Dec 2003. Home Page Featured will be on sale for $39.95 for
single quantity listings and $79.95 for multiple quantity listings.
For more info about the promotion go to -

This is for Auction-Style, Fixed Price and Real Estate listings,
and will not apply to ebaY Motors, International, Live Auction,
Professional Services, and Store Inventory listings. Some
restrictions and feedback requirements apply to list with Home
Page Featured. For more info go to -

TAG recently heard from a seller who felt they were cheated out
of their featured fees by ebaY. The seller had used the featured
option, but never observed their item as being featured. When
the seller contacted ebaY customer service about this and
requested a refund, ebaY refused and said they only have to
periodically feature an item. They also told the seller that they
could not tell the seller when or if the item had been featured as
there was some kind of "glitch" in their equipment. ebaY itself
does not guarantee that your item will be highlighted on the
home page though they claim it will appear in the featured item
section. Sellers should get a guarantee from ebaY that their
item will appear in the featured section at the least, and that they
will receive notice when the item appears before wasting money
on this very expensive option - overpriced even at the special
sale price.   

ebaY has posted an interesting article on what they are calling
their 2003 Holiday Hot List. Though far from a usable list (it is so
broad you might as well throw darts to chose items to sell as
use the list as a guide) it is an interesting piece about marketing
analysis and well worth reading for anyone interested in the
subject. Downloadable as a PDF -

TAG thinks all sellers should visit this page and take advantage
of ebaY's unusual sharing of information.

Art Fraud on ebaY at http://www.artbusiness.com/index.html
Art expert Alan Bamberger runs articles on various art works sold
on ebaY, pointing out where the problems are with them. For
anyone interested in buying or selling art on ebaY, TAG highly
recommends this site as your first stop.

And for a little satire read (the folks at TAG cried with laughter)-


Articles of interest about ebaY -

ebaY is still telling financial analysts it can continue to fuel
growth in the maturing U.S. market by increasing the breadth
and depth of its Web marketplace and improving marketing and
merchandising. http://snurl.com/34w0

ebaY's Megalomania
"Like many market watchers, I listened to a lot of conference
calls during the recent earnings-announcement season. I
focused on tech and telecom. The tone of the calls was
predictably subdued. In stark contrast, eBay chief Meg Whitman
spouted corporate self-adulation. It was scary in a bubble sort of
way."   http://snurl.com/35fv

"Meg Whitman, chief executive of online auctioneer EBay Inc., on
Monday downplayed speculation that its chief business partner,
the popular Google search engine, was poised to become its
biggest rival." http://snurl.com/34w1

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.


* * * * * * * * * *
Yahoo Auction/Stores/Classifieds/Small Biz (YA)

Yahoo is finally putting its SPAM policy in place, allowing itself to
SPAM all its users with unwanted contacts via email, phone or
mail. To be protected from this SPAM, anyone who has a Yahoo
account must go to their account and opt out of all the SPAM
selections in the Marketing Preferences page. This will start 1
January 2004.

When you go to update your preferences at this link -

You will have the option to select whether you want to hear from
Yahoo!(or not) -
*about their products and services, and separately, about the
offerings of their marketing partners;
*about certain types of Yahoo! products and services but not
others (For example, you can select specific categories such as
"Managing personal finances" or "Using Yahoo! for research and
surfing the Web," and de-select other categories that might not
be of interest to you.);
* by postal mail or telephone, in addition to email.

You can also delete your Yahoo! account altogether at any time,
for any reason, by going to the deletion page at -   
For more info go to - http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/privacy/

Yahoo is running a Tech Showcase for laptops, digital cameras,
etc. The showcase runs until 15 Dec 03. They are also running
a 99 cent no reserve holiday showcase.

Yahoo has provided information about protecting your personal
information on Yahoo! Auctions and about account security on
Yahoo! generally. Go to -
Yahoo Account Security Contact Form

Yahoo is now providing buyers email up to 24 hours before the
close of the auction to remind buyers to place last-minute bids
on Watchlist items.

Yahoo Contact Information

* * * * * * * * * *
BidVille Come is running a holiday sale through 30 Nov.

Bidville is under new management, and appears to be open to
community ideas and input for change into the future. Contact
them with your ideas and needs.

* * * * * * * * * *
SellYourItem.Com users have been targeted by scammers trying
to steal their personal and credit card information. Users
received emails that looked as if they came from
SellYourItem.Com, but redirected the user to a scam page.

Some of the messages had subject lines such as -
Subject: Re: NOTICE: sellyouritem.com account suspended
Subject: Open now: reactivate your SellYourItem.com account

With a message reading - "We regret to inform you that your
SellYourItem.com account could be suspended if you don't
resolve your problems. To resolve this problems please click
here and login into your account in order to resolve your the
problems. If your problems could not be resolved your account
will be suspended for a period of 3-4 days, after that it will be
again operational." etc.

All these messages were fakes and did not come from
SellYourItem.Com. Some of the giveaway clues that these were
scam message were all the spelling and grammatical mistakes
in them, along with content errors (some actually mentioned
ebaY accounts, as if the message was one used by scammers
targeting ebaY users who did not change all the text to fit

SellYourItem.Com requests that users -
NEVER answer an email requesting your password or credit
card information. NEVER click on a link contained in an email
requesting such information. If you receive an email that looks
suspicious, forward the email with complete headers to

SellYourItem.Com has launched a holiday advertising
campaign.   They have placed print ads in 36 newspapers,
covering 11 states and 2.2 million subscribers. Residents of AZ,
CA, CO, FL, IL, IN, NC, NM, MO, OH or TX, should see the ads. In
addition, several of the ads will also appear on various online
classified ad sites.

* * * * * * * * * *
ePier.Com has a Win $20 in Auction Enhancements Everyday
contest. ePier will give away $20 in Auction Enhancement
credits everyday to the person who lists the most items during
that day.

For information about ePier's storefront services 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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