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TAGnotes Tues 1 Feb 2005 Vol 6 Number 2 Issue 455

The Auction Guild Notes Tues 1 Feb 2005


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9200 subscribers   

ebaY US is having a half price promotion on insertion fees for fixed
price listings and a free buy it now (BIN) upgrade for auctions. The
promo starts Wed 2Feb 2005 at 00:00:01 PT (12:00 AM plus one
second on 2 Feb 2005) and ends that same day, Wed 2 Feb 2005 at
23:59:59 PT (11:59 PM plus 59 seconds).

The half price promotion on insertion fees for fixed price listings
excludes auction style listings, auction style listings with a BIN
listing upgrade, international, live auction, professional services,
real estate, ad format, motors vehicles, motors non-vehicles and
store inventory listings.

The BIN listing upgrade for auction style listings excludes fixed
price, international, live auction, professional services, real
estate, ad format, motors vehicles, motors non-vehicles and
store inventory listings.

The promotional rate does not apply to listings revised during the
promotional period and also does not apply to listings created
during the promotion but scheduled to start after the
promotion ends.

You can list fixed price and auction style items through the sell
your item form, ebaY seller tools and most third party tools.

ebaY will still charge all other listing upgrade fees such as
border, gallery, gallery featured, listing designer, gift services,
scheduled listings, subtitle, reserve listing fee, list
in 2 categories fee, picture services, picture pack, slide show,
supersize pictures, extended duration surcharge for auction
style and fixed price listings.

To list a fixed price listing with a quantity of one, the seller must
have a feedback rating of 10 or more (or be ID Verified ). If the
seller has a PayPal account and accepts PayPal as a payment
method on the listing, they need a feedback rating of 5 or more.

To list a fixed price listing with a quantity of two or more, the
seller must have a feedback rating of 30 or more and be a
registered user for at least 14 days (or be ID Verified). If the
seller has a PayPal account and accepts PayPal as a payment
method on the listing, they need a feedback rating of 15 or more.

For more info go to -

ebaY Canada is having the same promotion. The promo starts Wed 2
Feb 2005 at00:00:01 EST (12:00 AM plus one second) and ends that
same day, Wed 2 Feb 2005 at 23:59:59 EST (11:59 PM plus 59 seconds).

Same rules apply as for US, see above. For more info go to -

Pink Quote of the Day I - In reference to the fact that ebaY sellers
are loudly expressing their disgust and disappointment and plans
to move elsewhere, over the ebaY price hikes, and the main
stream media is listening for a change in light of the stock price
drop, and fueling further drops, ebaY’s leadership is trying to
calm the waters, but appears to be spreading oil on the fire. A USA
Today article said, “Executives at eBay say the fee increases
apply to optional features, such as photos of listings and a
buy-it-now option, and are intended to stimulate more auction
activity — not revenue.” And “"It's about managing the
marketplace, not the top line," Dearing says, adding that eBay's
take from items sold on the site has hovered near 7% since 2002.”
And worse yet, “Many sellers who think they will be affected
aren't,"Dearing says.” So ebaY thinks the sellers are not only
marginal, and need to be weeded out, but stupid, because they
can’t understand what ebaY says when they announce a price hike.
It is strange that TAG has not seen one single posting or news article
(where believe us, the online auction and trading folks the reporters
talk to have to carefully explain how pricing works, because the
reporters generally have only a vague idea, if any) where the story
about the size and extent of the price hikes was wrong or misleading.

It is a shame that the outrageous Canadian price hikes are not
getting as much press, as they are the most egregious (for
example a real estate ad is going from C$150 to C$390) USA
Today article    http://snipurl.com/ch14

PQODII – And on the same subject, “Executives at eBay point
out that fees haven't risen across the board, but only on optional
features that sellers may find useful in setting their listings apart
from the millions of others on the site.” And “eBay
executives say some of the anger stems from false rumors that the
fee increases apply to every eBay listing.” In ebaYspeak across
the board means that every fee must rise. In TAG speak an increase
in listing fees (the 10 day duration is a listing fee and it is
increasing by 100%), store fees, store final value fees, and special
feature fees, sounds pretty “across the board” to us.   
EbaY has added all these ‘fee’tures, convinced sellers they
need them, and built expectations in buyers that they will be on
an auction, and then says they are mere “options”. TAG
guesses we are back to defining what ‘is’ is.
Wall Street Journal article 31 Jan at 11:07 AM

Board Quote of the Day 1 – another post that made us laugh out
loud, on 19 Jan at 09:59:04 PST, markdisney said, “ I've had
enough! I've listed my final painting in my Ebay Store and will
close the doors at the end of the month! Good Ridance to my
Pimp, Ebay.”

BQOD 2 - More ebaY satire posted on 20 Jan at 16:01:46 PST by
gijimbo, this an ‘english’ translation of an email received
from ebaY, “… translated 'Hello, don't bother writing to us as
we can't be bothered with you. I understand that you are pis-ed
off with our recent $ grab but be assured, we couldn't care less!
We carefully take a look at the marketplace, from time to time, to
determine exactly what we might be able to get away with! We
believe that these current price increases are morally wrong but we
also believe you slaves are too stupid and apathetic to do anything
about it! Besides, Meg wants another plane. Ebay is committed to
remaining a tremendous RIP-OFF to everyone and we will do
everything we can to humiliate, degrade and suck our seller base dry
to leave you with a bad taste in your mouth to last for years to
come! This is our top priority. Like every Monopoly, we bask in our
own glory with no regard for the people [who] have put us here.
Typically, as we figure out how to 'nickel and dime' you more
effectively we do not hesitate to do so. When we increase your fees
substantially we notify you in advance because we enjoy seeing you
squirm before the fact; as per your user agreement. We believe that
with careful manipulation of the marketplace (heck, we own just about
everything out there now!) we can ensure our total domination of
on-lineauctions for centuries to come. As we continue to scr_w
our seller base we have increased fees THIS TIME to reflect the
growth of Meg's shoe collection. This is part of the ongoing process
of TAKE..TAKE...TAKE! Ebay carefully evaluates just how much blood
we can drain from our members and act[s] accordingly. We believe
that this is the best we can get away with at the moment or we would
gouge our sellers even more. By 'vibrating' the marketplace we hope
to shake out the little guy, who was the foundation of our empire,
and in this way make room for bigger fish carrying much more
blood. I wish you the best with your future transactions (at the
lemonade stand on your front lawn). SUCKER!”

BQOD 3 - More satire to laugh at, posted by coloradofishguy on 24
Jan at 21:29:20 PST, “A father told his 8 year old son. I am
very wealthy, you can have anything you want for Christmas. The Boy
replied All I want is a Mickey Mouse hat. Next year father repeated
the same thing. The Boy replied All I want is a Mickey Mouse glove.
Third year the father said ANYTHING you want! The Boy replied
all I want is a Mickey Mouse outfit. The father rushed out and bought

ebaY is running a $1. listing designer promo from 1-3 Feb on ebaY
Motors.    http://snipurl.com/ch3d

ebaY is running a one month free plus free ebaY calculator promotion
for sellers who sign up for ebaY sales reports plus. The promotion
runs from 1-16 Feb.

Be warned that ebaY is always like the Hotel California, you cancheck
out but you can never leave. Make sure you are clear on how to
unsubscribe to this feature before you sign up, so you can dump it
if it is not of value to you before they start charging the
$4.99 monthly fee.


Complaints about ebaY’s slowness and poor functioning continue to
pour in (579 posts to date) to the “eBay - fix the DEAD DOG SLOW
category search!” thread at -

Pay particular attention to posts number 4 , 5 , 17, 395 (ebaY’s
BS and lies) and the answer from someone who actually knows of
what they speak, post number 399 and 458
Links to check for solutions –


For the last 2 weeks TAG has heard from several sellers that at
various times they have seen something referring to a 7 day
duration fee. Finally one seller posted that if you go
to your online ebaY invoice in My ebaY, starting on 12 Jan at 04:32
there are two line entries in the invoice for each new listing,
instead of the previous one entry. The second line says "7 day
duration fee" and "special duration fee" but has no cost entry at
this point. ebaY has followed similar procedure in the past, when
for example the BIN feature (“we have no intention of charging
for BIN”) went from being free to fee. Who knows what a
“special duration fee” is?

ebaY share prices are down nearly 25% since the price increase
announcement and lower than expected earnings report, and
the press posts articles almost daily on the subject. The question
is will sellers stick around for the abuse or take their business
elsewhere? It is the seller’s choice, because if they move in 3
million listing chunks, the buyers will follow.

We have heard from several folks (some who are probably site
owners) about sites they would like to see mentioned in TAGnotes
as VOTE selections. We welcome such participation from our
readership, and will probably take more in depth looks at these and
others in the future, if they gain significant activity. Here is a
quick look.

AusAuction – small Australian site –no listing fee 2.75%
final value fee. a few thousand listings. Has stores that we
think are free, but site was lacking in readily findable info.

ClassifiedBuyers/ClassifiedSellers – another new (read fairly
empty) classified site. No listing fees, charges final value fees.

Craigs List (ebaY back doored this site and bought a 25% of the
ownership from a stock holder without the knowledge or approval of
the owner) This is the biggest and best of the classified sites,
global listings. Most postings are free, some job postings in certain
cities incur fees.   http://www.craigslist.org/

Delcampe - European niche site, mostly stamps, postcards and other
paper ephemera. No listing fee, final value fee as a percentage of
monthly sales. Has a charming down to earth homey feel   

GoAntiques – Art, Antiques and Collectibles, user has to be
approved, $39/mo plus 10% commission or $79/mo with 2-6%
commission. Combines antique mall , auctions on ebaY Live, and
other functions and facilities.

GunBroker – A subscriber reports - their site works, search
works, they do reply if you email them, and they seem to be
aggressive about eliminating scams and scammers

Gunsamerica - A subscriber reports - this is not an auction site,
more like classifieds, mostly from dealers and pretty high prices.
This site is kind of flaky and harder to use. Not always available
when you go online.

OnlineAuction – small site charges flat fee of $8/mo. Different
selling formats available to sellers. Webmail and auction manager

Stamphead - small North American based niche stamp site. No fees
at present.

Unique-bid – UK auction site where buyers pay £1.99 per bid
with a maximum of 5 bids per buyer allowed. All merchandise is
new and only approved retailers can list.

Wagglepop – another new site in the works. We have a policy of
not reporting on sites that are not up and running, but since we
had a request to mention it, we just did. A review of their chats
boards does not show anything new or unique, though the
person putting it together seems a nice enough bloke.

The Federal Trade Commission has released their Top 10 Consumer
Complaint Categories for 2004 report. Internet auctions lead the
list at 16% of complaints, but the biggest problem remains identity
theft for the 5th year in a row.

This report, in its entirety is definitely worth a read.

Press release -

The entire report may be downloaded as a PDF from

Overstock.com Auctions will cut its listing fees by 52 percent from
18 Feb through 18 Mar, to appeal to sellers affected by ebaY’s
fee increase.

Each person who visits or registers with Overstock.com Auctions on 18
Feb will receive a $10 credit toward their future listing fees.
Overstockwill put a link on the home page allowing users to claim
the credit by logging into an existing account or registering
as a new user.

On 25 Jan 2005, SellYourItem.Com made a surprise announcement that
they would be closing on 1 Feb.

They said, “We would like to take this opportunity to thank our
members for their continued support. It is with great sadness we must
report, SellYourItem.com will cease operations as of February 1,

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