EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 72 - June 16, 2002 - ISSN 1528-6703     7 of 7

This and That

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch Reports BidBay Stock Scams

Reporter Peter Shinkle of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper has been covering a story of De Elroy Beeler, who allegedly sold what he purported to be BidBay shares in a deal that now appears illegal.

Shinkle also reported that BidBay (now AuctionDiner) filed a suit against Wes Cooley, saying he was selling unregistered stock in AskGT.com, a company Cooley purchased from Tannous.

Read more:
BidBay Pitchman Gets Prison Term, Must Repay Victims," by Peter Shinkle of The Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 6/14/02
http://home.post-dispatch.com/channel/pdweb.nsf/da37732b0078d6c285256ad500494df3/86256a0e0068fe5086256bd800305eff?OpenDocument&Highlight=0,BidBay

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If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It Department

Back in February, eBay merged the accounts of Half.com members with eBay. ("eBay Integrates Half.com Accounts, Sellers May Lose User IDs," http://www.auctionbytes.com/pages/abn/y02/m02/i13/s01. An AuctionBytes reader, Joel, wrote last week and said he's still trying to get his eBay and Half.com accounts straightened out.

"I have been exchanging email with them for about a month now, and there has been zero progress. They don't seem to read the email I send them, but just send stock answers. Today, I received a half.com email telling me that they were sorry "I was having trouble logging in," and to check my cookies. But I can log in fine!

"The major difficulty here is I was told at the outset a merge could not occur if either account was used to purchase anything for 30 days. So I can't buy any ebay items while this mess is not sorted out. And I am not alone. There are a ton of unanswered messages to the same effect in the forums. The only answer is always the stock emerge email account, which leads nowhere."

Well, brace yourself, Joel. There are more changes on the way.

eBay is making the new Sell Your Item form the default: http://www.auctionbytes.com/pages/abn/y02/m06/i10/s01.

Mister Lister listing software is being replaced with a new program called Turbo Lister: http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y02/m06/i11/s01.

eBay is enhancing My eBay, a feature that allows users to keep an eye on buying activity, selling activity, feedback and preferences all in one place: http://pages.ebay.com/myebay_preview/index.html.

eBay is expanding its Popular Search capability is combining Related Items, Popular Searches, and Related Stores into one box called "More on eBay."

eBay is launching a new Help system across the site starting in June.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for making improvements. But the skeptic in me dreads the ramifications that changes to computers and Web sites can bring. Remember the Checkout fiasco last fall? eBay introduced the new feature, and its own listing tools weren't even compatible with it (that was the least of people's problems, if you remember).

To get back to Joel, what upsets him most is that there is no way to get through to a person that understands and can fix his problem. If eBay is intent on making improvements to features and services, let's hope they either get it right, or have the customer service support in place if things go wrong.

After writing this, a reader brought a problem to my attention dealing with the new Sell Your Item form. Apparently some eBay Storeowners cannot add listings to their Stores using the new form http://forums.ebay.com/dws?50@129.koOtdPG3tEO^0@.ef50468^0@.ef50468. A desperate eBay seller posted the problem on May 30, and on June 12, an eBay moderator acknowledged the problem and said eBay developers were working on a fix.

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Book Review: ''The Vintage Era of Golf Club Collectibles''

The years from 1919 to 1942 were significant in the history of golf, representing the period of change from the hickory or wooden shaft to steel and innovations in production and design. "The Vintage Era of Golf Club Collectibles," by Ronald O. John (Collector Books 2002), is the first book devoted to the available "everyman" items that collectors can obtain.

The large format of this book (8.5 x 11 inches) is ideal for presenting the color photographs. And the book has plenty of photographs: over 450 color photographs, according to the publisher.

Main sections include woods, irons, putters, adjustable clubs, fancy club faces, wedges and utility irons, shafts and grips, comparisons, grading and condition scales, values and a glossary. Manufacturers represented include Allied, MacGregor, Wilson, Spalding, McGill, Burke Co., W. Hagan and Bristol.

The book includes photographs of advertisements, which themselves are historically interesting. Added bonuses include information about the first patented miniature golf course (the Tom Thumb, located in Tennessee) and the Golf Collectors Society http://www.golfcollectors.com.

This large hardcover book would make an excellent gift for golfers and golf collectors. The book is available from the publisher, Collector Books http://www.collectorbooks.com and major bookstores.

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Book Review: ''The Auction-App: How Companies Tap the Power of Online Auctions to Maximize Revenue Growth,'' by Leland Harden and Bob Heyman

While much attention is being given to Adam Cohen's new book, "The Perfect Store," for a more practical book, consider Leland Harden & Bob Heyman's "The Auction-App." If you consider yourself a businessperson, or want to learn how companies may be looking to online auctions to expand their business, this is the book for you.

This is not an easy book to read, however, and it sometimes feels like you are doing homework. Harden and Heyman don't get into the personalities behind the sites like Cohen, but they do give excellent background. For example, Chapter 4 ("Software and Services for Creating an E-Commerce Auction Infrastructure") reviews the types of tools available to sellers and explains the target markets. "A Power Seller is usually a person or small business that is selling at least 2,000 items per month on the service," the authors explain.

Chapter 4 also gives a fascinating glimpse into AMS providers Andale, AuctionWatch, Auctionworks, ChannelAdvisor and Fairmarket. I read the funding section with great interest. But again, the book's focus is on the larger seller. The chapter goes on to describe other services appropriate to "B2C" (business to consumer) enterprises, including Oracle, Ariba and CommerceOne.

The Case Studies are extremely interesting. Omaha Steaks began selling excess inventory through Onsale.com, and in 2001, moved its auctions to eBay using ChannelAdvisor. It's interesting to read that Omaha Steaks view auctions as just another distribution channel.

For those interested in the business side of online auction selling, "The Auction-App" is required reading. For casual auction users, it's extra credit. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0071387358/auctionbytescom


About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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