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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1933 - December 09, 2008 - ISSN 1539-5065    2 of 3

eBay Live Auctions' Glitch a Parting Gift

By Ina Steiner
December 09, 2008

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LiveAuctioneers reported a glitch on the eBay Live Auctions platform over the weekend, just weeks before the platform is set to permanently close on December 31, 2008. An auctioneer who wrote to AuctionBytes this morning said his Sunday auction was affected by what he called the eBay "meltdown" and reported losses reaching several thousand dollars, plus the loss of capital from the expected proceeds from his $100k event.

LiveAuctioneers wrote on its website that the problem was caused by eBay's applet - the onscreen window through which bids are transmitted to auction houses in real time. According to the company, which helps auction houses add an Internet-bidding component to their real-life auctions, the applet problem affected auctions intermittently for approximately two hours on Saturday and five hours on Sunday.

Internet bidding can make a difference in final selling prices, a disappointment to auction houses and consignors. Also disappointed - the would-be bidders. LiveAuctioneers said it had received more than 1,000 phone calls over the weekend from disgruntled bidders.

An eBay spokesperson contacted via email Monday was not familiar with a problem on the live-auction platform.

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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