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eBay and Amazon Discussion Boards Get Wonky

Sellers trying to communicate with their peers on the eBay and Amazon discussion boards ran into trouble in recent days. And Amazon Seller Central – where sellers manage their Amazon orders – was down on Thursday but came back online within a few hours.

On Friday, the Amazon discussion boards experienced a technical issue. Amazon posted a message stating that “while some users may have experienced abnormal behavior or observed incorrect information when logged in to their forums user account, this technical issue was strictly limited to the forums and had no impact on Seller Central accounts.”

Meanwhile eBay was having trouble of its own. The eBay PowerSeller board is a private forum on the eBay boards – sellers must sign in using their PowerSeller credentials. On Wednesday, PowerSellers could not access the board – though other eBay boards were unaffected.

The next day, eBay opened the PowerSeller board to all users as a workaround. But not everyone was pleased at the thought of non-Powersellers being able to read the discussions. “Are you kidding? I believe 99.9% of the powersellers (including myself) would rather just wait it out instead of giving access to anyone. Do you guys even HAVE common sense,” one PowerSeller asked.

“Considering that the PSB has always been closed to “just buyers”, opening it up to all and sundry seems like shall we say a not very smart move,” said another.

Many people who post on the eBay boards use a posting ID separate from their selling ID for fear that a user who disagrees with them (or a competitor) might sabotage their listings. Since PowerSellers post with their actual selling IDs on the PowerSeller board, some apparently felt vulnerable when eBay opened the boards up to all sellers.

By Sunday the hole was plugged and PowerSellers were again the only sellers allowed into the PowerSeller board.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.