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eBay Takes Hit on Auctions Due to Hacking Incident

eBay is taking the unprecedented step of allowing sellers to cancel auction transactions for an 11-day period, a move related to the recent hacking of its customer database. However, if buyers didn’t use PayPal to pay for the items, sellers are out of luck.

Because eBay detected unauthorized access to its user database in February and March, it began requiring all buyers and sellers to reset their passwords as of May 21st. But as it explained in an announcement on Monday afternoon, “the password reset may temporarily interrupt the normal bidding process for buyers.”

“We will also be communicating with the winning bidder for any cancelled auction-style transaction during this time period to ensure they continue to have great buyer experiences on eBay,” eBay wrote.

eBay is also allowing sellers to cancel live listings and is proactively refunding listing and commission fees for auction listings that ended on May 21.

The announcement explained:

  • All listing and final value fees will be refunded automatically for auction-style listings that ended between 6:00 AM PDT on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, and 11:59 PM PDT on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Sellers will see these credits on their June invoice.
  • Sellers can end any auction-style listing without penalty between 6:00 AM PDT on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, and 11:59 PM PDT on Saturday, May 31, 2014 and will receive a credit for all selling fees related to these listings on their June invoice.
  • Sellers can also cancel any auction-style listings that ended in a sale between 6:00 AM PDT on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, and 11:59 PM PDT on Saturday, May 31, provided the buyer paid with PayPal and we can verify through PayPal that the buyer’s full payment has been refunded.

eBay didn’t say it, but clearly sellers should be wary of auction listings through the end of the month, at least.

eBay also updated users on the process of changing their passwords, explaining that if they hadn’t yet changed their password, they would at some point be prompted to do so when they login or before they complete a transaction. “If you changed your password on May 21 or later, we do not need you to take any additional action at this time,” it wrote.

See the full details on the eBay announcement board.

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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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/.