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eBay Site Malfunctions Thursday Evening

eBay experienced severe technical issues for about 2 hours on Thursday evening starting sometime after 6:30 pm Eastern. Users were unable to complete successful searches or sign in (or log off), other pages were not functioning.

eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore provided EcommerceBytes with a statement shortly before 8 pm:

We are aware some users are currently having problems signing in and transacting on the site. Our teams are working urgently to address this technical issue, which likely stems from scheduled site maintenance that was being performed. We apologize for any inconvenience this interruption causes. We will share additional information with our community as it becomes available.

During the search outage, some people noticed strange characters above the eBay logo (GH68rc1), while others noticed the letters QA appearing in the URL browser box, leading some to speculate that eBay might have been hacked.

While Moore pointed to scheduled site maintenance as the likely culprit, the company had posted on its announcement board that site maintenance was scheduled for later that evening (10 pm PT), not at 3:30 pm PT.

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Some people had complained of technical issues earlier in the day, including search results dominated by sellers located in Asia (though it’s not certain if that’s a new issue or an ongoing one). One seller sent EcommerceBytes a link to an item that had sold for zero dollars, though it’s not known if that incident was related to either the site maintenance or the site outage.

Users began seeing the site come back to “normal” over two hours after the problem had started, and at 8:52 pm Eastern eBay tweeted, “The recent network issue we experienced has been investigated and resolved. We appreciate your patience and apologize for the inconvenience.”

eBay updated its Systems Announcement Board at 9:08 pm ET, writing, “The recent network issue that we experienced has been investigated and resolved. We’re sorry for the inconvenience and we appreciate the patience of those users that were impacted.”

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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). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.