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eBay Experiences Global Outage Saturday Morning

eBay experienced a network connectivity issue in one of its data centers for over 8 hours beginning early Saturday morning that made the site unusable. The company said it would automatically credit fees for listings that were scheduled to end during the outage.

The incident comes hard on the heels of an outage at eBay on October 29 that also took the website of its former subsidiary PayPal down, which eBay blamed on a power outage at a data center shared by the two companies.

There have also been other recent glitches, including one that prevented sales from stopping when scheduled to end, costing sellers money. eBay blamed that problem on an update to its Markdown Manager feature. “Due to an error within the update, price markdowns and free shipping offers that should have ended between 8:30 PM PT October 16 and 6:30 AM PT October 19 did not end as scheduled.” Sellers had to eat the cost on under-priced sales resulting from the glitch.

Saturday’s incident was preceded by a problem with the eBay Checkout system, which eBay said it had resolved at 6:05 pm ET on Friday.

Sellers are concerned about eBay’s site stability as the holiday shopping season swings into full gear.

After eBay gave the all-clear in a post on the Announcement Board at 8:13 am ET on Saturday, users reported continued problems, including problems uploading photos. At 2:15 pm on Saturday afternoon, eBay posted an update stating that the “majority” of problems had been resolved.

On Sunday, a reader said the UK and German sites were both still suffering major site disruption for the third consecutive day, writing, “This most recent outage MAY have been resolved for the ebay.com site but in the UK and Germany it is STILL an ongoing issue.”

Unlike the October 29th incident, eBay used its Systems Announcement board and social media to communicate with users, doing a better job of acknowledging the problem.

And in both cases, eBay said it would remove any transaction defects it could identify as resulting from the outages.

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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/.