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Fri Jan 20 2017 21:44:59

eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling

By: Ina Steiner

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We're heading into another weekend with eBay's technical issue worsening. It's a problem we wrote about on Sunday that messes up the formatting on the eBay site (some believe it is related to style sheets) and affects some functionality. Sellers who encounter the problem fear it is having a negative impact on sales.

It doesn't impact all users all of the time, but there are reports of it happening across all browsers and many configurations.  

"Since around November eBay has been off and on," a reader explained. "Several times a day I see nothing but "word salad"/code. It is inconsistent, sometimes I can't list, sometimes I can't buy or search or contact a buyer or even view our own listings! Often it's a combination of all those."

eBay has not acknowledged our inquiries asking about the reports that have been coming in to Ecommerce EKG, Down Detector, via email, and on the eBay boards. 

Not surprisingly, in the absence of information from eBay, sellers are speculating about the cause and scale of the problem:

"I'm not sure if eBay got hacked or if their tech department messed up," one user wrote. "I think it might have to do with their updates trying to make the site friendlier to cell phone buyers, which has left us computer people behind."

A seller wrote on the eBay boards, "No way this type activity could go down for so long without an announcement unless there is a major problem. They are in denial mode I think."

On Down Detector, one seller speculated the problem might be due to the update eBay working on to get rid of active content.

One seller said a representative from eBay merchant support acknowledged the problem and promised a fix by February 7.

The one response from eBay we could find blamed the problem on Internet Service Providers - yesterday at 1:36 pm ET in a thread on the eBay discussion boards, a moderator wrote:

"Hey everyone, just wanted to let you all know that our tech teams are working on this issue right now for a fix as soon as possible. We've identified certain geographical areas that are experiencing this issue and heard some sellers are able to access the site without issue from their mobile devices once they disconnect from wifi. Usually this means that the internet service provider is the root of the issue, but we are digging into this for a solution for sure!"

eBay blaming users' Internet Service Providers is perplexing - as is the lack of communication. 

On Twitter, AskeBay (eBay's customer service account) responded to a user's tweet this evening by asking if they were seeing just a bunch of text and advised the user to clear their cache and cookies - as if this was the first time members of eBay's social media team were hearing about the problem.

Here's another Twitter exchange that started on January 15. Today, the user uploaded a screenshot of what he was seeing, and AskeBay responded by asking if the user was using bookmarks to get to the eBay page (perhaps inferring the user wasn't really on the eBay site?).

"I wouldn't mind it as much if eBay at least was honest and let us know what was going on so we could plan around it," a reader wrote to us today. "It has been going on since early November. it used to last a few minutes. Now sometimes it lasts 20 minutes or so. So it is getting worse."




Comments (23) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling   eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Jan 20 23:55:06 2017

It's been affecting me both as a seller and a buyer.

NOT GOOD

It's been happening to me for about a week now.

eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling   eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Sat Jan 21 00:56:00 2017

"I think it might have to do with their updates trying to make the site friendlier to cell phone buyers, which has left us computer people behind."

It is a problem with the Cascading Style Sheets as they are not working properly. CSS for desktop do work the same for mobile. For what I sell I get around 15% each month using mobile while the others are desk/laptop. I know this from my monthly reports I get from PayPal and a chunk of the 15% could just be using to pay for it.
eBay is constantly reverting back to the original setup from 98/99 that they have hacked to make the site what it is today. They did it to save money and not have to roll out a completely new set up to keep up with the changing times. Every one else has made their sites mobile friendly but eBay just hacks the regular site unless you have the mobile App.
My guess is they have been working on the live site during the day and that is why it will revert back to the original set up from when Meg came in and changed everything for the site.
If they were smart (and we all know they aren't) they would put together a set up off line and thoroughly test it in the sand box before going live with it. This should have been done 10 years ago but when donuthole came in he did not want to spend the money. In the meanwhile it is costing eBay a lot more in lost customers and their dollars to spend.
The thing that really hurts us sellers is that they are doing it on our time and alienating our customers. A very bad situation for all of us.

eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling   eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 21 09:46:47 2017

Whats so baffling about their response.

Since when does Ebay update anyone about anything.

What Ebay does is as clear as mud.

eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling   eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling

by: Scotty This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 21 10:53:53 2017

@Bill is 100% correct.  Ebay has always implemented and tested ''updates/upgrades'' in a live environment instead of a proper test environment.  99.9% of companies would never push through updates in a live environment as this is sloppy and dangerous.  Just another ''thank you sir may I have another'' sellers and buyers have to deal with from the San Jose command ship.  The platform is now so archaic, it would cost far more to reverse-engineer to determine compatibility with updates than the $$$ they lose from down-time with glitches from live environment updates.  They are just rolling the dice and hoping it sticks.

eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling   eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 21 17:02:10 2017

Far as I'm concerned, Bill & Scotty have it right and it would appear they are more knowledgeable than ebay's public facing people anyway.

eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling   eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sun Jan 22 10:35:37 2017

What's baffling, is why Ebay is willing to blow off a perfect opportunity to to make tons of money by opening the venue to everybody who wants to sell kool old stuff WITHOUT having to use clunky dishonest PayPal.
Get someone in there who understands.
Wenig is not the guy.

eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling   eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun Jan 22 11:23:20 2017

@ The End

How would you expect customers to pay if they couldn't use Paypal?

eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling   eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling

by: TrickyMick This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 22 11:27:33 2017

@the end

When Ebay split with PayPal... part of the seperation approval-contract was that Ebay must use PayPal for 5 years from the time of split, and for minimum 90% of their transactions.  If memory serves me correct.
PayPal is horrible.

eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling   eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sun Jan 22 11:50:42 2017

It's only dangerous to test changes in production if you're stupid or your system is a basket case designed by others that are stupid.

eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling   eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Sun Jan 22 12:54:51 2017

Meg was the one who started the throw it up on the wall and see if it will stick shtick and a monkey could drive this train. Glitch after glitch with no fix on top of untested changes adding more glitches on an old antiquated platform. The biggest joke is eBay wanting everyone to think it is a tech corporation. More like, bad tech as in bad santa.

eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling   eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling

by: FinnBarks This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 22 13:28:01 2017

The response is not baffling because there is no response.  In a recent Ecommercebytes blog post, it was suggested that eBay prefers that users use social media.  I say to everyone who reads this post to give them what they want.  Both buyers and sellers.  I am not suggesting that you stop calling customer support, but that you go the extra mile and report all issues on Facebook and Twitter.  Forget the eBay Community Boards.  Unless what is happening is made known to as many people as possible, it won't be acknowledged.  If you want to know what eBay's response was to one of my inquiries, it was '' If our site was down it would be extremely detrimental as we make money from charging a percentage of sales.''  Can you believe that?  I am not a eBay hater/basher.  I love eBay.  I make my living selling on eBay and want them to be the most successful marketplace out there.  I even understand when they raise fees and explore other ways of generating revenue.  But this has gone on for way too long (some people have suggested since November) and is really hurting many small businesses.

eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling   eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 23 00:37:12 2017

Not sure why ebay is focusing so much time on mobile - its sucks - they should scrap the whole thing and start over - meanwhile their throwing the baby out with the bathwater. So many features missing on mobile it makes it unusable for sellers. Not sure how it effects buyers but I think not good.

eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling   eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling

by: Bubbles This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 23 01:14:43 2017

eBay must be the only company in the world that keeps pressing the suicide button and expect a different result each time - hopeless

eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling   eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 23 01:34:46 2017

OMG!!!!!!!!

This  truly MUST  be  the  actual End Of The World!  The End  Times!  Climb up on your  roof  to be closer  to Heaven  when  the Rapture  arrives!

TOOL GUY HAS A PROBLEM WITH EBAY!    

eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling   eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling

by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 23 01:41:41 2017

All y'all think eBay farmed out their IT to India.  No, they farmed it out to the computer basics class at Middlin Middle School.

eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling   eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 23 01:58:55 2017

Etsy tests on the live site too, what else is new?

eBay was good for me while Meg was running the show! It tanked when Donahoe took over and hasn't been the same since. Not even close.  

eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling   eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling

by: Ebay's Slow Death This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 23 03:15:11 2017

Weird things have been happening to me too in the last couple of weeks. I have gotten the Text Version of the pages, when I was listing and also just when I was looking at my listings. It would last a few minutes and then be fine.

A couple of days ago, I was filling orders and I got down to the last one. I looked at it and thought, ''I thought I sent those out!'' I had a moment of panic, then went and looked through my list of Printed Labels, and sure enough, there it was on the 12th, with the ''Delivered'' next to it.

Also, every once in a while I get the empty page saying the server isn't available.

Ebay has been glitchier than heck here on the West Coast for weeks. It's like the site is falling apart. How much patience are Buyers going to have with those things?  Eventually, they are going to go look somewhere else.

Thank heavens I don't list much there anymore. I can't think of when I have ever had a problem over at Etsy in the last year, since I started listing there. That is where I spend most of my time now.  

eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling   eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling

by: sickandtired This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 23 09:45:34 2017

I have been seeing an odd "glitch" for more than a week now.

I'm registered on .com but list on .ca so when I get the email that an item has sold there is a link to click to send the buyer an invoice.

If payment has not already been made, it brings up my invoice - I check that it is correct then end it off. Now a warning pops up : "The information you have entered on this page will be sent over an insecure connection and could be read by a third party.

Are you sure you want to send this information?

When I check the address bar on the top of the page it shows a little warning triangle on top of the lock icon so the warning is correct. This was not the case before.....weird glitches like this happen when the monkeys are tinkering...........

eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling   eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling

This user has validated their user name. by: VV

Mon Jan 23 10:10:56 2017

This is what happens when your company only gets the dregs of the IT talent in Silicon Valley.

eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling   eBay's Response to Tech Issue Is Baffling

This user has validated their user name. by: Don Wagner

Mon Jan 23 12:11:57 2017

''Usually this means that the internet service provider is the root of the issue'' - that indicates to me that ISP's are blocking some of eBay's servers - like the one that stores their style sheets - due to suspicious or blatantly improper activity. Could be due to using outdated versions of software, bungled credentials, hacking, etc. The ISP is just trying to protect its users the problem still lies within eBay it's a subterfuge used to create the impression that it is out of their hands but they are willing to ''make the effort'' to get it fixed anyway.

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