EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3091 - June 20, 2013     4 of 4

Some Online Merchants Severely Impacted by USPS Site Issues

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The U.S. Postal Service confirmed on Thursday that its website is experiencing glitches. Online sellers reported problems accessing the site, and sales of some merchants who tied their services to the USPS were severely impacted. Run For Cover tweeted Thursday, "Yo! USPS' website/servers are down, therefore our webstore is not working for the time being. We will update you when it's back up!"

House of Mysterious Secrets, which sells "Horror Merchandise & Collectibles," placed a message on the top of their website informing customers of the USPS outage and stated, "as a result our Shipping Rates are temporarily gone." It also tweeted, "Hey, just an update: USPS is down and as a result all USPS shipping methods are current gone on our site."

Buyers are also frustrated at being unable to track packages ordered from ecommerce websites.

A Senior Public Relations Representative for the USPS said the problem began overnight June 19th and provided EcommerceBytes with the following statement:

"We are aware that some customer facing tools on are experiencing intermittent service disruptions. We are actively working on a solution with our Domain Name service provider and online service access is improving. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our customers and appreciate their understanding as we restore full functionality."

While users were using Twitter to share information about the outage, the USPS did not use the platform to communicate with users, as some noted, such as this tweet: "@usps sites are down due to DNS issues >12hr & @usps's last tweet is about a concert 22hr ago. Great job PR staff!"

The problems with the USPS website are being linked to problems at other websites such as LinkedIn. Matthew Prince from Cloudflare tweeted Thursday morning, "LinkedIn, Fidelity, Yelp, USPS and more all suffer from DNS hack or bug. Common factor may be Network Solutions (registrar) + Dyn (DNS)."

One etailer tried to make the best of it by switching to USPS Priority Mail for all shipments during the outage. ValueVapor tweeted, "USPS is down for us so we're doing $6 Priority Mail for all orders. Their failure is your savings!"

About the author:

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

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