EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3134 - August 20, 2013     1 of 5

Sellers Struggle with Another Amazon Outage

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After an outage that knocked out Seller Central earlier this month, Amazon sellers had to cope with another outage - this time, Amazon's entire website went down on Monday afternoon for an estimated 40 minutes. The outage prevented from anyone accessing the website, leading one media outlet to estimate lost sales at about $5 million.

An EcommerceBytes reader said she believed that while Amazon will have lost impulse sales, many shoppers would likely return to the site later to make their purchase. "It's difficult for me to imagine that Amazon (and its sellers) lost 100% of every sale that would have taken place during the outage. Surely there were a sizable number who simply made their intended purchase later on in the afternoon."

The outage occurred before 3:00 pm Eastern. During the down time, visiting brought up a page with the following message:

"Oops! We're very sorry, but we're having trouble doing what you just asked us to do. Please give us another chance - click the Back button on your browser and try your request again. Or start from the beginning on our homepage."

Over twenty minutes after the outage, Amazon tweeted on one of its accounts, "We are experiencing an issue that is causing problems on Amazon and Seller Central. Our engineers are actively working on a resolution." Forty-one minutes later it tweeted, "The previous technical issue causing site performance problems has now been resolved."

Sellers also took to Twitter - to vent their frustration.

PeaceLoveAmy tweeted, "Seller Central is down again. My day has been reduced to compulsively hitting refresh on my browser. Come on @amazon, you're killing me."

Jumpin_Joe_McD tweeted, "Amazon Seller Central down again! Seriously?"

Andydarnell tweeted, "oh goodie. @amazon seller central is down again!"

Another Amazon seller filed a report on Ecommerce EKG just before 3:00 pm: "Amazon down again?? This time it seems like it's the entire site.. what the h*ll are they doing over there?? 2nd time in a few weeks.. why can't these sites just leave things alone instead of screwing around trying to fix or change things that aren't broke?? Why can't they just concentrate on the issues that sellers want?? This is ridiculous."

One thing that is noticeably odd following the outage is that there hasn't been a comment posted on the Amazon Seller Central discussion boards since 1 pm EST Tuesday.

Amazon typically refrains from commenting about technical issues. The company would not comment about the 10-hour outage that hit Seller Central on August 6th, and reporters, including EcommerceBytes, have been unable to get a response from Amazon about Monday's outage.

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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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