EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2165 - November 21, 2009     1 of 2

eBay Outage Leaves Holiday Shoppers (and Sellers) in the Lurch

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Problems with eBay search on Saturday morning turned into a complete search outage by noon. Shoppers were unable to find items through searching for items or by browsing categories. eBay said the problem was due to errors in some of its backend systems in a post on its System Announcement Board. The problem is affecting and at least some of its international websites, including eBay UK.

Users began complaining of the problem on eBay discussion boards, and users also tweeted the problem using the hashtag #fail on Twitter.

eBay's outage policy affects only listings scheduled to end during the outage or in the hour after the end of the outage.

Sellers are less concerned about listing fees than they are about lost sales. Outages such as these are particularly painful for sellers of auction format listings where a seller may be obligated to sell to the highest bidder even though nobody else could find the auction listing.

The search outage was ongoing at 3 pm PST as we went to press with this story.

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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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