eBay Back On Its Feet After Search/Browse Outage

Sellers angrier than ever with auction site

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eBay suffered a significant malfunction this weekend as an unspecified "technical issue" affected users’ ability to both search and browse listings for most of Saturday.  Now, the site’s been restored to working order, but a lot of sellers remain extremely unhappy.


Lorrie Norrington, the president of eBay Marketplaces, tried to do a bit of damage control by stating, "We know this is a really busy time for sellers ramping up for the holiday season.  We’re sorry that this technical issue occurred . . . and we regret any potential impact to your business.  Our teams worked around the clock to restore functionality as quickly as possible."

Norrington also hinted at the possibility of a financial peace offering, adding, "We will now be assessing the economic impact of this issue and will be compensating sellers appropriately.  In the meantime, we will be issuing full fee credits automatically for affected listings."

Still, in the absence of significant compensation, many sellers aren’t in a good mood at the moment.  A post on eBay Ink, an official corporate blog, has attracted 30 comments so far, and it’s possible to find longer (and less politely worded) threads elsewhere.  Given that many sellers were already unhappy with fees and policies, eBay may lose a significant amount of business due to the outage.

Traffic to eBay is up on a year-over-year basis, however (at least according to Compete), and the company’s stock has risen an impressive 2.61 percent so far this morning.

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eBay Back On Its Feet After Search/Browse Outage
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  • http://GotFreebusinessCards.com Steve

    Their RSS Feed outage affected a number of my sites which use the feed to produce content/ads.

  • Ric

    Theories abound as to the cause of the outage.

    Was it a listing surge as eBay’s a$$ covering executives want everyone to believe?

    Was it a calculated take down designed to conceal the fact that eBay 2009 4th quarter revenue is already in a serious hole?

    Did the insertion of Most Watch code to advertise on seller pages bring the systems down with only normal seasonal listing activity?

    Did management forget the holiday selling season starts in November and failed to dedicate sufficient capacity?

    Did disgruntled former employees hack the site causing the outage?

    Bottom line is eBay’s management lacks sufficient credibility to have any explanation offered accepted as truth.

    John Donahoe and his deficient management team have spun so many tall tales that nothing they say anymore is accepted at face value.

    It appears that the eBay board of directors, media and stock analysts are the only ones that buy into the tall tales spun by John Donahoe & his management team.

    eBay’s sales are not down due to the recession as John Donahoe claims. If sales were impacted by the recession, Amazon and a plethora of sites would not be reporting double digit sales increases.

    Buyers still do not believe that checks and money orders are insecure methods of payment, and instead have taken their buying activity to other sites.

    Buyers have not bought into Donahoe & Co’s declaration that the destructive innovations imposed across eBay have resulted in improvements.

    Time after time, new hoops are erected for sellers to jump through which are described as being necessary to improve buyer confidence in eBay.

    The end result is that changes to eBay have been so poorly crafted, miscalculated and ineptly implemented that buyers and sellers stopped coming to eBay entirely out of disgust for what eBay has become.

    eBay’s explanation for the outage is nothing more than another poorly crafted, self serving, a$$ covering cover story designed to deflect attention away from the staggeringly incompetent management team.

    The unprecedented seller protection, promises of discount coupons, alleged fee refunds for impacted listings etc… is evidence that eBay knows this outage amounts to being the straw that broke the camels back for buyers and sellers alike and they are desperately trying to minimize the damage.

    Let’s see if eBay management will fully compensate buyers and sellers as stated, or if once again, buyers and sellers will have to beg and sit pretty to get the compensation that they rightly deserve.

    I am betting that there will be widespread problems where eBay attempts to deny feedback withdrawal, listing refunds and buyer coupons to those effected as eBay management seeks to minimize the out of pocket expenses related to making this right.

    Any failure by eBay to fully honor the promises of compensation will further illustrate the lack of management credibility and integrity.

    Hopefully, when the smoke clears, current management will be swept out the door.

    After this incident, this holiday season will likely be the last memory many have of eBay unless new management is brought in to clean up the many issues the current team have created.

  • http://www.baconsdozen.co.uk baconsdozen

    So,we’ve tampered with the search (again) and it all went wrong (again).
    Never mind lets try and put it right.
    We know our sellers and buyers are already sick of our meddling and rule changes and they’ve seen sales fall and profit margins vanish. So what can we do to compensate our sellers (don’t forget we’re only a venue) who will now have to sell stuff for much less due to our latest foul up.
    How about a few vouchers ?.

    Big deal!.

  • Guest

    “Time after time, new hoops are erected for sellers to jump through which are described as being necessary to improve buyer confidence in eBay.”

    Buyer confidence was destroyed when ebay completely stopped combating fraud on the site back in 2002/2003, then geared itself towards attacking long-time, consistent, honest sellers with flawless records, who built the site from the ground up, beginning in the late 1990s.

    Those are the people who made ebay a success… a household name… not margaret whitman, and certainly not john donahoe.

    Attacking your own customers (the sellers), calling them remedial names like “noise” (ala john donahoe). Talk about having your priorities a$$ backwards.

    Ebay began pitting seller against seller with the arrogant and boastful “powerseller” status back in whitman’s day. Even though it started off not only based on sales, but “upholding certain standards” to qualify, it ended with only being based on sales figures. I refused to accept the “badge” for almost two years until they made it mandatory and plopped it next to my user name whether I wanted it or not. Now they have their ridiculous “Top Rated Seller” badge that any fraudulent, abusive, dishonest seller can get, just as long as they sell enough merchandise… in other words if they pay ebay enough in fees. Don’t believe me? Check the horrible feedback for ebay’s “Diamond” sellers.

    Bottom line… ebay now not only refuses to battle fraud, they invite and encourage it… at least until they end up in court being sued by a major designer, and then they claim “we are just a venue” and have no control over what people list on our site… there are another couple of words to describe this behavior… greed and arrogance.

    As far as ebay’s outage? They lie about how/why it happened, because as usual, they refuse to take responsibility for their own incompetence.

    I’d love it if they had gross system failure like that every day! All of those buyers that couldn’t search ebay for an entire day in the USA (longer in other countries), all came over to the other sites to shop, like * http://www.ecrater.com and found just what they were looking for from pages that load lightening fast! :D

    * No, I don’t work for eCrater, but I do love the site!

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