eBay hit with multihour outage

The glitch keeps customers from viewing or bidding on items in the online auctioneer's clothing or jewelry categories, and hampers sellers from listing items in those areas.

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eBay suffered an outage of more than nine hours on Sunday that prevented customers from viewing or bidding on items in its clothing or jewelry categories, and kept sellers from listing items in those categories.

The company did not say what caused the outage, but in a note to site users on one of its announcements boards, eBay said it would extend auctions affected by the outage and credit fees to affected sellers.

"We understand the frustration that any system issue causes our user," the company said in its note. "We apologize for any inconvenience this outage has caused."

eBay representatives did not return calls seeking comment.

In March, in its first major outage in more than a year, eBay suffered 90 minutes of downtime that prevented customers from accessing the static pages on its site, such as its home page, but did not affect its bidding system. Later in the month, the company also suffered a site slowdown, which prevented some customers from accessing the site and affected their ability to download graphics from eBay.

eBay also ran into some problems with the Half.com feedback system when it integrated the fixed-price site and its sellers into eBay's own system.

The San Jose, Calif.-based online auction giant is upgrading its back-end systems with its "V3" initiative, which will include real-time updates for eBay's data warehouse and minute-by-minute updates for listings, currently updated once per hour. The company has said the upgrade was not responsible for last month's outage.

eBay's clothing and jewelry categories were down between 10:55 a.m. and 8:07 p.m. PT, the company said. The company will credit all auctions that were scheduled to end between 10:55 a.m. and 10:30 p.m.