Online auctioneer eBay is back but limping after being out of
service for 14 hours today.
eBay took its system down for scheduled maintenance from midnight to 3:30
a.m. PT, but the site went out again at 4:20 a.m. and didn't come up until
3:02 p.m. Spokesman Kevin Pursglove said earlier today there are no indications the maintenance was related to the outage.
Several users reported the auction features were performing poorly late
yesterday, but eBay could not confirm that report.
A company posting at
10:31 a.m. PT blamed the outage on a hardware failure. When that was
corrected and the system rebooted, the site experienced "network anomalies"
that kept the site out of service.
This latest glitch threatens to tarnish eBay's reputation with users and Wall Street. The popular person-to-person auction service has had repeated problems keeping its site running this year, including a 22-hour outage on June 10-11 that
cost eBay $3 million to $5 million in revenue.
eBay extended all auctions due to expire during the outage and will refund
seller fees, under the company's extension
policy. Auctions due to close from 4:20 a.m. PT and 3 p.m. have been
extended for 24 hours. Under a new element of the policy, all fees for
auctions scheduled to end during this period will be refunded.
Steve Westly, eBay's vice president of marketing, blamed the problems on
"eBay is a very large, complex system. We're a young company, and
successful companies like ours will have growing pains," Westly said.
"We're charting new territory because we're one of the largest systems of
dynamically generated pages on the Internet."
eBay's stock fluctuated wildly on news of the
outage. It closed at 83.25, down 9.63. The stock traded between 98 and
82.50 today, but it was volatile yesterday too, like much of the Internet
Last month, eBay executives
posted a letter to users that detailed measures the company has taken to
improve the reliability of its site, including a back-up system, new
hardware, more testing, additional engineers, and new senior management
Since the almost day-long outage in June, eBay has had at least four other
unscheduled interruptions of service.