The problem started around 4:30 a.m. PDT, after eBay's regular weekly site maintenance, company spokesman Chris Donlay said. The "Internet routing problem," which the site corrected by around 8:30 a.m., affected only a small percentage of eBay users, he said.
"It was intermittent, so many people experienced nothing," Donlay said. He also said he did not know the cause of the routing problem, but it was within eBay's system.
"Some members in certain cities might be experiencing problems accessing the eBay site," the company told members on one of its announcements boards, which was accessible despite the glitch.
Message boards on AuctionWatch.com, an auction-services site, had members from across the United States noting problems with eBay as early as 5:05 a.m.
eBay members, who according to Internet researcher Jupiter Media Metrix spend more time on the site each month than Internet users spend on any other Web property, have had to get used to the occasional glitch. For much of the last month, for instance, eBay sellers have had problems listing items after the company updated its listings page.
The company said earlier this week that it had resolved most of the listing problems.