eBay users hit by site problems

Updated: 

eBay

People trying to use the eBay auction site have been hit with technical problems ever since maintenance was carried out earlier today. Some people can't log in, others can get into their accounts, but can't do anything.

So what's going on?

Outage

Maintenance was scheduled for around 7am this morning, and eBay had warned users that there might be some disruption - with some features temporarily unavailable or slow.

However, in a statement, eBay has admitted that these problems have lasted longer than they had expected. It said: "We are sorry that intermittent problems with eBay have continued for longer than planned. We are working hard to resolve the issue, and will provide a further update soon."

Tim Davies, an eBay manager in Australia tweeted that eBay was: "experiencing intermittent issues following complications during routine maintenance".

To make matters worse, rather than seeing a holding screen, users are seeing error messages, which has led many of them to worry that their account has been hacked. Others have been confused - many tweeting to ask one another whether this is just happening to them. Dave Court tweeted: "funny how when ‪#ebay‬ is down they don't feel the need to acknowledge the fact or give any service updates."

This sort of thing happens to every major tech company at some stage. Amazon, Google and Microsoft have all suffered outages at some point in the last two weeks. However, this is the longest that eBay has been down for, and it is having repercussions.

Nightmares

For users this is causing real nightmares. There are plenty of auctions ending now, which people are unable to bid on and so are going for far lower prices than the sellers expected. Abbi Tooke has tweeted: "I have items ending soon which obviously people can't bid on as they can't get onto the website so what am I supposed to do now?"

This is bad enough for those who are trying to make some money from second-hand goods, but there are people for whom eBay is their livelihood. These people have been unable to list anything this morning - effectively losing at least half a day of trading. George Darling tweeted: "I'm struggling, as a professional ebayer".

What can you do?

Some enterprising auction sites have used the opportunity to promote alternatives, with one tweeting: "Anyone pissed off with ebay being down Why aren't you using ‪http://ebid.net it is well established? free listing 2% FVF"

Davies tweeted that eBay is working on solving the issue right now, and would address communications shortly. We can only hope that this will include details of how to deal with auctions that ended this morning. At the moment users are left with the option of withdrawing the sale and re-listing - which could mean negative feedback, or living with a far lower sale price - neither of which is likely to endear them to eBay.