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EBay reports three-hour outage
By Jason Margolis, CBS.MarketWatch.com Last Update: 7:33 PM ET Jan 3, 2001 NewsWatch Latest headlines Get Alerted
SAN JOSE, Calif. (CBS.MW) - For much of Wednesday afternoon, bidders and sellers on EBay were stymied as the popular Internet auction site was not accessible.
From 2:34 pm until 5:45 pm EST, EBay experienced an outage that prevented access to the site. The system became unavailable again at 6:22 pm EST.
In accordance with EBay policy regarding all outages lasting over two hours, all affected auction items scheduled to end during the problem or within an hour after its repair will be extended by 24 hours, the company said.
Sellers also have the option to stop the bidding on their items at any time if they are satisfied with the highest bid.
The company has not commented on what was responsible for the problem, and EBay spokespeople did not have further comment on Wednesday afternoon.
-- Martin Thompson (email@example.com), January 03, 2001
eBay hit by second site outage By Troy Wolverton Staff Writer, CNET News.com January 3, 2001, 5:55 p.m. PT
update eBay's auction system suffered a double dip Wednesday.
After being down for more than three hours earlier in the day, eBay's site suffered a second outage Wednesday afternoon. The second outage came less than one hour after the site recovered from the first one.
In both outages, eBay visitors could access the company's home page and its category listings but could not view individual auctions, place bids or list items. Visitors who tried to access individual auctions received a note with an apology from the company instead.
"We are sorry, but our site is temporarily unavailable," eBay said in its note. "We are working to bring the system back up as quickly as possible.
"We will keep you posted as work progresses. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience."
eBay's site went down the first time around 11:35 a.m. PST and came back up around 2:45 p.m. PST. The site went down again around 3:22 p.m. PST and was still down more than an hour later.
Although eBay has been plagued by system problems in the past, Wednesday's outage was the first in months to last more than two hours. eBay's policy is to compensate sellers by refunding fees and extending auctions only when an outage lasts more than two hours.
The outage also comes just days after eBay launched its first national advertising campaign. The ads, which started last Thursday and ran through Sunday, were an attempt to introduce eBay to the mass market.
In a note on its announcement board, eBay said it will extend by 24 hours all auctions that were set to close during the first outage or up to one hour after it ends. The company said it will refund fees for all those auctions.
In September, eBay estimated that its 18.9 million members make approximately $15.5 million worth of transactions each day.
In 1999, eBay experienced a slew of multi-hour outages as its auction listings skyrocketed. But a backup system that was put in place in late 1999 has served to shorten most outages since then.
eBay immediately switched over to its backup system at the beginning of the first outage Wednesday, company spokesman Kevin Pursglove said. But the problem that affected its main system also affected eBay's backup system, he said.
The first outage was caused by a hardware-related problem, Pursglove said. The second outage occurred while eBay was attempting to bring up its auction system after the first downtime and appears to be related to the company's auction database, he said. Pursglove declined to give any more specifics on the causes of the outages, saying that the company plans to investigate the root causes of the outages after the system is back up and running.
Pursglove said he had no estimate on when that would be, saying only that eBay was trying to restore its auction system "as soon as possible."
-- Martin Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 03, 2001.