eBay goes down for 10th worldwide collapse in a year

If you were hoping to flog any of your old golf clubs today, or go shopping for some discount clothing, you’re all out of luck. That’s because millions of eBay users in the UK and worldwide are unable to use the website, according to Downdetector.co.uk. A handful of other websites, including Amazon, Autotrader and LinkedIn appear to be also affected in the UK.

Today’s site downtime marks the tenth time that the website has been unavailable to users this year, and is the largest outage so far. Some users have also reported problems accessing PayPal, which is owned by the online auction giant, although it appeared to be up at the time of writing.

“We are investigating reports that certain eBay features are intermittently unavailable or slow and we apologise for any inconvenience caused,” the company said in a statement. eBay has promised to provide more information soon.

Some users have also reported that they are able to access the site over the 3G and 4G mobile data networks, but not over broadband, suggesting some kind of backbone problem. Users desperate to get to their eBay accounts should try accessing them on their phones.

There have also been reports of the outage affecting Internet users in France, Germany and even the US, with ebay.fr, ebay.de and ebay.com all  down.

The previous largest eBay outage was set on Saturday June 28, which lasted less than one hour.

“Today’s outage marks the largest outage for eBay users in the UK for this year, both in terms of duration of the problems and the number of users that are impacted,” said Tom Sanders, co-founder of Downdetector.co.uk.

“The persistent site problems that eBay UK is suffering indicate that eBay is unable to fix the computer problems that are causing these outages.”

Downdetector is a site that detects outages by aggregating and analysing problem reports from end users in real-time. Problem reports are collected from multiple sources, including social media such as Twitter and direct reports on the Downdetector website. 

eBay has been suffering a lot of problems this year. Back in February and March, the auction site instructed its users to change passwords after it was revealed that hackers pilfered encrypted passwords and other information in an attack. The site was even attacked by the Syrian Electronic Army back in February.

A handful of other major websites appear to be affected by the outages, including LinkedIn, Autotrader and Amazon, all of whom run on BT servers in the UK. BT still owns much of the UK’s fixed phone lines and other infrastructure, but has a universal service obligation to allow other companies to rent the lines. So problems with BT appear to have taken down much of the other ISPs, like Virgin.

It is unclear at this point whether these problems are connected to the eBay outage, but they’re worth mentioning.

Update: BT has copped to causing many of the UK outages, ostensibly due to weather problems. The provider has set up a tool to allow users to check whether the outages are affecting their areas. Go check it out