Where to Find Out About eBay Service Outages

eBay Sometimes Experiences Technical Difficulties

eBay service outages
It can be frustrating when eBay is down. Getty Images

eBay is like any other technology; it is great when it works. Usually, eBay is up and running and buyers and sellers can conduct their business on the world's largest marketplace without interruptions. However, there is the off chance that eBay may be down or not functioning properly. There are a few ways to learn what the problem is and when eBay will be back up and running.

Check on eBay.com

The best place to check about eBay outages is on eBay itself. If you can get on the site at all, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your eBay account.
  2. Navigate to the Announcements Page go to this link: http://community.ebay.com/t5/Announcements/bg-p/Announcements
  3. Announcements about outages, site problems, or other technical glitches will be posted here.

For example, on December 8, 2016, eBay posted about winter storms hitting Northwest Oregon. The announcement said:

"Due to severe winter weather in Portland and other parts of northwest Oregon, communication, power, and transportation lines may be disrupted. If you are involved in an eBay transaction with a buyer or seller in this region, please note that their ability to communicate or complete your transaction may be delayed due to these severe conditions. We encourage you to be patient in this matter, both throughout the transaction and when providing feedback after your item arrives. Rest assured that sellers need not worry about their eBay seller performance due to delays caused by these conditions. We will continue to monitor the situation and include any sellers who may be affected."

In this case, eBay itself wasn't down, but this update could explain why a buyer hasn't heard from a seller or their item wasn't shipped on time. Sometimes, buyers may assume that eBay is down when they haven't heard from their seller about the status of a transaction. eBay will often post updates regarding weather delays since severe weather can often lead to power outages and it may be difficult for a seller to respond without electricity running or powering their devices. 

Call eBay Customer Service

You can always give eBay Customer Service a call at 1-866-540-3229. It is best to go through your eBay account and request a call with a rep (assuming you can get on the site at all). Fill out a few specifics about the reason for your call so that you are routed to the right department. eBay will give you a one-time passcode when you call in. If there is a major problem, you may hear a recording about it when you call in and not need to talk to an actual human being.

Ask Around on eBay Networking Groups

If you are active on the eBay Community Boards, eBay Facebook Groups, or other eBay networking groups, ask fellow sellers if they have had an issue. You may get an answer right away. For example, sometimes printing shipping labels is a problem, and it is a known issue that eBay is working on. Ask around ​especially if you are not in the Eastern Time Zone and it is morning. The eBay sellers in the Eastern Time Zone may have already encountered the problem earlier that morning and could have the answer for you without you having to call eBay, be placed on hold, and waste valuable time. 

Check Out Down Detector

Down Detector is a cool site that runs in real time and has information on eBay outages. The site states that it "offers a real-time overview of status information and outages for all kinds of services." 

If eBay is down, try not to get frustrated. If you are a seller, this is a good time to work on taking photos, organizing inventory, or other office tasks. If you are a buyer, just be patient and come back later. eBay isn't going anywhere and such it is a huge site, it is reasonable to expect outages from time to time.