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eBay Status Report (and Daylight Savings)

posted: Nov 3 2014

In nearly 15 years of operating the service, we thought we had seen everything. But after today's little Daylight Savings snafu, we couldn't resist making a post. No actions are required by you; all services are working properly. This blog post is for your information only.

As all of our long-term customers know, we make a point not to blame eBay for anything. We see that done at other sniping sites ad nauseam, and we decided early on that we were not going to be that kind of service, mainly because we believed we could make the technology to get around both of those issues (and we did).

However, for the last six months, there have been more changes at eBay than usual. In this post, we will summarize a few of the issues we've tackled on your behalf in that time.

The latest snafu we found this morning. After our usual first-Sunday-of-November Daylight Savings check-up, where we make sure all of your snipes are prepped, we woke up Monday morning to chaos. Sometime during the night, eBay auctions started ending two hours earlier!

Below is an image showing the problem. This snapshot, taken at 6:30am PST, shows 2 hours left for an auction ending at 10:30am PST. It should say 4 hours left. The problem was clearly due to the new "countdown timer" on the item pages.

Prior to that, the months of July through October were laden with announcements of problems. To add insult to injury, eBay was denying most of the downtime. We won't dwell too much on this --- our technology was able to get around most of those problems --- but the issues were definitely keeping us on our toes.

Here are some of the news articles:

Crazy, huh? And before that, there was the eBay hack back in late May. This caused a lot of challenges for sniping services. Not only did eBay mandate two rounds of password updating, they also added more stringent security requirements for bids that do not originate from your computer. We are still seeing issues from that today for people who have not changed their password yet.

In eBay's defense, web technology AND personnel both turn over about every 3 to 5 years, so it is understandable if no one thought to test for daylight savings with the new countdown timer. Hopefully there will not be any experimenting during your holiday sniping!

So in summary, rest assured that we are constantly monitoring systems and making small tweaks in order to place all of your bid successfully. We have a few new features coming out in the next few months, and we also have our final "Double Bucks" offer coming next week.

So stay tuned and we will see you in the next post!


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