Approximately 10,000 sellers in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Australia had their eBay listings unexpectedly removed from the website following a software error with the company’s platform. Sellers decried the loss of business created by the bug, underscoring the need for reliability and thorough source code analysis to prevent such incidents from occurring.
On Wednesday, March 20, eBay acknowledged the glitch, and the company announced that it would have listings restored within 24 hours. Sellers first began documenting the issue on online forums, including eBay’s, where they reported having received a letter from the company showing that they had exceeded their selling limits, EcommerceBytes reported.
Despite assurances from eBay that listings would be restored and that the company would work with affected sellers directly, many noted that the damage had already been done. One seller who spoke to EcommerceBytes reported that she had had more than 2600 listings from around 250 auctions pulled as a result of the flaw.
“This is scary stuff,” she said. “To be put out of business for up to 48 hours is mind boggling.”
Lost histories, lost credibility
Additional confidence issues were raised over whether the error would affect seller histories, which were lost in the incident, as well as over how eBay might compensate sellers for lost business. The issue could be a blow to eBay’s credibility, as many sellers expressed frustration over the company’s lack of accountability for the incident.
“This impacts businesses as we will lose the momentum that we have built over the years for these products – losing the trust that has taken a lot of time for us to build,” one seller told the Register, referring specifically to lost sales history. “eBay have said that there is nothing they will do to help sellers and it is something that we have to accept.”
For a company that offers a platform for many small businesses to generate sales and has such high consumer visibility, maintaining credibility is integral to success. To avoid software incidents that could similarly undermine community support and confidence, organizations should ensure their code is error-free. Using source code analysis tools such as static analysis software, companies can catch bugs before they are released and have the potential to impact clients’ businesses.
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