Is eBay Down...Or Is It Just You?

How to tell whether the site is down or your device is acting up

eBay mobile app
Stuart C. Wilson/Stringer/Getty Images

Picture the scene: you've been bidding on an eBay auction that's only a few hours away from ending. You have the leading bid, but as you check to see if you're still on course to win, you discover you can't access the relevant pages on eBay's website.

Is there a problem with your computer? Or is eBay down? This guide explains what you need to do to find out, and covers the steps you can take if the problem lies with you rather than with eBay.

Is eBay Down Right Now: Checking With eBay Itself

Assuming you haven't already seen an error message on the eBay website or app, the quickest way to check whether or not eBay is down is to take a look at its System status page.

This provides status updates for the nine main sections or functions of eBay's website: Bidding, Checkout, Postage label printing, Buy it now, Listing, Home Page, Registration, Billing, and Image Services.

Here's how to access it:

  1. Open your web browser.

  2. Go to http://www.ebay.com/sts. Alternatively, type "eBay system status" into the address bar or a search engine.

  3. Once you've loaded the System status page, you'll be presented with a table displaying the nine aforementioned functions, all of which have one of three symbols next to them.

    eBay's System Status

    When the site is working fine, they'll have green checkmarks. However, if any one of the site's services are experiencing (intermittent) disruptions, they'll have a blue Information (i) symbol next to them; they'll have a red exclamation mark (!) in the case of complete outages.

  4. That's it.

You can also check with eBay's System Announcements Board, just in case the system status page is reporting nothing unusual but you're still experiencing issues. This is the page where eBay will place notices of planned website maintenance, which can often result in parts of the site going down or being inaccessible. Here's how you find it:

  1. Open your web browser.

  2. Go to http://www2.ebay.com/aw/announce.shtml. Alternatively, type "eBay system announcements board" into the address bar or a search engine.

    System Announcements
  3. That's it.

However, as simple as it is to access eBay's System Status and System Announcements pages, they should not always be taken as gospel. Outages and disruptions can sometimes impact eBay's ability to report site issues, and eBay may also be slower than its users in detecting such issues and reporting them.

Is eBay Down: Checking With Forums and Status-Checker Websites

If you're still experiencing problems even when eBay itself is claiming its website is running smoothly, there's no need to conclude your computer or smartphone is the issue.

eBay's Discussion Board
eBay’s Discussion Board is often an invaluable source of information on site-related issues.

It's still possible the eBay website is encountering difficulties, and this is something you can check via two sources:

  • eBay's Discussion Boards
  • 'status-checker' websites

The eBay Discussion Boards are usually a rich source of user-generated information regarding eBay and its operation. It's often the case that, if eBay is experiencing technical difficulties, multiple people will post about it.

To access the boards:

  1. Go to eBay's homepage.

  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Under the Community subheading, select Discussion boards.

  3. Hover the mouse cursor over Discussions.

  4. Scroll down. Under the Inside eBay subheading, select Technical Issues.

    If you can't access the eBay homepage in order to reach the Technical Issues forum, you can try using the following direct link: https://community.ebay.com/t5/Technical-Issues/bd-p/technicalissues-db

  5. You'll be taken to a sub-forum in which users can post about any website problems they're facing, such as a part of the website being down.

Alternatively, you can try one of the various third-party 'status checker' sites that are available on the web. These include DowndetectorDown For Everyone Or Just MedownrightnowIs It Down Right Now?CurrentlyDown.com, and Outage.Report.

As with status updates provided by eBay itself, these aren't infallible sources of information, but they give a good indication of whether or not a particular website is experiencing disruption.

I Think eBay is Down Just for Me! What Should I Do?

Assuming the above methods haven't helped you pin the problem on eBay itself, the most likely conclusion is your device is the cause of your difficulties. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to resolve the problem and use eBay as normal.

  1. Try accessing eBay via your smartphone or tablet (or via your computer if you've already been using a smart device). If you're accessing eBay through your computer's browser, try using the eBay app on your handheld device. You can also try accessing the eBay website through the browser of your smartphone or tablet.

    If either of these options works, you've confirmed the problem lies with your computer, and you can take one or all of the steps below in order to resolve the issue.

  2. Close your browser and all of its windows or close the eBay app on your smartphone. Wait a minute or so, then open your browser and try accessing the eBay website again.

  3. Clear your cache. If you're accessing eBay via a web browser, clearing your cache can often resolve many website-related problems.

    iPhone cache
    Example of clearing iPhone cache.
  4. Clear your cookies. This can also be as helpful as clearing your cache since cookies store how you load websites.

  5. Scan your computer for malware. While we trust you've been keeping your cybersecurity software updated, eBay is popular enough as a website to attract a fair amount of malicious software, which can interfere with how a website operates on your device.

  6. Restart your computer or device. A cliched cure-all perhaps, but this simple option can be surprisingly useful in cases where other websites aren't loading normally for you either. Restarting frees up RAM memory and closes background apps, which can sometimes prevent websites from running properly on your computer.

  7. Check your internet connection. Although this article is written under the presumption you can load other websites besides eBay without any problem, it's still worth checking your internet connection to see if something's up. In very rare cases, it might also be worth changing the DNS servers you use to access the internet.