Breaking News Update — Amazon's U.S. site is back online and working properly after being down for at least three hours Tuesday afternoon.
Amazon experienced technical problems that prevented its home page from loading properly, prevented shoppers from clicking on items to get product details and prevented users from making purchases. While Amazon has not said what exactly caused the outage, the issues were limited to its U.S. site, notes Andrew Herdener, Amazon's director of communications.
According to reports this was the longest outage Amazon has experienced, and experts say it may have cost the marketplace more than $51,000 a minute. The last major Amazon outage occurred in 2008.
Twitter was abuzz Tuesday with reports of the failure (see story below), but this morning, Amazon users went back to talking about great finds and good deals on the marketplace.
This article was updated June 30, 2010
"Someone alert the federal government," suggested migueldeicaza via Twitter, when he noticed Amazon.com was down Tuesday afternoon.
mattlqx tweeted "Call the Internet police! Amazon is down! Horror of horrors."
These were just two of thousands of worried tweets flooding the microblogging site as Amazon experienced technical problems. Amazon noted it was working to fix issues that prevented shoppers from placing orders. However, there were also reports that Amazon's home page would not load properly, and buyers could not click on items. While it's unknown when the issue started, tweets report the site experienced problems for several hours.
"What's the deal Amazon???" TDurden75 asked on Twitter.
Amazon failed to respond on its Twitter account, and didn't respond to media inquiries by press time. However, it did post on its seller announcement board that it was "working to correct the issue," and would provide updates until the site was back to normal.
The outage will cost sellers money, though it's unknown just how much. One thing is clear: People were feeling the effects of the downtime.
"I feel so helpless!" lyngbh tweeted.
According to a tweet from AnimeJune, the outage did not appear to be universal, as Amazon Canada was accessible. Meanwhile, the mobile apps for the site were also experiencing problems.
Some sellers took the outage as an opportunity to encourage buyers to browse for the items they want at their local shop.
"Amazon fried?" tweeted alexirvine. "Take the opportunity to buy a book from your local independent!"
Auctiva EDU will continue to monitor this story and provide updates as they become available.
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.