eBay has confessed to The Register that a software bug destroyed the listings of 10,000 merchants in Britain, the US, Germany and Australia.
The online tat bazaar said it was restoring the listings, but it was unable to tell us if traders would be able to recover their sales histories - an important component for eBay sellers, who build trust with customers by showing how they had previously sold items on the site.
The company gave El Reg this statement:
Due to a software issue which has been resolved, a small percentage of seller listings in global markets including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Australia were inadvertently removed from our platform, impacting approximately 10,000 sellers.
We continue to make progress in restoring these listings, a process that is rolling out in stages and is expected to be completed for the majority of listings within 24 hours of the incident.
Separately, we are reaching out to eBay sellers most impacted and assisting them directly in their recovery efforts. We will keep our sellers apprised of our progress and apologise for any inconvenience resulting from this issue.
A Reg reader, who alerted us to the software cock-up after noticing on Thursday that none of his company's listings were active on the site, said he was concerned that eBay's blunder could have killed his precious sales history information for good.
He told us:
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. eBay have said that there is nothing they will do to help sellers and it is something that we have to accept.
There will be no compensation given and they will not reinstate the listings history [which] means that all the effort we put in has gone in the blink of an eye with there being no accountability on the part of eBay.
We asked eBay if the firm would be reinstating sales history information for the 10,000 traders affected by the unexplained software glitch.
But the company's UK spokesman couldn't answer our question. We'll hopefully hear more from eBay once San Jose wakes up. ®