eBay‘s website and app was hit by a major outage, leaving thousands unable to access the online auctions site.

Efforts to log on to the auction and sales site brought up a blank page, while the app was also failing to load after an unexplained outage

eBay is used for billions of transactions each day and so even the shortest disruption can cause vast financial problems for the sellers and buyers who visit it.

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Most issues were reported in Europe, according to the website Downdetector. But that might be a result of the fact much of the rest of the world is asleep.

eBay maintains a system status page, intended to indicate when there are problems with its service. But that appeared to be affected by the issues too, and failed to load after the main site went down.

Soon after the major outage began, users reported that service was coming back to the website. But some parts continued to be broken for a short while – while the homepage loaded, for instance, users reported being unable to access their personal account or other sections of the site.

Now eBay says the service is fully back and auctions will be back online.

“eBay experienced technical difficulties for a short period today, where users may have temporarily had trouble accessing the site," a spokesperson said. "The issue is now fully resolved. Apologies for any inconvenience.”

eBay claims to be used by 180 million active buyers, who together spend nearly $100bn (£79m) each year.

As well as running the main auction site, the company also owns ticketing service StubHub and sells classified ads.

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