Etsy Transaction Outages

by Raymond Pucci 0

The trouble is not with your set—as thousands of sales transactions have been derailed on the Etsy marketplace. The company is working to correct the processing outage, which reportedly has been going on for five days, creating many unhappy merchants as well as their customers.

Those hoping to snag some handmade July 4th cookies and sunblock might have woken up to an empty stomach and sunburn after a serious payment processing outage on e-commerce site Etsy.

Over the last five days, a large number of Etsy transactions have been disrupted by “third party” payment processing outages. As of 6pm PST July 5th, over 4,000 messages of frustration have been posted in the company’s Bugs Community Forum.

After the Direct Checkout outage, many merchants were left with their hands in their laps explaining delays to buyers. The outage is especially tough for sellers who have to face angry customers. It’s all too easy for an unhappy buyer to blame the seller in a negative review for an outage out of their control.

Etsy’s first response came two hours after the first report on their forum. The company confirmed the outage but didn’t provide any details.

The issues seem to have started just after 2pm on July 1. Reddit and Twitter have been active with users’ complaints. This is the third time this year the company has struggled with payment processing infrastructure.

The company’s last official communication occurred at 2pm on July 5th. Etsy is struggling to catch up with previously delayed payments and new orders are still being impacted.

“We recommend that you wait until these orders are confirmed to ship your item,” said Bill Massie, an engineer on the Payments Team in the most recent forum post.

Payments processing is often taken for granted, similar to other automated systems in the financial services industry. But when outages do occur, users just want to know what the problem is, and when normal operation can be expected to return. No company want to have its systems down and blocking business transactions. Hopefully we will have a better understanding of what has happened here, along with what steps are being taken to prevent future outages.

Overview by Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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