Yahoo Stores Down on Cyber Monday

Yahoo! Small Business

Unbelievable. According to reports, many Yahoo! store merchants were going strong with their “cyber Monday” sales and suddenly the Yahoo! Stores have gone down. Some merchants report that they have lost more than 4 hours’ worth of online sales.

the 3 million is Y!SB Web hosting and domains customers, not the 45,000 Yahoo! Store accounts (last publicly available number I have)

There are sporadic reports this afternoon, November 26, 2007, that Yahoo! web hosting customers are experiencing an outage. Some are reporting that they’ve seen these reports on CNBC.

Yahoo! Stores Down

The latest updates are being reported on the Updates page on the Yahoo! Small Business site:

8:31 AM (PST) – Error Message During Checkout

Some merchants are reporting that shoppers are receiving an error message indicating “system unavailable” during the checkout process. We are aware of this issue and are currently investigating. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

This is yet another reason why e-tailers should have backup plans. Online retailers who rely on their sites being up and running 24/7 should be prepared for situations like this. As an online retailer, what can you do to make sure that your site is always up and running?

– Consult with your current web host to see what type of backup plan(s) they have.
– Consider setting up a backup server on another web host. Keep additional content up and running on that other web host. The backup content does not have to be your full shopping cart. It could actually consist of a well-designed web page explaining that you’re experiencing difficulties…shoppers can place their orders by calling a particular phone number. Having this content on another web host would allow you to change the nameservers of the domain name if your current site goes down.

Whatever the case, whether you sell merchandise online, have a corporate website, or if you have a blog, you need a backup plan. Some way of dealing with technical issues that arise from time to time.

Updates to this Post
Reuters is reporting that – Yahoo Inc’s payment processing system is “suffering periodic outages” … “that prevent some consumers from completing shopping transactions, according to a company Web site for merchants.”

CNBC reports that “Yahoo Can’t Cope with Cyber Monday”… “On a day that’s arguably one of the most important for online shoppers during the holiday shopping season, the so-called “Cyber Monday,” Yahoo’s shopping and transaction algorithm appears to be down.” Catherine Seven was mentioned in the article: “Search engine optimization consultant Catherine Seven runs and says she works with 22 clients who use Yahoo Shopping: None she’s spoken to today have had any transactions processed. She’s sending notes out to all her clients warning them that there is an issue.”

Yahoo Stores Crashing on Cyber Monday – “This is absolutely devastating to a small business that relies upon cyber Monday for a large portion of its business.”

Black Monday for Yahoo! Merchant Services – “The solution is unclear as I would expect Yahoo! To be a great partner for merchants as they already receive more internet traffic than any other site.”

Yahoo’s E-Commerce Services Buckle Under Cyber Monday Traffic – “Yahoo’s services for powering shopping carts for small businesses are suffering from intermittent outages today as shoppers flock to e-commerce sites on company time.”

CNET News is reporting that the outage was “a deliberate attack”…”A three-hour outage today on Yahoo was the result of a malicious attack intentionally aimed at disabling the service, according to company executives….Yahoo president Jeff Mallett said a “distributed denial of service attack” overwhelmed its Web hosting company’s routers beginning at around 10:20 a.m. PST, and apparently ending shortly after 1 p.m. PST.”

Updated: Yahoo Small Business Servers Struggle on ‘Cyber Monday’: Report – “The moniker “Cyber Monday” is something of a PR creation, but Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) is looking at a PR problem today due to glitchy small business servers, which power third party e-commerce sites. “

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  1. GrillingGreg says

    >This is yet another reason why e-tailers should have backup plans.

    How was a Yahoo store supposed to be prepared for this? Yahoo is supposed to be providing the “always up” environment — that’s what the retailers are paying those outlandish fees for each month.

    There’s already talk of a class action suit on some of the forums. People have lost thousands today because Yahoo dropped the ball.

  2. Bill Hartzer says

    You’re right, Greg, Yahoo! dropped the ball. If you are using a Yahoo! Store and you have a domain name that domain name could have been redirected to another checkout or, with another host that would then prompt your visitors to call you to order.

    From what I understand, there is not a service level agreement, so Yahoo! does not guarantee that the site is up and running all the time.

  3. Eric Pollitt says

    Yes, our Yahoo! Store has been down since around 10 am (CST) on “Cyber Monday.” A few orders have been placed since, but I’m sure the customers were “determined” as it takes a good minute or so for an item to be placed into the shopping cart — and even then its not guaranteed to work — and the same goes for checking out.

    This is pathetic on behalf of Yahoo! Christmas is not “unexpected” and if Yahoo! can provide free services such as sports scores, online poker, instant messaging, and so on they should certainly be able to take care of paying customers such as our store, not to mention the fact that they take 1% of our store sales.

    In the 4 years that we’ve had our Yahoo! Store, Yahoo! has done next to nothing with the Yahoo! Store platform to add new features, etc. We’ve been looking into another store, such as Volusion or Monster Commerce and now the decision has been made: we’re switching away from Yahoo! This was the last straw.

    We sent an email promo to customers last night — so tons of traffic was to come to our store today — only to have it lost … and perhaps to our competitors. There’s nothing like driving demand to your customer base, only to have them switch to a competitor and perhaps to loose the customer forever. This is horrible.

  4. Eric Pollitt says

    Forget “Cyber Monday” is should be called “Blackout Monday” in lieu of “Black Friday.” All the while, millions of people are instant messaging one another, millions more are sampling music on iTunes, millions are shopping on eBay, but Yahoo! is struggling with something that should be elementary to them as an Internet company. What a bunch of Yahoo’s! It sure wouldn’t hurt them to sell a few million shares of their stock and invest in their Yahoo! Store platform, but by then Google may have a Store to go with their Checkout!

  5. Mathias says

    If there is no SLA agreement between the shop owners and Yahoo I doubt the shopowners can get any compensation. Isn’t one of the reasons people pay a premium for Yahoo to avoid situations like this. A lot of people will be extremely disappointed with their reaction (keeping everybody in the dark) as well. Unacceptable and completely unbelievable …

  6. karl M says

    This is why you should go with non-oversellers that cater to businesses.

    If you pay peanuts you get monkeys. Not a single one of our customers was down on the busiest online shopping day of the year.


  7. TigerTom says

    If you have a serious business, put it on a serious web host. Get your own shopping cart software, and have more than one payment processor option in it. A cart like X-Cart or Oscommerce has multiple payment options coded into it; PayPal,, Google checkout, your own merchant account etc.

    Then if one link in the chain goes skew-whiff, you can switch to an alternative. If you’re making good money, don’t use a cheapo solution.

  8. Debbie says

    You cant beat X-Cart for e-commerce – Yahoo hosting services have caused issues in the past for many small business owners as well.

  9. Erika, Merchant Account Store says

    I just caught this article, and I have to say, as a merchant services provider, this only helped my cause. Many use Yahoo’s small business services because they lack the know-how to set up their own processing needs. Unfortunately, the industry in the past took advantage of many businesses, there is a lot of transparency and scammers out there, which doesn’t help. They’re needs to be more education given to small business owners that guides them through the process (without intimidating them).

  10. Jay Paul says

    i would be agree with Debbie, Peoples cant beat X-Cart for e-commerce – Yahoo hosting services have caused many issues in the past , that we know very well.
    and yes. Many peoples are using Yahoo’s small business services because they lack the know-how to set up their own processing needs but all are not happy with some services.
    always looking for quality services providers.
    very good for posted useful info
    Best regards

  11. smith says

    Hey folks thanks a lot for sharing the information, i had gone through the article and i agree with the views of Eric Pollitt.