It's not often you see an "out of service" sign like this one on the front of the country's most popular auction website...

No idea whether it's internal systems or connectivity but it's the first time I've seen Trademe completely down.

UPDATE: Trademe was out all night due to a major equipment failure. Ouch, don't you hate when that happens...

UPDATE 2: From Trademe's Mike O'Donnell who says the Trademe outage was down to a load balancing switch breaking down around 9pm last night...

"Once we isolated the problem we switched across to our Auckland DR site and switched on Trade Me out of there – about 6am this morning – after an all night session by our tech team.

"They are busy doing a full diagnostic at the moment and plan to bring it back to Wellington once the investigation is complete.

"A horrible thing for our members – only mitigating factor was that 3 Jan is a quiet time in terms of traffic and auctions. About 4500 sellers had auctions close over the 9 hours. If that had been a month ago (or in three weeks time) it would have been three times that number.

"We extended all the effected auctions by 24 hours."

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