Amazon 1p sales bonanza after computer glitch misprices thousands of items, leaving angry retailers 'losing £20,000 overnight'Daily Mail
December 14, 2014
Shoppers have cashed in on a technical glitch on Amazon after a malfunction saw thousands of items listed on the site for just 1p.
Products ranging from clothes and toys to home furnishings and health products were advertised on the site for a fraction of their usual price due to a fault with a piece of software.
Business owners have now hit out at the retail giant, claiming they risk going bankrupt because the glitch resulted in them losing large amounts of money.
Judith Blackford, of Kiddymania, claims to have lost £20,000 overnight due to the error, while another seller, called Belle, said her business is facing a loss of about £30,000.
Other business owners said they had heard reports of sellers losing up to £100,000.
The issue occurred on Friday evening after the piece of software, supplied to Amazon sellers by third party RepricerExpress, malfunctioned.
The software, used on Amazon and Rakuten's Play.com - which is not thought to have been affected - is designed to automatically reprice stock to ensure items remain competitive with similar items listed for sale elsewhere online.
RepricerExpress states on its website: 'We are here to increase your sales on Amazon and Rakuten's Play.com and make your efforts as profitable as possible.'
However, the error - which lasted for over an hour - saw dozens of buyers snap up bargains after news of the glitch spread on social media.
Russell Brudenell wrote on Twitter: 'Amazon is all kinds of broken. Mattress 1p. Headphones 1p. Batteries, Clothing, Games all 1p. Someone messed up big time (sic).'
Joely Thompson said: 'Amazon are having a glitch on their site and loads of stuff is selling for 1p. I just bought an incense holder, don't even need it.'
Morgaine Tallis also snapped up a bargain, she said: 'Top bargains on Amazon… Just bought a coast for 1p w/p and p [postage and packaging] is £3.'
Other Twitter users claimed to have bought a parka-style jacket for 1p, plus £2.99 delivery, and a Tornado drinks shaker for 1p.
One user, called Thomas, said he bought dozens of boxes of a flapjack nutrition bar after the glitch meant it was on sale for 1p instead of £14.99.
He wrote: 'Deal of the year just got protein flapjack nutrition bar 75g. 12 bars in a box. Fortis Nutrition are selling them £14.99 box. Just got them for £0.01 that's right 1p for 2 boxes (sic).
'I think there's a price mistake in the Amazon store.'
He later claimed he had bought 99p boxes 'just to be sure' before claiming the business could 'buy them back' off him if they wanted them back.
However, some third party Amazon sellers were less than impressed with the glitch and hit out at the error, which they claim could force them out of business.
Judith Blackford, of Kiddymania, told Sky News: 'I started using Repricer Express - a repricing tool as did a lot of other businesses a few months ago.
'Through an error in their programme they listed my stock on Amazon at 1p per item including delivery.
'I have lost about £20,000 overnight. Having asked Amazon to cancel the orders they are still sending them out and charging me horrendous fees.
'Surely someone has to be accountable for this. I will be bankrupt at this rate by the end of January.'
Another trader, called Belle, whose company sells toys and games, said she fears the firm could lose about £30,000 due to the error after the company's entire stock sold out at the hugely discounted price.
She told Sky News: 'It's disgusting. This third party software is their business, this should not have happened. This is 2014 and we have to pay for this software every month.
'We have been using it for 18 months no problem and at this busy time - this was predicted our busy weekend of Christmas - our turnover is zero.'
Another retailer, Discount Discs, added: 'We are yet to quantify the amount of stock we have lost but we are aware of other sellers losing around £100k of stock.
'This has happened on probably the busiest trading weekend of the year for many sellers.'
Amazon said the majority of orders were cancelled immediately and said it would be working with sellers who had seen orders processed.
A spokesman said: 'We are aware that a number of Marketplace sellers listed incorrect prices for a short period of time as a result of the third party software they use to price their items on Amazon.co.uk.
'We responded quickly and were able to cancel the vast majority of orders placed on these affected items immediately and no costs or fees will be incurred by sellers for these cancelled orders.
'We are now reviewing the small number of orders that were processed and will be reaching out to any affected sellers directly.'
In a statement on RepricerExpress's website, CEO Thomas Doherty, said the problems with the software caused incorrect pricing to be sent to Amazon.
He said: 'I am truly sorry for the distress this has caused our customers.
'We have received communication that Amazon will not penalise sellers for this error.
'We are continuing to work to identify how this problem occurred and to put measures in place to ensure that it does not happen again.
'Everyone here is devastated and disappointed that you have experienced this problem.
'We understand that you are angry and upset and we will endeavour to work to make good on this issue.'