Amazon 1p sales bonanza after computer glitch misprices thousands of items, leaving angry retailers 'losing £30,000 overnight'
- Technical pricing glitch meant items were listed on Amazon for just 1p
- Items reportedly included mattresses, headphones, clothing and gifts
- Businesses claim malfunction could cost them thousands in lost profits
- Seller claims to have lost £30,000 while another claims losses of £20,000
- Glitch occurred with RepricerExpress software - third party to Amazon
Furious owners of small businesses face ruin after a glitch allowed online shoppers to buy their products on Amazon for 1p.
Some firms lost tens of thousands of pounds in a single hour during Friday night’s disastrous software malfunction.
Customers cashed in by placing 1p orders in bulk, in a ‘supermarket sweep’ on products ranging from clothes and toys to home furnishings and health products.
Some took to Twitter to boast of ordering goods worth thousands of pounds for a few pence.
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Products ranging from clothes and toys to home furnishings and health products were advertised on Amazon for a fraction of their usual price due to a malfunction with a piece of RepricerExpress software (file picture)
News of the pricing glitch spread fast on social media, with dozens of people taking to Twitter to report the bargains they had snapped up thanks to the technical glitch. Amazon said many orders had been cancelled
But retailers said they risked going bankrupt, with some losing all of their Christmas stock.
The problem affected firms on Amazon’s Marketplace – which allows independent sellers to offer their goods alongside Amazon’s own – using third-party business software called RepricerExpress.
It is designed to keep them competitive by automatically repricing items on Amazon so they are cheaper than others in the digital market.
But for an hour on Friday, between 7pm and 8pm, a problem with RepricerExpress led to hundreds of items being sold on Amazon at a fraction of their normal price.
It is unclear whether the processed orders will be delivered to customers or cancelled, and whether retailers will be reimbursed for their losses.
One of the sellers, Judith Blackford, of children’s clothing firm Kiddymania, said she lost £20,000.
‘I started using RepricerExpress, as did a lot of other businesses, a few months ago,’ she said.
‘Through an error in their programme, I sold 675 products on Friday night that would normally be priced £5 to £100, and they went for a penny each.
One Twitter user claimed to have bought this drinks shaker for just 1p during the price glitch on Amazon
Another user claimed to have ordered 99 boxes flapjack bars after they were listed on the site for 1p
He said a fellow seller, called Mr Patel, had suffered £100,000 losses from shoppers buying toothbrushes and razors in orders of 1,000 a time.
But shoppers were delighted. One wrote on Twitter: ‘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.’
Another said: ‘I’ve just spent 80p on Amazon… for a few thousand pounds value… Loads of things are 1p.’
Brendan Doherty, chief executive of RepricerExpress, said in an email to retailers who had complained: ‘I am truly sorry for the distress this has caused.
'We have received communication that Amazon will not penalise sellers for this error.
One trader, called Belle (pictured), said her firm - which stocks toys and games - had seen its stock sell-out at the hugely discounted price and claimed the company faced losses of about £30,000 due to the price error
Amazon said the 'vast majority' of orders placed on affected items were cancelled immediately and confirmed no costs or fees would be incurred by the sellers. It said it was now contacting sellers over processed orders
‘We are continuing to work to identify how this problem occurred and 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.’
Last night Amazon said: ‘We are aware that a number of Marketplace sellers listed incorrect prices… 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.’
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