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Amazon 1p repricing glitch occured on Friday evening

By Chris Dawson December 15, 2014 - 5:00 am

On Friday evening a software glitch caused a number of seller’s items to be priced at 1p on Amazon.

We don’t know how many sellers were affected, but sadly the general public appear to have jumped at the chance to take advantage, even to the extent of buying items they neither want nor need.

The glitch occurred between 7pm and Repricer had a fix in place by 8pm. However in that space of time some sellers saw many hundreds of sales.

What to do if you were affected

If you were affected then Repricer have been communicating with Amazon and have confirmed that Amazon will not penalise sellers for this error. They tell us that Amazon have been given details of all sellers and transactions affected.

You should get in touch with both Amazon to have the sales cancelled and with Repricer for additional support. Whilst you may receive warnings about your seller metrics Tamebay have been assured that any defects arising from the incident won’t be counted against your account.

There is a bigger issue for those sellers who fulfil orders using Amazon FBA as it’s likely that some shipments occurred before the issue was identified. Again you should contact both Amazon and Repricer and they have assured us that they are there to assist you.

Repricer are there to help you

Naturally Repricer are devastated that the glitch happened and they understand that if you’re one of the affected sellers you’re likely to be angry and worried. They are assuring their customers that they are there to assist you and will be contacting all affected sellers to assist.

We know it’s the busiest time of year and it sounds trite to say try and stay calm under the circumstances. However what’s happened has happened and the important thing now is to get the situation rectified as swiftly as possible so that you can concentrate on shipping orders and maximising on the Christmas season.

If you were affected you can contract repricer on 028 7136 3727 for assistance.

Full statement from Brendan, CEO of Repricer

We experienced a problem with RepricerExpress on Friday evening which caused incorrect pricing to be sent to Amazon. We managed to get the problem resolved so that any new prices going to Amazon were correct within about an hour of the problem being reported. It took a further few hours to get incorrect prices reverted to their original prices where possible.

I understand that this issue comes at the most important time of the year for our customers and I am deeply sorry by the disruption that has been caused. We have communicated with Amazon to help minimise orders with incorrect prices being shipped and we encourage sellers to contact Amazon for up to date info on this.

Again I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to our customers and to Amazon for this issue. We will continue to investigate the cause and to put measures in place to prevent it from happening again. One of the things all sellers can do to prevent this issue from happening again is to ensure that they do not de-activate the pricing alerts facility provided by Amazon which caters for potential repricing errors.

We take a lot of pride in the levels of service we provide so everyone here is disappointed that our customers have experienced this issue. We will continue to work to provide the highest levels of service we can in order to regain the trust and confidence of our customers.

  • Gary
    3 years ago

    Can we assume this cannot happen on ebay?

    • radroach
      3 years ago

      I think that Repricer only works on Amazon? However I would imagine that any such software could in theory go badly wrong.

    • Steve
      3 years ago

      WOW, thats just fantastic and I wish I’d known about it.

      I hope it does happen on eBay! Do you think I can get a discount for a large quantity?

      I’ll happily spend £100 on any 10,000 items and sell on whatever I eventually get at a crazy profit!! Even if only 1% arrive its gonna be huge. (Sorry but I only have 10 fingers so I can’t tell you what that profit would be but I think its probably quite a lot!)

      Happy days! (Maybe not for my Postman)

      Long live the Revolution!! ;)

    • 3 years ago

      Disclosure: I’ve been in the repricing industry for over 5 years but do not compete directly RepricerExpress.

      There is nothing that prevents this from happening on eBay other than you can’t go to 0.01 since the minimum price allowed is either 0.99 or 1.00 depending on which eBay site you listed to. We had a customer last Christmas who was subscribed to our repricer but also subscribed to a competitor. Our competitor went haywire one day and the seller originally blamed us since they were not actively using our competitor despite being left active on their account. It turned out it wasn’t us but the important thing is that the customer told us eBay cancelled their miss-priced transactions and blocked their negative feedbacks due to the glitch. This was a seller large enough to have their own account manager. As far as I know eBay made good on that promise. I’m not aware if this was a widespread issue or just a single seller that had that issue.

      What I’m confused about is that badly priced items due to faulty repricers and user mistakes are so commonplace on Amazon that Amazon actually started blocking bad prices earlier this year to prevent this exact situation. What happened? Why didn’t that safety mechanism activate?

    • Steve
      3 years ago

      Bugger, I forgot about that.

      Guess I’ll have to settle for just 100 items.

      Any discounts for volume orders?

      Long live the Revolution! ;)

  • We don’t use repricer but I feel for those that have been affected by this – However… I saw a very poorly worded email from a retailer to a customer on Moneysaving expert on Saturday – http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5134848

    (below is a copy of the message,I have XX the company name, although this still showing on Money Saving Expert)

    For Your Information: To help arbitrate disputes and preserve trust and safety, we retain all messages buyers and sellers send through Amazon.co.uk. This includes your response to the message below. For your protection we recommend that you only communicate with buyers and sellers using this method.
    Dear Customer

    Firstly, I’d like to apologise for the disruption this email may cause.

    We experienced a problem with Amazon UK yesterday at about 18:00GMT and worked to fix the original issue by 20:00GMT.

    We continued to work over the following few hours in conjunction with Amazon to revert any incorrect prices to their original prices, caused via the Amazon system

    We have received communication that Amazon will not penalise sellers for this error, but have requested we contact buyers and ask them to create a return request to return the stock back to amazon.

    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.

    We’ve been in business for over 4 years and we’ve always taken pride in the levels of service we provide, so everyone here is devastated and disappointed we experienced this problem. Unfortunately, our inventory lost over 10000 units within a space of 2 hours, which couldn’t be prevented. This will result in XX entering liquidation as a result of this pricing error by amazon.

    We understand that you think you may have grabbed a great bargain, but we have instructed amazon to revert the prices to our usual prices and recharge your card with the correct amount owed. We would like to offer customers a grace period of 7 days to create a return request and return any stock incorrect priced and dispatched. If this action isn’t carried out, we will seek to recover sums owed

    1. By recharging your credit/debit card
    2. If funds are not available, passing to a debt collection agency
    3. Informing experian and getting your address added to the mail order black list

    We would like to urge customers to be honourable and honest during this Christmas period and not take advantage of a small business, who cannot afford to give away its £100,000 inventory for under £100. This will create a number of job losses in the run up to Christmas, due to the behaviour of a select number of customer.

    I again reiterate, the products were not Amazon Inc, products, but were ****** owned products dispatched on our behalf by Amazon Inc.

    Yours sincerely

    • Dom
      3 years ago

      You can understand them panicking but this really is not the way to deal with customers with unrealistic threats which cannot be carried out, of blacklisting, debt collection and re-charging credit cards.

      I wonder if RepricerExpress have any legal obligation for retailer losses on FBA items that were dispatched before the orders were cancelled? But I doubt Repricer have much of a future as a business. I think this episode is damaging for trust in all repricing software.

  • SJP
    3 years ago

    We were caught up in this on Friday, but by luck spotted an order was sold at the wrong price and very quickly zero’d the quantity in Amazon for the affected items. It wasn’t all our inventory that was at 1p, just a section of it and mainly in Amazon.DE.

    Most sellers affected by this will be fine, as they would not have posted any items out, they can just cancel the transactions and deal with the fall out.
    What’s more worrying is those that use FBA who just posted the items out overnight for them before they knew they had had an error. FBA obviously wouldn’t check for errors such as a selling price. If those orders had gone for packing, they would not have got sent by our packing team. We have systems in place to check each order to ensure the right product, right address, right price etc etc. Fulfilment companies couldn’t do that.
    RepricerExpress may have caused the error, but FBA has caused the bigger issue by actually dispatching the items. More reason to not use a fulfilment system you have no close control over.

    I feel sorry for those business affected, we got very lucky on Friday night and spotted the problem as it happened. My heart goes out to those affected and hope you manage to get through it. Looking at the news and forums and seeing the comments, I don’t hold much hope of customers sending those items back for them, the usual looting mentality seems to have taken over peoples senses.

    • 3 years ago

      Disclosure: I’ve been in the repricing industry for over 5 years but do not compete directly RepricerExpress.

      A few years ago there was a major incident with another repricer on Amazon. Amazon made the same promises then that they’ve made this time in that they will cancel transactions and not hold it against the seller. However sellers will be impacted. Last time despite those promises I was able to look up several sellers who had their feedback scores dashed into the 80s. But worst of all were the people in the forums talking about loosing over $40k on FBA items. I think at least one business was completely wiped out over the incident. In that case the repricer claimed the incident only lasted 15 minutes. While there is no way to know if they were telling the truth RepricerExpress has indicated the issue persisted much longer and this was during the yearly peak of business rather than the summer lull. I hope the best for everybody involved but this is definitely a very bad situation.

  • Martin
    3 years ago

    This was featured on Jeremy Vine show today. Normally I turn him off, but this was worth listening to.

    I can’t see quite how Amazon can be liable for this if it only affected sellers using 3rd party repricing SW. Their response shows that even so Amazon want to achieve some kind of acceptable result, because it will affect the reputation of their platform – which rather undermines comments on Chinese VAT which suggest ebay couldn’t care less about such things.

    What I really liked was the seller who called in to JV who doesn’t use repricing SW but games it to force down the prices of other sellers. He said he ran about 1000 skus, and deliberately lowered the price to force users of repricing SW to offer ever lower prices to keep the market. This accelerates the repricer’s sales at low margin, and once they are sold out allows our seller to then set his prices higher again and sell at a better margin. Good luck to him.

    • Gerry007
      3 years ago

      .
      Probably him that caused the SW to go mad and offer everything @ 1p….

    • Chris
      3 years ago

      You turn off Jeremy Vine? He’s brilliant.

  • Mark
    3 years ago

    >doesn’t use repricing SW but games it to force down the prices of other sellers.

    For years businesses have been responding to their competitors prices, matching or beating them. The main difference with automatic repricing software on online marketplaces is that it allows the change to happen significantly quicker.

  • elvis
    3 years ago

    Are Repricer insured for such issues? Will they cover any sellers losses as a result of their error?

  • boardsurfer
    3 years ago

    “the race to the bottom” finally has some winners.

    :-p

    • Fedor Dzjuba
      3 years ago

      Love this comment :)

  • Derek Duval
    3 years ago

    PMSL at all the sad big boys Ebayers who lost money using pricing software….Im one happy little Ebay seller now….Ho ho ho…

  • Andy
    3 years ago

    Two queries about this story.

    1) why hasn’t there been any follow-up by Tamebay on this? All that’s coming from RepricerExpress is utter bollocks and all their promises to sellers about metrics not being affected were seemingly lies. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/690635204388429/692673777517905/)
    2) why refer to RepricerExpress in this article as Repricer? In previous articles they have always been RepricerExpress when you have been promoting them? (http://tamebaynew.wpengine.com/2014/12/guest-post-how-amazon-repricing-can-increase-your-sales-and-profits.html)

  • 3 years ago

    I hope you are aware of Amazon’s new Tool that protects you from Future Repricing Error. Just in-case you did not know please follow this link to see 3-Easy-Steps Guide

    https://daytodayebay.wordpress.com/2014/12/23/how-to-protect-your-amazon-account-from-repricing-error/

  • peter stanley
    3 years ago

    Probat Shah the problem with the new tool is if you have thousands of listings already on amazon to go through them all and set a minimum price on them all would take weeks. I presume if you are a pro seller you can do it via an inventory upload.

    • peter stanley
      3 years ago

      Apologies I spelt Prabhat Shah’s name wrong.

    • Prabhat
      3 years ago

      Hi Peter No problem.

      Yes you can upload minimum price with with a file upload.

      Please follow this link to get template on Amazon

      https://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/200385490

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