When Christmas shoppers went online to buy from Amazon on Monday, they were shocked at the price of hundreds of items being sold for just 1p. Their luck was not because of Amazon’s generous offer but due to a software glitch in the RepricerExpress software, the Telegraph reported on Monday.
The RepricerExpress software automatically reprices items of stock if a cheaper version becomes available elsewhere online and is designed to keep businesses competitive. However, what came as a dream come true for the shoppers turned out to be a nightmare for the sellers.
One of the sellers affected, Judith Blackford of Kiddymania, told Sky News that she lost 20,000 pounds ($31,333) overnight and could be forced out of business as result of the error, according to the report in The Telegraph.
“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,” she added.
A Facebook group has been set up by the affected sellers, which says RepricerExpress still has not made it clear how they would be compensated.
The glitch happened on one of the busiest trading weekends of the year for sellers, in the run-up to Christmas and what was worse for them, some shoppers were quick to take advantage of the error.
In a statement on RepricerExpress’s website, CEO Brendan Doherty said a software malfunction caused incorrect pricing to be sent to Amazon.
“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,” Doherty said.
“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,” he added.
An Amazon spokesman told Sky News that the company was “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”.
“We responded quickly and were able to cancel the vast majority of orders immediately,” he said.(IANS)