Amazon promotion error: we have cameras.
July 17, 2019 6:37 PM   Subscribe

During this year's Amazon's Prime Day promotion, camera equipment with street prices ranging from $500 to $13,000 were briefly sold for $94.48, leading to a feeding frenzy, some users having their accounts suspended for the suspicious activity of buying too much.

Amazon is not cancelling all orders: Some people report that they've received their stuff at the advertised price. And there are claims that Walmart and Best Buy were honoring $94.48 price matches during the sale.

(Previously)
posted by ardgedee (25 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Geez I'm having "We Have Cameras" flashbacks (like what the title says).
posted by of strange foe at 7:13 PM on July 17 [4 favorites]


Sony A7R III for $100. Unbelievable. I'll keep dreaming.
posted by orange ball at 7:17 PM on July 17 [3 favorites]


Apparently my Amazon Prime boycott has again boycotted me back. You know what I blame this on the breakdown of? Capitalism!
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:22 PM on July 17 [7 favorites]


Once again consumers world wide feed of the frenzy that is the free camera
algorithm.^

^- some camera algorithms are subject to price range, taxes, shipping, account disruption, in-jokes, free cameras, license fees separate.
posted by clavdivs at 7:52 PM on July 17


There's something profoundly depressing about this.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 7:55 PM on July 17 [2 favorites]


Unlike some places you'll always find apples.

That's the Fairsley difference!
posted by downtohisturtles at 8:07 PM on July 17 [5 favorites]


Peter Tingle!
posted by NortonDC at 8:31 PM on July 17 [1 favorite]


As I said over on the grey, the timing of this is a little suspect.

Thanks for remembering, Amazon.
posted by vrakatar at 10:55 PM on July 17 [4 favorites]


Man, I would have loved that 800 mm lens for my canon DSLR. Of course, since I buy all my camera gear from B&H, I never would have thought to look at lenses on prime day.
posted by TedW at 2:40 AM on July 18


The amera suppliers swearing cam you damnazon
posted by otherchaz at 4:46 AM on July 18 [2 favorites]


probably the best advertising they could ever imagine...
posted by danjo at 4:51 AM on July 18


"the best advertising"

I don't know how much effective advertising runs these days, but those camera MSRP probably look like chump-change to Superbowl level advertising. So, conspiracy-wise, yes.
posted by filtergik at 5:21 AM on July 18


NortonDC!!!!! 😍
posted by terrapin at 5:33 AM on July 18 [1 favorite]


TedW: ...I never would have thought to look at lenses on prime day.

*groan*
posted by wenestvedt at 5:43 AM on July 18 [6 favorites]


I swear I didn’t do that on purpose!
posted by TedW at 5:48 AM on July 18 [2 favorites]




I was a bit bummed that I didn't notice it until it occurred to me that it was probably done on purpose to make people bummed so they'd be ... more diligent in their shopping compulsion. Very clever, and if it wasn't intentional, the next time it will be.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 11:12 AM on July 18 [2 favorites]


Noooooo, no way is any retailer selling a $13,000 lens for $100 just for the buzz. No fucking way. Someone's getting fired for that.
posted by Autumnheart at 11:38 AM on July 18


Autumnheart : I used to work for Amazon. I know a guy who once, inadvertently, turned off the ability for the East Coast of the USA to place orders. This lasted for probably 10 minutes or less, but the impact was (I'm told) measured with a 6 digit dollar value. He was still working there a few years later when I joined, and was on the same team.

It was an honest mistake, and it had since been changed so that it wasn't possible to do again. But still, one would think he wouldn't have been kept on.

Which is all by way of saying, who ever mispriced these things will probably just not be allowed to change pricing on things without supervision for a while. Unless it was actually malicious, they probably won't lose their job.
posted by Zudz at 12:45 PM on July 18 [3 favorites]


Someone's getting fired for that.

I strongly doubt the (maybe?) six figure loss they could have potentially taken here wasn't more than absorbed by the ~6 BILLION they are estimated to have made in one day. That's not even a blip on the radar. If they care enough to make some schmuck pay for that mistake with his job, they're focused on the entirely wrong things.

this is not to say that Amazon is not evil and/or focused on wrong things
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:46 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


It was an honest mistake, and it had since been changed so that it wasn't possible to do again.

That's the key. People will always make mistakes - better to find the fault in the systems that enabled those mistakes to have that kind of splash radius.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:31 PM on July 18


Noooooo, no way is any retailer selling a $13,000 lens for $100 just for the buzz. No fucking way. Someone's getting fired for that.
Well, I think you might want to check the price of some major ad buys before you decide that a million bucks is a big deal for one of the world's largest retailers. Heck, Bozos probably spends more than that on lunch every day.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 1:42 PM on July 18


Is there an Occam's Razor-ish corollary that applies to something that could have been the product of many man-hours of clever strategizing but could also just as readily be a momentary fuckup.
posted by ardgedee at 2:57 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]


Well, I think you might want to check the price of some major ad buys before you decide that a million bucks is a big deal for one of the world's largest retailers.

Well, I think you might want to understand that marketing teams have their own budgets, their own campaign plans, that they spend literally months fucking planning them and have legal contracts as long as your arm to follow through. You might also want to understand that e-commerce buyers also have very specific legal contracts with their vendors, like Sony and Canon, with the inventory and agreed-upon price spelled out down to the penny in fucking triplicate, and no vendor in a billion years is going to agree to take a $12,900 hit PER UNIT just in case there’s someone living under a rock in Outer Mongolia who has yet to hear of Prime Day. And finally, you might also realize that you know who else isn’t really interested in taking a five-figure loss, again, per unit, just on a whim? Literally every corporation ever, particularly public ones, and particularly Amazon, which has spent an incomprehensible amount of money to make their entire supply chain as lean as possible.

This was a fuck-up, not a secret ploy for attention.
posted by Autumnheart at 5:07 PM on July 18 [2 favorites]


"... inadvertently, turned off the ability for the East Coast of the USA to place orders. This lasted for probably 10 minutes or less, but the impact was (I'm told) measured with a 6 digit dollar value."

In General Motors hey -day, if certain lines had an unscheduled shut down, the cost would range 10000 to 50000$ a second if a certain time elapsed, 4.5 minutes I think. If parts were low, they were flown in. Thus 100 widgets at 100$ a piece turns to 100 widgets costing 1000$ a piece.
posted by clavdivs at 6:55 PM on July 18


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