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Amazon Glitch Leaves Thousands Of Items On Sale For Just 1p

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Software glitch puts items such as toys and clothes at bargain prices on Amazon Marketplace

Last-minute Christmas shoppers were left rubbing their hands with glee over the weekend following a technical glitch on Amazon that meant thousands of items were listed for just a penny.

Mattresses, clothes and toys were among the items erroneously listed, Amazon confirmed, with thousands of sellers on the site’s Marketplace exchange site left facing major losses.

The error lasted for just over an hour on Friday evening, although some items still seem to be listed for 1p today. Amazon said the majority of orders were cancelled immediately and confirmed it would be working with sellers who had seen orders processed.

Amazon packagesIn for a penny

One business, Discount Discs, told Sky News that they knew of other sellers who had lost as much as £100,000 of stock.

“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,” an Amazon spokesperson said.

“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.”

The glitch appears to have been caused by a problem with the third party software used by sellers on Amazon Marketplace. The software is supplied to sellers by RepricerExpress, and automatically adjusts the price of an item to come in line with what else is available on the online market. Businesses use it to ensure their goods are advertised at competitive prices.

In a post on the RepricerExpress website, CEO Brendan Doherty said he was “truly sorry for the distress this has caused our customers”.

He insisted Amazon “will not penalise sellers” for the error, and said his company would “endeavour to work to make good on this issue”

Amazon has invested heavily into its delivery infrastructure this year as it looks to deal with its busiest shopping season ever. The company revealed earlier this month that it is using 15,000 robots across 10 of its 50 US warehouses to help with the Christmas shopping rush.

The company has also teamed up with the Post Office in the UK to ensure no deliveries are missed over the holidays. The company has agreed to add the Post Office’s 10,500 UK branches to its existing PickUp Locations service, which allows customers to pick up items they’ve bought online.

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