Businesses bankrupted overnight due to Amazon glitch

Amazon box

A technical glitch in the Amazon repricing software RepricerExpress led product prices on the site to plummet, allowing customers to purchase items worth thousands of pounds for as little as 1p.

While Amazon claimed to have cancelled the “vast majority” of erroneous orders by “responding quickly” to the situation, any orders which had already been confirmed as paid for or shipped can not be reclaimed by sellers, it said. The affected businesses have also been hit with processing fees from Amazon, with some bills reported to total thousands of pounds on orders which may have bankrupted the sellers in the process.

We cannot cancel or reimburse orders that have already been shipped or been charged to the customer,” the company stated yesterday.

Unsurprisingly, business owners that sell through the site are incensed. Many have banded together to hire legal representation, with a view to seeking financial reimbursement and avoiding bankruptcy.

One Cloudseller user, Mehboob Rasool, who uses the tool to sell furniture and electrical goods through Amazon, told CityAM: “At Christmas, sellers send more stock than ever to Amazon’s warehouses to sell. So we are talking about millions of pounds of orders.”

RepricerExpress, which has apologised for the glitch, works by automatically reducing prices on competing products to keep these low for customers. Between 7pm and 8pm on Friday, an issue in the software caused the ruinously low numbers to be supplied to Amazon’s website.

CEO Brendan Doherty said in a statement that he is “truly sorry for the distress this has caused.”

He added: “We have received communication that Amazon will not penalise sellers for this error. 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.”