An hour long Amazon repricer technical glitch caused various Amazon sellers in the UK (and some in the US) to lose out on Amazon sales dollars this past Friday. Setting inventory prices to £0.01 (1 pence), and potentially impacting seller reviews- a major component in Buy Box eligibility.
RepricerExpress, an Amazon repricing technology encountered a technical error in the middle of the key selling season for Amazon sellers, resulting in a myriad of orders placed at a significantly discounted rate of one penny.
Scores of sellers stand to lose out significantly during a season which should be their highest grossing quarter of the year. Many of which say they may have to face closure, and others which may be permanently at a Buy Box disadvantage on Amazon.
RepricerExprss hasn’t noted an official cause for the glitch, according to Fortune, Amazon’s third party vendor “generated a self-reinforcing loop in which goods were automatically re-priced down to a penny” which resulted in the pricing issue.
RepricerExpress is geared towards smaller Amazon sellers- some of which have banded together on Facebook to discuss a potential lawsuit against RepricerExpress, in light of potential closures, significant holiday losses.
Amazon was able to cancel orders which weren’t dispatched, sellers are out for inventory and profit on the remainder of orders- a substantive sum, and one Amazon has not said it will compensate.
Moreover, for cancelled orders, Amazon sellers face the potential of negative reviews from customers- a factor that may well inhibit Buy Box share and Amazon sales indefinitely.
For many smaller sellers, Buy Box share is already highly competitive, meaning negative review impact could follow Amazon sellers for years.
Chief Executive at RepricerExpress, Brendan Doherty reached out to the affected sellers, many of which are still seething:
“I am truly sorry for the distress this has caused our customers.We understand that you are angry and upset and we will endeavor to work to make good on this issue and to work to restore your confidence in our product and service” and later noted: “We are continuing to work to identify how this problem occurred and to put measures in place to ensure that id does not happen again… Everyone here is devastated and disappointed that you have experienced this problem.”
Despite RepricerExpress’s apology, many Amazon sellers are understandably worried about encountering similar repricing issues, and facing unrecoverable financial loss.
The Amazon repricer technical glitch speaks to the need for professional channel management to avoid issues like this completely derailing a retailers chances of success of the Amazon channel.
We’ve covered how to institute safeguards to prevent repricing issues on Amazon on a companion article to be published in a few hours.