Lost millions is good news for early bird shoppers
Although the cynic may chalk it down as a expensive PR gamble, it's nice to think of this story as the Man playing fair by the consumers for once. After all, it's not every day you unintentionally give away a million quid to your punters.
6pm.com, a US website that pushes hundreds of discount offers on clothing, is the sister website to Zappos.com, the online footwear retailer that's one of the major e-commerce success stories, and renowned for customer service. According to the Zappos blog, on Friday morning a technical fault capped nearly all the prices across 6pm.com at $49.95. The fault occured between midnight and 6am - hardly peak trading hours, but word spread and customers snapped the bargains throughout the night.
Anybody familiar with online pricing errors will know the retailer in question will rarely make good on any orders placed, and nearly always rescind them before they're confirmed. Most of the time, however, those pricing errors occur to a single product line. The pricing error on 6pm.com meant thousands of items were reduced, and 6pm.com would lose over $1.6 million if they honoured the orders placed.
The thing is, they did honour the orders. All of them. Some data inputting dude is probably still locked in the basement after receiving a 'Bauer' with the blow torch and pliers, but all customers who placed orders will receive them at the reduced prices. It's a metric fuckton of money for a PR stunt, but it's the sort of story that'll spread virally and do the website no harm whatsoever.