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Amazon Outage Tuesday Slows Sales to Sellers

Sellers wondering why they experienced a slowdown in orders today discovered it was likely due to technical issues that prevented many customers from completing orders.

One seller who had tried to make a purchase himself started a thread, “The reason why sales are slow” on the Amazon discussion boards. The user reported getting the following error when repeatedly attempting to buy an item:

Oops! We’re sorry
An error occurred when we tried to process your request. Rest assured, we’re working to resolve the problem as soon as possible. If you were trying to make a purchase, please check to confirm that the order was placed. We apologize for the inconvenience.

The seller called Amazon and was told the company was aware of the issue and was warned it could take anywhere from few minutes to few hours to fix. “This is pathetic, considering its Amazon,” the seller wrote.

A colleague wrote, “I was wondering. We had a good amount of sales this morning and then it just stopped like a light turning off,” while another replied, “I was able to buy something today, but I haven’t gotten many orders.”

Shoppers complained on Twitter and on Down Detector, which showed a spike in reports at about 3 pm EST.

CNET reported the problem started at 1 pm and called it “a rare occurrence for the normally reliable e-commerce company known for an easy checkout process and quick delivery.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.