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Spectacular Black Friday

Posted by EngineSmith on November 29, 2010

Haha, the invisible war happened over Internet was nothing less spectacular either. I had first hand experience on this deal that night: Panasonic 42″ 1080p Plasma TV $298 @ buy.com w/free shipping. Lots of lessons. 🙂


For those who don’t want to read through the 300+ pages thread, here are some highlights:

– The deal lasted only 7 minutes on buy.com, before that, there are thousands of people clicking Refresh in the browser as well as posting to the forum. Most of them never saw the $298 price, why? Because the default seller is not buy.com on that page, you have to select buy.com on the side, and must add the item to the cart, regardless the price (took me 4 minutes to figure it out, but already too late).

– Several hundred lucky hard-core deal hunters completed the checkout on time. Lots of losers, reasons including:
– mis-typed credit card info (hands are shaking)
– changed mind at last step, decided to go back to get one more TV (greedy)
– didn’t have buy.com account set up (newbie)
– or stupidly chatting with customer support asking “where is the TV?” (dumb)

Of course, after 10 seconds, the TV is gone from their shopping cart. Several lucky guys completed the checkout too fast, forgot to review the shipping charge since the default shipping costs $150 (instead of the free shipping which is a selectable choice).

– 8 hours later, majority of the people who ordered the TV got an email stating that buy.com over-sold their inventory, and all their orders are canceled. Ends up only about 71 TV were sold.
– People gets angry, they dug out all buy.com executives’ personal info, facebook page, and started a war

– 11/26, buy.com started offering $50 gift certificate to those angry shoppers

– 11/27, buy.com backed down, decided to ship all the orders

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