back to article Ebuyer knocked out by own £1 deals site

UK gadget retail site Ebuyer has been knocked offline as its £1 laptop deals caused an online stampede that flattened the site's servers. Ebuyer failed to shore up its web systems ahead of the customer rush and the site was offline for several hours even before the offers officially opened at 11am today. The tech site's "Cyber …

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FAIL

I managed to find a couple of items that would be useful after refreshing the page several times. Managed to add the first item to my basket OK. Went back to add the second item and again hit the issues. By the time I managed to add the second item the first item had sold out. Given up.

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Not Worth It

I did get it to load at some point, and unless you were already looking for a pink iPhone case or a specific pair of travel speakers I think you will be disappointed.

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Anonymous Coward

Managed to get on the site, but where are the deals?

Great advertising ploy,

1. Crash Website / Reduce Bandwith to dialup worthy limits

2. Leak news story of non-existant £1 sale

3. erm...

4. Profit!

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Not really profit when the site has been equally inaccessible to regular customers. Losing a whole day's business, driving dozens of customers to competitors (some of them for good, by all accounts) and getting atrocious PR in the process surely means someone's head is going to roll.

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FAIL

Still not working too well

Most pages give "Sorry there has been an error loading this page". I doubt you could make it to checkout page without spending an hour refreshing pages like mad.

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FAIL

Epic fail

And when you can get onto the site, I can't see an easy link to any £1 deals ....

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FAIL

£1 laptop deals? No. £1 CLEARANCE deals

There are no laptops on sale for £1 at all. The biggest offer I know about, due to the servers dying so much, is a Samsung Syncmaster monitor. They are offering a few new deals an hour with the majority of items being cheap crap that you wouldn't even want to pay £1 for anyway. The worst part is that if you do somehow manage to get to order something (I did, the Syncmaster) you can generally expect an out of stock email to follow the order acknowledgement. Oh and let's not forget the minimum delivery fee is about £5 as well.

To say that this has been a spectacular failure and showcase for how *not* to run an online sale event would be an understatement of the highest order. It also appears they're deleting some unfavourable posts off their Facebore page to try and hide the scale of the mess.

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Syx
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Blocked!

Not only did they remove my comment suggesting a competitor, they barred me from further posting.

Can't really understand what I did wrong as you can't even get to their site anyway.

Bunch of jokers.

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FAIL

Not convinced there was a sale...

Since I'm at home with manflu and nothing better to do I managed to get on a few times over last few hours and order some stuff, although F5 no longer has any paint on.

I got a mobo, a monitor, and a few other £100+ items each time for a quid. Paid for them all separately, did all the verified by visa stuff and got confirmation emails.

Since then, I've had a series of emails saying each item is out of stock, meaning I have a grand total of fuck all for my two hours of refreshing. Did anyone actually get anything apart from a crushing feeling of how empty one's own life is?

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FAIL

Save 24p

NDSI stylus pen, reduced from £1.24 to £1

Rest of it's a load of crap for Wii, and (inexplicably) a face recognition terminal for £500.

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FAIL

The deal offered seemed irresistible and ill be honest as much as people have been complaining about it being just 'cheap tat' are very wrong. So far over the course of the morning ive seen some very nice and expensive items on the sale page, however...

This is where it gets bad, as its not impossible to order things as some people have found you can actually see what your missing. Over the course of the morning I have managed to get motherboards, hard drives, dmx laser units etc into my cart and even to the checkout page. The first time I had 4 items clicked order and the price it was asking me to pay jumped from the £4 + £5 p&p to over £500 as they had obviously removed an item from the 'sale'. I wish i had hit confirm. Instead I refreshed the page and I was redirected to and empty cart. The second time I had 2 items in my cart got through the order process and promptly got an email saying the items were now out of stock. Third time I entered card details clicked confirm and got redirected back to the start of the order process. I ran through this again and ordered only to realise it had changed the delivery to a £10 delivery option....

So out of a morning of refreshing ive ended up with a £20 item for £1 but £10 delivery costs and a bad taste in my mouth. I get the feeling I may just be cancelling all my orders unless I hear some serious apologies from ebuyer.

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To Update:

It seems that ebuyer are automatically sending out of stock notifications to every order as I ordered a another item, got a low stock email yet it was still showing well in stock on the ebuyer site.

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Mushroom

It's now 2pm & they are still down

well I'm still not able to get in :-S

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Anonymous Coward

are eBuyer circling the drain ?

Out of the 4 times I've used them this year - all with next day delivery paid for - they managed to not deliver next day 3 times. The best time was ordering some kit to be delivered day before Good Friday. Thursday came and went, and no delivery. Eventually got it - you guessed - following *Wednesday*. Totally offhand attitude from staff. Can't say I use them any more.

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Holmes

RE: are eBuyer circling the drain ?

They've always been like that. I lost count of the number of times that I got free delivery because I paid for next day and it didn't arrive. Mind you, they used to use CityLink which meant that many, many items went missing in transit... Usually in the run up to Christmas. Just sayin' ;-)

Stopped using them ages ago due to cr@p service.

Cheers.

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Pint

Pretty much

I recently ordered some items that were showing as in stock, on a Friday night, next day delivery.

So, reasonably, it says they'll be there on Tuesday. Fine. Tuesday came and went. They told me there was a mix up and they'd be there on Thursday.

Cancelled order, redid order on Dabs, with their FREE delivery, and it still came that week - on Friday. So really, ebuyer's next day is about the same as Dabs' free delivery.

Huh, and I used to buy a LOT of gear from ebuyer, but not as of late.

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FAIL

'Ebuyer confirmed that traffic for the £1 deals was what sent their site into a tailspin and said that customers were able to start making orders now if they kept refreshing the page.'

er, how about 'no you cant - it still isnt working.' idiots.

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FAIL

BOFH will be on the rampage

Whichever smart alec in Marketing thought of communicating that promotion without informing their systems guys first had better check their network switch under their desk isn't smoking in a suspicious fashion......

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Top tip - if you're going to have a mega sale, you're going to get mega traffic, most of the people who try to have a look are going to be new users who now will probably avoid ebuyer and shop elsewhere, a major cockup which has more than likely lost them past customers and future customers.

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Flame

Crap sales

I buy most of my computer stuff from eBuyer, they have reasonable prices and in general I have no problems with them, used them for years. But the one thing they do really badly are their sales; I know it's normal to highlight the biggest savings in the adverts for a sale, while the stuff anyone actually wants to buy is not discounted much, but eBuyer really take the piss on that. I hope they lose more money from their servers being down than they make from flogging their unwanted tat, maybe they'll learn.

By the way, I just got on there, and they have Hayes Accura 56k PC card analog modems for £27.76. Try not to knock anyone down in the stampede, people.

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Oh dear

I'm not interested in their bleedin sale, I just need some kit for tomorrow. But the website is so slow I've given up and ordered it elsewhere. So they're now 400 quid down because they didn't plan their sale event and made their site unusable.

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revenge

they're attempting revenge by spamming the crap out of everyone else on facebook

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FAIL

what were they thinking

Anyone with any sense could have said all that will happen is they will kill their own site.

And as others have said, also lose regular trade, and generally piss people off.

What they should have done (if it isn't still available) is have the £5 lucky dip as a regular stock item. Far better way of getting rid of tat they don't want.

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FAIL

Poor

My views mirror the rest that have commented, a lot more planning should have been taken, not only will this affect peoples views of the company, but also the trust, how can you trust a company who cant even get their own IT requirements sorted.

I for one, will not be choosing eBuyer in the future, due to the lack of forward thinking.

Poor show guys....

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H4ckorz! All of you!

I hope you will all be turning yourselves in for participating in this DDoS attack!

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MGJ
FAIL

Are they any relation to the lot who sell tickets for Glastonbury, and who every year have a website that has thousands hitting F5 for several hours to see if they can get a ticket?

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FAIL

confirmation email

followed by cancellation email

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Anonymous Coward

screw ebuyer, the spamming bastards.

Fucking arseholes have been spamming the shit out of my hotmail account the past few weeks. No, I've never had any business dealings with them nor signed up to anything.

Please try not to give these twunts any further free publicity, it'll only encourage them.

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FAIL

Looks like it's slowly coming back to life

Probably because most people have given up, or seen that the majority of deals are not all that exciting. Best deal 'this hour' is a Hayes Accura 56k card modem, reduced from £33 to £1. One can't help feeling they wouldn't have had people beating a path to their door to pay £33 for that... Initial anticipation of bargain waned to offhand interest. BIG fail in my view.

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Syx
Stop

"SOLD OUT"

So, it's over - despite promising that it would go on until midnight.

Seems to me that it's more like cutting your losses than being sold out... especially since there were a number of items left moments before the change!

Well played ebuyer - we can only guess at the number of customers you've lost yourself today.

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Cheap Tat

If you want cheap tat today, http://www.boffer.co.uk/ is the place for you. Guaranteed to be terrible.

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Untrustworthy

In EVERY instance where I have purchased a product in the past which has inherent issues (i.e. the Logitech keyboard that doesn't let you press W, Shift and Space at the same time) they have BLOCKED the review of the product. Don't trust the reviews/comments on that site to give you anything worth knowing.

Additionally they have also failed on their next-day delivery many times that I've used them with not even an apology for the delay when contacted about it.

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Anonymous Coward

Out of stock

Was anything actually available at all? I managed to place several orders, all were cancelled as out of stock! :(

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Gold badge
Trollface

That seems a common theme.

Maybe someone[1] who's been personally inconvenienced would care to do the necessary to add an OFT investigation[2] to their existing woes?

Yes, that probably is a bit nasty.

[1] Or, better still, several someones all bitching to TPTB in concert.

[2] Who tend to take an extraordinarily dim view of those who hype sale prices without the stock to back it up.

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FAIL

They cut and run 8 hours early

It's over. Ebuyer have decided to pull the promotion:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150415203779350&set=a.180408639349.122819.25406059349&type=1

Nice that they decided to end it all with a smiley...

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Trollface

How dumb?

Planning a huge sale without making sure your servers can cope is retarded, telling all the users to keep hitting F5 until it loads is even worse.

Still I enjoyed hammering the crap out of the website for a laugh

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Anonymous Coward

Utter waste of time and effort

I managed to get 3 items into my basket... thinking i could eventually refresh my page and checkout... only to find that all items have now reverted to the original selling price and now I find myself wth a checkout of £72.50!! WTF!!!! I usually rate ebuyer, however this is poor form... :

A - If you are offering such a massive discount - expect the traffic and sort your servers out to cope with the load, clearly you have a large customer base.... get your systems in order to cope with it!!!!

B - allow enough stock to last the duration of the campaign you originally stated in your email.... especially as most people are still at work!

C - If people actually manage to shop on your site, at least allow them to check out the shopping cart they have put together throughout the day at the price they originally saw before your servers failed!

Really poor form E-buyer... I can only say that today they have lost more customers that they would have gained. It would have been better to set up a loyalty site with 'exclusive' discounts for loyal customers only!

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What was the point of this?

Got two spam messages about this during the weekend then went online at 11am site was down (kept trying to no avail). Kept trying and know they say it is finished. What the feck was that all about???

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FAIL

Fail

Was in the process of placing a (non-sale) order for some £650, then everything stopped responding, so I went elswhere.

Well done eBuyer.

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FAIL

Ebuyer are getting a hammering on their FaceBook page.

Though, most people will have forgotten by next week and just buy from the cheapest supplier per usual.

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Anonymous Coward

ebuyer appears to be run by incompetant chavs

just like almost every other retail outlet in our failed so-called civilization.

It's a sorry state of affairs when we allow ourselves to be treated like shit by ignorant retail cretins, and half the people in this concrete shit hole that we laughingly call a country think that's a good day out! You will do this, you will do that, you will not take pictures of anyone in authority. Yes master, whatever you say! I LOVE taking stupid orders, especially up the shitter.

Well FUCK EM. Don't buy anything this Christmas.

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FAIL

So buy from who, then

DABS went for a sack of crap when BT took over and were so utterly useless earlier this year, I ditched them forever.

Ebuyer was the next natural choice.

So who is left?

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Silver badge

Novatech good

Ummm.... some melons in there as well.

Scan: their ordering system makes no effort to reserve stock at any time and seems to be inaccurate in any case. Dropped them after the 3rd consecutive order got stuck in a deadlock, with different parts taking turns being out of stock holding the entire order up. In one case they discontinued a part, permanently stalling the delivery but never noticed, even after 2 sessions with customer support! Can't say I've ever been impressed by their customer service.

Aria: RMA'd a mboard to them and eventually received back a considerably lower spec version, covered in shit with a randomly chosen set of accessories, some rusty. Took weeks to get that far. 3 years on I'm still waiting for a real replacement or refund. Or even acknowledgement of the return.

...I trust ebay more than some of the others... ;)

Novatech became my automatic choice for most things, after the sad loss of Komplett. They just seem to get the job done without all the gimmicks, haven't let me down yet.

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Previously, whilst I've used most of those, none came close to DAB's range, or Ebuyer's.

Guess it's time for a bit of in depth evaluation.

Re Amazon - good for books, but the rest is just ebay in disguise - I prefer getting fiddly orders from one real supplier if possible.

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Silver badge

Dabs isn't all that bad

They're actually not too bad - I've recently had good experience with them.

Of course, shop around for the best price. Amazon is fantastic for that, and they have a ridiculously wide range too.

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Re "Dabs isn't all that bad"

Unless you happen to be a business customer.

As a business customer, you cannot checkout via dabs.com but will instead be automatically diverted to btbusiness.com -- which preserves the contents of your basket and shows some of the prices appearing to be 10% lower.

Fine, except that those 10% lower prices are now vat exclusive -- which means they're actually 10% more expensive.

I work on the basis that charging higher prices to a subset of customers is dishonest, and I don't do business with dishonest companies. So I don't do business with dabs or BT.

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FAIL

not impressed

Tried to buy some stuff off their ebay site a while back, recall it linked me to the main site and was unable to login online. Cue the suggestion to call a premium rate phone number and checked out the competition instead

so glad I did, got some nice hassle free deals, not for £1 though...

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Bad Press

I was there just before 11am... I did plenty of refreshing but only ever saw a list once - went to buy an item and it just sat there - no amount of refreshes gave me an entry to my basket! Their comment about getting through if you kept refreshing is absolute rubbish and an insult to many customers (some loyal) intelligence... I wasted an hour trying to buy almost anythng! What a waste of time... I hope Ebuyer learn from the many customers they have rubbed up the wrong way! I have sent a complaint to them and will remove myself from their mailing list if they continue to send 'too good to be true' offers that cannot be purchased...

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FAIL

Marketing 101 - Respect your client base

Great marketing exercise by Ebuyer. Alienated both new and existing customers in one fell swoop.

New customers couldn't get in to clearance sale. Existing customers couldn't use the website. So lost customers on all fronts.

Way to go Ebuyer.

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