Amazon Site Crashes as Prime Day Commences, Leading to Shopper Frustration

Amazon keeps crashing on the site's biggest sales day of the year.

by Josie Rhodes Cook

Amazon Prime Day 2018, a 36-hour extravaganza of deals and discounts, officially kicked off Monday. But you wouldn’t know it by checking out the Amazon website Monday afternoon. Errors inundated the site not long after Amazon Prime Day started at 3 p.m. Eastern, and the only consolation users got were cute images of dogs while they tried to navigate promised sales.

Crash watchdog Down Detector reported around 4:15 p.m. Eastern that Amazon’s website was having some major issues. Twitter users began widely sharing their frustration with the site’s apparent failure, as the highly anticipated Prime Day boasts more than one million deals worldwide.

Many people even threatened to cancel their Prime membership because of how badly the website was handling Prime Day traffic.

The official Amazon Twitter didn’t suggest that anything was amiss with Prime Day or the website after Prime Day began, even as potential shoppers tweeted at the account to alert the company to issues.

The Amazon Help account was responding to people’s tweets around 4:30 p.m. Eastern on Monday, but instead about issues with things like Amazon Video or package issues and not so much about the major struggles the Amazon website seemed to be experiencing due to Prime Day traffic.

An Amazon website crash for a significant number of Prime Day shoppers is likely a very bad thing for Amazon in terms of hype and profits. In 2017, Amazon’s Prime Day generated an estimated $1 billion in sales, according to The Verge. And that event was 6 hours shorter than this year’s Prime Day.

That means during last year’s Prime Day, Amazon generated millions in revenue every hour. With bigger deals than ever and a longer time offered to shoppers to snag those deals, Amazon was poised to make even more this year.

But if shoppers can’t get to those deals, they certainly can’t partake in them, and Amazon may be losing out on millions as we speak. It also does not bode well for Jeff Bezos, who was just named the richest man in modern history.

When reached for comment, an Amazon spokesperson downplayed the issues: “Some customers are having difficulty shopping, and we’re working to resolve this issue quickly. Many are shopping successfully — in the first hour of Prime Day in the U.S., customers have ordered more items compared to the first hour last year. There are hundreds of thousands of deals to come and more than 34 hours to shop Prime Day.”

As long as we can get our meal prep containers that are exactly identical to take out boxes, we’ll be okay.

Update: This article has been updated with a statement from Amazon.