Amazon Pricing Needed Serious Optimization, As It Sold A $3 Billion Win98 CD-ROM

Written by Evan Schuman
January 6th, 2010

A San Mateo, Ca., consumer was browsing and he saw a CD-ROM from the Discovery Channel called Cells. It only supported Mac and Win98 so it’s price was a mere $5 million more than $2.9 billion. Yes, this piece of educational software was selling for almost $3 billion, plus $3.99 for shipping. (Geez, how much does Amazon require now for Free Super Saver Shipping?) Just for the fun of it, the consumer—Brian Klug—purchased it. Not only did Amazon’s system process the item at the $3 billion charge, but it sent a clean confirmation note. Even the credit card’s limit didn’t trigger any “this doesn’t seem right” alarms. The screen captures of the purchase have been widely posted.

Posted price glitches can happen, even to as sophisticated a site as Amazon. But the fact that it went through a credit card process—the card wasn’t charged until the product arrived, but it was verified—and an E-mail confirmation suggests that this glitch is a bigger concern than it might appear.


3 Comments | Read Amazon Pricing Needed Serious Optimization, As It Sold A $3 Billion Win98 CD-ROM

  1. Blue Bird Says:

    How would one react to a $ 1.5 million shoe on Amazon !

    [[[[EDITOR’S NOTE: We checked this link and, at the time this comment was posted, it did indeed show a $1.5 million shoe from Amazon. If Amazon fixes this soon, this comment may appear confusing so we wanted to say this for the record.]]]]

  2. Lee Says:

    What ended up on Brian Klug’s charge card?

  3. Rob Martell Says:

    That link in comment 1 is only 1.4 now.
    Price: $1,399,999.99



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