Friday, November 26, 2010

That $89 Kindle-2 Black Friday special - Amazon explains. New $100 gift card-a-day. Update.

Amazon has a "Gold Box" Forum on its Amazon-forums area for announcements and discussions on its Gold Box and "Lighting Deals" plus any other specials they have running at any time.  Amazon made the above status announcement almost 2 hours after the Special began (and ended, which was within about one second for many).

For those who can't read the graphic used at the top of this blog article, here's a quote of that announcement from that specific message thread (you may need to try this link twice for it to work to get to the forum thread).
'                   Initial post: Nov. 26, 2010 10:55 AM PST Gold Box Team says:

Our Kindle 2 for $89 deal is sold out.  Amazon Lightning Deals are limited time deals that can sell out very fast.  We had thousands available and unfortunately they sold out very quickly.

- The Gold Box Team '

It was all pretty confusing, as you'll see from the 465 notes up when I did the screen-capture above.
  I did buy a couple of Black Friday items in the middle of the night (when there was not much competition, I was happy to see), and learned at that time how the Kindle deal would not even be seen on the Black Friday page unless you knew what category to mark within the Lighting Deals box at the top of that page, and then it appeared after you selected the category for "Kindle" rather than "Electronics."  At about 4am I saw that the Kindle-2 deal had a countdown to be 'available' in 5 hours or so.  (People have reported having hovered over that countdown for some time before the release time.)  Then I wrote an alert at the top right of the blog so people could get to the Kindle deal more quickly, from what I'd just learned.

  You'll see the alert at the right, but I've now changed the general Black Friday week notice, and I hope their servers can handle the load much better than they did the Kindle deal early this morning when far too many people who clicked on the Kindle item as it changed to "Available" (mouses hovering over it until then) were not able to get the item added to their carts at all or if they did, it seemed to disappear because only 2 minutes were allowed to complete the deal.  There were other snafu's reported due to hung Amazon pages and customers' inexperience with the 'deals' pages as well.

  Amazon mentions 'thousands' of Kindle 2's were included, without being more specific than that, for reasons that elude me.  Their new subsidiary Woot! is more forthcoming than that and even provides statistics.  I hope they can learn from that new company.

THE NEWER "FREE $100 Gift Card"-a-Day Giveaway at Amazon Kindle Facebook, 29 remaining.
As for the Facebook alerts from its official "AMAZON KINDLE" team on Facebook, maybe a few reading might benefit from their latest offer at their Facebook "Wall", which has the following message at the top:
' Amazon Kindle
Congratulations to the first winner of the Amazon Kindle $100 Gift Card-A-Day Holiday Giveaway. If you haven't entered yet, we still have 29 more FREE $100 Gift Cards to give away.  Enter for a chance to win! '

And, better luck on that one !  It's their new offering to help people know about their Facebook presence, which is how many companies are interacting a bit more directly (one hopes) with the general public or the rest of their customers who are online but who don't go to the Amazon forums.
Update - I added the links to this a bit later.

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite

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  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
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  1. Yes, Amazon got egg all over its face over this one. Thousands of Kindles or not, people expect a special offer to last longer than a fraction of a second. At brick-and-motar sales, people can at least see who won by elbowing their way to the front of the line. Here, they're just mystified that all their preparations came to naught.

    It'll be even worse if the rumor on that same Gold Box forum that Amazon employees got advanced placement proves true. I know their employees would be tempted. I live in Seattle and ran into an Amazon worker with a Kindle at a bus stop. When I teased him about getting a good deal on the price, he wasn't amused. He said the employee discount for Kindles was pitiful.

    That's bad corporate policy. Companies should make sure their employees are their strongest cheerleaders. You don't do that with anemic employee discounts.

  2. Sadly that $100-a-day sweep is only open to US residents.

    On a bright note, the number of books available in Australia has skyrocketed since the UK Kindle store opened. I assume that's because of the commonality of spelling. But honestly, I've never minded reading US spelling. It's not right, but it's not jarring (like bad grammar is, for example). :)

  3. suze2000,
    Glad for that bright note where you are. It was needed. Sorry about the US-centric policy of the gift-a-day.

  4. Mike, I didn't see an email alert on this note. Odd. Was in IE and saw it there but usually use Firefox.

    I got whiplash from your double thought there though just now -- first the employees rumored to get advanced placement (I -highly- doubt that) and then the poor employees getting an anemic discount (I don't doubt that one).

  5. Happy employees don't need to be kept happy with steep employee discounts.
    Employees who need steep discounts to be happy aren't going to stay happy long.

    This man wasn't amused about your assumption of steep employee discounts and employees getting special treatment for goldbox deals, his displeasure probably wasn't about the fact that he didn't get the discount you thought he did.

    As to the length of the special discount deal, that was only to be expected.
    They could have had 10 times more units, 100 times more, and they'd still be sold out in seconds or minutes at most, and people'd still scream bloody murder and claim Amazon defrauded them because they didn't get what they wanted.
    That's just how people are, sadly, utterly irrational.
    If anything, Amazon will hopefully learn from this to never announce upcoming deals in advance ever again, or maybe to scrap such things altogether.
    As a result, the complaining fools do everyone else (and themselves) a massive disservice.

  6. j,
    There are no 'complaining fools' -- Not often would a big announcement be made by the official Amazon Team on their Facebook page, without their expecting that hundreds of thousands, at the least, would get the news (that's why they are there) and people would be watching and hovering over the 9 AM button.

    That something is sold out, for probably 99% of watchers, within A SECOND is not the best use of PR attempts, especially when not much is said about it afterward.

     The reaction is what it was, and it's not for us to dump on other customers whose expectations were that they had a few MINUTES at least (the Woot! sale took 8 hours, it turns out). Too many had pressed immediately and reacted with understandable frustration.

    It is a measure of the bad effect of this whole thing that we have to see customers blasting other customers. That is not what I'd call good PR for Amazon.

  7. They are fools, they're by and large the same crowd that would show up a day after a promotion ends and be enraged that they're not allowed to make use of it.

    This is the internet, people should after a decade expect and realise that any promotion, no matter how large or obscure, will be sold out in seconds if the number of items on offer is limited.
    That's the nature of the beast. If Amazon is anywhere to blame, it's because they let themselves get talked into joining the whole black friday limited number clearance sale phenomenon (something that even in physical stores often leads to shouting matches and even violence as people are too late for the discount items seconds or minutes after a store opens).


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