Amazon's website stumbled out of the Prime Day gate on Monday as pages were slow to load at 3 p.m. EDT when the sale began.
Twitter erupted as people waiting to buy sales found messages saying something went wrong on Amazon's ends. 404 error pages with dogs are a nice touch, but probably not what Amazon was going for. In fact, there were plenty of dog jokes on Twitter under #PrimeDay as Amazon's IT problems stretched past 4 hours.
While Amazon seemed to stabilize somewhat by 3:30 p.m. EDT, as of 4:30 p.m. EDT there were still errors throughout the home page and cart process. If you click on "Shop All Deals" from the main Prime Day home page you may or may not get the listing. One common problem loop went like this:
- On the Amazon home page, under the current graphic promoting Prime Day, clicking on the Shop All Deals button takes you to another page, with the same graphic.
- The second screen may or may not get you deals. By the third click you are back to the logo.
- On the Amazon home page titled Shop Deals by Interest, and clicking on any of those sale items takes you to the logo again.
- Searching a product specifically seems to work.
That loop of e-commerce hell continued for hours. Search was also spotty at best. There was no official word from Amazon about what was going on exactly, but the company did acknowledge customers were having problems. All Amazon Web Services offerings were running normally, according to the company's status dashboard. These problems continued as of 7:15 EDT.
Prime Day 2018 is expected to set another record for Amazon. The duration of the sale was extended from 30 hours in 2017 to 36 in 2018. Prime Day deals will also cover four new markets to reach 17. And there's a greater selection and tie-ins to Whole Foods and Amazon subscription services.
Historically, Prime Day generates sales, as well as Prime subscriptions, which generate more revenue for Amazon over time. Prime Day 2018 is also expected to be an inflection point for voice shopping.
Update at 5:30pm EDT on July 16: An Amazon spokesperson provided the following statement to ZDNet concerning Amazon's site issues on Prime Day:
"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 US, 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."
Update at 2:04 pm EDT on July 17: At an Amazon Web Services conference in New York, executives didn't address the outage. AWS services were all functioning during the Amazon e-commerce glitches. "AWS continues to function normally. We saw some intermittent AWS Management Console issues earlier today, but they did not drive any meaningful impact on Amazon's Consumer Business," said a spokesperson.
One workaround is going through smile.amazon.com. Another is a direct search, but that worked sporadically too.
Searching deals directly may get you to where you need to go because you get around the home page loop. However, ZDNet tests have been hit or miss with search. Here is a quick roundup of sale items.
SMART SECURITY CAMERAS
- Save $60 on Amazon Cloud Cam, only $59.99
- Save $54.99 on Blink XT 1 (1 cam), only $75
- Save $90 on Blink XT 1 (2 cam), only $139.99
- Save $30 on Blink Indoor (1 cam), only $69
- Save $50 on Blink Indoor (2 cam), only $99.99
- Save $80 on Blink Indoor (3 cam), only $149.99
- Save $129 on Blink Indoor (5 cam), only $229.99
- Save $90 on Blink XT (3 cam), only $229.99
- Save $150 on Blink XT (5 cam), only $349.99
- Save $59.01 on Ring Spotlight (battery powered or wired), only $139.99
- Save 30 percent on Ring Video Doorbell 2, only $139.99
- Save $75 on Ring Video Doorbell Pro, only $174
- Save $20 on Echo Dot, only $29.99
- Save $20 on Echo Dot Kids Edition, only $59.99
- Save $100 on Echo Look, only $99.99
- Save $50 on Echo Plus, only $99.99
- Save $100 on Echo Show, only $129.99
- Save $179 on Echo Show bundled with Ring Video Doorbell Pro, only $299.99
- Save $30 on Echo Spot, only $99.99
- Save $30 on Echo (second generation), only $69.99
TABLETS AND E-READERS
- Save $45 on Fire HD 10 bundled with Show Mode Charging Dock, only $144.99
- Save $50 on Fire HD 10, only $99.99
- Save $30 on Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa, only $49.99
- Save $40 on Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet, only $89.99
- Save $30 on Fire HD 8 bundled with Show Mode Charging Dock, only $79.99
- Save $20 on Fire HD 7, only $29.99
- Save $30 on Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet, only $69.99
- Save $30 on Kindle, only $49.99
- Save $30 on Kindle for Kids, only $69.99
- Save $50 on Kindle Oasis, only $199.99
- Save $40 Kindle Paperwhite, only $79.99
COMPUTERS AND LAPTOPS
- Save $89 on Asus VivoBook F510UA, only $509.99
- Save $29 on HP Stream, only $199.02
- Save $154 on Google Pixelbook, only $845
- Save $898 on Microsoft Surface Book 13.5-inch 2-in-1, only $900.19
- Save $138 on Microsoft Surface Book 2, only $1,360
- Save $278 on Microsoft Surface Laptop, only $1,021
- Save $300 on LG V35 ThinQ, only $599.99
- Save $60 on Moto G6 64GB, only $259.99
- Save $300 on the Huawei Mate 10 Pro smartphone, only $499.99
- Save $30 on the Huawei Mate SE smartphone, only $219.99
- Save $80 on the Huawei Watch 2 Sports, only$219.99
- Save $80 on the Huawei Watch 2 Classic, only $289.99
- Save $20 on the Huawei Band 2, only $49.99
TELEVISIONS, MEDIA PLAYERS, AND PROJECTORS
- Save $35 on Fire TV, only $34.99
- Save $20 on Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, only $19.99
- Save $30 on Fire TV Cube with Far-Field Voice Control and 4K UHD/HDR, only $89.99
- Save $110 on Toshiba 4K Ultra HD Fire TV Edition, only $289.99
- Save $70 on TCL 32S305 32-inch Roku TV, only $129.99
- Save $40 on Nvidia Shield TV with remote and controller, only $139.99
- Save $275 on PX747-4K projector, only $1,000
- Save $60 on Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D Printer Aluminum, only $239
- Save $400 on Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer, only $599
- Save 25 percent on Roccat PC headset
- Save $30 on Jabra Elite 45e sport earphones, only $70
- Save $75 on Bose QuietComfort 25, only $125
- Save $100 on Sennheiser HD 4.50 Special Edition, only $99
- Save $54 on SanDisk Ultra 128GB Micro SDXC Card, only $23.88
- Save $10 on percent on Yubico YubiKey 4, only $30
- Save $90 on Gigabyte Radeon RX 580 8GB GPU, only $259.99
- Save 25 percent on the illy Y5 Espresso and Coffee Machine and $5 off your first coffee capsule or ground reorder when you sign up for Amazon Dash Replenishment.
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- Amazon Prime Day 2018: The best student deals in tech
- 5 Prime Day deals you shouldn't miss
- Amazon Prime Day 2018: The best early deals in tech so far
- Rival tech sales to Amazon Prime Day 2018 now on
CNET, our sister site, has also covered all the best Prime Day tech deals, by category:
- Best Prime Day 2018 deals: Smartphones and mobile - CNET
- Best Prime Day 2018 deals: Storage, SSD and flash drives - CNET
- Best Prime Day 2018 deals: Headphones and audio - CNET
- Best Prime Day 2018 deals: TVs and home video - CNET
- Best Prime Day 2018 deals: Smart home - CNET
- Best Prime Day 2018 deals: Kitchen and appliances - CNET
- Best Prime Day 2018 deals: Laptops, PCs, chromebooks and tablets - CNET
- Best Prime Day 2018 deals: Video games and gaming - CNET
- Best Prime Day 2018 deals: Smartwatches and fitness trackers - CNET