Customers Find $300 Toys for $29 Thanks to Error on Walmart Site
By B.A. Morelli, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Online shoppers today found some really, really good prices thanks to an error on the Walmart website.
Customers reported power riding toys that normally sell for $300 for $29, video games worth $60 for $18, flat screen computer monitors worth $190 for $8 and a $600 video card for $50. On the other extreme, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toy retailing for $18 was priced at $300, one customer said.
"I was like, 'Oh, I'm going to save a bunch of money on Christmas presents,'" said Calla Jones, 22, of Columbus Junction. "And, then my second thought was, someone is going to get fired."
Jones said she purchased three Power Wheels, one for each of her two kids and a "backup."
Managers at Walmart stores in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Coralville declined to comment. Walmart spokesman Bao Nguyen said the company experienced a "technical error" that caused incorrect prices, but the site was not hacked, which many customers suggested in social media.
Jones and other customers said after an hour or so of furious shopping, the site went down for "maintenance" after 8 a.m., and later orders stopped processing. Now prices appear to be back to normal, although several items still say unavailable, such as a 24-inch ViewSonic monitor.
"For like an hour, people were just going nuts," Jones said.
Nguyen said as the company works through the error, customers may experience intermittent site availability.
Word of the deep discounts quickly spread across social media this morning. That is how Jones and Shelby Rohan, 28, Hiawatha, learned about it.
"As fast as I was opening the pages, they were selling out," Rohan said. "It was saying 'available' and I'd add it to the cart, but then when I go back to cart, it said it wasn't available."
Rohan managed to order one pink Power Wheel for $29 as an in store pickup. She said she received a sale confirmation and the transaction immediately showed up in her bank account.
She contacted Walmart.com to double check, and she was told sales that had been processed with money being drawn from the customer's account would be honored, while orders that were still in process would be canceled, she said. She said she was told her order would be available after 10 a.m. on Wednesday.
Nguyen said Walmart is "still working through those details" of whether the discount prices will be honored. When asked about Rohan's case, he said, "We have a lot going on as for different processes for different orders."
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