Amazon accidentally sold a $13,000 camera lens for $95 on Prime Day

Originally published at:


I wished I’d have seen these and grabbed some stuff for my photographer spouse.

18 Likes said that that Street Fighter II half scale stand up was only $20, but they lied, it was $200. That would have been awesome to MAME up.

But hey - guess who has two thumbs and a Squatty Potty on its way?


CRAP! my cynicism over Prime day made me loose out on a cheap Squatty Potty??



When pricing algos go bad…Or perhaps some of the software guys are as dissatisfied as the warehouse workers.


The consumer in me is saying, "Hell, I don’t even need one but at that price it’s a steal!"


From amazon to ebay without even opening the box


Maybe it’s a goof, or maybe they found a way to get viral promotion of all the deals they have on Prime Day. Yes, it’s very possible that Amazon’s pricing algorithm screwed up big time, but I think it’s just as possible that Amazon did this on purpose.

I’m guessing that many people who didn’t buy stuff on Prime Day, after learning about this, are thinking “damn, I missed out! I need to check out Prime Day next year to see if there are any more crazy goofs like this one!”

In the long run, they’ll probably make back the losses from selling the $13k lens for $95, and then some, from the huge number of new customers they’ve hooked with the promise of crazy deals on Prime Day. And even if it is a genuine goof, the viral marketing still happens.

Think about it: Why would a pricing bug cause only expensive photography gear to all be priced at $95? That’s a really weird bug*. But if you wanted to get people posting on social media about the crazy deals they’re getting, you would probably want to target a segment that uses social media heavily, such as photographers.

There’s a good chance that, over the next year, the photographers who bought this gear will post on social media the photos taken with that gear, and many will mention in the post or in the comments that they used the gear that they got through crazy good deals on Amazon Prime Day. Good photography made with good gear bought on Prime Day could give Amazon a lot of exposure (pun intended :stuck_out_tongue: ), right up until next year’s Prime Day—priming people to join Prime (I couldn’t help myself, sorry), and buy loads of crap.

Also, from the Petapixel article:

Not a bad way to fuck over your competition, if you can afford it (which I bet only Amazon can).

*ETA: Keep in mind that only some people were shown the $95 prices, so Amazon could easily have limited the actual quantity sold at that price, and thus restrict the losses to an acceptable range, while still gaining publicity for those crazy low prices.


If I’d seen it, and knew what it was actually supposed to cost, I’d have bought some to re-sell. Alas, not being a photog, I’d have been too suspicious and assumed it was either worthless knockoffs or the normal price turning up on google was scalpers or a glitch.


Right? Three of them could have wiped out my debt (excluding mortgage) if I could resell them for around $6k each. Of course I would have to pay taxes. Meh.

That too.


This is my theory. That it was intentionally designed to go viral and to get people to think twice about boycotting Prime Day.

X = the loss Amazon took on the discounted products
Y = the cost of a marketing campaign that would get this much exposure

I suspect that X is much lower than Y, plus this marketing campaign doesn’t look like advertising at all. Advertising puts people on guard, a viral interest piece sparks feelings of “damn, looked what I missed out on”, or “maybe this will happen to me next year”

It’s much like how news stories about lottery winners is a form of psychological advertising for the lottery.


I was thinking, buy 20, re-sell at 80% MSRP, and give half the after-tax proceeds to a charity supporting Amazon union effort.


I get the impression a lot of this stuff will be for sale on ebay or craigslist very soon. “Brand new, still in the box! This usually sells for $13000, but I’ll let it go for $900!!”

1 Like

More like New In Box, $12,500.

1 Like

My two daughters (7 & 11) could not stop laughing for almost a half an hour after watching this over and over and over again.


FALSE ADVERTISING: I bought one of those Squatty Potties and my poop was neither rainbow colored, nor delicious tasting, no matter how many cones of it I tried!


Did you add salt and garlic? That’s the best way to serve it.

I can’t believe I just typed that.


That’s what happens when you try to go with the flow.

(But really, did it improve the flow??)


My first thought was that your response was a pretty bad pun.

Butt my #2 thought was that poop jokes are overrated.


contrast with:

Perhaps poop jokes are childish, but I find being immature keeps me young.