The Amazon Fulfillment Center in Hebron, Ky. has more than 2 miles of conveyor belt in the CVG1 warehouse. Cyber Monday is the peak shopping day of the year for the company, which sold 306 items per second in 2012. Emily Maxwell | WCPO
Hide Caption

Some Amazon Lightning Deals not so great

Don't Waste Your Money

a a a a
Share this story

In these final weeks before Christmas, retailers are throwing all sorts of markdowns at us to get us to shop.

Some of the best are Amazon's daily deals that change every few hours.

But as one man learned, grabbing them is not always so easy.

Pricing Error Means No Deal

This is busy season at's distribution centers.

Among Amazon's most popular items: its daily "Lightning Deals," drastic price cuts that may last only a few minutes.

Joseph Terbrueggen had his eye on one item that was in the list to become a lightning deal.

It was an Acer Windows 8 laptop, and the minute it popped up, he pounced.

"It came up, it was a very good price, about 70% off," he said.  I ordered it, got my confirmation, and from there I thought I had it."

The laptop -- selling most days at $849 at Amazon -- was slashed to just $200 during the Lightning Deal. Terbrueggen gave his credit card, and received a confirmation.  

 But his elation was short lived.

"I hear from Amazon about 7 hours later that my order is canceled," he said, "and that I'd have to call customer service to get my money back and work with them."

We contacted Amazon, where a spokeswoman explained the price was an error, but said the site it would reach out to Terbrueggen and help him.

He has since told us he received a $100 gift card: not the laptop deal, but better than nothing, he says.

Deals Can be Tricky

Other customers, meantime, complain about other Lightning Sale errors.

Al Aponte forwarded a wacky price he found: a smartphone holder that was normally $21.25, on sale during a Lightning Deal for $21.24....exactly one penny less.

Amazon's lightning deals, in most cases, can be great buys.

But some tips:

    -You need to act immediately, they are often gone in minutes.

    -Make sure your receipt shows you got it at the special price.  Contact Amazon immediately if your card was charged a different price.

    -Save that receipt, you may need it as proof if you are charged a different price.

Its also important to know that you have just a few minutes to make your order once you click on that item.

So you need to decide before it goes live if that's the deal you want.  

You may want to load the item into your cart a few minutes before the deal goes live, as that will give you a 30 second edge over other customers, which can make a difference.

That way you are not disappointed, so you don't waste your money.


Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

"Like" John Matarese on Facebook

Follow John on Twitter (@DWYM)


Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Print this article


Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

Cobalt, Saturn owners anxious for repair
Cobalt, Saturn owners anxious for repair

John Matarese reports on the wait for ignition switch repairs

Scammers using Netflix to steal from millions
Scammers using Netflix to steal from millions

A dangerous new phishing scam is targeting the sensitive information of millions of Netflix users.

Prom or bridal dress shopping online? Beware
Prom or bridal dress shopping online? Beware

John Matarese has a caution for anyone trying to save money by dress shopping onlin.e

App of the Week
App of the Week

Check out John Matarese's latest money saving smartphone apps.

IRS phone scam targeting thousands
IRS phone scam targeting thousands

John Matarese has a warning about a major tax scam this spring.

How much water is in the chicken you buy?
How much water is in the chicken you buy?

When it comes to chicken, big packs of boneless breasts look like a good deal. But look closer.

Gasoline, beef prices soaring
Gasoline, beef prices soaring

John Matarese looks into higher prices hitting just as spring arrives

"One Ring" phone scam getting worse

John Matarese warns about the "One-Ring" scam

Easy tax mistakes that could get you audited
Easy tax mistakes that could get you audited

As millions of Americans race to meet Tuesday's tax deadline, they will make mistakes that could increase their chances of being put…

How to avoid worthless home warranties
How to avoid worthless home warranties

Every spring, thousands of Tri-State homeowners buy or renew home warranties to protect themselves against costly repairs. But are all…