Best Marketing Ever: Amazon (AMZN) Denial of Service's Itself.

Browsing the web on Thanksgiving day, I noticed the Amazon "Customer Vote" deal was about to happen at 11am PST. An Xbox 360 Core System for only $100, wow, what a deal right? I figured, what the hell, I'll try to buy one and dump it on ebay or craigslist. Make a quick $100. For 15 mintes, I sat there trying to refresh the page. I tried the home page. I tried ANY Amazon page.

Effectively, Amazon caused a "Denial Of Service" attack on it's own website. So many people tried repeatedly to load the same page that Amazon's server resources, which are significant, couldn't handle it and stopped sending out pages. This didn't only effect the Xbox promotion. It brought down the whole website for 10-15 minutes.

This might not seem like a big deal until you start to think about it. Analysts estimate that Amazon will have $3.77B in revenue in the fourth quarter. Guesstimating that 50% of that business occurs between 11/15/06 and 12/23/06 (the last shipping day before Christmas), that means in 38 days Amazon does 1.88B - or $49.5MM a day. Now, figuring that most shopping occurs between 5am PST (8am EST) and 9pm PST (12pm EST) when most people are awake, that's 16 hours of shopping time or $3.1MM per hour. If the site was down for 15 minutes (1/4 hour), then Amazon lost $0.78MM worth of sales. And that doesn't take into account the fact that they are continuing this promotion every week until Christmas. I bet there are some worried people in their engineering department right about now.

If you figure those 1000 Xboxes cost $200 each, Amazon already lost $100 per unit on them or $100,000. Add the loss in other sales from the website failure of $775,000 for a total of $875,000. Each Xbox cost Amazon $875 a piece. BRILLIANT!