Some Deal Hunters aren’t satisfied with spotting the “historic lowest price” or deploying an advanced coupon stacking technique. No, these professional thrifters need something more extreme — they’re looking for an accidental deal.
While certainly rare and short-lived, we see a handful of price mistakes pop up every year. (Usually) late at night, select items are listed for way less than their MSRP, to the point that it’s safe to assume the discount wasn’t intentional. These once-in-a-lifetime deals cover a variety of products from free food to a $150 8K TV.
Price mistakes are responsible for many of our greatest triumphs and deepest discounts. If you want to try your hand at uncovering some for yourself, it’s time to educate yourself on some of the greatest price mistakes throughout Slickdeals history.
Looking Back on Our Favorite Price Mistakes Ever
1. The $60 Segway Ninebot Max DebacleWhat’s faster, this $700 Segway scooter or the fleeting moment where you could buy one for $60 on Amazon? Only a handful of Slickdealers were quick enough to nab this historic price mistake, so you’d have to ask them.
During a late night (or early morning) deal-hunting jaunt in April 2021, Slickdealer wadafak noticed something unusual about this Segway Ninebot Max listing on Amazon — the high-end scooter had mysteriously gone on sale for $60, a tidy $460 cheaper than the $520 price tag recorded on Black Friday the year before.
The deal was only live for two hours, but Amazon still couldn’t keep up with the unstoppable force of thrill-seeking deal enthusiasts and had no choice but to fulfill many of their heavily discounted orders.
2. The $150 8K TV Deal That “Never Happened”While Amazon is rather generous when it comes to dropping early promotions in the days leading up to Black Friday or Prime Day, the retail giant was probably not actually planning on selling a bunch of Samsung QLED 8K TV bundles for $150 each — but thanks to r3p3ro‘s hawk-eyed deal intuition, the 8K TV deal of a lifetime became a reality for Slickdealers who were awake during the tender hours of November 16th, 2020.
With some bundles valued at around $5,000, each included a Samsung QLED TV and a Q-Series nine-channel soundbar, all outfitted with Alexa capabilities. Before the rush of hopeful buyers cleared out Amazon’s stock, this unprecedented event offered a brief and hopeful moment where you could buy a top-of-the-line home theater in a box for the price of a 2-year-old TCL LED TV.
When the TVs (and if not the TVs, the cancellation notices) were en route and all was said and done, the deal thread responsible for the 8K TV craze was renamed “This never happened.”
It did happen — and if you’re lucky, it could happen again.
3. When Every Sony Camera Cost $95Photography is not a hobby known for its low cost of entry, but July 14th, 2019 was a pretty good day for those looking to start their mirrorless camera collection. Hours earlier, $548 was the current going price for a Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera – until fernie501 noticed it had dropped to just $94.48.
If that wasn’t exciting enough, other users were able to successfully replicate the discount on a variety of other premium-grade cameras, all of which rung up for the same $95 price. While this wasn’t the most affordable deal ever, most would prefer to spend $95 over these products’ MSRPs. Another $95 special offer, the Sony SEL400F28GM 400mm Fixed Prime Camera Lens, normally retails for a whopping $12,000.
While some Slickdealers received the dreadful cancellation notice bundled with a paltry Amazon gift card as consolation, others were able to save hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on what user Rabble_Rabble_Rabble described as the best deal anyone has ever gotten on a single item in Slickdeals history.
4. The Deal That (Possibly) Bankrupted Toys-R-UsIt might be a little presumptuous to suggest a plucky little deal site had the power to bankrupt the best-known toy store in the western world, but this legendary price mistake certainly salted the wound.
In August 2017, Toys-R-Us was offering a buy one, get four free deal on a specific series of $0.99 Skylanders toys. Once you added a single Skylanders Giants figurine to your cart, you could add four “additional items” and receive them free of charge… but as sharki69 pointed out, the company never specified what is considered an “additional item.”
As it turns out, virtually everything available at Toys-R-Us qualified for the deal. This included Xbox One S consoles, Sky Viper drones, iPads, LEGO sets and thousands of other toys and electronics that will never, ever cost $0.99 (plus shipping) again.
5. Some Saved 85% on a Samsung Freesync MonitorWhile a 27″ curved monitor might not be the most luxurious steal compared to a Segway or an 8K TV, an 85% off discount on a name-brand desktop component is an exhilarating prospect for gamers, digital artists and IT workers. They are a little bit cheaper today, but $39.20 was a remarkably low price for this high-tech Samsung Freesync display when worldwave posted the original deal in 2016 — after all, it was virtually impossible to find a wide curved monitor prior to 2013.
6. Why Pay for an Amazon Echo When You Can Get One for Free?Smart devices can get pretty expensive, but there are a few daring ways to get an unbeatable price on the latest Echo Spot or Alexa. User9744376 suggested the best method: “I went for five payments of $0.00.”
How does that work, exactly? In July 2018, Zimfier3 posted those six words that every budget shopper wants to hear: “Amazon has the [E]cho for free.” For unknown reasons, the white version of the brand new (at the time) Echo Spot was available on Amazon for the all-time low price of nothing at all.
Ultimately, Amazon did not end up fulfilling orders on the free Echo Spot, but a few Slickdealers were able to exploit the glitch and successfully access a subtler discount. For example, Cjhasting was able to get a black Echo Spot for $40 off by adding two white models to their cart along with one (regular-priced) black one.
7. The Day SmartBargains Took One for the TeamMany of our all-time favorite price mistakes took place on Amazon, a retailer notorious for its willingness to cancel your rightfully placed order and insult you with a measly gift card apology. This e-commerce powerhouse could stand to learn a lesson in magnanimity from SmartBargains, a smaller vendor who handled its own price mistake debacle with elegance and verve — eating the loss and letting people keep their stuff!
A couple of weeks before Christmas in 2015, SmartBargains offered a promotional $10 off $50 deal for new members. The idea was that you could spend $50 or more on the site and get another item under $10 for free, but the company mistakenly made it so anyone could take $10 off of any order, no matter how much they spent. After Randy71 posted the deal, some users made as many as 95 orders before the company caught their mistake, but SmartBargains was generous enough to honor up to five orders per customer.
8. The MacBook Deal That Never WasAnyone who has tried to save a significant amount of cash on a new Apple device learned their lesson the hard way — it can’t be done. You simply suck it up, pay for it and cope by getting mad about it online.
There are exceptions to any rule, but it’s pretty much guaranteed to be a glitch or an accident — like the time you could have theoretically gotten a brand new 2020 MacBook Air i5 for $500 off at Costco. Unfortunately, it appears that none of the orders were fulfilled, but this event is noteworthy because we now know that it is possible. Keep hope alive.
9. The Ruffles SnackapocalypseThere are a few different ways to calculate “deal value.” First and foremost, consider the true value of the item you’re buying. Ask yourself, will it help keep you alive on a deserted island? A new MacBook probably won’t keep you alive and a Segway scooter will be useless once it immediately gets stuck in the sand, so are these things really valuable?
With respect to what really matters, Amazon’s Ruffles Potato Chips price glitch holds the title of “most valuable price mistake of all time.” A 40-count variety pack of Ruffles usually costs anywhere from $16 to $20 on Amazon, but NightHound spotted an Amazon listing advertising 40 entire ounces of salty, crunchy delight for just $0.35 per package. It might not keep you alive for very long, but Cheddar Sour Cream is certainly more appetizing than an 8K television or a gift card.
Want to try your hand at uncovering the next legendary price mistake? Start setting up Deal Alerts on the products, categories and brands you’re looking for. We’ll let you know when the next unbeatable sale is posted, so you can beat the rush.
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