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In case you hadn't already heard: Net-a-Porter's discount sister site The Outnet was meant to be having a $1 designer blow-out clearance sale today. Unbeknownst to many avid Outnet fans and online shopping mavens, by "today," the folks who run the Outnet actually meant 6:30 a.m.—which is when the $1 sale started on the east coast—or a night-owl 3:30 a.m. start on the West Coast. Lots of grumbling ensued in cyberspace.
"Hey, the East Coast got screwed too," writes commenter deconstruction at Refinery29. "How many people were up checking email at 6:45am? I am absolutely furious at the Outnet. If they had released the sale at noon, East and West Coast would have been fully prepared."
If you missed it, maybe don't feel too bad—according to some early birds, the selection was pretty appalling anyway: "I got up 20 mins into the sale—like others I had studied the site picking 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc. choices," writes commenter disjacs at Refinery29, "NONE of which we even featured in the sale! The selection was crappy! 13 bags, 90 shoes... Really only dregs."
Over in the UK, birthplace of Net-a-Porter and The Outnet, things didn't go much better. In fact, it kind of went worse. The Outnet site completely crashed the minute the sale started and the whole mess ended with The Outnet being eviscerated by a writer at The Guardian:
The sign-up process was an elaborate procedure, and one designed to make shoppers feel they were being exclusively invited to the sale (along with three trillion other people), though clearly the real point, as always with these things, was to data-capture email addresses. First users had to subscribe, then they had to wait for the invite, then the email announcing the time of the sale was finally sent early this morning (though many report still having not received it). At which point Outnet's servers promptly crashed. Big web fail, guys. It's quite a bad idea to aggressively market a huge online sale and not anticipate massive online demand ...
At the time of writing your intrepid reporter still hasn't been able to get on to the sale section of the site, and a look at Twitter makes it clear that I am not alone. In fact, so annoyed are many shoppers that poor old Outnet seem to have scored a major own goal. "Never shopping with the outnet again...... i was so excited about my £1 item, but they have website issues.... not happy," says LaurenMacintyre. On Facebook, Michelle Jackson has already set up a "The Outnet stole my Friday!" group/therapy session. Though some people (tsk, get your priorities right, Shell3870) totally forgot about it due to some probably very insigificant debate that happened last night. Some people - brace yourselves - haven't even heard of Outnet!
· The Outnet $1 Sale Support Group: Who Scored, Who Didn't, And Who's Pissed [Refinery29]
· Outnet sale outrage as website crashes [Guardian]