Click Frenzy Crush: The Sale That Failed [Updated]

In what can only be described as failure by DDoS, the inaugural Click Frenzy online sale event has all fallen in a screaming heap, as retailers struggle to keep up with the hordes of shoppers in search of bargains. What started as a well intentioned PR move has now paralysed the nation's online retailers. Who do I see to say I told you so?

Click Frenzy kicked off at 7pm (AEDT) this evening and within the first minute the Click Frenzy website ground to a halt. The websites of Myer, David Jones, and several other retailers buckled under the strain.

The Click Frenzy people are set to make a statement on what happened in the first 30 minutes of the sale that ground the nation's online retailers to a halt soon, but I'm not sure I'll be able to hear it over the collective "we told you so" of the internet.

Update 1: Here's Click Frenzy's statement:

Firstly, I would like to issue an apology to anyone who has been inconvenienced and frustrated by the technical issues relating to the inaugural Click Frenzy 24 hour online sale.
The technical directors, developers and infrastructure specialists involved in this inaugural event are working to get to the root of what occurred with the wave of traffic at 7pm. I am not in a position to describe exactly what has occurred yet as the teams involved are working on the solution first to resolve any problems. We will provide answers as soon as they are available. We will continue to issue updates.
Kind regards,
Grant Arnott

Update 2: This ought to give you an idea of why this whole thing went sideways...

"Yes, thousands" ? THOUSANDS?! This isn't a carpark or a football stadium we're talking about. It's the internet. Amazon, Reddit and Facebook get billions of hits per day and they survive unscathed. Spare me.

Let's just agree, Click Frenzy, that we'll never do this again, ok?

If you're still keen on hooking a bargain, we've rounded up the best tech deals for you.

Image: David Davies



    It's known in our world of bargain hunters and lifehacker readers as getting OzBargained...

    Is your second language english? good post but please put some more effort into it. I am assuming you get paid for this?


        Don't make me turn this article around!

    Catch of the Day is worse.
    "Limited Stock" could mean they have only 2 of each product. Mega Sale turns out to be mainly marketing their sister sites.
    Doesn't bother me, it's like this every time they do it; but there are screaming hordes of angry people flooding their Facebook.

      I must admit, it can be impossibly frustrating.

        That s true lol, however irrational it may be.

    What I hate is people complaining about this and wanting coupons and stuff to make up for it, it is hilarious how entitled people think they are.

      I always facepalm when I see people reacting this way to those scam Woolies/Coles/JB Hifi gift cards. It's pathetic.

    One day.. one day they'll learn.. My hopes aren't high though.

    You could focus on the sites that are still up that people can still access! Kathmandu and Bevilles are definitely up, and you can check out the offers on their sites

    Thought it was too good to be true! Couldn't even log in let alone surf or buy. New name can be
    Flick Frenzy

    It was poorly planned, they were rushing last minute to get everything up to speed. Apart from crashing, another retailer (bmanager) predicted it would be a fail as well (Can read it here: )

    At least catch of the day warn you not to get your hopes up, this has just been an utter failure Vampe

    What a joke.

    There are DOZENS of cloud platforms they could use and they still screwed it up. Genius.

    Biggest load of bullshit Ive seen to date.. The fact they could not have even anticipated this would happen is pathetic given the fact they have been flooding the media all day.

    It's a shame it's not working out. People are missing great deals like $2 off this Xbox Essentials bundle. Was $71, now $69. That's 20% off! Apparently?

      It's worse when that SNAFU kills extra trees right at the beginning of a catalogue launch. Or worse, Christmas. Chances are though, whoever maintained that pricing was long gone home/pub-wards by the time that went live. Considering that price is still up there, that pretty much confirms my suspicions.

    and now my Twitter feed is being spammed a couple of times a minute why they individually send direct links to save you having to go through their site. Time to unfollow.

    What does "hype" mean ?

      A word that follows from "Failed to live up to..."

      That said, JB's had a few specials that took my fancy and they weren't even involved.

    One thing you can say about this debacle is that they got themselves a pretty good database of user emails! Sceptical side of me can see this a bit of a sham(bles).

    Big fail ultraserve! Can't wait for them to release the architecture design tomorrow showing us all how not to do it.

    the site itself was always going to fail although the fact it's toasted their whole network was just too funny

    I was watching ACA when they were promoting it and the spokesperson was saying that they had prepared for the extra load on their websites n I was thinking to myself, they've got no clue...

      Reminds me of a doco about Xbox live and Halo 2. Microsoft wanted to know what kind of load they were going to expect on launch, and they came up with 3 lots of numbers and costs. They went with the worst case, and Microsoft agreed and bought all these extra servers that you just can't slap together over night. Despite this, they came close to crashing. When it comes to the net, if you are going to do something big, plan for way bigger.

    All they needed to do to avoid this is: 1) Proper load balancing on their servers (server farm, multiple server site locations (cloud) etc, 2) ensure they had enough bandwidth to cope with the no doubt high volume of traffic that was to be expected because face it people are tight arses, 3) nope, that's about it. If 1 and 2 had been handled properly, they wouldn't have been as badly affected as they were. Victims of DDoS attacks are only affected because of the strain placed upon them by extremely high volumes of hits/requests to a website. Being that this was an inadvertent DDoS it's not hard to imagine that with some planning and proper infrastructure to handle the inevitable demand, this could have been avoided.

    Last edited 20/11/12 9:47 pm

    Just another scam that failed expected nothing less

    fair effort... #ClickFrenzy trending as #4 on Google+

      Thousands on Google+ ?! that would've been an overload for them too :P 's Click Frenzy sale has been phenomenal! Our site never missed a beat. We have over 5,000 unique titles discounted up to 95% off. There were 20,000 visitors pounding the site at one time in the first hour. The servers response time was increased by 10 milliseconds. For the first 3 hours we were taking 5 sales per minute and Australian book buyers were ordering 10 books per order on average. Click Frenzy has been a huge success and we are grateful that we have the infrastructure and systems. Looking for the remaining 21 hours!!! Kind regards, Tony Nash. Booktopia's CEO.

    Their site counted down to 7pm local time, not AEDT. It's fine if you're in NSW or Vic - the other states don't fare so well.

    Haha.. so funny. I predicted this would happen, as did thousands of others.. yes.. thousands!!! predicted this failure.

    It's been moved to cloudfront now although still dead in the water instantly get a server too busy error now.

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