The High Cost Of An Amazon Outage

Amazon.com appears to be down. EVERYBODY PANIC.

Al Seib/Los Angeles Times / MCT

Amazon.com — along with its mobile counterpart — appears to be down as of around 2:55 p.m. EST.

That means it’s a good time to do some analysis of how much Amazon’s sales activities are worth per every minute that the site has been down (and it appears it’s been down for about 10 minutes now).

Amazon’s net sales in North America in 2012 were about $34.8 billion. And there are about 365 days in a year, breaking down to about 31.5 million seconds. Divide those two and you get a number of about $1,104 in net sales per second, on average.

A few caveats: Amazon’s “net sales” also include “non-retail activities,” which refers to things like Amazon Web Services and subscriptions to Amazon Prime. However, Amazon notoriously does not break this out. Some services on Amazon’s web service, like Reddit, are up — so they are likely still collecting revenue from that. And, of course, the sales could just be postponed until after the site comes back up.

However, in the mean time Amazon still appears to be losing out on money — a lot of it — every second that the main website is down.

An Amazon spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

Update: After a downtime of about 40 minutes, it appears to be back online as of 3:34 p.m. EDT.

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