Xiaomi has been known for its highly hyped flash sales in most of the markets where it operates. Particularly in India, Xiaomi’s popular budget devices go through flash sales for the first few months within the launch. The flash sale translates to a big hype but often puts consumers at a fix due to longer waiting periods. Xiaomi recently initiated its journey in the UK and they started off with a flash sale model. However, things didn’t go planned and its Mi fans were disappointed.
Xiaomi recently launched the Mi 8 Lite and Mi A2 midrange handsets in the UK under the banner of ‘Crazy sale’. The sale would allow selected consumers to get one of the two phones at a price of 1 Pound. In order to avoid confusion, they changed the name of the sale to ‘Flash Sale’. And as expected, the devices were sold out within minutes, which left the fans disappointed.
Many interested consumers took to Twitter to express their displeasure and in the process, derived worrying facts. It was found that only 10 Xiaomi smartphones were available for purchase under the Flash Sale. The advertising campaigns, however, never mentioned the number of devices that would go on sale.
There was another controversy regarding the winners of the Flash Sale, wherein it was found that Xiaomi had immediately put up the ‘Sold Out’ banner after the times on the page ran out. This raised a question on Xiaomi’s transparency over the sale as to whether they even sold any handset by that time.
Xiaomi UK came out with an official statement, stating that they weren’t expecting consumers to misinterpret their Flash Sale with the ones that they are known for in other global markets. Xiaomi confirmed that only 10 products were made available for the sale and all of them were sold. The Terms and Conditions also mentioned the number of devices that will be available for sale.
Regarding the ‘Sold Out’ controversy, Xiaomi’s Wilkin Lee expressed on Twitter, saying, “Of the thousands who clicked “buy” simultaneously, the tie-breaker is done by selecting the winners randomly. Winners will access inventory to add to cart and proceed, which is why there was no call to check stock limit on the page.” However, the Terms and Conditions page mentioned a First-Come-First-serve model instead of a lottery system.