The elusive NES Classic Edition sold out in seconds after popping up on Urban Outfitters’ online store this morning, despite the retailer only sharing the hidden link through Twitter.
Hopeful buyers, many of whom had been following an Urban Outfitters countdown for the sale on Instagram, weren’t very happy with the way the sale was handled. The teases on Instagram, and press releases sent out to the media, never mentioned that the consoles would only be available through a hidden link, nor where the link would appear.
“It's almost time! The NES Classic Edition will be available online tomorrow morning, but you could win a console for yourself with #UORewards. Not a member? Join UO Rewards online or in the UO App, then go to the "Contests and More" tab in the App to enter! #UOTech”
At 9:30 a.m. ET today, Urban Outfitters tweeted the direct link to buy the console.
Shortly after the link went live, several people posted images that showed purchases of up to 25 of the consoles by individual customers.
Reaction on social media was overwhelmingly negative.
@UrbanOutfitters You suck. You announce on Instagram, advertise it will be on the website, then randomly release on Twitter? RIDICULOUS!— Kimberly (@KimmyKatAlways) December 6, 2016
@UrbanOutfitters Letting people know the exclusive way to buy was through Twitter would have been nice. You've lost our business.— Mike Chandler (@drmikejchandler) December 6, 2016
Reached for comment this afternoon, an Urban Outfitters spokesperson would only say that the consoles all sold out “very early this morning.” The company did not respond to questions about how the online sale was handled, nor how many of the NES Classics the retail chain received.
Nintendo has said that it continues to ship the tiny all-in-one console to retailers, though they rarely seem to last in stores. Instead, a lot of the consoles seem to be showing up on eBay, where they fetch a price usually above $200. On launch day, the NES Classic was selling once every 18 seconds on eBay.
The quick sellouts of online stores have left many Nintendo fans irritated and calling into question Nintendo’s handling of the sale of the device. Nintendo has said that it will have more of the console in stock “through the holiday shopping season and into the new year,” though it hasn’t offered any more specific details.
While U.S. fans of the console continue to hunt for an opportunity to buy the sold out NES Classic, stock is not as barren in some other countries. One store in Mayalsia, for instance, took to Facebook to post a picture of the more than 100 consoles it received.