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Amazon says US Prime Day 2018 sales strong, despite 'ruff start'

Bezos & Co. are in the doghouse after website outages Monday.

Claudia Cruz/CNET

Amazon says sales during its annual Prime Day are surging so far in the US, even after a series of glitches crippled its site and app for many customers on Monday.

"Prime Day sales in the U.S. so far are bigger than ever – in fact, in the first 10 hours Prime Day grew even faster, year-over-year, than the first 10 hours last year," the company said early Tuesday in an emailed statement. As is typical for the company, it avoided reporting any hard sales figures.

Now playing: Watch this: Prime Day 2018 and the 404 dogs of Amazon

Amazon also offered a contrite and pun-filled acknowledgement of the problems plaguing its site Monday, with many customers unable to access Amazon and instead sharing on social media the pictures of cute dogs that Amazon uses on its error pages.

"It wasn't all a walk in the (dog) park, we had a ruff start – we know some customers were temporarily unable to make purchases," the company said.

Amazon's statement left unanswered all questions about what happened. The world's biggest e-commerce company didn't address how widespread or long-lasting the outages were or say what caused the problems.    

Although Amazon faced embarrassment for fumbling the start of the much-hyped event, it apparently managed to avoid the financial pain of losing a big chunk of sales. 

Data from Feedvisor, a company that offers software tools for sellers on Amazon, bolstered Amazon's comments. Using information compiled from its network of sellers, Feedvisor said it found mostly strong sales growth during the first five hours of Prime Day 2018, compared with a year earlier. 

Feedvisor reported a 5 percent drop at 1 p.m. PT, an hour into the sale and right when many were complaining about outages. Sales recovered quickly after that and were more than double the year before at 4 p.m. PT.

Prime Day 2017 brought in an estimated $2.5 billion to $2.9 billion in global sales, including sales from third-party vendors, according to financial firm Cowen.

Amazon had no comment beyond its statement.

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