The much-hyped Click Frenzy online sale event crashed just minutes after opening for business last night.
Touted as "the sale that stopped the internet", Click Frenzy opened for business at 7pm (AEDT) on Tuesday, but its website crashed minutes after the sale began.
The 24-hour promotion, which mimics America's Cyber Monday sales, promised heavily discounted one-off deals for online shoppers, with Myer and Dick Smith among dozens of big-name retailers on board.
Twitter went into meltdown as unhappy punters vented their frustration on social media.
"Still can't get on to #clickfrenzy. Lucky it's a 24 hr event," tweeted Vivienne McDonald.
Kelli Lucas wrote: "Can't believe I have sat here for almost an hour trying to get onto #clickfrenzy website, no luck!"
Click Frenzy organisers incited more backlash when they told shoppers they were "far from embarrassed" for the breakdown.
"Just like the Boxing Day sales, crowds are to be expected. For those experiencing difficulty, we recommend you check back in later when the storm has calmed enough for you to break through on your end," a Facebook statement said.
Click Frenzy co-founder Grant Arnott was more apologetic this morning, saying the site buckled under a "tsunami" of traffic after receiving over 500,000 registrations in the day before it went live.
The website had anticipated around one million users over a 24-hour period but according to Mr Arnott had several million users log on within the first few minutes.
"We went as hard as we could [to ramp up capacity] but it was getting hit by a tsunami. When you have 10 to 15 grand final crowds surging onto your website at once," he told the TODAY show.
"Of course we let people down and we're really disappointed we couldn't run the event exactly as we envisaged."
The websites of some participating retailers also crashed shortly after the sale began.
Priceline's website became unavailable before kick-off, with Myer following suit 10 minutes after it opened.
Department store David Jones and tech giants Apple and Dell were among those who didn't join the promotion, launching their own rival sales on Tuesday.
But the huge volume of traffic spilling over to David Jones' website sent it into meltdown too.
Apple unveiled plans for a one-day sale on Friday while Dell launched its Super Cyber Sale, which runs until Thursday.