Prime Day, Amazon’s made-up annual shopping event, is upon us. The two-day sale brings in billions of dollars for the company and has become one of its top-grossing events of the year. (The other: Cyber Monday.)
Here are five things to know about this year’s event, which begins at 3 a.m. Eastern time Monday. (Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, owns The Washington Post.)
1. What exactly is Prime Day?
Amazon created the shopping event five years ago as a way to drum up summer sales and boost membership for its $119-a-year Prime program. The company offers round-the-clock deals on everyday items, as well as exclusive concerts and gaming events for its members.
Like Black Friday, Prime Day has extended from a one-day sale into a days-long affair. This year’s event goes for 48 hours. The company says the deals are a “surprise,” though analysts say they expect discounts on electronics, apparel and home goods. (Last year’s bestsellers included the Instant Pot in the United States, laundry detergent in Mexico and Sonicare toothbrushes in China.)
Amazon says it sold more than 100 million products to its 100 million Prime members during last year’s sale. The company does not disclose Prime Day sales figures, but this year’s event is expected to bring in $5.8 billion, according to estimates from Coresight Research. That’s versus an estimated $3.9 billion last year.
TOP 4 THINGS TO BUY
One of the most difficult questions to answer about Amazon Prime Day is “What will be on sale?” For obvious reasons, Amazon keeps this information quiet and generally doesn’t announce any type of discount in advance of the start of the sale (it’s likely to be around the beginning to middle of July 2019). However, when it comes to Ring home security deals and savings, you can expect to find at least a few different ways to save money.
One step we can take is to offer insight into what discounts the company range for Ring components on Amazon Prime Day last year. Remember, these can change from year-to-year. Ring’s home security products were discounted during the 2018 promotion. For example, the Ring Spotlight – one of the most powerful spotlight cameras used in home security – was discounted by $59 and selling for $139.99.
Check out these awesome doorbells that everyone is getting, now at the lowest price we’ve seen. Get the ultimate in easy-to-install, self-service home security with a Ring Video Doorbell — paired with an Amazon Echo Dot for $69.99. It’s a must if you’re ever worried about mail thieves or random bell ringers. Not only does it alert you when there’s someone at the door, it records video of them in case they are up to no good. Find all the other options you have within this line of products here.
Prime Day is your chance to get an Instant Pot pressure cooker — one of the clear breakout kitchen gadget stars of the last decade — for less than half of the normal price. With huge sales on these multi-functional gems, Amazon is making it darn near impossible to say no to the IP revolution.
Instant Pots are notorious for selling out on Prime Day, and we expect the same to happen this year on the DUO Plus 60, 6 Qt 9-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker. We love it for its nine different settings, from steaming to roasting to sauteing, and its generous 6 quart capacity (perfect for a couple/small family). Right now, it’s at a sale price of $55.99, so get one before they are gone.
Now that a newer Series 4 watch is widely available, it’s no surprise there’s a great deal on the Series 3 Apple Watch. The older Series 3 watch doesn’t have EKG, but it does everything else just fine, and has GPS. The larger-size 42mm version was probably the best overall Apple Watch discount of the moment… If you’ve been wanting one but don’t need the latest model, this is a solid choice. You can save about 36% today ($199), which is even lower than we see on most refurbished (or “renewed”) models.
Gone are the days of getting up to flip switches or setting a bulky, buggy manual timer on your lights when you want them turned off and on. Smart light bulbs like these from Lumiman, currently on sale for $21 — a 65% savings, are great because they can be controlled from anywhere via a simple mobile app or a voice assistant. These bulbs are incredibly energy efficient, and you can even choose the color and intensity of light you want them to emit.
5. KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer— $239.99 (Save $40): This is actually the best price ever for this KitchenAid, but the savings aren’t as extreme as they look on the Amazon page.
What’s new this year?
Prime Day, historically, has been an opportunity for Amazon to market its own products. Last year the company said it sold a record number of Fire TV devices, Kindle e-readers and Fire kids tablets.
This year, it’s going a step further by encouraging Prime members to shop at its Whole Foods grocery stores, where it offered “Prime Day” deals for an entire week, starting July 10.
Workers are protesting
The event has become a prime target for workers to air their grievances with the company. Amazon employees at a fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota, have announced plans to strike for six hours on Monday to protest what they say are grueling working conditions and productivity quotas.
The company has come under fire in recent years for the way it treats its workers. Last year, nearly 1,800 Amazon workers in Spain went on strike on Prime Day, and thousands of workers in Germany walked off the job.
In May, three Muslim workers from Amazon’s Shakopee warehouse filed a federal complaint accusing Amazon of religious discrimination and retaliation. The employees – all black women from Somalia – said the company did not provide them adequate time and space to pray, and assigned them more difficult work than their white counterparts.
Amazon, which has 630,000 employees, is one of the country’s largest private employers.
It’s not just Amazon – other retailers are also advertising deals
Amazon calls Prime Day a “two-day parade of epic deals.” But for its competitors, Prime Day is a two-day battle to redirect some of the billions in sales away from Amazon.
Analysts say they expect a “halo effect” for some of the country’s largest chains, which are likely to benefit from the invented shopping holiday. Overall, major retailers could see as much as a 79 percent increase in revenue during the sale, according to Adobe Digital Insights.
Walmart – Amazon’s largest competitor – is starting a day early, with a four-day sale beginning Sunday. Target and Ace Hardware are having two-day sales that coincide with Amazon’s. Macy’s is promoting “Black Friday in July” with free shipping on all orders throughout the weekend, while Old Navy is having its own week-long sale.
Ebay, meanwhile, is having a “Crash Sale,” a not-so-subtle reference to last year’s Prime Day, when Amazon’s website and app went down for about 45 minutes. Ebay says it will offer “a fresh batch of too-good-to-be-true deals” if Amazon suffers another computer glitch this year.
Nordstrom’s annual anniversary sale will begin on Friday.
5. Beware buyer’s remorse
Prime Day is all about impulse purchases. Amazon rolls out a steady stream of blink-and-you-miss-it deals to keep consumers coming back. New sales start as frequently as every five minutes, and many items sell out quickly. Amazon wants you to buy, and buy again.
But there are signs that buyer’s remorse may also be on the rise. Shoppers sent back 30 percent more Prime Day purchases last year than they did the year before, according to Adobe Digital Insights, “indicating that consumers are quick to buy items they don’t ultimately want.”