As a long-time defender of shopping holidays like Black Friday, and as an avid Amazon.com shopper, I should be the natural audience for Amazon’s “Prime Day.” Yet despite being a lover of deals, I don’t do any “Prime Day” shopping.
Every year the hype around the sale swells and the actual day is a big disappointment.
First, there’s something downright weird about Amazon having a “sale.” It’s not like they need to move old inventory to make room for the new. And the items for sale are mostly the latest, hottest gadgets. The Instant Pot remains a best seller of the sale. Who are they trying to kid with this “sale” day. Amazon largely sets the prices for their industry. When Amazon reduces a price on the item, stores like Walmart follow. What’s the point of a sale?
Second, the whole set-up of the sale is antithetical to the Amazon model. Amazon is the place you go to buy everything you need. From toilet paper to books to the weird plastic thing you put in your tub to catch all the hair, Amazon has got it. It’s not supposed to be the place of doorbuster bargains or having a One! Day! Sale! Amazon has achieved its dominance because of convenience and because of their already low prices. Amazon already undercuts everybody, and makes stores like Walmart or Barnes & Noble seem like mom-n-pop shops.
Thousands of websites make it their goal to navigate people through Amazon’s Prime Day sale. But the whole point of the Amazon website is that it’s supposed to be easy. It shouldn’t take “guidance” from other sites to navigate a sale on the site. A minor reduction in price on random items to cause a scramble isn’t on-brand.
For its first Prime Day in 2015 “Amazon put headphones, unrated 'Fifty Shades of Grey' and 55-gallon barrels of lube on sale.”
Third, you don’t need the products Prime Day is pushing.
Hollywood Reporter noted that for Amazon’s first Prime Day in 2015 “Amazon put headphones, unrated 'Fifty Shades of Grey' and 55-gallon barrels of lube on sale.” That same year Eonline called the Prime Day “Basically a mediocre yard sale.” The hashtag #PrimeDayFail was used by shoppers to vent their frustrations over the sale.
Still, sales were through the roof and the website experienced rare technical problems.
And that’s really the rub. Amazon will keep pushing their lame sale because we can’t get enough of it. If we keep buying, they keep selling.
This Prime Day peruse Amazon if it makes you happy but don’t get wild-eyed in search of an elusive deal. We live in amazing times where you can order whatever you need and have it delivered to your door the next day. You don’t need Prime Day for that. Don’t get caught up in the rush of the “sale” or let the sensation of mindlessly clicking fool you into buying things you don’t need or want. You don’t need 55 gallons of anything. Don’t buy it.