Amazon Prime Day is the first of the flash sales days this year, taking place on 16th July. Some might say it’s warm up for the Black Friday/Cyber Monday carnage later in the year, others that it’s simply a good opportunity to grab some summer bargains.
Whatever, there’s no doubt that it’s a very good reason to become an Amazon Prime customer which is of course why Amazon does it in the first place. While Amazon Prime is available free of charge for the first month after this period you will have to pay £7.99 a month or £79.99 a year for the service.
This includes unlimited one-day and same-day delivery on millions of items plus access to Amazon Prime Video (the company’s equivalent to Netflix which offers TV shows, documentaries and films.)
Alternatively, you can also subscribe to Prime Video exclusively for £5.99 a month. That’s if you don’t want the other Prime benefits.
So how do you make the most out of Amazon Prime Day? The foundation of all great sales shopping is to compare prices between different shops. A time consuming process if you’re going into one bricks and mortar shop followed by another, but the birth of the internet and e-commerce has made this extremely easy.
Follow these five top tops from Tech Digest and PriceSpy to ensure you’re a winner during this year’s sales:
1. Check out the competition
Many shops try to be fair by comparing prices for you when they discount goods. But there is every reason to be sceptical of a shop’s own comparisons. Shops quite clearly have a lot to gain by making the difference between the regular price and the sale price appear as large as possible.
The first thing you should do to check if an offer really is as good as it sounds is to suss out the competition. Is the same TV set available at an even better price elsewhere?
2. See through the ‘normal price’ bluff
Shops have another trick to get discounts to look bigger than they are. A known approach is to raise the price shortly before the sale and then compare the sale price to this elevated standard price.
The shop has a good chance of success if: a) you do not compare the sale price to a competitor’s price and b) you do not compare with what the product actually did cost in the past, before the shop did the ‘bluff raise’.
3. Compare the features
If you don’t know exactly what you want, it’s common to just buy up the biggest bargains during a sale. However you may not be getting the best deal.
A mobile phone for £200 may seem like a bargain, but if it has significantly poorer performance than a mobile phone for £400, you may be fooled. Be sure to compare product features and characteristics of similar models. And go into sales with an idea of what you may want to buy – to avoid panic buying!
4. Preparation is key
The best chances of finding good a bargain comes from preparation. If you know in advance what you are interested in and have a rough idea of the price, you’re less likely to get carried away and buy the wrong thing during the sales event. Create a wishlist of products and keep it updated with different prices you come across.
Set price alerts to be notified as prices drop so you don’t miss the boat.
5. It’s not just gadgets
A lot of people still associate flash sales days with consumer electronics – TVs, tablets, mobile phones. This is no longer the case. In fact, a diverse range of shops discount their products. Buying products out of season is a sure way to save money and discontinued seasonal products can also be given big reductions during flash sales days.
Amazon Prime Day is on July 16th.