Amazon Prime Day 2016
To celebrate its 20th birthday last year, Amazon came up with Prime Day. It promised to deliver more bargains than Black Friday, and while some of the deals were less attractive than others there were still lots of tech deals and bargains to be found.
Amazon has decided to make Prime Day an annual event, and this year Amazon Prime Day is on 12 July 2016. Here’s what you need to know.
When is Prime Day 2016?
Prime Day 2016 is the 12 of July, beginning at midnight Pacific Standard Time (PST). However, Amazon is also doing what it does with Black Friday and Cyber Monday – running a week of deals. The deals week starts on the 5th of July.
Which countries will Prime Day be happening in?
Prime Day is running in every country where Amazon operates. Sorry, Australia
Can anybody take part in Prime Day?
Yes… and no. You need to be an Amazon Prime member. That’s Amazon’s free delivery membership scheme, which has expanded to include streaming video, music, ebook rental and photo storage. If you aren’t currently a member of Amazon Prime you can take advantage of the 30-day free trial, which you can then cancel if you don’t want to continue as a Prime member. If you decide to stay, Prime memberships are $99 per year in the US and £79 in the UK. Last year Amazon took £20 off the price for Prime Day, although it’s unclear whether it’ll do the same this year.
It’s worth remembering that if you don’t want to remain in Prime after Prime Day you have to actively cancel the Prime membership before the free trial expires. If you don’t, you’ll be billed for a year’s subscription automatically.
See more about the Amazon Prime trial scheme
Are there any special deals for students?
There are. Amazon Student offers a six-month free trial of Prime, including all the services bar ebook lending, and 50% off Prime membership if you want to continue after the trial expires. You’ll need to have an email address from a recognised institution; sadly the School of Hard Knocks and the University of Life don’t qualify.
Is it worth keeping the Prime subscription going?
It can be: Amazon Prime started as a free-delivery scheme but it now also includes unlimited photo storage, ad-free music, unlimited TV and movie streaming and early access to lightning deals throughout the year. If you use all of those things, $99/£79 isn’t a lot of money.
What Amazon Prime Day deals can I expect?
Amazon says it’ll heavily discount more than 100,000 things on Prime Day, and there will be other promotions during the run-up to 12 July. For example, Prime Music is running a promotion to win “unforgettable experiences” with artists including Blink 182, Flo Rida, The Lumineers and others.
In the run-up to Prime Day you’ll see US deals such as a 32-inch TV and Fire TV Stick for $119.99. Expect Amazon to plug its Kindle, Kindle Fire and Fire products heavily – if you’re planning to buy one, you should probably wait until the 12th.
Last year’s Prime Day deals
Last year’s deals included 30% off Xbox Ones, 46% off Fire TV Sticks, 33% off Kindles, 50% off Kindle Fire HDs, 82% off DVD box sets and 75% off Blu-Ray box sets, 35% off projectors, 47% off headphones, 46% off smartwatches, 30% off cameras, 22% off SSDs… you get the idea. The Amazon products were all-day deals, but many of the other ones were lightning deals with limited stocks. When a lightning deal is gone, it’s gone.
Are the bargains real bargains?
That’s a good question. Like many retailers, Amazon is very keen on comparing prices against RRPs (MSRPs in the US) that nobody really expects anybody to pay – so for example in 2013 the Wall Street Journal noted that an Amazon deal of 45% off a $1,799 Samsung HDTV wasn’t quite so impressive: the previous month, Amazon had been selling the same TV for $997.99, so the actual saving was less than ten dollars. Such deals are essentially the same thing as supermarket wine promotions or amazing, never-ending furniture sales.
If you have a particular product in mind it’s worth keeping an eye on the prices now to make sure the deals are genuine on Prime Day. We find sites such as PriceSpy invaluable, as they enable you to see exactly what prices are being charged for specific things – not just big purchases, but smaller items such as video games too.
Some of the deals will clearly be paper bargains like the one the Wall Street Journal reported, but that doesn’t mean all of them will be. Amazon will have been bargaining hard with key suppliers to cut the prices it pays for some products, and it’ll sell some high-profile items as loss leaders in the expectation of cross-selling, up-selling and, well, selling. From Amazon’s point of view it can lose money on big deals and make it back from Prime subscriptions and by shifting stock it wants to get rid of anyway.
Will anybody else offer bargains on Prime Day?
We think so. Last year, a whole bunch of retailers clambered on the Amazon bandwagon with deals that in many cases were better than Amazon’s: in the UK that included Zavvi, Curry’s, PC World, John Lewis, GAME and Argos. As we did last year we’ll be tracking all the best bargains on Prime Day and the days running up to it – not just on Amazon, but everywhere.
What should I do in the run-up to Prime Day?
It’s worth thinking about what you actually want or need and how much it currently costs, so for example if you’re quite keen on a 4K TV it’s worth looking at the current prices to get a feel for what X amount of cash gets you.
The likelihood of Amazon doing a brilliant discount on the exact make and model is microscopic, but if you’re flexible and you’ve done your homework you’ll know if a similar model is a banging bargain or a waste of money.
Think in terms of specifications, not specific models: you might not get a deal on the 55UE6523211-VHB-2E 55-inch TV, but you’ll probably get a deal on someone else’s equally enormous set. Don’t forget to use price comparison services and if it’s tech, our reviews here at Techradar: some things are cheap because they’re no damn good.
As you’d expect we’ll keep our beady eye on Amazon and its rivals all the way to the end of Prime Day. If it’s a bargain, we’ll make sure you know about it.
What will TechRadar be doing on Prime Day?
Come back to this page on Prime Day and you’ll find us busily curating lists of all the best deals that Amazon has published. So there’s no reason to be intimidated by the thousands of deals Amazon is putting up, and don’t worry about which ones might be ‘real deals’ – just come to this page on TechRadar and we’ll surface all the best deals so you can go straight to them!
You can get started by signing up for the Amazon Prime trial if you’re not already a member.
Amazon Prime Day 2015
Amazon launched on this day in 1995, making the world’s biggest online store now 20 years old.
To celebrate, it’s holding a big sales bonanza, quoting “more deals than Black Friday” and throwing plenty of money at TV advertising. On this page we’re rounding up the best deals so you don’t miss out!
Note though that these deals are available to Amazon Prime members only – if you’re not a member, you can get a free 30-day trial. If you’re already a member or you just want to dive straight in anyway, you can go there via the Prime Day links below:
Prime Day: Quick linksQuick link:Amazon’s Prime Day homepageQuick link:Amazon Prime 30-day free trialFlash Sales from other retailers:
Predictably, lots of other retailers are getting in on the deal-day action! Some of the deals on these sites are *cough* better than the Amazon deals so it’s worth you having a browse:
Zavvi: 24-hour ‘Prime Deals’Curry’s: 30-hour ‘flash event’PC World:30-hour flash saleJohn Lewis:Clearance saleGAME:Summer saleArgos:Three day super sale
We’ll be updating this page throughout Wednesday to bring you our choice of the best deals available on tech and games. At the top you’ll find great deals that are available all day long, and underneath you’ll see a run-down of lightning deals that will only be available for a limited time during the day.
Prime Day: all day deals
As you see, these deals will run all day long. We’ve got five initial deals for you here but we’ll be adding lots more throughout the day so do check back in with us!
Xbox One 1TB + game + extra controllerTime: all day until 11:45pmNormally:£400 | Deal price:£329Get this Xbox One deal
PlayStation 4 1TB + PlayStation TV + DestinyTime: all day until 11:45pmDeal price:£329Get this PS4 deal
Amazon Fire TV StickTime: all day until 11:45pmNormally:£35 | Deal price:£19 | Discount: 46%Get this Fire TV deal
Amazon Kindle 6-inchTime: all day until 11.45pmNormally:£59.99 | Deal Price:£39.99 | Discount: 33%Get this Kindle deal
Amazon Fire HD 7Time: all day until 11.45pmNormally:£119.99 | Deal price:£59 | Discount: 50%Get this Fire HD7 dealPrime Day lightning deals: DVD and Blu-ray
DVD: Family Guy – Season 1-14Time: 2:50pm until 6:50pmDeal price:£35.99 | Discount: 82%Get this DVD deal
DVD: Downton Abbey – Series 1-5Time: 3:50pm until 7.50pmNormally: £26.87 | Deal price: £17.99Get this DVD deal
Blu-ray: Sons Of Anarchy: Complete Seasons 1-7Time: 3:50pm until 7:50pmNormally:£157.99 | Deal price:£39.99 | Discount: 75%Get this BD deal
DVD: Taken, Taken 2, Taken 3Time: 3.50pm until 7:50pmNormally: £14.99 | Deal price: £9.99 | Discount: 33%Get this DVD deal
Blu-ray: X-Men – The Cerebro Collection (7 Films Box Set)Time: 4.50pm until 8:50pmNormally:£69.99 | Deal price:£14.99 | Discount: 79%Get this BD deal
Blu-ray: Entourage – Season 1-8 CompleteTime: 5:50pm until 9.50pmNormally:£129.99 | Deal price:£35.99 | Discount: 72%Get this BD deal
DVD: Entourage – The Complete SeriesTime: 5:50pm until 9.50pmNormally:£59.99 | Deal price:£27.99 | Discount: 53%Get this DVD deal
What is Amazon Prime Day?
Amazon promises “more deals than Black Friday for one day only” which means bargain prices – some of which will last all day, and some only for a few hours. For more information about how Prime Day is going to work, read our guide below.
When is Amazon Prime Day?
Amazon Prime day 2015 takes place on Wednesday July 15. Amazon will start offering deals on its websites from midnight (that is, 00:00 on the 15th) in each participating territory. There will be seven main deals available throughout the day, with lightning deals going live every 10 minutes.
Which countries will Prime Day be happening in?
The US, of course, but also the UK, Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada, Austria and Greece. We’re lying about Greece.
Can anybody take part in Prime Day?
No, you need to be an Amazon Prime member. If you aren’t already signed up, Prime is $99 / £79 per year.
For that you get access to Prime Day plus access to the Amazon Prime Instant Video streaming service, free ebook borrowing, unlimited photo storage and free delivery on Prime-eligible items (within 1 hour if you live in one of a handful of London postcodes or some US cities). If you’re a parent, your Prime membership also enables you to join Amazon Family to get 20% off the price of nappies.
Can’t I just sign up for a 30-day trial, order loads of stuff and then cancel the membership?
Yes, you could. Amazon thinks you should: “try Prime today and get immediate access on 15th July”, the Prime homepage says. Amazon clearly hopes that you’ll sign up for Prime and either be blown away by the service or so disorganised that you’ll forget to cancel. Either way, it’s clearly going to get some new Prime members out of it.
What sort of deals will there be on Prime Day?
That’s an excellent question, and Amazon hasn’t really answered it. It says there will be “thousands of Lightning Deals and seven popular Deals of the Day”.
If you haven’t seen Amazon’s lightning deals before, they’re limited-time or limited-amount offers that can offer huge discounts on a fairly random selection of things: in recent weeks the list has included whiskies, watches and fitness monitors; at the time of writing there’s 60% off a garden hose and 81% off a fancy watch on Amazon UK.
Amazon offered loads of lightning deals during Black Friday 2014 and there were definite bargains to be had, but as you’d expect the best ones sold out very quickly.
Here’s what Amazon has to say about its Prime Day deals. “Members will enjoy deals on items perfect for summer adventures, their to-do list, family road trips, back to school supplies, and everyday essentials.” That’s not really narrowing it down, is it?
What should I do in the run-up to Prime day?
Assuming that Prime Day is going to be as exciting as Amazon says it is – and if it’s going to have more deals than Amazon’s Black Friday selection, then it might just be – then it’s a good idea to do two things:
1. Set a budget for whatever bargains you want to blag, and
2. Have an idea of what you actually want to buy before you go in.
Hoping for a good deal on an HDTV? Look at what’s out there, read our reviews and be prepared to be flexible: while we’re sure Amazon will discount all kinds of electronic and electrical items, the likelihood of it slashing the price of a specific model you’ve had your eye on for ages is close to zero.
Think in terms of specifications, not specific models: that way you’ll be able to tell instantly whether a bargain is the right bargain for you, or just money off something you don’t really want.
What else should I watch out for?
In retail, bargains aren’t always what they seem. We’ve seen Black Friday deals that looked like massive discounts but which were based on sky-high prices that nobody was expected to pay – the electronic equivalent of supermarket wine promotions and the sofa firms who always seem to be having massive sales – and high-profile sales are a great way of getting shot of end-of-line stock or of selling products bought in specifically to sell at low prices.
Back in 2013, the Wall Street Journal described retailers’ sales practices, including Amazon’s listing of a $1,799 Samsung HDTV with 45% off the sticker price: a month previously, the same set was $997.99.
Retailers are also known to raise prices in the run-up to big sales events, so for example in the weeks before Black Friday prices of all kinds of goods just happen to go up. Funny, that.
Will Amazon do any of those things? We don’t know, but even if it does, we’re here to help…