7 Amazon Prime Day Warnings Before You Shop Next Month
Keep this in mind before you make any purchases during the e-commerce giant's sale event.
Anyone addicted to getting a good deal knows Amazon can be an excellent resource for bargains. But the mega online retailer has also established its own special sales event it now hosts twice each year on Prime Day, with the next one quickly approaching on Oct. 10. At first glance, it can seem like the perfect opportunity to make purchases and score even deeper discounts than usual. However, there are a few things you might want to keep in mind before you start scanning for deals and filling your online shopping cart. Read on for warnings about shopping on Amazon Prime Day next month, according to retail experts.
7 Amazon Prime Day Warnings
1. Beware of price-gouging.
Catching sight of a double-digit markdown in price can often make it pretty hard to pass up a deal. But experts say some retailers might be generating some artificial savings.
"When shopping Amazon's Prime Big Deal Days, be sure to check to see if you're actually getting a discount," says Samantha Landau, consumer expert at TopCashback. "Sometimes, items are price-gouged to look like you're getting a better deal."
Fortunately, there's a way to avoid getting duped. "To spot this dirty marketing trick, check current prices for the product you have your eyes on in the days or weeks before the sale," Melissa Cid, a consumer savings expert at MySavings.com, tells Best Life.
2. Certain deals are invite-only.
Experts point out that certain items will be limited to an invite-only list. "This is a premise that Amazon introduced for Prime Day in July this year, and it can make shopping some of the best deals harder," cautions Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com.
She explains that Prime members will have to sign up for these invite-only deals ahead of time and will receive an email during the event letting them know if they qualify to shop the sale or not. Those lucky enough to get access will receive a link to follow through to shop the item at the deal price—and if not, they'll just receive an email letting them know they weren't selected.
And you might want to act quickly if you're hoping to get in on this type of sale. "If these are based on a first-come, first-serve basis, you'll want to sign up for any that you're interested in as soon as possible to increase the odds of making the list," Ramhold says.
3. Some deals could be better during other times of the year.
Prime Day might be an easy way to score deals, but it's certainly not the only sales event that stands out on the calendar. And according to Rob Weisberg, president of consumer analytics company Inmar Intelligence, deals can often be better at other times depending on the product.
"Prime Day is known for tech and electronics discounts, but Black Friday and Cyber Monday often offer competitive deals—especially on a wider range of products," he says. "Some product categories, like clothing and seasonal items, may have better discounts during end-of-season clearance sales."
Instead of rushing to buy, Weisberg says to consider timing purchases "strategically based on your needs and the typical sales cycles for the products you're interested in."
4. Prime Big Deal Days are not Black Friday.
Many major sales events try to claim supremacy with their availability of deals. However, it's important to remember that the number of discounts available on Prime Days still vastly pales compared to other marquee shopping events on the calendar.
"While it's going to serve as the kickoff to the holiday shopping season, it's important to note that this is not Black Friday," says Ramhold. "It might be a sort of preview and have some deals that could return again for Black Friday, but this event won't replace the big shopping day in November."
5. Returns can become an issue.
While we always hope to avoid them, returns can be a concern during major shopping events like Prime Day because the rush to get deals may lead to impulse purchases. That's why experts suggest using extra caution before you check out.
"It's essential to understand the return policies of each individual retailer," Weisberg says. "Review the return window, return shipping costs (if any), and any restocking fees that may apply. Some products like electronics may have specific return policies or restocking fees, so be aware."
He also cautions when buying from third-party sellers on Amazon, which can be easy to miss in the excitement of landing a deal. "Their return policies can vary even more, so read the fine print," he says.
6. Not everything will be on sale.
Amazon is famously a site where you can buy practically anything. But when it comes to Prime Day deals, it can help to temper your expectations for savings.
"It'll be a decently large event, but it still won't have the same level of products on sale that Black Friday typically has," says Ramhold. "You should be able to find some solid deals on some items, particularly if you're looking for Amazon goods and services, but if you're looking for other brands and products, you might not see the discounts you want just yet."
Fortunately, a little preparation can also help you limit overbuying. "Before Prime Day begins, make a list of items you genuinely need or have been wanting to purchase," says Weisberg. "Savvy shoppers should monitor prices of items they intend to purchase before Prime Day to confirm they are indeed getting a good deal."
7. The event is Prime-member exclusive.
Many customers who are infrequent Amazon shoppers might hold off on signing up for Amazon Prime membership, which secures perks like free shipping on orders. But if you're hoping to score deals on Prime Day, you'll be forced to pay for the privilege.
"As the name suggests, only Prime members can shop the deals," says Ramhold. "If you're one of those people who join Prime for a month to do your holiday shopping or to take advantage of Prime Day deals, then you may have to make a tough choice on whether to sign up for two months this time around or not."
However, being stuck without access might not be a total dealbreaker. "The truth is that while this event will serve as Amazon's kickoff to the holiday shopping season, that doesn't mean you'll be able to buy everything on your list at the price you want during the Prime Big Deal Days sale," Ramhold says.
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