Amazon has officially announced Prime Day 2017 and the big date this year is Tuesday July 11.
It's that day of the year when Amazon runs "hundreds of thousands of deals" exclusively for Prime members, so if you're not a member and you've been thinking of signing up – now would be a good time to get that free trial.
If Prime Day itself wasn’t enough to entice new members, Amazon is running an exclusive discount in the UK – a year of Prime now costs £59 rather than the usual £79 and this offer will run only until midnight tonight!
We gave Prime a 5-star review earlier this year at the usual £79 price so with £20 off it seems like a must-have bargain to us.
In the US, owners of the Echo, Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick with voice remote will be able to say "Alexa, sign me up to Prime" to get a similar discount, but in the UK you can just click through.
Prime Day 2017 details:
While this is the third annual Prime Day, this year Prime members will be getting an additional 6 hours of deals, with 30 hours of mayhem rather than the usual 24. Consequently, the Prime Day deals will start at 6pm on Monday July 10, with new deals launching every five minutes.
The "hundreds of thousands of deals" claim is slightly dubious as it adds up all of the Prime Day deals across all 13 participating countries. That being said, there will still be thousands of deals available in the UK so you probably won't be short of prices to browse through.
“Our members love Prime Day and we were thrilled by the response over the last two years. It is inspiring us to make it even better this year for Prime members,” says Greg Greeley, Vice President Amazon Prime.
“Every side of our business is working to deliver more deals for a record number of shoppers. We even decided that 24 hours in a day just isn’t enough time to shop all of the great deals – so we’re giving Prime members 30 hours to shop on Prime Day!”
This year’s new Prime Day specials
The extra 6 hours of deals can be explained by Amazon’s Prime Day US strategy, where Prime Day will run from 9pm Eastern Time to midnight Pacific – three extra hours at each end. For us in the UK, it’s pretty handy to see the first deals at a comfortable time in the evening rather than having to stay up until midnight so it's all good by us.
Amazon also promises that deals this year will be easy to navigate and that’s also a good thing. The Amazon shopping experience is heavily dependent on people searching for what they want – the browsing experience can be quite poor, particularly on Black Friday and manic days like it. So any attempt to make browsing deals a lot easier sounds like a good idea to us and no doubt it’ll help Amazon shift more gear too.
You’ll also for the first time on Prime Day be able to use the Amazon app to track the deals you’re interested in – so as usual with lightning deals, tick the ones you like the look of and you’ll be alerted when the deal goes live so you can see the new price.
The Amazon lottery
In additional to all of this, Amazon has also launched a big drive on Amazon Music Unlimited – its wannabe Spotify rival. Prime members who haven’t yet tried the Music Unlimited service can now secure four months of music for just £0.99. Who knows, maybe you’ll like it? And at that price why not have a look?
Between July 7 and July 11 Prime members also have the chance to win £100,000 in cash simply by streaming Amazon Video via a Fire TV, Fire TV Stick or the Amazon App on your games console. Prime members can also save up to 40% on a Kindle Unlimited membership and up to 25% at Prime Pantry between 3rd July and 6th August.
So yeah, in case you hadn’t guessed – the whole point of Prime Day from Amazon’s point of view is to drive Prime subscriptions. We’ll be right there on Prime Day listing all of the best deals so come back to TechRadar on July 11 to see which deals we rate the best!
What usually happens on Prime Day
Last year it was the biggest day in Amazon’s history: Amazon's traffic was up 36%. It sold 90,000 TVs and thousands of Kindle Paperwhites, Fire TV Sticks and tablets.
In just three hours US customers had bought 18,048 pairs of headphones, while in the UK we bought 600 Trunki suitcases before breakfast. Amazon sold enough Philips Hue bulbs to replace every light in the Albert Hall daily for four and a half years.
So what exactly is Prime Day? Can you trust the deals or is Amazon at it? And when will Prime Day 2017 be anyway? Read on for the answers to these questions and some you might not have thought of.
When is Amazon Prime Day 2017?
Amazon Prime Day 2017 will fall on July 11, though in the UK it will start at 6pm on July 10. In the US it'll run from 9pm Eastern to midnight Pacific.
What's the point of Prime Day?
Prime Day exists to promote Amazon’s Prime subscription service, which Amazon says is the best deal in the history of shopping. Prime Day is for Prime members, many of whom will sign up for a free trial of the service so they can get the deals. Once signed up, many of them stay as Prime subscribers.
If you're not a member, you can for the next few days bag a £20 discount, or sign up for a 30 day free trial.
Why Amazon Prime Day matters
If you’re looking for bargains, Prime Day 2017 is important – not just for gadgets, but for any kind of item. For example, on Prime Day 2016 Prime members bought 215,000 pressure cookers, 200,000 pairs of headphones, 24,000 hammocks, 23,000 Roomba robots and 14,000 Lenovo laptops.
The crucial difference between Prime Day and Black Friday/Cyber Monday – other than it being Amazon’s idea – is that November’s deals are geared towards gifting, because of course it’s the holiday season. Amazon Prime Day is more about personal shopping, either for treating yourself or for saving money household items.
Will Prime Day 2017 be more exciting than last year?
That depends on what you’re planning to buy. Discounts on Amazon’s own products – the Amazon Echo, Fire TV Stick, Fire Tablets and Kindle e-readers for example – are pretty much guaranteed, and there will be stacks of lightning deals on the day too. Unless Amazon decides to do things radically differently this year it’s going to be a really mixed bag, with laptop deals next to handbag deals next to power tools and prosecco. If only there was a website beginning with “T” and ending in “echradar.com” to find the best deals so you don’t have to delve through the dross. Hang on… there is!
As you’d expect, we’re going to be hyped up on energy drinks throughout Prime Day on both sides of the Atlantic, finding the deals that you really don’t want to miss.
Do I need a Prime subscription to get involved?
Yes and no. While Prime is for Prime customers, there will be other deals on the day that are open to everyone – it’s just that with lightning deals, which tend to have limited stock, the Prime users get to see them before anybody else. That means some of the very best deals can be gone long before people who aren’t Prime members get to know about them.
That doesn’t mean you need to pay for a Prime membership, though. You can sign up for a free trial and take full advantage of all the Prime benefits, including Prime Day. But don’t forget to cancel the trial afterwards if you don’t intend to continue. If you don’t, you’ll be automatically billed for membership when the trial period ends.
Are there special Prime deals for students?
Yes. Amazon Student gives you Prime membership for £39 per year instead of the usual £79, and it’s completely free for the first six months. It’s worth considering not just for Prime Day, but for the included TV, music and movie streaming.
What to expect from Prime Day 2017
We’d expect Prime Day 2017 to follow the template of the last two Prime Days. In the week or two before hte big day, we'll see an enticing Amazon Prime subscription discount. Then on the day itself deals will be grouped into two category: Deals of the Day, which tend to be the most eye-catching and which are available in big numbers, and Lightning Deals, which cover every conceivable kind of product, have limited availability and often sell out very quickly. In the latter case Prime members get to see the deals before non-members.
Top deals to expect on Prime Day 2017
All the Amazon things
Last year’s biggest sellers included the Amazon Fire TV Stick, the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet and the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. Spot the trend? This year we’d expect those items to be joined by the Amazon Echo, Amazon Echo Dot and Amazon Echo Look – so whatever you do, don’t buy an Amazon device this side of Prime Day unless you like spending more money than you need to.
PS4 and Xbox One
The current generation of consoles is well established and there aren’t any limited supply problems for the PS4 and Xbox One, so we’d expect some serious discounting on Prime Day 2016 – although probably not for the PS4 Pro, which is still relatively new. With the Pro out there and the Xbox One X incoming we think Prime Day could see some exciting deals, especially on bundles: they have more wiggle room when it comes to pricing than console-only offers.
Working out the value of a TV can be difficult: the pace of change and strength of competition means that even the most cutting-edge TV goes from can’t-afford to cheap-as-chips in an incredibly short time. Pay no attention to the RRP / MSRP, though: use a service such as PriceSpy or CamelCamelCamel to see if what looks like a great deal is just Amazon getting round to matching rivals’ prices. There will be lots of genuine deals, however, so Prime Day 2016 is a good day to look for a new TV.
Laptops and gaming laptops
We’re constantly monitoring laptop deals not just on Prime Day, but every day. There’s lots of flexibility in laptop-land, and we’d expect Amazon to take advantage of that to drop the price of big-name laptops quite dramatically. Keep a particular eye on Lenovo, Asus and HP laptops, which tend to see discounting across multiple models.
House stuff might not be glamorous, but you can save an absolute packet on everything from pots and pans to food processors on Prime Day. As we mentioned earlier it’s a big day for buying hammocks, pressure cookers and robot vacuum cleaners.
The top 5 deals of Prime Day last year:
Microsoft Surface Pro – £210 off
There were lots of , with a whopping £210 off Microsoft’s superb Surface Pro 4. There was nearly £200 off the Surface 3, £90 off Lenovo Ideapads and even money off Chromebooks: the Lenovo N22 Chromebook dropped from £160 to just £100.
Gibson electric guitars – 20% off
Amazon might not be the first place you’d think of when it comes to guitars, but if you were looking for a great price on a great guitar last year then it was the place to go – especially for Gibson’s more expensive models, which were on sale with whopping 20% discounts. Sadly our budgets didn’t stretch to top end Les Pauls, so we bought a whole bunch of heavily discounted Epiphone guitars instead.
Xbox One Guitar Hero Bundle – £105 off
We described this as an “epic party deal”: an Xbox One, Guitar Hero Live, a guitar controller and a bundled Kinect Value Pack with camera and three family-friendly games. At just £235 for the lot that was extraordinary value for money.
HDTVs and 4K TVs: up to £100 off
We’ve written elsewhere about TV deals that were too good to be true, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t genuine discounts on Prime Day. You could save up to £100 on a wide range of TVs including HD, 4K and 3D models, and there were discounts on home cinema projectors too.
Motion activated toilet nightlight: 25% off
Okay, this one probably isn’t a must-have – but it does demonstrate the depth of Amazon’s Prime Day discounting. If toilet nightlights aren’t your thing, you could get money off LED flashing gloves and other fairly niche products. As Amazon told CNBC: “What could be weird to one person may be wonderful to someone else.”
Prime Day 2017 FAQ: what it is, when it happens and where to get the best deals
What is Prime Day?
It’s Amazon’s annual birthday celebration, when it discounts more than 100,000 products of all kinds.
When is Prime Day 2017?
Amazon hasn’t said yet, but we’re guessing that Prime Day 2017 will be held on Tuesday 11 July 2017. Prime Day 2016 was the 12 of July, which was the second Tuesday of the month. This year that falls on the eleventh.
Is Prime Day 2017 Amazon only?
The name is Amazon’s, yes, but in 2016 plenty of other retailers decided to try and spoil Amazon’s fun by running their own doorbuster sales.
Argos ran a “Big Sale” with discounts on PS4s, TVs, kitchen items, Android tablets, laptops and Dysons; Currys PC World offered “mega deals” with 10% off TVs, built-in appliances and Hi-Fi systems as well as deep discounts on laptops and consoles;
John Lewis had a clearance event discounting towels, tablewere, furniture and garden furniture, Lenovo laptops, Bluetooth speakers, tablets and smartwatches; and Ebuyer treated us to the ultimate Dad joke with its Optimus Day of discounts.
Are Prime Day deals real?
Yes and no. They’re real in the sense that you’re paying less than the official price for things, but sometimes that official price was just silly.
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.
Where can I find the best Prime Day deals?
Right here. We scour all the top retailers’ Prime Day deals so that you don’t have to – and we tell you whether the deals are worth getting excited about too. Whether it’s a 4K HDR OLED TV or an Xbox One controller, if it’s discounted we’ll have the details here.
How do I get the best Prime Day 2017 deals?
Know what you want, know what you can afford to spend and know the market: you’ll often spot interesting price hikes in June to enable amazing-looking discounts on Prime Day. Pay particular attention to real prices, not RRPs: TVs are particularly bad for this, with sets whose RRP is eleventy billion pounds routinely selling for five hundred quid. Sites such as CamelCamelCamel and PriceSpy enable you to tell if you’re looking at a legitimate bargain or some timed tomfoolery.
It’s also a very good idea to be flexible: for example, if you fancy a Sony 4K TV then think about the features you want rather than a specific model number: the BRV123ABD54-88C-9218-B may not be discounted on Prime Day, but an almost identical set with the specification you want probably will be.
Can I get cashback on Prime Day deals?
Sometimes, yes. Your debit card or credit card may offer cashback on purchases. It’s definitely worth looking into, not just for Prime Day but for any online shopping.
Am I protected when I buy on Prime Day?
Yes. In the UK, anything you buy from a company online is covered by a wealth of consumer protection legislation including the Consumer Contracts regulations, which give you the same rights as with any other online purchasing – including the short-term right to return items even if they aren’t mis-sold or defective.
How can I stay safe on Prime Day?
There’s a good chance that spammers and scammers will latch on to Prime Day much as they have with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so be wary of unsolicited emails or links to deals on social media no matter how legitimate they look: anything asking for card details or login details is a scam. If you’re on a PC, make sure your security software is up to date. Many suites automatically block known scam sites.