Will the third time be the charm for Amazon? Its now-slightly-misnomered Prime Day (it's actually 30 hours long, not 24, this year) kicks off at 9pm EDT Monday. Its inaugural sale in 2015 didn't blow consumers over; in 2016 there were early-morning website issues for some customers. This year, Amazon is ready, at least by USA Today's account, which notes that two floors of conference rooms at HQ have been "outfitted as war rooms" to support the onslaught of shoppers, all of whom must have a Prime membership to get the deals. More:
- The figures: Prime Day 2016 saw an estimated $500 million to $600 million in sales (Amazon didn't release official numbers). That's a fraction of the $3.34 billion spent on the Black Friday that followed months later, but Amazon said the total was up 60% over 2015, with 2017's Prime Day expected to be even bigger.
- What does bigger look like? Beating 2016 Prime Day records like these perhaps, per TechCrunch: More than 90,000 TVs, 1 million shoes, 23,000 iRobot vacuums, and 200,000 headphones were sold.
- It's a win-win for Amazon: There's a big upside involved in reeling in new Prime shoppers (the count has increased about 20 million year-over-year in the US, to 85 million): Their Amazon spending is almost double that of a non-Prime customer: $1,300 a year versus $700.
- What's on sale? Some 100,000 items, per CNET, but those items don't all go on sale at once. It offers tips on how to be alerted to the best deals (one smart one involves using your Amazon Wish List). Fortune offers some other ways, including a convenient-sounding Alexa tip.
- So are the deals deals? In some cases. Quartz points out that the Wirecutter gadget-review site examined 8,000 deals last Prime Day and recommended fewer than 1% of them: 64. One handy tool: CamelCamelCamel.com, which prompts you to input a product URL and then lets you know how that stacks up to what Amazon has charged for the item in the past.
- There's reason to care: ... and also reason to avoid the "rabbit hole" altogether. Rick Broida makes both cases at CNET.
- One dose of reality: If you've enjoyed Amazon's tax-free shopping in the past, it's, well, a thing of the past. Forbes points out that since April 1, Amazon has been levying sales tax for shoppers in all states with a sales tax (five don't have one: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon).