Amazon’s “Bigger Than Black Friday” Sale & How to Get the Deals Even If You Aren’t a Prime Member!

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amazon prime day

Amazon Prime Day

It isn’t often I get excited for a sale. That may or may not be surprising to you, but I think most sales are bad deals. With that said, Amazon has been known to heavily discount an item or two during Black Friday and other promotional events, so I am really excited about today’s announcement of Prime Day.

Prime Day will be on July 15 and will be a celebration of the company’s 20th birthday. Here is how Amazon describes it:

Prime Day is a one-day shopping event on July 15, 2015, with more deals than Black Friday. Prime members can shop exclusive deals from electronics, toys, video games, movies, clothing, patio, lawn and garden, sports and outdoor items and more.

I’m sure a lot of this is hype and Amazon isn’t going to go out of business to offer us below market deals across the board, but for those who are diligent, I’m sure an amazing opportunity or two will come along.

Prime Members Only & A Free Trial

As you can probably tell by the name, this “event” is for Prime members only. I have happily been a member of Prime for about 4 years now, but I know some of you don’t see the value or haven’t tried it yet. Luckily Amazon is offering a free 30 day trial of Prime and even trial members are eligible.

Turn Off Auto-Renew

If you do sign up for the trial then it will automatically renew after 30 days at the rate of $99 per year. You can however disable that by going to “My Account” and then “Manage Prime Membership” and disabling auto-renew. That way you can try the service, enjoy Prime Day and not worry about forgetting in case you don’t want to keep Amazon Prime.

Update: It seems like Amazon doesn’t allow you to do this anymore. The best option is to set a Google Calendar or other reminder and then click “End Membership” when you are ready to end the trial. You could also try to create a temporary virtual credit card number that expires before the trial and set that as the default payment method, so the charge won’t go through, but that seems a bit too complicated.

Conclusion

I have found that Amazon has a ton of decent deals around Black Friday, so I am hoping this event isn’t just a bunch of hype. It seems like Amazon is trying to get more people into their “Prime Ecosystem”, so I do believe there will be some decent finds if you look hard enough. You can find out more about Prime Day on the Amazon website.


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16 COMMENTS

  1. I’m surprised you value Amazon Prime to the tune of $100/year. Especially considering you’re charged state tax as Nevada/LV is a major Amazon shipping hub. I assume you’re paying full price and not splitting the account with others.

    I won’t get into all the reasons I think Amazon Prime is a bad value. I do have Prime ironically from an Amex cc deal late last year (auto renew is off) so I will be on the look out for the July 15 sales.

    Not sure if you’ve heard of Jet.com yet but if not you will soon enough. In short, they’re an online Costco, the difference being they have ZERO profit margin on items sold (membership fees are their bread and butter). They don’t subsidize other services with their shipping component. They’re a more efficient, streamlined broker who connects buyers and sellers. In fact, they give back their affiliate earnings as well in a full discount to customers.

    They’re not open to the public yet but they will be soon. I’ve been purchasing through their beta test program and I have to say more than 95% of items have been at least 10-20% lower in price than Amazon.

    • I actually have the Student version at $49, but my family uses both the Video and Streaming services and I purchase enough stuff that the 2 day shipping makes sense.

      As for Jet, I have heard of them, but haven’t had a chance to try them out. It still remains to be seen if they will be able to scale their operation and maintain those prices.

      • Ah, the student version definitely increases value as you’re cost is halved. Although you’re not eligible for Amazon Mom.

        As far as scalability, I agree, the future is uncertain. To a degree you could say that about any company though. Just last year Amazon was on the fritz and investors were growing very unhappy.

        I will say this about Jet. The founder, Mark Lore, . is the same guy who founded Quidsi (diapers.com, amongst others). Jet received $220 million in private funding and had a valuation of $600 million back in February. This for a company that has yet to go public. It wouldn’t surprise me if at some point Amazon tries to but them out, like they did with Diapers.com. Also worth noting Lore briefly worked at Amazon to assist in the deal.

        Regardless of what happens in the future, it’s a no brainer to buy from Jet.com in the short term. You’ll see what I mean soon enough. 🙂

        • I received an offer from Jet to be a beta tester a couple of weeks ago. Do you know if I do this if I will still have my 6 month free membership when the site officially launches? It’s not clear if this would take the place of that. That’s why I haven’t gotten around to signing up yet.

          • Good question and unfortunately I don’t know the answer. I’d shoot them an email feedback@jet.com. Their email support responds quickly though, usually within 15 minutes.

          • Thanks for the suggestion. I did that and found out that the Beta testing doesn’t affect the free 6 month membership. What kinds of items have you found good deals on so far?

          • @ Eric

            I can’t reply to your question as it’s run out of room.

            In general, common household products are common and 9x out of 10 they beat Amazon prices by 10%+. Baby supplies, small kitchen items, makeup for the wife, light bulbs, cleaning supplies etc. I bought a pressure washer too that beat out a front page hot deal from Slickdeals. The one area I noticed thus far where their pricing leaves room for improvement is in electronics.

            I add things to the cart and place the order once I hit the $35 threshold. Works well for us because we try to plan things out.

        • When it comes to membership valuation, whether it be loyalty points or shopping membership, its as subjective as slamming dirty sluts while you’re drunk. You cant really say Amazon is “bad value” or not worth it or it sucks just based on your personal utility.

          So the real answer to this comparison is, “Lets See…” Maybe youre right, but its too early sir…

          Jet is in private party mode. Lets see how they mature and then we can make a real comparison.

          Everyone knows Amazon’s prices are totally undercut by Jet, but I am curious to see how other Amazon competitive advantages are shut down by Jet and how long this TJMaxx party town will last. Amazon is a beast right now. I can buy condoms for $10 and just have that one item shipped to me overnight or two day max 7 days a week including Sunday delivery for free (based on availability) in time for dirty sex. Bam. Worth it. So again, its too early to say anything now.

          Also, investors last year was just being retarded. Since Amazon posted some nasty ass losses and terrible profits, Fire Phone flop (now Echo.. TBD), investors became non-believers. To top it off, Bezos was just spending crazy and doubling down on his own strategy. Good thing I didnt sell. Holy Crap. I thought I lost tens of thousands of dollars. Now its at $440+/share now. Last year everyone was selling it like its hottie cakes and dropped the price well below $300. Good thing I listen to the grandmaster Oracle of Omaha. He knows whats up. Invest in companies you believe in and have long term bad ass strategies. I would also recommend reading Bezos book “The Everything Store”. He has some big ass balls.

          Also, just know that $220 million in private funding with a valuation of $600 million doesnt mean shit cuz its just term sheets talking to each other. Uber: $50+ Billion w/ a “B”. Not public either. Sand Hill Road can make up whatever number they want. As the Silicon Valley saying goes “You tell me what valuation you want, I tell you want terms you get..” But anyway, being in startup central is super competitive and makes you feel like a loser each day.

          Ya, short term I will buy from Jet too if they deliver my condoms on Sunday like Amazon. And if they start accepting Bitcoin and put their website on TOR… holy crap.. Silk Jet Road..

          Will see man. Too early. Actually, if anyone is too early, its the Greeks. Cmon, a PARTY IN THE STREETS after a “No” vote?! you have got to me kidding me. Those people dont know what they are partying about.. lets see who can party after their economy collapses. Anyway…

          • 1) I can in fact say Amazon is or is not bad value based on my personal utility. I am part of their customer base and as such cast my vote in that direction. To suggest otherwise goes against the spirit of capitalism.
            2) I agree there is a lot of unknown to Jet and Amazon’s response. TBC.
            3) You’re not getting those condoms for free. IMO, there is this general oversight of those who defend Amazon Prime (for shipping benefits only) that they’re getting free shipping. No, you’re paying $8.25/mo for these benefits. Also, Prime Eligible items are quite often at or worse than third party pricing that also comes with free shipping. Therefore you have to factor these costs into your purchases. For some it’ll make sense, for others it will not. I may save more money over the year by paying $10 for that box of condoms on Jet.com, plus the $5.99 shipping.
            4) Business 101 > you cannot be all things to all people and expect to succeed. There are always hungry competitors looking to take a niche focus and take your customers. If there ever were a range of stagnancy and over-aggressiveness, Amazon would set the higher-end range.
            5) The Jet.com model is best served for those who can plan purchases ahead of time, factor the $5.99 shipping cost accordingly for sub $35 purchases and come to a conclusion that it makes financial sense; their online Costco model is built on transparency. This model will no doubt make more sense as time goes on as consumers are ever more educated and become more price sensitive as a result.

            I was a full fledged Amazon customer for nearly a decade (still am, but really scaled back). I’ve done number crunching about 2 years ago and came to the conclusion I was wasting a few hundred dollars every year on buying from Amazon. This didn’t even factor Jet.com into the equation.

          • Hm. I think you make interesting points.

            I think it just comes down to how people use the various online services whether it be Jet or Amazon and calculate their costs just as you did.

            Just like you said, you place a value based on your own personal utility, therefore, others may cast a vote in their direction as well. But whomever is reading our discussions should benefit and prompt them to do their own research. Maybe $9/mo isnt worth it to them and incorrectly valuing their “free” prime shipping when its not free at all. Matter of fact, dont get me started about the crappy blogs advertising “BE LIKE ME! TRAVEL FOR FREE!”.

            So really depends on what items and volume and opportunity cost. Sounds like you have a family. Totally different use case than me. Im not even close to having anything like that and I use services like TaskRabbit and Postmates. People think Im crazy and wasting money. Even after I tell them about “4HR Workweek” by Tim Ferris.

            Just comes down to who you are. What you do. etc etc. Maybe everyone will just use a lot of both. I mean look at this points and miles game, you cant say any one card or any one loyalty program is the best of the best. You need a tool belt of ninja tools at your disposal.

            We will wait and see man.

  2. For the trial version, it is a perfect place to use a visa gift card. Doesn’t matter if you forget to renew as long as the card is drained by the time they try to charge it. I use gift cards for most auto-renew purchases that I don’t want to forget to cancel.

    • oh crap. I totally didnt even think about this. Everytime I get VGC, i want to drain immediately before the bullshit con artists get to my VGC before I do. So many of those, Im tired of it. But has the VGC worked well on Amazon? Dont you need to register online or something? I didnt bother looking into online shopping with a VGC at all.

  3. I love Amazon Prime! I have been a member for years. I love the 2 day shipping and tax free purchases (Colorado). The prices are almost as competitive as Walmart or any other big box store plus you don’t have to drive and stand in the crowd (geez, I sound anti-social). Perfect for this working Mom that always seems to need something.

    • I (nor anyone else) could argue about the convenience factor with Amazon. They’re the leaders here. The simple reality is they’re not the cheapest option anymore. In the past Amazon was both the leader in convenience and price. This has not been the case now for a few years. Note, I’m not even referring to state taxes imposed on a growing number of states (anywhere they have a physical presence).

      When I can buy the same item elsewhere for less I’m going to do it. For me, that determines the value. More and more businesses offer free shipping and/or site to store. If you’re within proximity to major shopping areas you’re going to find less value than someone who doesn’t have that luxury.

      And you don’t sound anti social! Lol. We’re the smart ones who find ways to be more efficient with our shopping habits.

  4. I made Jet top 1000 without much effort. Order a few times and overall been happy. Positives are lower price per items as you buy more, there are bargains if you search, the staff will work with you and finally, use a debit card and receive a 1.5% discount. The negatives are the packaging is a joke at times, items are there one day and gone the next, the discounts from third parties are not that great and finally, the search engine still needs major work.

    • I’ve placed 11 orders for a total of 51 products, ranging from baby food to pressure washers to video games to crock pots. I’ve not experienced poor packaging. What type of items did you order?

      I think it’s important to remember they’re in beta testing. Given that fact I think they’re doing pretty well for pushing across an untested shopping model.

      With that said we both know there’s a lot of room for improvement. Their search engine definitely needs help. Given the value I’ve already capitalized on I’m pretty excited to see their progression going forward.

      Fwiw all Jet merchants are third parties. They may supply some items for quick 2 day shipping but they do not have Jet branded products.

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