Amazon’s #PrimeDayFail

Amazon held a one-day sale Wednesday that was billed to be bigger than Black Friday. It was not.

On Prime Day, the online behemoth offered a smattering of deals to customers who had purchased its $79 annual Prime membership, a service which gives members free two-day shipping on most items, plus cloud storage for photos and other documents.

Related: Would you buy your groceries online?

Similar to one-day events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, curiosity got the best of me and so I checked out Amazon’s so-called Christmas in July event.

What I found was a reminder of why I avoid shopping for electronics and other gadgets in the first place.

Fuelling our obsession with buying ‘stuff’

Back in college I had a strange obsession with buying movies, books, and CDs. I don’t know whether I was trying to impress the ladies with my Tarantino collection or what, but this type of impulse buying caused me to waste thousands of dollars from age 18-24.

Hey, it was expensive to switch over a movie collection from VHS to DVD to Blu-Ray. Damn you, technology!

Related: Why it’s hard to avoid buying stuff

But today we can access all kinds of movies and TV series’ on demand using cheap services like Netflix or even free services at our local library. I realized there was no need to own an expensive collection that I’d only watch (or read) once.

So when I saw that Amazon was selling the latest blockbuster movie on Blu-Ray for just $5.99 – 20-year old me would’ve said, “you can’t afford NOT to buy that,” while today I couldn’t care less about saving money on crap I don’t need.

Amazon Prime day was a huge fail – its customers were disappointed with deals that resembled more of a garage sale style dumping of inventory. So in a way it was exactly like Black Friday.

Why I subscribe to Amazon Prime

You might find it odd that someone who wants to avoid consumerism and stop buying crap would have an Amazon Prime membership in the first place.

It comes down to saving money on shipping.

We often hold book giveaways on Boomer & Echo, for example, and it actually costs me less to buy a book on Amazon and have it shipped directly to the winner for free than it does to get a free copy of a book from the publisher and then mail it to the winner through Canada Post.

Related: Addition by subscription subtraction

We’ll also buy Christmas and birthday presents for friends and relatives through Amazon and have the gifts shipped directly to the recipient in order to save on postage.

The savings more than pay for the annual subscription and that’s the reason why we’re Amazon Prime members – not for some bogus online sale fail.

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  1. Robin Y on July 17, 2015 at 11:10 am

    The Prime Save on Shipping might be the best thing ever – I am not a Prime user yet, but I often find myself buying “something else” on in order to qualify for Free Shipping. I end up with books or items I may not really want or need. $80 a year sounds steep though and I need to do the math and look at old Amazon order receipts to convince myself it makes sense.

    • Echo on July 17, 2015 at 10:43 pm

      Prime has a one month free trial so you can test it out and see if it will work for you. We did that two years ago at Christmas and saved a bundle sending gifts to relatives over the holidays.

  2. Noah weiszner on July 17, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    I believe the prime membership is now $99.
    From my hands on experience whatever I wanted to buy was sold out within minutes so I think they did well.
    You also get a lending library of one book a month free, Prime movies and music plus free shipping so again fro mmy perspective it’s a good deal.

  3. Barry @ Moneywehave on July 18, 2015 at 7:31 am

    I also bough t ton of movies on cds and dvds between the ages of 18-24. Sure I still saved but considering I lived at home, that was a lot of disposable income I had so I would just spend it on whatever.

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