In Depth

What is Amazon Prime Day and what is on offer?

The sales event started last night in the UK, with millions of deals available to Prime customers

Amazon Prime Day is well under way, with more than a million deals up for grabs to canny consumers. 

Now in its fourth year, the event officially started on Monday evening and runs for 36 hours, lasting until early on Wednesday morning for UK users of the site.

Last year's Prime Day set a new sales record for the online retail giant, and this year the global event has expanded to new markets, with shoppers in Australia, Singapore, Luxembourg and the Netherlands now able to bag deals.

The offers may not live up to November’s Black Friday bargains, says Alphr, but Amazon Prime is the best bet for mid-year discounts.

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Introduced in 2015 to celebrate Amazon's 20th anniversary, the first Prime Day was a one-day only retail holiday that sought to overtake Black Friday as the sales event of the year, Business Insider reports.

“This inaugural Prime Day received some criticism from shoppers who weren't happy with the quality and quantity of deals offered, but Amazon has stepped up its game in both realms since, and to great success,” the site says.

Prime Day 2017 was the biggest shopping day in the history of the company, until it was surpassed by Cyber Monday 2017 the following November.

This year Australia, Singapore, Netherlands, and Luxembourg joined the list of countries in which deals are available. Amazon sites in the US, the UK, Canada, Spain, Mexico, Japan, Italy, India, Germany, France, China, Belgium and Austria are taking part again.

This year’s event lasts considerably more than a day, extending to 36 hours.

Can anyone get these deals?

You need to be an Amazon Prime member to get the discounts, along with the other usual benefits including one-day delivery, Kindle books and TV, film and music streaming. 

Those with just an Amazon Prime Video account, as opposed to a full Prime membership, aren’t entitled to the cash-off deals.

The full Prime service costs £7.99 per month, or you can pay a one-off annual fee of £79. 

However, you can take advantage of the discounts without paying out for membership, by signing up for Amazon's 30-day free trial. Be sure to cancel the subscription before the trial period ends or you’ll be automatically charged for full membership.

Can Alexa help me bag bargains?

Yes, indeed. If you have a device powered by Amazon’s artificial intelligence (AI) assistant, you can ask it for an update on Prime Day’s latest deals. Gamespot suggests that some deals may be exclusive to Alexa users during the event.

What is on offer?

No doubt most shoppers will be tempted by the personal and home technology deals pushed by Amazon, but there’s much more on offer.

As well as the bargains to be found on gadgets, there are discounts on food, drink, kitchenware, toys, musical instruments, furniture and even garden sheds.

Not every deal is available all day, though. Many are timed and will already have expired earlier in the day, while others will only become available at on Tuesday evening.

Eager shoppers can check to see how prices have changed on the retailer's site using a service like CamelCamelCamel. The tool tracks prices to see if products are regularly discounted or of you're getting a genuine special offer.

What deals are on offer?

Amazon has already revealed its best-selling deals so far from Prime Day 2018:

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