Today is Amazon Prime Day, when the retailer is promising even more deals than it offered on Black Friday. Some of the bargains on the site are impressive. The only hitch is that to take advantage you have to be an Amazon Prime member - which will set you back £79 a year. Fortunately, there's a way around that.
Some of the deals are running all day - until one minute to midnight. These include an Xbox One with Halo and a wireless controller, reduced from £400.71 to £329, and a Lenovo Flex Notebook reduced from £279.99 to £129.99.
There are also a number of lightning deals, running for a limited time with a limited number of products. These tend to be slightly lower-priced items. They include, for example, a Disney Infinity 1.0 sidekicks 3-figure pack for £10.25 instead of £13.01, a Sandisk 32 GB flash drive for £14.99 instead of £42.68, and an Oral B 2000 CrossAction electric toothbrush down from £69.99 to £24.99.
The new deals come on and off the homepage as often as every ten minutes, so the best way to track down the deals is to visit the homepage whenever you have spare time to browse. You can also sign up to the Twitter feed - which will be full of deals all day, and check the countdown timers for deals coming up later.
There are also discounts on Amazon Coins - which you can spend on apps, games and in-app items on android phones and tablets. You already get a 10% discount when you pay using the coins. However, today you get 25% more coins when you buy them - as long as you spend at least £45.
Finally, there's the 'subscribe and save' option. This gives you a discount on things you buy regularly. You sign up to a regular delivery of anything from nappies and dog food to coffee. If you have one item delivered in a month you'll get a 5% discount, and if you have five or more, you'll get a 15% discount. As a special offer today they are offering 20% off your first order.
The official reason for offering the deals is to celebrate the company's 20th birthday. However, the strategic reason also has something to do with encouraging people to sign up to become Prime Members.
Amazon must be hoping that people will add together all their potential savings today, and decide it's worth paying £79 in order to get access to the bargains. In addition, they will then have access to one day free delivery, the ability to borrow Kindle books for free, unlimited photo storage, and the Prime Instant Video streaming service offering unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows.
However, you don't have to pay up in order to bag a bargain. The easiest option is to sign up for a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime. You will need to submit your payment details in order to activate the trial; make sure you tick the 'do not upgrade' box in the 'your account' section; and remember to cancel before the end of the trial or you will be charged the full annual fee.
Alternatively, if you live with an Amazon Prime member, you can get them to sign you up as a guest, which will get you access to the savings as well as speedy free deliveries. They can invite up to four guests living at the same address.
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