Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day is what you probably expected it to be

All the phone cables and headphones you can handle.
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I’ve spent a good chunk of time perusing the various deals listed on Amazon-dot-com these past few hours. As you’re undoubtedly aware by now — seeing as almost every website covering tech or gaming has transformed into an Amazon affiliate link machine — today is Amazon Prime Day.

Prime Day was once an occasion that brought solid deals on things you might actually want to buy. You could potentially find a discount for something you actually had on a wish list. The planets might alight and deliver you a savings, right in the nick of time, on a planned purchase.

In the last three or so years, however, Amazon Prime Day has essentially become the “impulse buy” section in the checkout line at Walmart or Best Buy. It is now stuffed full of cheap products you may not actually want or need, made by companies you may or may not have ever heard of. This year is no different.

There are some decent discounts to be had on Amazon’s own products, though one could argue that — if you take away the branding — these, too, are cheap electronics you might not otherwise buy. Outside of that, a lot of the products being shoveled in front of customers are the kind that go on sale quite often: keyboards, mice, headphones, and so forth.

The big difference on Amazon Prime Day is that there is now a countdown timer attached to a lot of these “deals.” In that sense, it’s just like standing in that “impulse buy” section, knowing you need to move forward and check out soon. Amazon is whispering in your ear, “Look at everyone else snatching up this deal. Why not just throw that USB-C cable on the belt? You might need it someday.” In actuality, if you ever do need a product like that in the future, you’ll probably find that same deal somewhere else: perhaps even on Amazon, despite Prime Day having come and gone.

I’ve not been all that impressed with the tech deals. Ditto on the gaming side of things. Even the Nintendo Switch price drops on first-party games are matching previous lows, which should tell you one thing: these discounts have happened before, and will swing around again at some point. Prime Day is just an excuse for them to return. There’s nothing special happening here.

There’s still another day to go of this, but as of now, I’m of the opinion that you should probably hang on to your cash — that is, unless by some miracle, Amazon has actually reduced the price of a thing you were looking to buy.

If what you’re seeing isn’t thrilling you, though, don’t fall into the trap of feeling like you have to make a purchase because there are discounts. Instead, stow that dough away, be happy you were able to resist the temptation, and wait for some actual good deals to arrive on things you actually want.