To celebrate its 20th birthday, Amazon has really been hyping its Prime Day sale. "Prime members can shop thousands of exclusive lightning deals with new deals added as often as every ten minutes," a press release bragged. So far, though, the deals are leaving something to be desired.
You might associate Black Friday with a decline in moral values and people getting trampled. Or maybe you think about deals on premium electronics like TVs, laptops, and audio equipment. While Prime Day has the advantage of containing our consumerist rot to our homes, it isn't really delivering in the second category. The entry-level Kindle and Fire HD 6 tablet are both good deals today. The Fire TV Stick is $24 ($15 off), which is useful for stocking up if you have multiple TVs in your house. There are some decently priced Bose headphones, and the Lord of the Rings extended editions Blu-ray box set (a Black Friday staple) is $28, which is quite cheap. That's kind of it for the fun stuff, though.
"I was not prepared to wade through the underwhelming nature of Amazon Prime shit today," one friend told me. "I kind of bought a lot of stuff on Prime," another said. "Just like the most boring [things] like electronic toothbrush replacement heads." I am currently contemplating this Dustbuster.
There are some overarching money-savers, like an offer for $20 off an $100 order (with promo code "PRI20ARC") if you have an Amazon Rewards Visa. There are also some deals in which you get bonus credit when you buy Amazon gift cards. But yeah. Lysol disinfecting wipes are 20 percent off!
If you're patient enough to wait through the waves of lightning sales, you can probably get some good deals on things that are actually useful. That's one positive quality of the Prime Day sale compared with most large-retailer sales. But Amazon is the one that brought up the Black Friday comparison, and this is nowhere close.
The real winner of Prime Day, though, is Slate staff writer Mark Joseph Stern, who purchased a Bio Bidet "for no reason other than its discount." At $36.89 ($162.11 off the list price!), that's how you celebrate Amazon's birthday in style.