Seen billboards or banner ads for Prime Day and don’t know where to start when it comes to making heads or tails of the occasion? Here’s everything you need to know about Amazon’s annual shopping extravaganza and how to get the best deals on TVs, tech, clothing and more.
What is Amazon Prime Day?
Prime Day is an annual shopping event run by Amazon that’s exclusive to current and active subscribers of Amazon’s Prime membership service. Never heard of Prime before? Here’s everything you need to know to decide whether or not you should subscribe to Amazon Prime.
Unlike Amazon’s Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales, which are mostly open to anyone visiting the world’s biggest online shopping website, the lightning deals that run over the course of Prime Day can only be taken advantage of by current and active subscribers of Amazon’s Prime membership service.
Prime Day also offers Amazon Australia users the chance to cash in on international Amazon Prime deals. Australian Amazon Prime members will enjoy international shipping with no minimum order threshold for all Prime eligible products for the duration of Prime Day.
When is Prime Day?
This year’s Prime Day starts at 00:01 AEST on October 13 and, like last year's Prime Day, will run for a total of 66 hours. In Australia, Prime Day 2020 officially wraps up at 6PM on Thursday the 15th of October.
That might sound a bit odd, given that a day is usually 24 hours. Essentially, Australian shoppers are getting an extra day and a half of international deals on top of local Prime Day promotions.
In addition, Australian Amazon Prime members will enjoy international shipping with no minimum order threshold for all Prime eligible products for the duration of Prime Day.
How long does Prime Day last?
Although the name might suggest otherwise, Amazon’s Prime Day actually takes place over a total of 66 hours in Australia.
The upshot of this day-defying format is that Australian Amazon Prime members are able to take advantage of both local lightning deals and those offered by Amazon’s US storefront.
What happens during Prime Day?
Over the course of Prime Day, there will be several tiers of sales running throughout the entire Amazon site. In addition to these discounts, Amazon also offering a slew of promotions across their various products and services.
This includes the following:
Prime members who haven’t yet tried Amazon Music Unlimited can get four months of the premium streaming tier for just $0.99.
Prime members will be able to rent popular movies on the Amazon Prime Video Store for as little 99c from the 7th of October
Prime members who haven’t yet tried Audible can access a free 3-month trial.
Prime members who haven't yet tried Kindle Unlimited can get their first three months of unlimited reading free when they sign up from the 1st of October
Instead of just free expedited domestic shipping, Prime members will also enjoy international shipping with no minimum order threshold for all Prime eligible products for the duration of Prime Day 2019.
How big is Prime Day?
Last year, Amazon Australia claim that Prime Day 2019 saw small and medium-sized businesses selling in Amazon’s stores generate US$1.5 billion in sales globally.
Matt Furlong, the Country Manager for Amazon Australia, says that “We’re excited to offer Australian Prime members the chance to access fantastic savings across tens of thousands of products from international and Aussie brands across all categories for Prime Day this year."
"In addition, to help customers discover more local brands on Amazon.com.au,we are proud to put small Australian businesses front and centre through our ‘Shop Local’ store on Prime Day and beyond."
What will be on sale during Prime Day 2020? How can I save money?
If you’re not an Amazon Prime member already, Prime Day is a great opportunity to pull the trigger on the free month trial that Amazon offers all new subscribers. You can always cancel your Amazon Prime subscription afterwards if you don’t feel like sticking around and you’ll still be able to get a ton of value out of the free shipping that Prime membership includes.
Do I need to be an Amazon Prime member to shop during Prime Day?
Yes. Unlike Black Friday, the deals and promotions available over the course of Prime Day are only available to current Amazon Prime members.
Fortunately, If you’re not an Amazon Prime member already, Prime Day is a great opportunity to pull the trigger on the free month trial that Amazon offers all new subscribers.
You can always cancel your Amazon Prime subscription afterwards if you don’t feel like sticking around and you’ll still be able to get a ton of value out of the free shipping that Prime membership includes.
Will there be an Amazon Music Prime Day concert?
Last year's Prime Day featured a musical concert hosted by award-winning actress Jane Lynch and from Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, SZA and Becky G. Prime members who tuned into the Amazon Prime Day Concert will also get a sneak peek of upcoming Amazon Originals like Carnival Row and Modern Love.
It is unknown at this time whether Prime Day 2020 will include anything similar.
How is Prime Day different for Amazon Australia?
Well, for one, it starts earlier. Kicking off well before the US Prime Day begins, Australians will get first dibs on local Amazon Australia deals.
Once Prime Day kicks off in the US, Amazon Australia Prime Members will also have the opportunity to get in on the action.
On top of free expedited domestic shipping, Australian Amazon Prime members will also enjoy international shipping with no minimum order threshold for all Prime eligible products. It turns one of the big cons of ordering from Amazon internationally into a big deal - at least, while it lasts.
Why do people protest Prime Day?
While it does offer consumers subscribed to Amazon Prime the chance to save money by taking advantage of a variety of deals and discounts, Amazon's Prime Day isn't without controversy.
In 2018, European Amazon employees protested the working conditions that came part-and-parcel with Amazon's Prime Day spike in sales and workers at an Amazon warehouse in Minnesota followed in their footsteps during Prime Day 2019.
Amazon employees claim their strikes are intended to draw awareness to and push back against the unrealistic quotas and safety practices that they say Amazon enforces. According to the warehouse workers involved, poor communication from management and general job insecurity are rife within the company.
According to Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union, “Amazon’s incredible wealth and enormous global footprint has been built on the backs of its workers, and this employee uprising is calling for greater accountability and responsibility.”
It is unclear at this time whether Amazon Prime Day 2020 will incur the same level of uproar.
This article was originally published on July 17th 2019 and updated by Fergus Halliday on September 28th 2020.