An Amazon driver delivers packages in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 27, 2023.
Tom Williams | Cq-roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images
Amazon’s Prime Day sales event is officially underway for the second time this year. The online retailer’s Prime Big Deal Days is expected to bring in $8.1 billion this year, according to an Adobe Analytics forecast.
The 48-hour sale offers exclusive deals for Amazon Prime members and marks the official start of the holiday shopping season for the e-commerce retailer — well before most forecasts include sales in the “holiday sales” time periods.
Forty-one percent of consumers say they have already started or plan to shop by the end of October, according to the Shopify-Gallup Holiday Shopper Pulse survey out Tuesday.
The Amazon sale event comes as Americans face mounting economic pressures, including rising interest rates, persistent inflation and the restart of student loan payments. Those pressures are driving cost-conscious shoppers to stock up now on holiday gifts.
Those competing forces “create a battle for consumer spending,” Nick Handrinos, vice chairman and leader of Deloitte LLP’s retail and consumer products practice, recently told CNBC.
Electronics, toys and games, personal care and cosmetics are among the categories shoppers plan to buy during this Prime Big Deal Days event, according to the latest weekly consumer insights poll conducted by CoreSight Research. (For more on Prime Day deals, check out NBC Select’s roundup of savings.)
So how good are the deals compared to prices at other times of the year? It depends on the category.
“Many of us expected [Tuesday] especially to be more impressive than it has been,” said Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst at DealNews.com.
“While there are some good offers on Amazon devices and services,” she said, “outside of those, it’s been somewhat lackluster.”
CNBC analyzed daily pricing data provided by Jungle Scout, a platform providing tools to Amazon sellers, for 19 products from the most popular categories sold on Amazon.com by Amazon directly or the brand itself between September 2022 and September 2023.
CNBC found the best prices for electronics and toys is typically during Amazon’s summer Prime Day sale, compared to other major shopping events. But those still are not necessarily the best prices of the year.
For health and beauty products, shoppers will likely find the best prices during the Black Friday sales event. However, the fall Prime event might have better prices for home goods.
For the best prices, DealNews.com’s Ramhold recommends waiting until late October or November, when the discounts will be greater.
An Amazon spokeswoman said the company was unable to comment on the accuracy of CNBC’s findings without seeing the research. CNBC declined to provide that data in advance of…
Read More: Are the prices really that good?