OPINION: As another Prime Day sales event hurtles by I can’t help but feel a little disappointed with the deals that were on offer. That’s not to say the event wasn’t a big success in general.
A press release from Amazon said that “over the course of the two-day shopping event, Prime members purchased more than 375 million items worldwide and saved more than $2.5 billion on millions of deals across the Amazon store, helping make it the biggest Prime Day event ever.”
And that is a lot of money saved, though I do wonder just how much customers saved. With their deals, Amazon and other retailers show how much you’re saving off the RRP – which is fair enough – but most products, in particular older ones, weren’t or haven’t retailed at that price in ages.
In many cases you could have bought that product for the same price a couple of weeks ago – perhaps even a few months ago. Some products are still at the same price after Prime Day.
The deals were especially ‘mild’ if you were looking to improve/upgrade your AV kit, mainly because most of the big brands seemed to have excused themselves from the sales frenzy.
The likes of Q Acoustics had US only deals, while Cambridge Audio, KEF, or Bang & Olufsen either didn’t seem to be offering any reductions or had relatively few. Astell & Kern and Marshall had a few deals, but you could have bought these products before Prime Day at the same price in many cases.
The likes of Sonos and Denon wireless speakers were conspicuous by their absence, while it all seemed to be very quiet on the projector, soundbar, and surround sound systems front.
If you were going to buy something during Prime Day, most of the deals concentrated on smartphones and headphones with a selection of TVs thrown in. But even with TVs, savings on 2023 models were few other than a few new sets from Hisense.
Perhaps it’s a case of manufacturers not wanting to discount their products too early in the year or by too much, but as far as AV kit is concerned Prime Day 2023 feels like it largely passed it by.
For me, I was looking to buy some 4K Blu-rays but didn’t buy any in the end. The ones I wanted were available in other sales promotions (like the Arrow Summer Sale currently going on), others weren’t big enough to get my interest or were discs I already had.
That feeling of déjà vu permeated my Prime Day experience. It was the usual suspects – Fire TV streamers, Android smartphones, Echo speakers – that got the attention, and it’s likely to be the same when Black Friday 2023 rolls around.
I can see why makers of hi-fi and home cinema kit wouldn’t want to discount kit. You don’t want to devalue products by always reducing the price, conditioning people to buy only when savings are had. And if they’re selling well anyway why bother reducing the price?
Perhaps the main problem is not the scarcity of deals but how AV is presented in general to the public. Go to the Audio & Hi-Fi systems page on Amazon and the best sellers are Amazon Fire TV Sticks and Echo speakers. That’s a perception that needs to change.