Prime Day 2017 Starts Today

Prime Day is Amazon’s Exclusive for Prime Members Annual July sale that some have said offers better bargains than you see on Black Friday. This year’s sale last 30 hours, beginning at 9PM Eastern Time on July 10th and ending at 3AM EDT on Wednesday, July 12th. The deals start two hours earlier for Alexa-enabled devices.

Expect deals on Amazon Music Unlimited, Prime Video, Kindle Unlimited and Audible. New deals will be starting every 5 minutes.  There will also be extra savings available through the Amazon Shopping app as well as special voice deals through Alexa-enabled devices.

Remember, the Prime Day Deals are ONLY for Prime Members. Even if you sign up for a 30 day free trial of Prime or under the monthly plan, you can still take advantage of the sales.

Are you looking for anything special?

Shop til you drop: July 12th is Prime Day

PD16cropTuesday, July 12, 2016 is Amazon’s second annual Prime day. This is an exclusive sale just for Prime Members and it will feature over 100,000 items.

According to Amazon,

New and existing members in U.S., U.K. , Spain , Japan , Italy , Germany , France , Canada , Belgium, and Austria, will find deals across nearly all departments and categories, ensuring there will be something for everyone. Members in the U.S. can shop starting at midnight PT , with new deals as often as every five minutes throughout the day.

Some of the highlights include:

TVs:  The deal inventory of TVs in the U.S. will be nearly 2x than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
Toys:  Members in the U.S. will find toy deals nearly all day on Prime Day.
Specials to order with Alexa: There will be benefits to being an owner of an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or Amazon Tap on Prime Day. (Keep an eye on your Alexa app!)
Streaming Movies and TV:  Members will find unbelievable deals on some of today’s top rated TV series and popular blockbuster films to rent or purchase and instantly stream on Amazon Video.
Kindle Unlimited: On July 12, Prime Members in the U.S. can save up to 40% on a Kindle Unlimited membership.

Members can shop deals on all devices, across nearly all categories, in all Prime countries.You can find more info on Prime Day here.

Not a Prime member? You still have time to sign up for Prime! There’s a 30 day free trial. In the U.S. Membership includes unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping on many items, access to unlimited streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes with Prime Video, more than one million songs and thousands of curated playlists and stations with Prime Music, early access to select Lightning Deals all year long, free secure, unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos and one free pre-released book a month with Kindle First.  🙂

Amazon Raises Free Shipping Threshold

amazon_pkg_smOnce again, has raised the amount of merchandise  you have to order to be eligible for free shipping. Formerly $35, you now have to purchase $49 worth of items to get the free shipping. For book orders  you only need $25 to get you order shipped for free. Once you hit the $25 mark for books, you can add other merchandise without worrying about the $49 threshold. When Amazon started offering free shipping, formerly called Super Saver Shipping, the purchase threshold was only $25.

There have been a lot of articles talking about future options for Amazon’s delivery woes, whether that is using delivery drones or hiring Uber-like drivers to deliver product. Pundits have clearly emphasized that logistics and delivery are problems Amazon needs to solve in order to move forward. It is difficult to say whether this latest change is meant to offset the damage shipping costs cause to the company’s bottom line or is designed to make Amazon Prime more attracted to customers who still haven’t tried it.

There’s no doubt this makes Amazon Prime a more attractive proposition. Prime members get free two day shipping and a host of other benefits such as vidoes, music, ebook loans for Kindle owners and free cloud photo storage.

I posted the link to this a few days ago, but it is probably even more relevant now. Here’s an article from CNET giving you 5 shipping tricks you can use to reach the threshold even if you don’t have Prime.

You can find more information about the new free shipping requirements here.

Note: Amazon UK raised its threshold last May to £10 for books and £20 for other items. Those requirements remain unchanged.



Prime Perks for Kindle and Fire Owners

paperwhiteThis year,  my son finally asked for a e-ink Kindle. So, for Christmas, I bought him a Kindle Paperwhite and one of the $50 fire tablets.  Since he is already a Prime Member (another gift from mom and dad), I wanted to fill him in on a couple of Prime benefits that only applied to device owners. Since this is the time of year when many people get Kindles for the first time, I thought I would share these with everyone.

Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KOLL) allows Prime members to borrow one (1) book per month for free.

  • Works on Kindle e-reader, Fire tablet, or Fire phone.
  • Only available for device owners with memberships to Amazon Prime.
  • Borrowed KOLL titles may also be shared with another adult in your household through Amazon Household and Family Library with select Prime memberships.
  • Eligible books display the Prime logo. There are over 500,000 books in the lending library.
  • Complete instructions with video are here.

A couple of important points here:  First, there is no master “list” of book available to lend (the books actually change all the time). Secondly, you are not able to pick books from the web or the Kindle app. You also can only browse the Kindle store from your device to see which books are available to borrow. This tends to be a source of frustration for a lot of people, but it is the way the program works.

Kindle First is a program that offers customers early access to new Kindle books across popular genres from Amazon Publishing.

  • Every month Prime members can choose one (1) of the books selected by Amazon’s editors for FREE.
  • There are generally four to six books to choose from. These are books that will be released the following month.
  •  Kindle First books can be read on any Kindle device or free Kindle reading app and become part of customers’ permanent libraries.
  • Prime invitees are not eligible for free downloads.
  • Prime members can sign up to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter announcing new Kindle First picks.
  • Kindle First on is available to US customers only.
  • Complete instructions are here.

Unlike the Kindle Owners Lending Library, these titles can not be shared with other household members. Non-Prime members can usually purchase one of these titles for $1.99.

Over the years, these programs have been one of my favorite features for Kindle owners. I have read entire series that I would not ordinarily have bought. I have also read books that inspired me to go out an buy the entire series after reading the first book. It can be a great discovery tool.

The Kindle Owner’s Lending Library and the Kindle First programs are not meant to be a substitute for subscription services like Kindle Unlimited or Scribd. Rather, they should be thought of as an added Prime membership perk alongside the free shipping, video and music offered with the program.

July 15th is Amazon Prime Day

Amazon has just announced that in honor of its 20th birthday, it will be celebrating Prime Day on Wednesday, July 15th.  According to Amazon, the day is described as

a global shopping event, offering more deals than Black Friday, exclusively for Prime members in the U.S., U.K., Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada and Austria.  On Wednesday, July 15, new and existing members in the U.S. will find deals starting at midnight, with new deals starting as often as every ten minutes. They can shop thousands of Lightning Deals, seven popular Deals of the Day and receive unlimited fast, free shipping.

Amazon is also featuring a #PrimeLiving Contest to highlight the Prime Photos cloud storage feature. Users of Amazon Prime are invited to contribute  photos for a contest with a chance to win a $10,000 Amazon Gift Card in each  country that is eligible for Prime Day. According to Amazon:

Amazon is providing members a forum to share how Prime helps enable some of their happy moments. Did you save enough time today to take the dog for a long walk? Did you finish your shopping while lounging at the beach? Did you create a family film festival at home? Did you find the perfect playlist to create a summer dance party? After a long week of work, did you still arrive in the perfect outfit with just the right gift? Take a snap, capture the moment. Members simply sign into Prime Photos between July 6 and July 15 to submit a photo on the contest page Photos will be selected and featured daily on Amazon’s social channels leading up to Prime Day. One winner will be selected in each country based on the image that most creatively captures a happy moment of #PrimeLiving. Winners will also be invited to have their photos become screen savers on Amazon Fire TV.

Amazon Prime costs $99 per year in the United States and offers a variety of benefits, including free shipping,  video and music streaming as well as free and reduced priced ebooks and other benefits for its members.

For more information on Prime Day and a link to the photo contest, click here.