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Shoppers react to Prime Day deals and ‘yard sale’ duds

Amazon promised thousands of deals on Prime Day, but some shoppers are less than impressed.

Amazon Prime Day has been underway since 9 pm Monday, July 10, and so far, customers have mixed feelings about the offerings.

For its third annual Prime Day, Amazon (AMZN) promised to display thousands of deals over the course of 30 hours, and on that they delivered. The issue many shoppers have expressed through social media is their frustration with the selection. For some, the items on sale simply aren’t living up to the hype.

“I have never seen anything worth buying show up for sale. I’ve always considered it an Amazon trying to clear the garbage off their shelves,” said Reddit user RadBadTad.

On Twitter, users were just as confused with the deals.

Beyond the random selection, the question of validity has been a constant theme in social media posts. Amazon might label an item as 30% off, but many are questioning if that is actually true. To test this theory we dug into the price history of a few deals, and came to the conclusion that at least a few items weren’t as discounted as they originally appeared to be.

Case in point, this crockpot is on sale today for $31.99, with Amazon listing the starting price at $59.99. At first, this looks like a sweet 47% discount, but the price history tells a different story. According to CamelCamelCamel, a site that tracks prices on Amazon, the same crockpot was priced at $39.99 on July 7. By July 9, the crockpot was selling for $63.41. Amazon is known to change the prices on items several times throughout the day, but this rise right before Prime Day kind of makes it look like Amazon inflated the price before dropping it to make the deal look better.

Other shoppers observed the same pattern.

That said,  for every crockpot there’s Greenworks lawnmower, which is available to Prime members for the rock bottom price of $225. According to CamelCamelCamel, the lowest price found for this item was $295 on May 28, making the Prime Day deal an actual win.

Of all of the categories where deals are available, people buying supplies and toys for children seemed to be universally impressed.

Consumers also appeared to be pleased with some of the deals on electronics. The Amazon Echo is selling for $79.99, down from $179.99. (A big part of Prime Day, of course, is Amazon’s own devices and hardware, including the Echo, Kindle and Fire tablet.) A few gamers have also been supportive of the discounts on game consoles.

“Oculus Rift $399 + $100 gift card + controllers … seems like its worth buying,” said Reddit user dcbrah.  

Out of all of the deals, however, the trendy Instant Pot seems to have garnered the most excitement. The small kitchen accessory functions as pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté, and yogurt maker all-in-one, and has been in high demand. Usually selling for $129.95, Prime customers can snag it today for just $89.99. 

Amazon Prime Day will end at 3 am EST on July 12, so there’s still time to scour the site for deals. While many of the discounts can sound enticing, the key to true success is to avoid products that sound better than they really are. Instead, search for the item on a price tracking site like CamelCamelCamel to determine if the deal is as good as it seems.

Whether Prime Day is considered a success for Amazon depends in large part on how many new people sign up for Prime – and the company doesn’t release that information. But for consumers, unless you were in the market for an Echo or Fire tablet, it seems like a toss-up so far.

Brittany is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. 

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