Amazon’s annual Prime Day event is supposed to be a Black Friday-style sale in the middle of the summer for deep discounts online. However, just like Black Friday, not all Prime Day deals are the same. Don’t be fooled.
It’s very easy to get swept up in Prime Day and buy things you don’t need for the sole reason of it being a “great deal.” Retailers are well aware of that fact and will use it at every turn. The trick is to find out which deals are truly great and which ones are hiding behind the “deal” label.
Check the Price History
The single best thing you can do when sifting through Prime Day deals is to check the price history of items. This strategy will catch a lot of fake deals on Amazon, even beyond Prime Day.
Let’s say an item is marked down from $50 to $25. That seems like a great deal—50% off is nothing to scoff at. The catch is the item only cost $30 last week; it was artificially inflated so it could be marked down to a greater degree. In some cases, the item may have even been cheaper not long ago.
Thankfully, there are some great tools you can use to check up on the price history of any item on Amazon. camelcamelcamel is a great choice for this, and there’s even a browser extension to make it even easier. You can see the price history and set up alerts for when items are at certain prices.
Who is Selling it?
Another thing to check is the seller when you think you’ve found a good deal. Is it being sold by Amazon? The manufacturer of the item? Or a third-party seller? There are a couple of reasons why this might matter.
First, if it’s not being sold by Amazon, you could get stuck with a poor warranty or return policy. Amazon is pretty lenient with returns, but a third party might not be. This can be a problem if the item isn’t what you thought, which leads to the next reason.
If the item is not being sold by a trusted seller, you could end up with something that doesn’t match the description. Maybe you received a refurbished product instead of a brand new one. And if the seller doesn’t have a good return policy, you’re out of luck.
Look for Fake Reviews
Price is just one thing that can sound off the “too good to be true” warning bells. You should also pay attention to reviews. There are a lot of fake reviews on Amazon and they can make deals seem better than they are.
Why is that food processor discounted so deeply? It has thousands of reviews and over a four-star rating. Can it really be that sweet of a deal? Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. The reviews can often help you figure that out.
Sellers can incentivize buyers to leave dishonest reviews. Gifts cards for five-star reviews, paying them to purchase the product so they still appear as a “Verified Buyer,” and asking people to update reviews for gifts are all common tactics.
So how do you spot fake reviews on an Amazon item? FakeSpot is a popular service that uses AI to scan comments, check reviewer’s profiles, analyze the dates the reviews were left, and other things to determine the legitimacy of reviews. It then spits out a grade on how trustworthy the reviews are.
The trick to avoiding fake Amazon Prime Day deals is to look at everything with just a bit of skepticism. Don’t assume that every deal is as good as they want you to believe. There are a lot of legitimately great deals on Prime Day, but you may need to do a little work to confirm them.
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