I bought a Library on Prime Day

Well, July 15th is behind us and Amazon’s promise of deals bigger than Black Friday. If you were looking for Christmas in July, did you get it? I wasn’t that impressed with the selection of Lightning Deals and exclusives, but perhaps you were. Or not. My purchase, and call me crazy (some commenter usually does): I plunked down $143.86 for two years of Kindle Unlimited, saving 40 percent off the $9.99 for each of 24 months. The bookstore will become my personal library of sorts. There are many books I would read and reference for my professional writing but not necessarily buy.

Briefly, Amazon offered the 32GB Nexus 6 for $399 and Echo for $129—that’s $50 off. The smartphone sold out quick at that price but still remained available for $499 rest of the day. The other device built up a waitlist before finally being closed out. The 6-inch Kindle sold for $49, discounted from $79, and was still available as Midnight approached here on the West Coast (where I live; BetaNews offices are Eastern Time). 

I wasn’t alone wondering where were the big bargains. Gizmodo celebrated by posting “The Shittiest Deals on Prime Day“. Choice: “A half dollar for $70”. Lemme buy one of those. These deals are insane! Inc. asks: “Is Amazon’s ‘Prime Day’ a Flop?” I dunno. Do hamsters run in wheels? New York Times: “More Fizzle Than Sizzle on Amazon’s Prime Day“. Here in San Diego, the local CBS affiliate adds: “Shoppers disappointed in much-hyped ‘Prime Day’ sales“.

But what qualifies as “disappointed”, eh? I found just the one thing discounted enough for my budget. More bargains would better live up to the hype but, hell, I am satisfied with getting Kindle Unlimited for 40 percent off.

What do the Twitterati have to say? Freelancer and former BetaNews full-timer Ed Oswald calls Prime Day the “biggest fraud in the history of sales”. Oh my. Michael Richert: “It’s sad that @Amazon promoted #PrimeDay as a day for sales, and instead used it to clear random crap from their warehouse”.

So what were some of those deals that Prime buyers confess to? Justine Ezarik:”Well, I got a basketball, goldfish crackers, and cereal. Great #PrimeDay”. Andy Ihnatko: “I bought 2 things on #PrimeDay rec’d by @wirecutter, plus a fitness tracker I’d been meaning to get, all at great prices. Where’s the Fail?”

Ah, the deals:

Bracoo Wrist Splint with Thumb Stabilizer (Right Hand) for $12. Sixty-three percent filled as I write: Deering Maple Blossom 6-String Banjo—yours for $3,016.24, and that’s discounted by more than $1,000. Who hasn’t wanted a Level One Seat Belt Cutter X 2 for the car. Just $6.99—that’s two bucks off—and you can thank Amazon if your VW bug veers into the river and you need to cut your way out. Uh-oh. The glove box would be out of reach.

Snarking aside, did you buy something—and what? Did you get a Prime membership to shop special? Are you glad you did or disappointed for it? I bought a Library for Prime Day. The books are always new and never checked out such that I have to wait for their return. Thanks, Amazon.

Photo Credit: The City Of Toronto

Editor’s Note: A version of this story appears on BetaNews.