Three days ahead of Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime Day, the huge e-commerce company has slashed prices on its own products. It is a way to clear inventory before its third-party sellers get into the sales fray and compete with the company Jeff Bezos founded.
Prime Day runs from midnight Pacific Time on Tuesday, October 13 through Wednesday, October 14. Prime members in 18 countries can participate–U.S., U.K, U.A.E, Spain, Singapore, Netherlands, Mexico, Luxembourg, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, China, Canada, Belgium, Austria, Australia, Turkey, and Brazil. People who are not Prime members can participate via a free 30-day Prime membership. They add themselves to an army of over 150 million Prime members around the world.
Amazon began to offer pre-Prime Day discounts to Prime members when it announced Prime Day sales time on September 28. Among them were a number of the company’s major product lines–Amazon Devices, Amazon Music, Kindles e-readers, Amazon Fashion, Amazon Fresh, and Prime Video.
Amazon’s deals on its own inventory three days before Prime Day include the “Echo Show” voice home appliance and video console. It has dropped the price from $89.99 to $49.99. Amazon allows Prime Members to pay for the device over time–five payments of $9 each.
Amazon is also offering a sharp discount on its car electronics product–Echo Auto. It allows drivers to run the phones and entertainment devices in their vehicles. The price of the eight microphone gadget has been cut from $49.99 to $19.99.
Amazon is even selling refurbished versions of its consumer electronics devices. Its used version of its Video Doorbell Pro, which allows people to use video to protect their homes, is on sale for $99.99. The product usually costs $155.99. A pre-owned version of its Echo Plus home electronics personal assistant is on sale for $59.99 down from the normal price of $119.99.
Amazon Music is on sale for 4 months for $.99. The small catch is that it is $7.99 a month after the sales period. The service gives people access to tens if not hundreds of thousands of songs.
Amazon has also cut the price of its Echo Dot Kid’s Edition, a version of the electronic’s personal assistant, with parental controls, for $34.99, down from the regular price of $69.99.
Amazon has started its own clothing business–Amazon Essential. It competes with hundreds of clothing companies that sell products on the site. For Prime Day, it has cut the price of Amazon Essential inventory by as much as 40%. In some cases, the price cut is even greater. Amazon is selling its men’s’ fleece jacket for $12.70, down 58%. Some of its women’s loungewear is down as much as 70%. It has dropped prices on some of its men’s shirts by 53%.
Outsiders have made two observations about the Prime Day sales of Amazon’s own products. The first is that Amazon may lose money on some of them as a means to get consumer loyalty to its own brands. They are “loss leaders” The other is that Prime memberships make Amazon a huge amount of money, at $199 a year–times over 150 million members. Low margins on Amazon products bring big profits over time.
Whichever of these observations is true, Amazon is out in front of Prime Day, with deep discounts on its own products.