Amazon Tempts Stressed US Shoppers with Deeper Prime Day Discounts

Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) hopes to tempt U.S. shoppers on Tuesday to open inflation-thinned wallets by offering deeper discounts on a wide range of goods and services during this year’s “Prime Day” 48-hour shopping event, including its first-ever travel discounts.

The annual sales bonanza is meant to promote and encourage Prime membership, which is typically a paid subscription service that offers fast shipping on items purchased from the company. But in a sign of tightening consumer wallets, the average planned spending during Prime Day this year is down from a year ago, according to coupon site RetailMeNot.

This year’s sales will be boosted by the inclusion of discounted travel and hotel packages for beach vacations, which could lure consumers who have slashed spending on other items in recent months, especially as mortgage rates, rents, and food prices have lifted, according to CFRA Research analyst Arun Sundaram. The e-commerce giant is also set to roll out deals for its in-house line of products, such as Echo devices and Fire tablets, as well as popular brands such as Nespresso, Philips, SodaStream, and LEGO.

Discounts on electronics are typically a big draw, and this year will be no exception, with deep markdowns expected for Amazon-branded TVs like the 23-inch Insignia model being sold at just $65 and the top-of-the-line 58-inch Hisense television at $400 (from $650). But despite the lure of deals, many consumers will still resist putting anything new in their carts during Prime Day — especially after a year of runaway inflation and higher borrowing costs, according to RetailMeNot.

To help weed through the noise, Consumer Reports will be scouring the sale for bargains that are worth it based on an item’s average cost, and realistic size of its discount, and its performance in our tests. And if you don’t have a Prime account, we recommend trying a free, no-strings-attached trial to see if it’s worth your while to join this elite club of shoppers that gets access to the company’s best deals and promotions all year long.

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