Americans Bought 60,000 Items per Minute During Prime Day. Is the Hype Actually Real?

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  • Consumers across the world purchased more than 300 million items on Prime Day.
  • While there were plenty of great deals to be had during the shopping event, some consumers may have fallen victim to media hype.

Was Prime Day really the mega-savings event it purported to be?

Ever since Amazon rolled out its Prime Day event, it's been one of the most highly anticipated shopping events of the year -- perhaps even more anticipated than the Black Friday doorbusters consumers have long sought out. And this year was no exception.

In fact, this year, Amazon hyped up the event even more by not announcing its official dates until just about a month prior. And the online retail giant then upheld its usual practice of leaking deals in advance of the event to get consumers pumped.

Meanwhile, data reveals that U.S. Prime members purchased more than 60,000 items per minute during this year's Prime Day event. Worldwide, Prime Day shoppers purchased more than 100,000 items per minute. And all told, consumers across the globe bought more than 300 million items, saving themselves an estimated $1.7 billion in the process.

But while there were certainly plenty of good deals to be had on Prime Day, it does beg the question: did consumers do the smart thing by spending money on Amazon? Or did they simply fall victim to media hype? The answer may be a little of both.

The deals kept on coming

As it did in years past, Amazon released its fair share of lightning deals during its two-day Prime Day event. And some of the savings involved were substantial. Consumers were able to snag everything from electronics to apparel to snacks and household essentials at a discounted price during Prime Day. And at a time when inflation has been forcing many consumers to rack up sky-high credit card tabs, that's a good thing.

But while numerous items may have been offered at a discount on Prime Day, that doesn't necessarily mean consumers got the best prices. For one thing, Amazon wasn't the only retail giant putting on a July savings event. A number of big names, like Walmart and Target, jumped in with their own promotions and events. Those who stuck solely with Amazon may have missed out on better prices elsewhere.

Secondly, just because Amazon slashed prices on Prime Day doesn't mean consumers got to enjoy the lowest prices of the year. It will be interesting to see how the prices on offer in the weeks leading up to and during Black Friday and Cyber Monday compare to Prime Day prices.

But while the fact that Prime Day offered numerous sale items isn't really up for debate -- clearly, there were lots of deals to be had -- the reality is that consumers who spent money on Prime Day didn't necessarily reap savings. Why? Namely, because many undoubtedly fell victim to media hype and purchased things they didn't really want or need.

It's easy to get lured in by the thought of snagging a given item at a lower price than usual. But spending $40 on an item that normally retails for $60 doesn't count as saving money if that item isn't a need and isn't really all that desired.

That's the danger of Prime Day -- and it's also why it tends to be such a success for Amazon. Shoppers have a tendency to fall victim to FOMO, and while that's a great thing for retailers, it can be detrimental to consumers' financial health.

Were the deals really that spectacular?

The short answer? It depends. Some items were indeed heavily discounted on Prime Day, while others were only marginally discounted.

The bigger issue isn't really about the specific level of savings consumers enjoyed. Rather, it's about the debt some may have taken on in the course of acquiring items they probably wouldn't have purchased had Prime Day not gone down.

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