Amazon Prime Day: 7 shopping mistakes to avoid


Holiday shopping has started early this year thanks to Amazon Prime Day.

While the pandemic pushed the start of Amazon’s annual sale from July to October 13 and 14th, consumer experts are offering customers tips as they navigate the massive amounts of discounts.

To make sure shoppers don’t overspend or buy items they don’t really need, New York University’s Stern School of Business marketing professor Priya Raghubir says it’s important to take notice how the sales affect your behavior and vice versa.

“It’s not just the very strong cognitive economic benefit that a deal is providing us, it is also so much more,” Raghubir told CNBC.

Below are some common mistakes to try and avoid as you begin to fill your online cart.

The lure of exclusivity

Since Prime Day is only available to Prime members, consumer psychology expert Kelly Haws believes some people may be motivated to spend more because they feel like they are part of an “exclusive club.” And since they’ve already paid the price of membership, many feel they should take advantage of the sales even if they don’t actually need anything. If you’re not a member, she advises either signing up for the one-month free trial or asking a friend who is a Prime member to buy the items for you.

Shopping without a list

If you make a list of what you want, you are less likely to buy things you don’t need. It’s also smart to do some research to make sure the item on sale is a good deal. “Frequently, the price that is used as a reference when you have a reduced price is not the price at which the product sells,” Raghubir told the outlet.

Shopping without a target budget

It’s important to stay on budget and not be swayed by the high of scoring an amazing deal. For items that aren’t on your list, Haws suggests keeping a budget of $50 or $100 for any impulse items that may grab your attention.

The pressure of a limited-time offer

Since the sale has an end date, there may be added pressure to act fast and purchase something for fear of losing out. Daws advises people to ask themselves if they will still want the item in three months time. “Force yourself to elaborate on what the potential future outcomes or consequences of this particular purchase might be,” Daws said.

Many people go straight for the big ticket items like televisions, smart devices and laptops, but those are routinely put on sale by Amazon. So it’s prudent to check other categories to get deals on things like clothing and magazine subscriptions, Sara Skirboll, shopping and trends expert at RetailMeNot, told CNBC.

Forgetting to shop around

Before buying anything, check to see if other retailers have a better deal on the same or similar items. Target’s Deal Days ends today and Walmart’s Big Save event is currently on through October 15. Also, don’t forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are next month.

Not downloading the app

If you are only shopping on your computer, you could be missing out on specials available exclusively on the Amazon app. Also, enabling push notifications will help keep you aware of the latest deals and get notified when a Lighting Deal is happening.

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