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Prime Day: beware Amazon tactics to make you spend unneccesarily

Prime Day: beware Amazon tactics to make you spend unneccesarily
Image source: Getty Images.

Amazon Prime Day 2021 is here. Monday 21 June and Tuesday 22 June see Amazon Prime members get exclusive access to deals. But while you may be thinking you are bagging yourself a bargain, Amazon has ways of making you spend more than you necessarily need to.

This year, Amazon has introduced some new features to Prime Day, including exclusive access for Alexa users and colour coding of deals.

But as Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown points out, “it’s worth getting to grips with what each one offers, and the sales psychology at the heart of it, so we don’t make mistakes and spend more than we intended.”

So let’s break down Amazon’s sales tactics for this year’s Prime Day.

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Sunk costs

One thing you may have noticed this year is that Amazon offered a £10 voucher to spend during Prime Day. If you had spent £10 with selected small businesses beforehand.

Now, while this seems like a bonus, it’s actually a way to get you to commit to spending money on the day. You are more likely to feel compelled to shop in the sale in order to avoid ‘wasting’ the money already spent. But the likelihood is that you will spend more than the £10 voucher.


Watch out for those Lightning Deals. These are bargains that are only available for a set period of time. The idea is that as they aren’t around for long, we’ll want them more.


Everyone wants to feel like part of the club. The whole point about Prime Day is that it is only available to Prime members. But as that club has grown bigger and bigger, Amazon is now offering early access to deals when you use Alexa.

While it may give you a buzz to think you are getting something others can’t, it is still worth thinking about whether you really need what is on offer.

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Colour coding

Amazon has tried to make it easier for you to spot a bargain on Prime Day. It has introduced colour coding in order to highlight the biggest discounts.

However, bear in mind that this will also draw your attention to them. And if these happen to be the most expensive products, it encourages you to spend more.

Also, there is a theory that blue makes us feel safe, so we are more likely to trust deals highlighted in that colour.

Big retailers like Amazon have studied consumer behaviour and know what makes us tick. Being armed with the same information can help you to understand why you may be tempted to spend more money than you were originally planning to.


You may have already come across Amazon Smile. It’s something you can add to your Amazon account. It means that your selected charity receives a donation when you purchase something.

This Prime Day, Amazon is doubling the rate to 1%. And if you use it for the first time, it will make a 5% donation on your first order.

So you could quite easily fall into the trap of justifying your Amazon Prime Day spending as an unselfish act of charity.


There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of the deals on Amazon Prime Day. In fact, there are probably some bargains to be found.

However, it is worth being aware of tactics in place to maximise the amount you spend. It’s easy to get carried away by thinking you are securing yourself a huge discount when in reality you may be spending unnecessarily.

Also, don’t be tempted to just put it all on a credit card and forget about it. While you may want to take advantage of Prime Day, it is not worth getting into debt for. So unless you have a 0% purchases credit card, make sure you pay your balance off in full at the end of the month in order to avoid costly interest charges.

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