What's with all the Prime Deal announcements?

If you have gone online in the last few days, you’ve probably heard about Amazon’s Prime Day. It seems like nearly every website has an article on it. Many sites even have a curated list of “amazing” deals and direct links to the products.

As it turns out, not many of the “exceptional” deals are actually a discount. If you look at the price history of a product on a website like CamelCamelCamel, you will probably see that the price has increased in the last few days before Prime Day. This is so they can advertise a big discount but not actually give one. Sadly, this is a common practice among retailers, so it’s not surprising to see Amazon take advantage of it for Prime Day.

But reporters aren’t dumb. They know the techniques retailers use to trick consumers. So, why are there so many news articles about all the “fantastic” deals on Amazon if you aren’t even that much of a discount?

The truth is clear if you look at the reason these articles are being written. It isn’t because these reporters want to help save you money. It’s because they want to make money themselves. Every time you click on one of the Amazon links in a news article, a cookie is placed in your browser. (The same type of cookies that some websites require you to accept.) This cookie is used to track you. If you make a purchase on Amazon, the cookie tells Amazon which news website brought you there. And then Amazon pays the news website a percentage of the profits for bringing them a customer. This is commonly referred to as affiliate marketing. Many companies have systems like this in place and it usually benefits everyone involved (including the consumer.) But when a website has numerous articles about mediocre deals, it makes you question their integrity. Are they actually serving their audience, or are they just using them to make money?