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Amazon 'Prime Day' deals -- and Wal-Mart's counter-sale -- is upon us and some of them are actually worth the click.
Earlier this month Amazon announced its own online version of a "Black Friday in July" sale, exclusively for its $99 per year Prime members. The move prompted other retailers, like Wal-Mart, Levi's and Newegg to jump on the bandwagon.
While Christmas-esque sales in mid-summer aren't new, Amazon has given the event a new wrapper and leveraged the sale globally.
According to deal experts, some of the best savings so far include:
- Fire HD 7 7" tablet for $79, down from $139.
- SoundTrue Headphones On-Ear Style, White for $79, down from $149.
- Sleep Innovations Contour Memory Foam Pillow, Standard Size for $18.79, down from $59.99 (98% sold out)
- Samsung SmartCam Wireless Day/Night Video Monitoring IP Camera with Wi-Fi for $49.99, down from $149.99 (94% sold out)
- Amazon Elements Baby Wipes 80 Count (Pack of 6): $4.40, down from $10.99.
- KEF X300A Digital Hi-Fi Speaker System for $599, down from $799.
- Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Ranch Backpack, down to $44, from $54.
- Fitbit Charge HR for $143, get $25 Amazon Credit.
- Sanuk Women's Yoga Mat Wedge Flip Flop for $12, down from $40.
- Crucial MX100 256GB solid state drive, down to $80 from $100.
- Joby GP3 GorillaPod Flexible Tripod with BH1 ballhead and level, down to $37 from $46.
- Skylanders Trap Team: Trap Master Lob-Star Character Pack, for $7, down from $14.99.
- Upcoming: 32-inch LED TV (model to be announced) for $75.
- Upcoming: 40-inch 1080p LED TV (model to be announced) for $115.
- Sold out: Amazon Fire TV Stick for $24, down from $39.
Wal-Mart's counter-sale, meanwhile, hasn't launched anything particularly impressive beyond a few featured on the home page, deal experts say. And some of those are already sold out, like an iPad Mini 2 for $265 and a Toshiba 15.6" Satellite laptop for $361.22.
The real saver so far is that Wal-Mart has lowered its free shipping threshold by $15, said Brent Shelton, spokesman for savings site FatWallet.com. Now you only need to buy $35 worth of items to qualify.
However, there will be more deals as the day continues, with potentially some saving surprises yet in store.
"I would expect some of the best deals for both Amazon and Wal-Mart are yet to come when the West Coast gets to work," added Shelton.
There are also cautions for consumers getting swept up in the deal frenzy. Some of the shoppers who think they can save by signing for Prime and then canceling before the 30-day trial period is up are apt to forget, said financial expert Jean Chatzky.
Coupons.com spokeswoman Helen Fang advises taking a skeptical eye at deals listed in terms of percentage off. She said that Amazon lists the offer based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price, "which no one ever changes."
Also, just a few bucks off some items may not be worth it unless it's on your "must-have" or "were already gonna get" list.
Disappointed shoppers took to social media to vent, comparing the varied savings on Prime Day to a "garage sale" and scoffing at things like "64 percent off Antarctic Krill Oil."
"My rule of thumb is when looking for a screaming deal," said Gault, "If it's not more than half off, I'm not interested."
7/16 update: Amazon Says Prime Day Will Be an Annual Event