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Was Amazon Prime day 2018 just an irresponsible advertising ploy?

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Amazon Prime Day: 'a fun fair for consumers', as Amazon would have us believe, is a day and a half of epic deals. A few days later the dust has settled, but some of the deals still remain. Are consumers actually benefitting from this festival of consumerism though? Or is it simply another advertising ploy? 

Well according to consumer group Which? goods which are being advertised are often cheaper at other times of the year. Which? are not the only consumer bodies warning against the misleading nature of Prime Day.

These warnings have emerged as activists called on workers at Amazon to strike and calling for consumers to boycott Prime Day.

There are several websites with the purpose of tracking prices on Amazon, which provide information to suggest the bargains advertised are not actually bargains. According to the BBC, one website has tracked the price changes of a Sony PlayStation 4 which currently as part of Prime Day is currently being priced at £299. Yet on 28th November, the PlayStation was advertised at £40 less.

Consumer bodies are worried about excessive spending and its implications on an individual's mental health.

Flash sales and individual sale days like Prime Day are part of the issue. According to Martin Lewis, money saving expert, "Flash sales, deal days and time-limited special offers can sometimes be a way to get a good bargain- but they can also leave people in a financial mess."

"This is a particular issue for people with mental health problems who are more likely to say that they buy things they regret in the night when they are feeling low or are lonely and are more likely to struggle to navigate returns processes."

In response to accusations they are 'duping' customers, Amazon said: " For many of our deals the new price and the previous Amazon price can be seen at the product detail page so customers can make an informed decision at all times." 

Despite this statement there is a case to suggest that consumers should be more transparent and have greater support for consumers. 

Prime Day is another example of the ever-growing power of large retail organisations such as Amazon, and their increasing influence over consumers. 

Amazon is a beacon of modern consumerism and, while it offers a convenient experience for shoppers, it also has an influence that goes further than supplying goods. Perhaps they should be encouraged to be more responsible, regarding that influence, in the future. 

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