Amazon's annual Prime Day sale is earlier than usual this year, on June 21 and 22. Every year, the online retail giant uses this sale to showcase its own private-label products. For example, the Amazon Echo is likely to be heavily discounted.
In the last couple years, Amazon has expanded and diversified its private-label offerings significantly. Amazon's in-house electronics brands grew 41% in 2020, and their non-electronics brands grew 60%, according to market research firm 1010data. All told, Amazon has more than 100 private-label brands. This includes not only Amazon Basic and Amazon Essentials but also homewares line Ravenna Home and kids clothing brand Spotted Zebra.
This means you'll be seeing more product categories you don't usually associate with Amazon featuring more Amazon-brand products. But just because these will be on sale during Prime Day doesn't mean it's in your best interest to buy them. Here are three Amazon-brand products experts say aren't worth your money.
"I recommend staying away from Amazon Basics for linens and towels, and opt for quality name brands here," says consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch. Though Amazon Basics are cheaper and frequently on sale, Woroch says paying extra for a brand name is worth it. (Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.)
Bedsheets get used daily, so buying ones that aren't quality could actually cost you money because you will need to replace them more frequently. "Quality towels offer better absorbency and also last longer, compared to a thin, cheaply made towel," she adds.
If you want to shop quality linens at a lower price, she suggests department stores including JCPenney and Macy's. Both often have sales in these categories.
Different kitchenware often experience flash sales throughout Prime Day. Amazon sells an array of cooking tools on their Amazon Basics line, but there are some it would be smarter to avoid.
Kitchen knives, for example, can be pricey, but buying a good set is worth it: "It will make cooking much easier and enjoyable, which in the long run can save you money by making your own meals," Woroch says. "My recommendation is to go with a quality brand that costs a bit more to get a sharper knife."
Costco frequently has discounted, quality kitchen knives, Woroch says, with brands like J.A. Henckels. You can also get deals on brand-name knives on Amazon itself.
Amazon's apparel and footwear sales climbed 72% year over year in 2020, according to 1010data. Clothing deals are a common Prime Day offering, and during the sale Amazon will also offer a discount to first-time users of Prime Wardrobe. The service allows Prime members to buy up to eight items, try them on, then return what doesn't work and not be charged for it. Those who order $100 worth of apparel will get $15 off. Much of the clothing featured is from Amazon's private labels.
However, not all Amazon-brand clothing is a good value, says Lisa Davis, shopping expert at Offers.com.
"Some Amazon apparel brands are made for long-lasting wear," she says. "Then there are others within Amazon's private labels that are trendy and won't hold up long term, but it's typically priced lower than higher quality–made items."
How can you tell which is which? No matter what you're shopping for, always read reviews before purchasing, Davis adds: "Most of the time, customers post images of the product they received to go along with their reviews. This is the best indicator of any potential issues you could encounter."
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