Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Leave it to Amazon to try to invent a national shopping day from scratch. Today is the retailer’s second annual Prime Day, in which Amazon Prime members get 24 hours of access to 100,000 Black Friday-style deals that roll out throughout the day.
CNBC is calling Amazon Prime Day the fourth biggest retail event of the year in the U.S., which is impressive for a made-up holiday. Just to show you how dominant a player Amazon is in the retail landscape, other big box chains like Walmart, Target, Macy’s and more are launching their own sales today to try to compete with Prime Day, something which apparently worked out well for those retailers last year as people comparison-shopped, according to CNBC.
Another problem? Amazon’s website can’t handle all the shoppers. The excitement surrounding Prime Day event has quickly fizzled thanks to what appear to be server issues. Nearly six hours after it started, shoppers have made the hashtag #PrimeDayFail a trending topic on Twitter.
The biggest problem Amazon shoppers seem to be running into is an “Add to cart” failure on some of the “Lightening Deals,” even though they appear to be in stock:
The event was panned by shoppers on social media last year, too, for deals being unexciting or selling out too quickly.
But if you can get your shopping cart to work, there’s a lot to comb through in the fashion and beauty departments to even find brands you’d recognize — a sign that despite Amazon’s ambitions to be a big fashion player, isn't quite there yet.
It’s also a challenge to shop for clothing and shoes, because only certain sizes are being sold at Prime Day pricing.
A tip for sorting through it all: Enter the brand you’re hoping to shop in the Prime Day search box. That’s how we spotted big price cuts today on bags, shoes and accessories today from Rebecca Minkoff and Kate Spade. There are also discounts on designer items from brands like Fendi, Prada, and Celine, though they tend to be limited to watches, jewelry, and shoes.
Here are some deals worth perusing for Prime members:
- Calvin Klein bralette and boyshorts, $29.91 to $46.00 - see all Calvin Klein deals
- Rebecca Minkoff saddle bag, $114.47 (65% off) - see all Rebecca Minkoff deals
- Kate Spade aviator sunglasses, $81.53 (53% off) - see all Kate Spade deals
- Celine loafers, $483.66 (35% off) - see all Celine deals
- Jack Rogers sandals, $74.16 (35% off) - see all Jack Rogers deals
- Frye Lynn short strap boot - see all Frye deals
- Burt’s Bees three-pack of facial cleansing towels, $12.50 (30% off)
- Supergoop sunscreen, $10.40 (20% off)
- Burberry Brit fragrance, $64 (20% off)
Or you can just stick to the basic necessities...
We’ve reached out to Amazon to comment on what appears to be wide-spread server issues, and will update you once we receive a response.