With Halloween done and gone, it's now officially the season to get stressed about Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and how to take advantage of massive sales while avoiding actual stampedes. Luckily, Amazon has heard your muffled cries from within the local mall's never-ending parking-lot queue: Today heralds the grand opening of Amazon's dedicated Black Friday Sale store (yes, a full three weeks before actual Black Friday). So the question remains: Why isn't your holiday shopping done yet? Quick, text Mom about gift ideas for Dad, before you blink and it's December 25!
There is a catch, however. Only Prime members can access all of the deals, which include heavily discounted smartphones, video games, and sneakers, among other things. Regular customers can still shop the sale three weeks ahead of time, as is their American right, but Prime members will be able to browse additional "lightning deals." These are time-sensitive sale items that only become available to non-Prime users 30 minutes later. Amazon's decision to ditch the traditional post-Turkey Day deals clearly defeats the purpose of Black Friday as a one-day event, but it's part of a larger trend to extend the holiday spending season. And hey — it may even quell the usual post-Thanksgiving chaos. Say what you will about Black Friday as a bloated, capitalist free-for-all, but this month-long sale has got to go over better than Amazon Prime Day did, right? Personally, we're already girding our loins for the cyber equivalent of those Wal-Mart stampedes.