Will pre-Black Friday sales boost holiday retail for Amazon?

Amazon wants you too shop with them this holiday season. Free two-day shipping and unlimited access to streaming movies and TV shows isn’t enough to make you upgrade to an Amazon Prime subscriber, the online retailer just added one more perk: A 30-minute head start on the general public for some 30,000 Black Friday “Lightning” deals. This means you get access before those that don’t upgrade.

Amazon says the holiday specials, which have already started to appear in its Countdown to Black Friday store section and will continue through Dec. 22.

Here are just some of the sales to date. The deals include:

  • 30 percent off a Sony 55-inch 4K UHD TV bundled with a Blu-ray player.
  • $170 off Sony’s Alpha a6000 mirrorless digital camera with a 16-50mm power zoom lens.
  • 47 percent savings on Jaybird’s X Sport Bluetooth headphones.
  • An Optima HD37 3D 1080p DLP home cinema projector priced under $800.

Just how good are these deals? When it comes to Amazon, it’s often hard to tell, because you don’t know if the savings percentage comes off Amazon’s regular price or the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.

Shopping for flash deals on Amazon can involve a fair amount of work, since you have to check back regularly to get updates on specific items. To make things a bit easier this holiday season, Amazon has compiled an Electronics Gift Guide with roughly 600 tech gadgets, broken out by product category. Since this is a big shopping section for the holidays, the guide should help shoppers be organized.

Will this make Amazon the go-to shopping source for the holidays? Only time will tell.

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