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On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

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September 2016
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Amazon, Kindle, and Black Friday Deals: Looking Ahead

It’s that time again and Black Friday Deals are just around the corner.  As always we can expect a slew of promos, door buster deals, extremely long lines, amazing if short lived price cuts, and loads of fun for all ages.  Well, maybe not that last part entirely, but you get the picture.  Fortunately, Amazon provides a good way to get some of these great details without lining up outside a store hours before the sun comes up.

I’m even fairly certain that there will be some great deals available for the Kindle lovers among us.  “But how?!” one might ask, given that the new line of Kindles will just finish being released on the 15th and the associated price drops will still be settling in.  The answer is clear.

Expect, for one, at least one great offer on the Kindle Keyboard.  Amazon, prior to the release of the Kindle 4 and announcement of the new Kindle Touch and Fire, had been selling the refurbished Keyboard model at a fairly large discount.  This is a move we’d seen before during the transition from the second to third generation of eReader.  We still have them up for sale though, so why bother?  Personally I have a feeling that they just didn’t sell as well as was hoped now that customers knew what to expect.  Look for some great deals on this product with the Black Friday promotions, as this should be a wonderful time for Amazon to sell off large quantities of a product that many believe is being phased out.

Also, watch for accessories!  The Kindle Fire will still be fresh in peoples’ hands after pre-orders ship, as will the Kindle Touch.  As with any piece of portable electronics, there are going to be things needed both for personalization and proper utilization.  Not much fits the bill better than Kindle cases, styluses (you never know what it might be handy), skins, etc.  Given how hard Amazon has been pushing their new hardware, even taking a loss on much of it if external analysis is to be believed, it’s unlikely that a chance to further promote the line will be passed by.

The other thing that Amazon has been pushing, though, is their digital media distribution.  Given that potentially millions of customers will be pulling out their new media tablets in the same week as Black Friday, it makes sense to expect associated digital content sales.  This has the advantage of instant gratification for customers even as it increases awareness of the potential for Amazon’s services.  Look out for Kindle Fire apps, Instant Video downloads, and Kindle Edition eBook deals sporadically throughout the sale period.

Amazon’s Black Friday Deals Week will be kicking off on Monday, November 21 and going through the 27th which is itself perhaps better known now as “Cyber Monday”.  Deals will be posted in a staggered fashion throughout each day in pretty much every category of goods that Amazon sells.  There are even some early deals posted already to set the mood for potential customers.

The Kindle will not be taking center stage in all this, unless i miss my guess.  There won’t be some sort of major promo rush.  This is the perfect time for the retailer to be presenting good deals on things with significantly higher profit margins during a sales period high on one-off purchasing.  It would be silly to have this much traffic built up without any effort to cater to what has to be considered a major source of recurring customers, though, so Kindle Owners (especially Kindle Fire Owners) won’t be left out of the fun.

Kindle Black Friday Deal Aftermath

Well, the $89 Kindle Lightning Deal has come and gone, unsurprisingly leaving behind it a cloud of shocked customers, angry shoppers, and confusion as to what exactly was going on in the first place.  Some people are happy, having gotten themselves a new and extremely giftable Kindle for a great price, while most of us who showed up at 9am were at least mildly disappointed.  As always on days like this, there is some inclination to cry “Scam!” and express our displeasure in other equally vocal ways.  Let’s take a moment first to look at the larger scheme of things and see if we can get a clear picture.

To begin with, it is useful to note that this was perhaps the most highly publicized Amazon sale of the year.  Not only was it clearly noted on the site itself, but they spread word via both Facebook and Twitter.  That means that the(as of writing this) 123,292 people following Amazon’s sale page on twitter and 373,006 people who have hit the “Like” button on their Facebook page were all notified in advance.  Even setting aside the blogging community’s spreading of this information(and there was certainly plenty of that), there’s the potential right there for just under half a million people to know about this deal over a day before it happened.  The numbers should help put things into perspective a bit.  I’m not saying everybody who heard about the cheap Kindle through these sources was getting in line to try for one, but word of mouth and information spread further down the news chain almost certainly shored up the numbers significantly too.  There are a lot of people talking now about the Kindle vs Nook comparison(refurbished Nooks were on sale for $99 and didn’t sell out nearly as fast), but let’s face it, there wasn’t nearly as much of an advertising push behind anything B&N was doing.

This doesn’t mean that there was universal disappointment for aspiring Kindle customers, however!  Yes, people are upset and venting their frustrations as in the case of Amazon customer Grebewatcher, who was of the opinion that:

“Amazon knew it would be flooded with people wanting this product across the country. To have it NOT available from the SECOND it goes on sale is FRAUD. New laws are needed to govern this sort of sale situation. (And yes, I have done many auctions and understand that sometimes you can’t get what you want. But to not even have enough for 5 minutes?! Two minutes?? ONE minute?!!!!! Bulls—.)

There are quite a few more carefully considered opinions being expressed, though, such as that of Emerald Coast:

From the information I can dig up, Amazon is the worlds largest online retailer in the world. I know many people in England, Ireland, Brazil and Iceland shop on this site. Two that I know of that live in England got the Kindles yesterday. If Amazon had 2000 units for sale, it is a no brainer to figure out how fast they would sell out….about 2 seconds.
People are being totally unrealistic. On the other hand, the odds truly were astonishing for some.
Think of it as purchasing a lottery ticket…….the odds of winning are slim to none, but there are winners.

Some people have even come forward to point out that they did, in fact, get lucky enough to get in on the deal and can therefore confirm that it was not a hoax.  Mostly these comments seem to be little more than confirmations that come people did indeed get what they wanted, like Chris Hillman:

I got one without too much problem. Was waiting like everybody else and it worked for me. Sooo at least they did have a few for sale…

While it is completely understandable for some people to be annoyed, these sales are intended to be analogous to the standard Black Friday Doorbusters sales that you might expect to see at any physical outlet.  The Black Friday FAQ in the upper-left corner of the deals page indicates for people that, as with your average retail outlet, quantities are limited and deals are short-lived.  Everything is first-come, first-served. Even more limited are the Lightning Deals, such as the one the Kindle was involved in, where things are expected to sell out so quickly that they actually instituted a short-term wait list that lasts until every one of the product being sold has made it through checkout.

What it comes down to is that we can’t claim the information wasn’t out there.  It was clear from the start that this was meant to be a moment when demand would overwhelm supply by a fair amount.  I do believe that many, perhaps even Amazon themselves, were shocked by exactly how great the discrepancy between the number of Kindles and the number of Kindle buyers was, but that’s often the case at sales like these.  The local Best Buy might have twenty of the amazingly priced computers they advertise, but you know there are going to be a couple hundred people lined up in the morning hoping to get those wristbands that will guarantee them a slot.  It’s all about the luck of the draw.  In the meantime, you can still get the newest Kindle for only $50 more than the sale.  If you were in it for yourself, or even if you really like the person you were planning on giving the gift to, the Kindle 3 is a step up anyway.