By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Amazon’s third annual “Prime Day” is underway.

Some deals began popping up on the online giant’s website Monday evening and will go through Tuesday.

Prime Day will run for 30 hours and features deals for Amazon Prime members — everything from electronics to shoes to ice cream.

Amazon also offers free two-hour delivery.

People who aren’t Prime members and sign up get a 30-day trial membership for free.

As an Amazon Prime member, Charlie Proops is always searching for a deal.

For Proops, Prime Day is a prime opportunity to put his membership to good use. A chance to save 50 percent on an Alexa-powered Amazon Echo or 50 percent on a video game or two.

“The stuff may be cheaper, but in a way you are probably purchasing more stuff than you actually need,” said Proops.

“Prime Day is a day when they gather up a whole bunch of deals and make it seem like, boy you are really silly if you aren’t here today,” said George John.

John is a marketing professor at the U of M. He says millions of people will take advantage of Prime Day. A sort of “online holiday” strategy with a twist.

John said it’s not so much the items bought on Prime Day, it’s the potential memberships that come after.

“Amazon tries to fold everything into that membership appeal because it makes you want to come back again and come back again and that fits into their business model. They know everything about you. They know your past, they know what appeals to you, so they can tailor deals to you,” said John.

If you sign up for Prime Day, you get a 30-day free trial. That’s 30 days for the online giant to try and get you to commit long-term by buying a year-long membership for $99. But for every good Prime Day deal, John said there are those that fall into the so-so category.

“My advice to consumers is don’t worry about it. If it looks good, buy it. If it doesn’t look good, don’t buy it and don’t look back,” said John.

John says part of Amazon’s Prime Day strategy is to create buzz for current members too, and try and get them to use their membership.

You can check out Amazon’s Prime Day deals here.

John Lauritsen