Several third-party retailers, like Best Buy, B&H, Toys R Us, Sears, and others, put a large number of Amazon’s devices on sale yesterday, including the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. This caused many of you to ask if it was a “Fire Sale” meant to clear out existing stock in preparation for the release of next generation devices. While we are expecting a new Fire TV and/or Fire TV Stick to be released soon, and yesterday’s sale certainly helped clear out existing stock, I don’t believe that was its primary purpose.
I believe yesterday’s wide spread sale, which only lasted one day, was an artifact of Prime Day and Amazon’s retail sales agreements. Hardware manufacturers, like Amazon, often have some control over a third-party retailer’s sale price. This is why we often see synchronized sales where competing retailers will discount the Fire TV or Fire TV Stick for the exact same amount and for the exact same time period. These arrangements usually benefit both parties, meaning third-party retailers have some kind of assurance that the manufacturer won’t undercut the retailer’s prices. Otherwise, there’s no point for a third-party retailer to waist their shelf space if consumers can buy a product for less directly from the manufacturer.
Yesterday’s Amazon device sale at third-party retailers allowed retailers to even the playing field with Prime Day’s sale. That’s why prices were exactly the same as they were on Prime Day, down to the cent. Even odd prices, like Prime Day’s $33.33 for the Fire 7″ tablet, were available yesterday. If it were a true Fire Sale, it would have probably lasted until devices sold out. It also wouldn’t have included newer hardware, like the new Kindle that was just released a couple months ago, which was also on sale yesterday.
Last year, a couple weeks after the first Prime Day, there was a similar sale where several retailers discounted the Fire TV Stick for the same $24.99 price that it was available during Prime Day 2015. That sale also lasted for only one day, and, as you can see from the comments of that sale announcement, people speculated it to be a sale to clear stock for a Fire TV Stick 2, which never came. Note that the Fire TV didn’t go on sale that day at third-party retailers, even though we did see the Fire TV 2 revealed a month later. That was because it was not on sale during Prime Day that year.
It’s probably safe to assume we’ll see a Prime Day-equivalent sale at third-party retailers every year around this time.