You Should Never Buy These Amazon Gadgets at Full Price

By | February 2, 2024

An Amazon Echo sitting on a dresser.

We won’t tell you not to buy popular Amazon products like those found in the Kindle, Echo, and Fire product lines. We will tell you—with great confidence—that you can and should avoid paying full price for them.

Amazon Product Sales Are Cyclic and Perpetual

Amazon would love it if you paid the full MSRP for any of their products because who doesn’t love making money, right? But the company isn’t exactly fixated on selling every Kindle Paperwhite or Echo Dot at full retail.

Why? Because the goal of the product isn’t, ultimately, to sell you an ebook reader or a smart speaker. The goal is to get you into the Amazon ecosystem. What’s $20 here or there if you’re going to buy tons of ebooks, other media, and accessories over the years?

With that in mind, it’s not surprising that not only are Amazon products almost always on sale during major yearly shopping events including Black Friday, Prime Day, and key shopping windows leading up to Christmas and other winter holidays, but they frequently go on sale multiple times per year outside of those major industry-wide shopping events.

In short, there’s no reason to pay full price for an Amazon product unless you absolutely must have that product right then for whatever reason. Because if you wait anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, you’ll likely find it at a deep discount.

Here’s How Often Popular Products Go On Sale

Telling you to wait is one thing, but how long? And which products are worth waiting for? To give you a sense of how often products go on sale, we analyzed sale data between October 5, 2021 and October 5, 2022. (As such, in the charts below, the “Sales” column represents how many sales a particular product had in that 1-year window.)

This particular span of time is useful to analyze because it includes sales prices from Black Friday and Christmas in 2021, as well as Prime Day 2022, along with the general off-season sales that come and go.

Further, and this is particularly interesting, the data ends right before the Prime Early Access Sale (which runs October 11 through October 12, 2022)—and most of the items are already on sale even though the big sale isn’t officially here yet. Perhaps there are even deeper discounts to come, or Amazon is pre-gaming the sale. Either way, it stands to support our broader point of always waiting for a sale.

A few notes before we dig in. First, if you’d like to look at the sale patterns for the Echo, or any other of the products we’re talking about today, by the way, you can plug the URL or ASIN product code into Amazon price trackers like CamelCamelCamel or Keepa.

And, when reading the tables below, here’s how to read the table headers. The “Product” and “MSRP” columns list the Amazon product and Amazon’s set upper price for the product. “Sales” indicates how many times in our October-to-October window the product was on sale. The “Average Price” is the average price over the window, including when the product was full price, not just the sales. Finally, “Lowest Price” is the lowest sale price for the product during the window.

Echo Smart Speakers and Displays

Amazon’s Echo smart speaker lineup, including the later introduction of the Echo Show smart display lineup, has been a popular product line for years.

Except for the premium options like the Echo Studio and the Echo Show 10 and Show 15 (the biggest and best of each respective product line), the Echo products are perpetually on sale. We mean perpetually. The Echo, Echo Dot, and the smaller Echo Show models were on sale more than a dozen times in our October-to-October window.

With that in mind, unless you’re shopping for the top-tier products and simply can’t wait for those once-a-year sales, it really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to pay the full MSRP for any Echo product. The Echo 15, for example, only went on sale twice over the year and only hit the lowest price point during one of those sales.

On the other hand, there’s rarely more than a month’s wait between Echo sales. On top of that, of the 16 times it went on sale, five of those times were the lowest price, and over half of them were 25% off or better.

So if you’re looking to pick up an Echo and you have the bad luck of looking at a time when it’s at the full $99.99 MSRP, just wait it out and pick it up for 25-40% just around the corner.

Fire TV Sticks

While not quite as popular as Amazon’s almost ubiquitous Echo line, the Fire TV stick lineup has long-running popularity as a budget-friendly streaming option.

Despite the reasonable prices on the regular and 4K Fire Sticks, like many other core Amazon products, they are on sale more often than they’re not, so you might as well wait.

Further, the sale prices dip deeply pretty frequently. The Fire TV stick might have only hit the lowest $20 price point three times in the last year, but it dropped to $25 nine times. At that point, you might as well consider twenty five bucks as the actual price.

Fire Tablets

If Fire tablets are known for anything, it’s for being cheap. Compared to similar tablets on the market, they’ve always been a bargain, but that doesn’t mean you pay full price.

The bargain basement Fire 7 doesn’t frequently go on sale, and when it does, you’re not going to save a lot of money—because it’s already so low-priced to begin with. So if you’re looking for a small and dirt cheap tablet, you might as well buy it whenever.

But the other Fire models, including the HD 8, HD Plus, and the HD 10 Plus, go on sale frequently. The Fire HD 8, for example, dipped below $55 ten times over the year and hit the lowest price of $45 six times. Waiting will yield savings of up to 50% off MSRP.

Kindle Ebook Readers

Kindles are the original iconic Amazon product. While they don’t go on sale nearly as often as the Echo products do, they do go on sale at least a few times a year.

If you can hold off, you’ll save around 30% on your Kindle of choice by catching a deep sale and usually at least 15% by catching a lesser sale.

Our advice to hold off or buy hinges on whether or not you already have a Kindle. If you have a Paperwhite that’s a few generations old and you want to make a major upgrade to the Oasis, absolutely wait it out. It only drops down into the $195-200 range a few times a year, but when it does, you’re saving $80-85. It’s probably not worth waiting for the deepest possible Fire Stick sale to save $5, but $85 is a different story.

On the other hand, if you don’t have a Kindle and really want one or your long-out-of-warranty Kindle just died, you might find it tough to wait it out for a sale and consider it worth picking up a new one immediately.

Amazon Subsidiary Products Are Frequently On Sale Too

Not only are the classic Amazon products like the Echo frequently on sale, but Amazon also runs frequent sales on products from their subsidiary companies like eero, Ring, and Blink.

So whether you’re shopping for an Echo to control your smart home with voice commands, a new Wi-Fi router to help with the burden of all those smart home devices, or some cameras from Ring or Blink to keep an eye on everything, again, don’t pay full price.

Amazon is on a clear mission to get one (or twenty!) Amazon products into every home, so you might as well take advantage of the perpetual sales they use in service of that mission to save some money.