UPDATED 3:21 PM EST
The second annual Amazon Prime Day is now underway, and Amazon promises a much better experience, and better deals this time around.
However, by mid-afternoon a growing number of customers were complaining about having trouble loading Lightning Deals into their cart. They say they grabbed a limited edition deal as soon as it came online, only to be told "unable to load into cart at t his time."
Amazon says its servers have been swamped, and urges customers to keep trying.
Improvement Over Last Year
Last year's sale, while popular and a big money maker for the company, was widely criticized for having too few really good deals, and for items that sold out in just a few minutes, like tickets to a hot concert.
So this year, Amazon is making sure it has plenty of inventory for its hottest deals, so that they don't sell out before you can click and buy.
Also, it is requiring all its merchants to lower prices at least 20 percent of an item's most recent sale price (not 20 percent off a list price, which is really no deal at all).
The Hottest Day Long Deals
To really make a splash this year, Amazon made sure its high profile deals are true markdowns, and not just show.
It is featuring a number of Spotlight Deals, which will last until they run out. Its biggest Prime Day Spotlight deals include:
Samsung 50 inch 4K curved HDTV: $650. This one is the marquee deal, the Big Kahuna. Note that it is a model specially made for Amazon, so you will not be able to price match it at Best Buy or find many reviews. But its price matches expected Black Friday prices. THIS ONE IS SELLING FAST AND MAY SOON BE GONE.
Hisense 43 inch 4K HDTV: $399. $100 off regular price. This is an off brand TV, so don't expect Samsung or Panasonic quality, but a great deal on a bedroom or basement TV.
Many More HDTV Deals: To see all, go to: http://Shop amazon.com/primedaytvdeals
XBox One Console plus $50 gift card: $279. This too, is similar to prices you would have found last year on Black Friday, without fighting the lines.
Lonovo Thinkpad 11 inch notebook/laptop PC: $199. This is $100 off a $299 laptop, so don't expect too much. It's not a gaming PC. However, it is a great laptop to buy a teenager for school, if you want to get a head start on the back to school markdowns.
Bose SoundTrue Headphones; $49, half price
33% discounts on Kindle Fire tablets: Amazon has day long markdowns on all the products in its eco-system. If you are thinking of any type of Kindle, buy now (though prices will probably be lower on Black Friday)
Amazon Echo: $129. A $50 savings on Amazon's Echo device. If you don't know what it is, you may want to move on.
Amazon Fire Stick: $30 off. Again, if you are an all-Amazon person, today is for you.
Amazon is also running, as it did last year, hourly deals for Prime members only. You want to find something that interests you, then buy it when it comes up (watch the clock). Don't buy it in advance or you won't get the special price.
Finally, be sure to check Best Buy and Sears, which are running sales of their own today. It's like a mini Black Friday, but you don't have to line up on Thanksgiving.
Scripps gets commissions for purchases through links in this story.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.
Follow John on Twitter (@JohnMatarese )
Sign up for John's free Newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox
You can save an average of $275.00* on local dining, travel and attractions with WCPO Insider Rewards. Search, sort and filter through 300,000+ deals, everyday just for being an Insider.