The House Judiciary Committee Wednesday heard testimony from Amazon and Overstock about efforts to let states start forcing online retailers to collect sales tax.

We may not get Black Friday in the U.K., but that hasn't stopped Amazon from slashing the prices of tens of thousands of items.

The online retailer has today launched what some are dubbing 'Manic Monday', where Amazon is offering 'Lightening Deals' with items discounted in some cases by more than 50 per cent.

So far we've seen Blu-ray's discounted by around 35 per cent, desk lamps by 43 per cent and some watches by 50 per cent. Last year saw Nintendo Wiis selling for £50.

Customers who spot a 'Lightening Deal' can add the items to their basket and head to the check out, they then have 15 minutes to pay. If they do not, then the items are offered to anyone who selecting them, but was not quick enough to check out before stock ran dry.

Amazon explains: "To redeem the Lightning Deal Discount, you must check out by clicking the "Proceed to Checkout" button from your Shopping Basket after claiming the deal. Eligibility to redeem the Lightning Deal Discount expires 15 minutes after claiming the Lightning Deal Discount, or by 23:59 GMT on the Promotion Day, whichever of these two events occurs first. If you delete a claimed Lightning Deal from your Shopping Basket, you will no longer qualify for the Lightning Deal price and you will not be able to claim another of the same Lightning Deal, at the Lightning Deal price, during that particular Offer Period."

The Black Friday deals will run up to and include Friday November 25; managing director at Amazon, Christopher North, said: "Customers will have a chance to get some of this year's most wished-for Christmas presents from electronic items to favourite box sets and must-have toys.

"Great bargains were flying off Amazon's virtual shelves last year as customers were quick to click to get a deal before the offer expired."

North added: "Doubling the deals for 2011 will mean tens of thousands of additional items are available. The high discounts on offer mean that many items may go quickly, so customers are advised to check back regularly in order to snap up a bargain before the end of Black Friday."