How Prime Day is different in 2020
Are you a fan of saving money? If yes, you should put Amazon's Prime Day on your radar.
Prime Day is the online retailer's biggest annual sale. On Monday, Amazon announced the massive event will be Oct. 13 and 14 -- a departure from holding it in July like in previous years. The one thing that's true every year: You'll be able to snag some of the best deals of the year, including on products that rarely go on sale.
Prime Day is the perfect opportunity to get products you've had on your wish list for months. This year, it represents a starting point for holiday shopping -- ensuring everything will arrive in time for gift exchanges.
All you need to participate in Prime Day is an Amazon Prime membership, which allows you access to all the deals and benefits. Here's everything you need to know to shop smart on Prime Day.
When is Prime Day 2020?
Amazon has announced that Prime Day 2020 will happen on Oct. 13 and 14 -- plenty early enough to get gifts in time for the holidays in a year when the coronavirus pandemic has caused significant delivery delays.
What is Prime Day?
Prime Day has evolved into being a two-day event. It originated as a way to celebrate Amazon's founding, which in 2020 marks 26 years in business. Prime Day usually happens in July (because that's when the company was founded in 1994), but this year the company pushed it to mid-October.
Countless products across all categories, including many bestselling and top-of-the-line products, are marked down in what are usually the lowest prices of the year, with some reaching a whopping 50 percent off. New deals pop up every minute, adding to the excitement -- but again, you'll need to be a Prime member to shop them.
How much is a Prime membership?
The monthly cost of a Prime membership is $12.99. However, the annual membership offers more bang for the buck at $119 per year -- which breaks down to an annual savings of over $36. You should sign up for Amazon Prime before Oct. 13 so you can take advantage of both days of savings before things sell out.
If you're a student, you can enjoy a free six-month trial of Prime. After that, it costs half the regular price at $6.49 per month, or $59 for the year. All you need is a valid .edu email address when you sign up.
Individuals with qualifying EBT or Medicaid cards may be eligible to sign up for Prime for only $5.99 per month.
How does Prime Day work?
Lightning Deals: Lightning deals are a standout feature of Prime Day. Like most of the benefits of the event, they're available exclusively to Prime members. To snag these sales, you'll need to act fast. We recommend keeping your eye on the Amazon website or app throughout Oct. 13 and 14 to see these sales as they become available.
Products that light up during these promotions are only available for a few hours. In many cases, the deal ends early because the products sell out. There's even a status bar showing what percentage of deals have already been claimed, which might inspire you to finalize your purchase.
Tracking deals: Prime members have early access to many deals during the year, especially on Prime Day. In fact, you're able to view upcoming deals on some products up to a day in advance. It's even easier to stay on top of them when you click on "Watch this deal" and set up alerts in your Amazon shopping app.
Free shipping: With a Prime membership, Prime-eligible products ship for free. Though Prime products have offered two-day delivery in years past, things are a bit different in 2020 due to coronavirus complications. However, consumers can expect products ordered on Prime Day (and all Prime-eligible products) to ship quickly. Right now, Amazon Prime is probably the fastest way to receive any online order. That means you can enjoy your new Prime Day purchases sooner rather than later -- without sweating over the delivery date.
It's a stark contrast from shopping without a Prime membership, in which there's a minimum purchase of $25 to be eligible for free shipping. Even then, it doesn't come with the perk of guaranteed quick delivery.
Easy returns: Prime Day makes shopping easy, and for Prime members, returns are just as simple.
Prime members enjoy free returns on most purchases within 30 days of receipt. There's more than one way to return an item for your convenience, including dropping it off at a UPS Store or Kohl's.
Thanks to a new streamlined process, no box is required for many items; just bring the product you're returning to these retailers and show the QR code provided by Amazon. This means you can recycle boxes and packing materials as soon as you open them.
Ask Alexa: If you have an Amazon Echo, you can ask Alexa for help in finding the best deals, too. Just say, "Alexa, what are my deals?" to hear an overview of Prime-exclusive deals. Alexa shares which products are on sale, what their discounted price is, and how much you'll save on them.
Those who participate in Prime Day will be expecting several packages following the event. To track your orders, simply ask, "Alexa, where's my stuff?" for real-time updates on your Prime Day packages.
Worried about Alexa spilling the beans on holiday surprises? Don't worry -- Alexa won't give order updates with the product names if they're marked as gifts.
Prime Wardrobe: It's hard shopping for clothes when you can't try them on, but Amazon has a solution for Prime members.
With Prime Wardrobe, members are given a seven-day window in which they can choose up to eight items. Returns are free and easy, and you only pay for what you keep.
Shop registries: Prime Day is a great time to save when you buy big-ticket housewarming, wedding, or baby gifts.
If you have access to a wedding or baby registry, you might be surprised to find some items on sale or as Lightning Deals. Gifts can be shipped directly to the recipient's home, often with the added perk of Prime's quick shipping.
If you're a Prime member with either an Amazon Wedding Registry or an Amazon Baby Registry, you may have received a one-time Registry Completion discount. You'll get the most bang for your buck when you redeem it on Prime Day with large purchases.
What to buy on Prime Day
Though we'll have to wait until Oct. 13 and 14 to see what's on sale for Prime Day, here are some items we think are worth keeping an eye on based on sales on past Prime Day events.
Instant Pots: This popular kitchen product helps busy people pull meals together quickly, so it's no surprise that it's on many people's wish lists. If you or someone you're shopping for needs some support in the kitchen, add an Instant Pot to your Amazon cart to monitor Prime Day discounts.
Laptops: Thinking about upgrading to a top-of-the-line laptop? MacBooks are expensive, which is why it's best to wait until big sales events like Prime Day to purchase one.
How to shop on Prime Day
We track shopping trends year-round, so here are our best Prime Day shopping tips and tricks to get the best deals:
Keep an eye on your favorite categories to optimize browsing time and snag your most-wanted items before they sell out.
Add products to your cart prior to Oct. 13, the first day of Prime Day. It eliminates a step in your ordering process, plus you'll see their new low prices right away.
Sign up for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa to earn between one to five percent back on eligible purchases at Amazon as well as Whole Foods and other retailers.
Check out the wish lists for friends and family. Many items might be on sale on Prime Day, and you'll breathe easy knowing you're getting them a gift they actually want.
Double-check shipping and credit card information before finalizing your order to avoid any mishaps.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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