Prime Day is coming — are you ready?
Think of it as the Black Friday of summer, or the biggest shopping day of the year for Amazon Prime members. Prime Day is a huge sale that allows you to score the lowest prices of the year on popular products you likely use nearly every day, from cookware to vacuums, clothing to streaming video and music.
While we won't know the specific date until right before Prime Day, it usually occurs on a Tuesday in the middle of July, with sales rolling out the weekend before. Our best guess for Prime Day 2019 is the week of July 8 or 15.
If there's one thing you must do to take advantage of all the huge discounts and deals that will be available during Prime Day, it's to become an Amazon Prime member. Prime membership comes with a slew of benefits, like exclusive sales and free two-day (sometimes faster) shipping, as well as free streaming videos, Cloud storage for photos, and even access to video from HBO.
1. Why should you shop Amazon Prime Day?
There are lots of reasons to shop Prime Day, whether you're zeroing in on one item you've been saving up for, or something strikes your fancy as you browse the sales. Here are the main reasons you won't want to miss out.
You don't need to be locked in to a Prime membership, because you can sign up and try it for free for 30 days. In the unlikely scenario you decide you don't want to remain a Prime member, just cancel before the trial period, and you're all done. We recommend signing up the first week of July so you don't miss any early sales.
It makes your life easier
Realize you need more toilet paper, but have no time to run to the store after work? Amazon probably sells it at a price that's close to if not less than the local market, and will deliver just about anything on your shopping list to your door within a few days for free, or in two hours for a small cost. From household goods to big purchases, Amazon Prime can save you a lot of time, stress, and money.
Lowest prices of the year
No need to wonder if the price will drop later -- on Prime Day, you can rest assured that most significant price drops (think 30% off or more) will reflect the lowest price you'll find on a product, at least while the model is the current generation. This is especially true when it comes to Amazon devices like Kindles and Echos.
2. What to expect on Prime Day
So, you're a Prime member and ready to shop. What can you expect when Prime Day kicks off?
Be ready to shop early and often
While it is still called a "day", some sales begin before midnight EST. So, if Prime Day is July 15, you can expect sales to start rolling out around 9 p.m. EST on July 14. It's good to visit Amazon.com periodically the day before, especially if you have your heart set on buying specific products that might sell out (in our experience, popular kitchen and home appliances tend to if they are offered at a really big discount). New sales roll out all throughout the event, so just because it's not on sale in the morning, doesn't mean it won't be in the afternoon. And some sales are temporary "lightning" deals, only good for a limited time or until a limited number of items sell out.
Buy sooner rather than later
If you really love it, and the sale is for at least 25% off, you're best buying it right away. We've seen many great deals disappear hours after they go live, usually because they sell out. Also, Amazon doesn't have to guarantee low prices will remain low the entire day so don't be surprised if the deal on your dream speaker system just disappears if you don't buy right away.
Some "sales" are just normal price
This requires some shopping savvy, but just because an item is included in the Prime Day sales does not mean it's really a good deal.
Look for a substantial cost savings and scope out customer ratings and reviews to know if it's an established, well-liked product, or just some random bargain that's always offered. Also, make sure that it qualifies for free returns in case you impulse buy and have shopper's remorse after receiving it.
Some of the products we see touted as Prime Day bargains that you probably should skip include huge packs of office supplies, obscure brand supplements and beauty, seasonal items that you aren't likely to use more than a few times, decorative knick knacks, and some jewelry.
3. How to prepare for Prime Day
It's never too early to start preparing, so here are our top takeaways for navigating Prime Day with success.
You'll quickly get overwhelmed if you simply type a search term of a broad product ("TV") into Amazon's search bar. Even worse, don't just enter the main Prime Day deals page and click through page after page. We recommend searching for specific products ("55 inch LG smart TV") to see what kind of sales might apply and get the results you're really seeking.
Another way is to scope out top-rated product on our sister site, BestReviews. Search for the product ("smart TVs"), see our recommendations, click on your favorite, and you'll be directed to that product page on Amazon.
If that specific product isn't priced to buy, scope out the other suggestions on that Amazon page to see similar products that are on sale. Last year, items that were included in Prime Day had a pale blue marker that said "Prime Day Deal."
Trust expert advice
BestReviews will be scouring all the deals before, during, and after Prime Day, so if you want to be sure you're snagging one of the best deals or are worried about avoiding the not-so-good ones, look to us to inform you on our blog and social media sites. You can even email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Make a Prime Day wish list
You can create shopping and wish lists for numerous occasions, and can make these lists private or public (in case you hope someone will gift something to you). These lists create a really handy landing page for you to check throughout Prime Day. Add items to it ahead of time, and on the day you will even see if and by how much the price has changed since you added it to the list. A significant price drop is easy to spot, and with one click you can add it to your cart.
Think of others
We mean two things here. First, you can get holiday or special occasion shopping done for everyone on your list during Prime Day. Christmas shopping done in July? It's possible. See a great deal and want to have gifts on hand for when an occasion arises? Yes, why not stock up on that amazing find. You can also ask those you gift often to share their wish lists with you, so you can keep tabs on if anything they want goes on sale.
We also mean that you can help others by shopping Amazon Prime Day. By entering smile.amazon.com and selecting a nonprofit, you guarantee that they get a portion of the sale on whatever you buy, every time you shop on Amazon (not just Prime Day). It's an effortless way to give back to your favorite charitable cause.
Katie Reseburg 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.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
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