Amazon’s annual Prime Day sales event starts at 12 p.m. PST Monday, July 16, and if previous years are any indication, it’s going to be a big one (and the longest one yet, running for a full 36 hours and ending on July 17). Prime members can look forward to a ton of exclusive discounts, but since a lot of these deals are going to sell out quickly or only be offered as limited-time Lightning Deals, you’ve got to be ready to snatch them up.
To help you get a head start on Prime Day, we’ve listed 8 handy tips you can use to get the most out of the big sale. Get ready to make some bookmarks, warm up your F5 key, and read on to find out how you can get prepared to snag that item you’ve been eyeing before it’s gone.
Prime Day deals are exclusive to Prime members, but if you don’t have a subscription, then you can take advantage of the free 30-day trial assuming that you haven’t done so already. Your trial gives you access to all the benefits of Prime including Prime Day deals. Prime comes with a ton of great features, but if you decide you don’t need it, there are no consequences for canceling your membership after the trial period. Alternatively, you can get one month of Prime for $13 and enjoy Prime Day that way instead of paying $119 for a whole year.
In the run-up to Prime Day, Amazon is offering some teaser deals to whet your appetite before the big sale. That toy you’ve been looking at might actually already be on sale, or maybe you’ll find something else you didn’t know you needed. Check out our ongoing roundup of pre-Prime Day discounts, and be sure to bookmark that page for more up-to-date deals once Prime Day actually begins.
If you have the Amazon app on your iOS or Android device, you can use it to your advantage with notifications and deal alerts for specific items. This requires you to already have these items picked out and added to your Amazon wish list, as these notifications are for individual products, but if you already have that certain something in mind, the Amazon app will automatically let you know right away when a deal is available.
Although this year’s Prime Day will be the longest yet, many of the deals won’t be available for very long. A lot (if not most) of these offers will be Lightning Deals, which are typically only available for a limited time period or until they sell out, something that can and will happen very quickly. Be prepared to spend some time on Amazon on Monday and Tuesday if you’re browsing for deals, and be extra-prepared to grab something quickly as soon as it’s on sale.
If you’ve got an Alexa device, then you can let Amazon’s A.I. assistant do some of the busywork for you. Just ask Alexa what Prime Day deals are available and she’ll handle the heavy lifting, sniffing out the current and upcoming offers for you. Amazon likes to give Alexa users special treatment, too, so some deals may only be available for order through an Alexa-enabled smart device.
It’s important to jump on Prime Day offers quickly, but you also need to be sure that the deal you’re eyeing is actually worth it. You can use online price comparison services like Google Shopping (which compares prices from various retailers) or CamelCamelCamel (which tracks the pricing of items on Amazon over time) to see if that Lightning Deal is actually as good as the listed discount says it is.
Amazon launched Prime Day to be a midyear sales event that rivals Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and so far, it’s been a success. Other retailers have taken notice, however, and are riding the Prime Day wave with deals and sales of their own, looking to take a slice out of Amazon’s pie. Greed can be good at least when it means more savings for you so bookmark other retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, Newegg, and B&H so you can check out their competing Prime Day offerings. You might find something even cheaper there, or maybe you’ll get a second chance to score that Amazon deal you just missed.
Lastly, be sure to follow us on Twitter, as we’ll be live-tweeting Lightning Deals and other exclusive Prime Day discounts all day long. If you don’t have an Alexa device and don’t have any specific wish-list items for the Amazon app to notify you about, then our Twitter account is the best way to be immediately notified of live Prime Day deals. You can also find more Amazon deals (plus lots of other great stuff) on our curated deals page.