The biggest online shopping event of the summer — Amazon Prime Day — will take place over two days this year, July 12 and 13. Prime Day can be a great time to find early holiday presents, restock your beauty cabinet, or upgrade your appliances and electronics.
“The Amazon Prime deals are often similar to those that you see on Black Friday, so if you can pick some things up now, that spreads out the purchases so you’re not as cash-strapped when the holidays come around,” says money-saving expert Andrea Woroch. “Just don’t forget where you put them.”
Deals are typically available only to Amazon Prime members, who pay $139 for an annual membership (or $14.99 per month for a monthly membership). Not a member yet? You can sign up for a free Amazon Prime trial, as long as you haven’t been a member in the past 12 months, to take advantage of the deals. If you decide not to become a paying member, remember to cancel the trial within 30 days to avoid being charged.
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While you will find plenty of discounts, Prime Day 2022 deals may be more muted than in years past, says Kimberly Palmer, a spokesperson with personal finance website NerdWallet.
“We continue to have significant supply-chain issues, and with inflation, that means prices are higher across the board,” she says. “It’s going to be a little bit harder to find a deal. Plus, there might be shipping delays or items that sell out, so mentally be prepared for that.”
Follow these tips from shopping experts to make the most of Amazon Prime Day sales.
1. Take advantage of early deals
The retailer has already begun selling some items at “Prime Day” discounts. You can find some Amazon devices, including Kindle Paperwhites, Fire 7 tablets and second-generation Echo Shows, for up to 55 percent off. In addition, the site is selling a range of Smart Fire TVs for 40 to 50 percent off.
You can find other early Prime Day deals via Amazon Live, where a variety of influencers and celebrities stream videos with their favorite Amazon products.
Amazon is not the only retailer with its own day
Amazon Prime Day has become such a big online shopping event that many of Amazon’s competitors have launched their own sales around the same time to attract the attention of shoppers while they’re in a “Christmas in July” mindset.
Last year, RetailMeNot found more than 300 retailers offering competing deals during Amazon Prime Day. Here’s a look at some of the most high-profile sales.
Target hosts its online-only Target Deal Days event July 11–13, offering discounts across every product category. You do not have to be a member to take advantage of the sales.
Kohl’s Summer Cyber Deals will be available July 12–13, with sales on items including clothing, toys and outdoor recreation products.
Newegg runs its annual FantasTech sale July 11–15, with deals on desktop computers, laptops, electronics and more.
EBay hosts its Summer Sale July 7–13, with discounts in categories including refurbished products from brands like Apple, Samsung and Dyson.
Best Buy is offering deals on electronics and appliances both in-store and online during its Black Friday in July sale July 11-13. Look for big markdowns on limited-quantity items via deals of the day as well as 2-hour flash sales.
2. Focus on Amazon products
The retailer tends to offer the biggest discounts on its own products and services.
“Because Prime Day is such an Amazon-centric thing, the best deals, hands down, are on anything Amazon touches or owns,” says Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst with DealNews. “So if you’re looking for a new Alexa, Prime Day is a great day for that. Also, services like Amazon Music Unlimited or Kindle Unlimited.”
You’ll find deals on less high-profile Amazon items, too, like Amazon Basics products (think pet supplies and batteries) and Amazon Essentials clothing. In addition to discounts on Amazon-branded items, Amazon has already announced that it will offer its lowest prices ever on products from Sony, Bose and GE.
3. Get help from Alexa
If you already have an Alexa device from Amazon, you can use it to stay on top of Amazon deals in two ways. First, ask Alexa to “Remind me when Prime Day starts” so you don’t forget about the event. Second, if you shop for items ahead of time and add them to your Wish List, Cart or Save for Later on the Amazon website or app, you can ask Alexa to notify you if a deal for that item goes live, or to place the order on your behalf.
4. Download the Amazon app
Even if you don’t use usually shop using the Amazon app on your phone, downloading it for Prime Day can help you take advantage of sales. Once you’ve downloaded the app, visit the Prime Day event page to create deal alerts and get push notifications as deals become available.
5. Make sure you’re really getting a deal
The excitement of Prime Day may tempt you to purchase discounted items right away. But it’s important to verify that the prices on those item are, in fact, the best available. That’s particularly true for “Lightning Deals,” which typically run for only a limited time during Prime Day.
“Just because something is listed as a Lightning Deal doesn’t mean that it’s available at the rock-bottom price,” says Jeanette Pavini, author of The Joy of Saving. “Just do a quick check before you click Purchase.”
One way to do this is by downloading a browser extension that tracks prices on Amazon. The Camelizer, for example, charts the history of prices on Amazon, so you can see how a specific item’s current price compares. Another browser extension called Centlylets lets you know if another Amazon seller is offering the same product at a better price.
Beth Braverman is a contributing writer who has covered shopping and personal finance for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in Consumer Reports, CNNMoney.com, CNBC.com and dozens of other outlets.