One of the biggest shopping events of the year is coming up soon. It will last a full two days, and judging by past events, it should attract millions of customers and generate billions of dollars in sales
What is this massive, much-anticipated event? It’s Amazon Prime Day, a day-long (or longer) extravaganza of exclusive deals for Amazon Prime members. During this sales-fest, the world’s biggest retailer will slash prices on a wide variety of items – some of them by as much as 50%.
However, while there are great deals to be found on Amazon during this super-sale, that doesn’t mean every product on the site will be a bargain. Some discounts will be bigger than others, and some will only be available for a limited time. To get the most out of Prime Day, it pays to plan ahead – researching deals, deciding what to buy, and keeping track of when sales pop up. By preparing for Prime Day in advance, you can get the most for your money with minimal hassle.
What Is Prime Day?
Amazon introduced Prime Day in 2015 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its Amazon Prime service. It billed the day as a “Christmas in July” event, with special deals for Amazon Prime members to rival the biggest Black Friday sales. According to CNN, that one-day event generated $900 million in sales for Amazon.
The first Prime Day was such a success that Amazon has continued to hold the event every year since, offering more and bigger deals each year. In 2016, Prime Day eclipsed Cyber Monday as the single biggest online sales day of the year, according to Rakuten Intelligence. In 2017, Amazon expanded Prime Day to more than one day, stretching it out to 30 hours. CNN says the sales event attracted attention around the world and a record number of sign-ups for the free trial of Amazon Prime.
By 2018, Prime Day had grown to 36 hours, making it more of a Prime Day-and-a-Half. The company shipped more than 100 million products during the event, and CNN estimates that shoppers spent a total of $3.4 billion. Retail analysts predict that Prime Day 2019 will be at least as long, and deals will be at least as plentiful.
The exact date of Prime Day isn’t fixed, but it generally takes place in the second or third week of July. This year Prime Day will begin on July 15 and run through July 16, a full 48 hours worth of deals. However, you don’t have to wait until then to start gearing up for the event. Amazon has already started releasing Pre-Prime Day deals.
What Will Be On Sale
We don’t know yet what the biggest bargains for Prime Day 2019 will be. However, we can make some educated guesses based on what deals have figured most prominently in previous Prime Day events.
One thing that’s reasonably certain is that there will be lots of sales on Amazon’s own electronic devices, such as Kindle e-readers, Kindle Fire tablets, Fire TV streaming media devices, Echo smart speakers, Blink security cameras, and Ring doorbells. These have consistently been among the most discounted products on Prime Day in the past. Other electronic items, such as robot vacuums, have also sold for upward of $100 off in previous years.
However, there are sure to be deals in other departments as well. According to Bloomberg, the fastest-growing categories for sales last year included groceries, beauty products, pet products, and sporting goods. Amazon is especially likely to offer discounts on its own house brands, such as AmazonBasics and Solimo.
According to CNET and BlackFriday.com, doorbuster deals at last year’s Prime Day included:
- The Amazon Cloud Cam for $60 (regular price: $120)
- The Amazon Echo 2nd Generation for $70 (regular price: $100) and the Echo Dot for $30 (regular price: $50)
- The Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet for $100 (regular price: $150) and the Fire HD 8 for $50 (regular price: $80)
- The Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote for $20 (regular price: $40) and the Fire TV Cube for $90 (regular price: $120)
- The Instant Pot DUO60, a six-quart combination slow cooker and pressure cooker, for $59 (regular price: $100)
- 23AndMe Health + Ancestry, a home DNA test kit, for $100 (regular price: $150)
Some of these products are already on sale this year, well in advance of Prime Day. However, their prices could fall even lower on the big day itself.
How to Prepare for Prime Day
The key to getting the best deals on Prime Day is to be prepared. You need to have all the pieces in place so you’re ready to shop strategically when the digital opening bell sounds. Here are some steps to take before Prime Day comes around.
1. Sign Up for Amazon Prime
Since Prime Day deals are only for Amazon Prime members, you’ll need to sign up for Prime membership if you don’t already have it. Besides getting you access to Prime Day deals, your membership will provide an array of other perks, including:
- Streaming access to thousands of movies and TV shows from Prime Video
- Unlimited music streaming from Amazon Music
- All-you-can-read e-books from Kindle Unlimited
- Unlimited photo storage
- Free two-day shipping on all Amazon purchases
However, if you don’t care about these other benefits, it isn’t necessarily worth signing up for Amazon Prime just to get in on the Prime Day action. It depends on what you intend to buy and how big the discount on it is. If you’ve been planning to buy an Echo smart speaker, then paying $13 for a month of Amazon Prime to get $30 off on the speaker will put you ahead by $17. But if all you want is a couple of books that are $2 off apiece, your membership won’t even pay for itself.
If you’re not sure whether you’ll get your money’s worth out of a Prime membership, there’s a loophole you can exploit: Amazon’s 30-day free trial for new Prime members. If you sign up right before Prime Day, you can take advantage of all the sales and continue to use Prime for the rest of the month. Then, if you decide the benefits of Prime aren’t worth the cost, you can cancel your membership and pay nothing.
However, this trick only works if you’ve never had a Prime membership before. If you use to have Amazon Prime and then canceled it, or if you’ve already done the free trial once, you can’t sign up for it again.
2. Get the Amazon Mobile App
Many of the hottest Prime Day bargains are Lightning Deals, which are available only for a few hours and are usually limited to one per customer. To make sure you catch these big discounts before they’re gone, sign up for the free Amazon mobile app on Google Play or Apple’s App Store. It includes a feature called “Watch This Deal,” which sends you a notification when an item you’re watching goes on sale. That way, when a Lightning Deal strikes, you can jump on it immediately, no matter where you are at the time.
The Amazon app can also help you plan out your Prime Day shopping spree. It offers “sneak peeks” at upcoming deals, including Prime Day sales, so you can prepare your shopping list in advance. The app also makes it easier to search the site for items you want and add those items to an online shopping list so you won’t forget anything. And once your purchases are shipped, the app helps you track the packages.
3. Make a Shopping List
Speaking of shopping lists, it’s a good idea to make one before Prime Day starts. One risk of a major sales event like this is that it’s easy to get carried away in all the excitement and start sweeping everything you see into your virtual cart. If you save $100 on a Roomba but also purchase $500 worth of clothes, toys, and vitamins you don’t really need, those impulse buys will more than wipe out your savings.
To avoid this problem, decide in advance what you want to shop for on Prime Day. Use the Amazon app to help you scope out the best deals and make a list, and then focus your deal-hunting efforts on those particular items.
4. Visit Whole Foods
If you get a chance, swing by a Whole Foods store during the week before Prime Day. Amazon owns this grocery chain, and last year, it took advantage of the connection to offer crossover promotions in Whole Foods stores.
For example, Amazon Prime members who spent $10 at Whole Foods during the week of July 11 through July 17 received a $10 Amazon credit to use on Prime Day. In addition, from July 14 through July 17, members who shopped at Whole Foods using the Amazon Rewards Visa card got 10% cash back – double the usual amount – on up to $400 in purchases. And Prime members who tried the grocery delivery service from Whole Foods for the first time in the days leading up to Prime Day got $10 off their order and a $10 credit toward a future order.
Amazon hasn’t announced yet what promotions it will offer at Whole Foods for Prime Day 2019. Last year, it announced these special deals on July 10, six days before the start of Prime Day, so keep an eye on the Amazon app and the Whole Foods website as Prime Day approaches………Read More>>