Whether you’re looking to get a very early start on holiday shopping or you’re just looking to snag some great tech deals for yourself, Amazon Prime Day is the time to shop. Amazon’s annual sale kicks off on Tuesday, October 13 at 3 AM EDT and lasts for a full 48 hours, with the last deal vanishing on Thursday, October 15 at 3 AM EDT. As the name implies, you’ll have to be an Amazon Prime member to participate ($120/year or $13/month), but you can also sign up for a free trial to shop without any extra cost.
Expect to find sales that rival Black Friday season: you'll find plenty of deals that take 50% (or more) off your favorite tech products, with lots of bargains for smart home and kitchen tech. While Amazon is the one pushing Prime Day, you’ll find a sales at most other major retailers with prices as good (or better) than Amazon’s. And, of course, most of these don’t require any subscription. Even as you browse Amazon, you should also check for sales at Best Buy, Target, and Walmart, among others.
But it’s not always easy to grab the best deals. While some sales will stick around for both days, the best of the best are often Lightning Deals, which come and go quickly. These fast-moving sales can encourage you to overspend on impulse buys, so it’s best to head into Prime Day with a game plan in place.
These are our top tips for making the most of Prime Day 2020.
Know your Lightning Deals
There will be sales across the site, but the very best will be Lightning Deals. These sales last for a limited time and offer a limited stock of items: when time runs out or stock is gone, the deals are gone. On Prime Day, you can typically find new Lightning Deals every five minutes.
Even if you click “add to cart” before the deal is gone, you only have 15 minutes to complete your purchase, so you have to act fast. Don’t dally: if you want a Lightning Deal, add it to your cart and check out immediately.
If you just missed a Lightning Deal, though, you could still have a chance to snag a sold out item. You can join a waitlist by clicking “join waitlist” on the product page. If any shoppers don’t complete their purchase within that 15 minute period, you’ll get an alert in your browser or the Amazon app if it becomes available again.
Watch upcoming deals
Don’t wait until deals go live to start shopping: you can browse upcoming deals and track them, so you’ll be notified the second they’re available. If there’s something you really want, this is the way to get it.
The easiest way to do this is via the Amazon mobile app, which will let you know about the latest deals without forcing you to stay glued to your computer.
In the app, open the menu in the upper left of the screen and tap Today’s Deals, then tap the Upcoming tab. Just scroll to browse the sales, and if you’d like to narrow it down, click Filter in the upper left to narrow down your options by department. Click Watch This Deal and be sure you have notifications turned on for the Amazon app to get an immediate alert when your deal of choice goes live.
But if you prefer to shop on your computer, you can also watch deals on the web. Open Amazon’s daily deals page and make sure that only Upcoming is checked in the left-hand column. Just like the app, scroll to browse and click Watch This Deal to monitor the latest sales, but there’s one more step: you need to install the Amazon Assistant browser plug-in to get notifications. It only takes a minute to install and set up, and it’s definitely worth it if you’ll be shopping on the Amazon website.
Shop with Alexa
You can also browse using Amazon Alexa, where you can find exclusive Prime Day sales. Just ask Alexa “what are my deals?” to find out what’s on sale. When you buy, it will use your default shipping and payment methods, making it a quick way to shop.
If you’re using voice purchasing, you may want to add some security to avoid accidental purchases (or to prevent your child from making orders). You can set up a 4-digit security code and voice recognition to lock down who can make order so no one else can make Prime Day purchases for you.
Check prices before you buy
Though you’ll be tempted to click the buy button to be sure you don’t miss out on any sales, you want to check prices so you get the very best deal. Since plenty of other retailers are getting in on the Prime Day bargains, you’ll want to be sure you’re getting the best price there is — even if it’s at another retailer.
The quickest way to check prices is by using a browser plugin to do the hard work for you. The Camelizer is our top pick for the best Amazon price history tracker. It shows you a price history of an item right on the Amazon page, letting you know if today’s price is actually the lowest price. Even on Prime Day, some sales only offer middling discounts and you may be better off buying later.
Start shopping now
While the bulk of deals will start on Tuesday, early deals are already live on Amazon and other retailers. Start making your shopping list and get ready to take advantage of Prime Day deals on Tuesday!
Updated on 10/12/2020 with new Prime Day information
[Image credit: Shopping on Amazon concept via BigStockPhoto]