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Amazon Prime Day 2018

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Just when you thought Black Friday couldn’t get any better, Amazon Prime Day comes along.

Although Amazon Prime Day is relatively new when it comes to major shopping holidays, it has been giving Black Friday a run for its money — literally — ever since it first came into being on July 15, 2015. If you’re looking to get a jumpstart on your Christmas shopping or if you’re simply on the hunt for a firecracker of a deal, shopping online in July could be your best bet. Here, we break down what and when Amazon Prime Day is, plus provide a few insider shopping tips to help you get the best deal.

What Is Amazon Prime Day?

Amazon Prime Day has become one of the largest and most exclusive shopping days of the whole year, even rivalling Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But unlike the massive November shopping events, Amazon Prime Day only lasts for one day — 30 hours, to be exact — and it’s only available to Amazon Prime members.

The first Prime Day in July of 2015 was in celebration of Amazon’s 20th birthday, so the annual event is always held this month. This works out perfectly for both you and Amazon because shopping is notoriously slow this time of year. So while Amazon and other retailers that offer Christmas in July sales make out by increasing sales, you can snap up some sweet deals.

When Is Amazon Prime Day 2018?

Amazon Prime Day is only one day, usually during the second week of July. But expect pre-Prime Day sales to kick off one or two weeks in advance. Amazon Prime Day 2017 was Tuesday, July 11, so we’re thinking that this year’s shopping spree might be slated for Tuesday, July 10, but Amazon hasn’t said for sure.

How to score pre-Prime Day sales

Be on the lookout for presales around the end of June. Last year, deals leading up to Prime Day started as early as 1 a.m. on June 29. Prime Members saved 40% on Kindle Unlimited memberships and got a discount on Amazon music streaming.

Another way to grab early Amazon Prime Day deals is to ask your Echo for early Prime deals. Last year, Alexa doled out exclusive savings to Echo owners two hours before the actual event kicked off. Start looking for Prime deals to start around 9 p.m. the night before the official date.

Can you preview Amazon Prime Day deals?

If you ask Alexa, there is a chance that you’ll get access to 100 or more exclusive deals days before Prime Day starts, and you should be able to get a sneak peak of what’s to come. Keep in mind that Amazon Prime Day is formatted in what it calls “Lightning Deals,” which only last for a short time before they’re gone. So it helps to know what you’re looking for before you sit down to shop.

In years past, some of the most popular Prime deals included:

Amazon Prime Day shopping tips

As with any huge shopping event, there are pros and cons to shopping on Amazon Prime Day. You can score some of the best deals all year by knowing what to look for and doing a little research beforehand. Here are our top tips for snagging the lowest prices on Prime Day:

  • Know when to strike and when to pass. Lightning Deals that are released as often as every five minutes can turn online shopping into a frenzy. While you do need to snap up some items as fast as you can, don’t be pressured into clicking “Add to Cart” on every single item that flashes across your screen. If you can, do a quick Internet search to make sure the Prime Day price is really as good as it seems.
  • Read the fine print. Some Prime Day deals, particularly on big-ticket electronics like TVs and computers, will hide the brand name and model number until just before the sale drops, so make sure you double-check these details before jumping on a low price.
  • Check reviews. When you feel rushed to snatch up a discount, you might not take the time to read through product reviews like you normally would. Don’t skip this step, unless you’re already familiar with the product and know for sure it’s what you want.
  • Compare prices. Since Amazon Prime Day falls right around 4th of July and Christmas in July sales events, you might want to check for competitor prices around the web. By now, other retailers are fully aware of Amazon’s biggest deal day of the year, so you could find similar deals. In fact, a handful of retailers have even announced that they’ll be offering free two-day shipping to Amazon Prime members.
  • Voice shop. If you have an Echo device, take advantage of exclusive deals by voice shopping with Alexa.

Which other retailers offer deals on Amazon Prime Day?

This year, a few other retailers plan to get in on the fun of Amazon Prime Day. Shopbop, East Dane and Woot! have all announced that they’ll be handing out free two-day shipping to Amazon Prime members for Prime Day. All you have to do is log in with your Amazon account at checkout to cash in on these offers.

Here’s what a few other retailers did last year to capture Prime Day traffic:

  • Target held a back-to-school special on clothing, school supplies and backpacks during the week of July 9.
  • JCPenney’s Penney Palooza was scheduled right around Prime Day, where it reduced its free shipping threshold from $99 to $49, and offered an extra 30% off all purchases if you used your J.C.Penney credit card.
  • Kohl’s ran a 30-hour 30% off sale on summer clothes, swimwear, beach towels and outdoor furniture.
  • Best Buy slashed prices on Google Home, selling the device for $99 instead of $129.

Is Amazon Prime Day available in other countries?

Yes! Since its start in 2015, Amazon Prime Day has expanded to include 13 different countries, including the United States. Shoppers in India, China, Japan, the UK, Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Canada and Mexico will also be able to get in on Prime Day action this year.

What’s the catch?

The only real catch to Amazon Prime Day is that you have to be an Amazon Prime member to participate. Don’t have an Amazon Prime membership? Ask Alexa to sign up for Amazon Prime, and you might get an easy $20 off your membership!

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Gabrielle Pastorek

Gabrielle Pastorek writes about fashion, beauty and finance. Gabrielle loves helping people find a great deal, whether it's in their shopping cart or on a credit card. In her free time, she exercises her creative muscles by writing short stories.

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