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Amazon Prime Day 2018: Here’s everything you need to know

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When it comes to online shopping, Black Friday and Cyber Monday usually get all of the attention. But for a brief moment in July, the spotlight shines on Amazon’s biggest sale of the year: Prime Day. If you’re looking to come away with some great deals this year, or just want some information on how it works, we’re here to be your guide to Amazon Prime Day 2018.

What is Prime Day?

In 2015, the e-commerce giant celebrated 20 years of dominating online commerce by instituting a little thing called Prime Day, a day of salesmeant to eclipse America’s biggest buying holiday, Black Friday. Anyone with an Amazon Prime Membershiphas access to awesome deals on various items, including electronics. Despite a few hiccups around certain deals not being genuine, the newly minted Amazon holiday was an immediate success, and Prime Day became solidified as the annual buying extravaganza it is today.

The latest tech, whether it be TVs or fire tablets, can be astonishingly expensive, so Prime Day could be a great chance to fill your house with cool gadgets without having to take out a second mortgage. For an idea of what to expect, including TV deals, check out some of the best Prime Day deals from 2017.

When is Amazon Prime Day 2018?

We have yet to receive an exact date from our super secret sources, but we can give you our educated guess. Over the past few years, Prime Day has occurred sometime in mid-July, so chances are pretty good you can expect that to be the case this year. Last year, we celebrated this buying holiday on the second Tuesday of the month, July 11, with deals starting the evening prior. However, lead-up deals and promotions started about a week prior to give Prime Members early access to some pretty sweet savings.

Though we don’t have all of the specifics around when deals will start rolling in, we assume the company will stick to the same pattern from these past few years, with Prime Day landing on July 10 this year. However, you can expect discounts to be extended to the day before, and potentially beyond. With the success of Amazon Prime Day 2017, we wouldn’t be all that surprised to see something more comparable to a whole week of deals.

How does Prime Day work?

Amazon Prime Day deals are only available to users with an Amazon Prime account. Prime is a subscription service offered by Amazon that includes free two-day shipping on many items sold on the site, as well as access to a huge library of streaming TVshows and movies and a helpful little assistant called Alexa. Once you have a subscription, you can start taking advantage of some of the best deals the internet has to offer — including one of our favorite smart speakers, the Echo.

Savings appear in a few different categories — price cuts, promotions, and Lightning Deals. Price cuts will be your more stable discounted offers, with the only stipulation being limited supplies. A good example of this from last year is the top-selling55-inch TCL 4K Smart TV, which was meant to be deeply discounted all day, but quickly sold out. Promotions are less about goods and more about services, meaning they are far less likely to sell out. You’re likely to see lower prices on Amazon Video, Music, and deep savings on Amazon devices such as Fire HD tablets, Kindle Devices, and a whole host of Alexa-enabled tech. This celebration of e-commerce is a great time to pick up an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, TP-Link devices, and Blu-Ray box sets.

If you’re looking to snag the most extreme savings on electronics, home appliances, and a plethora of other products, you’re going to need to keep your wits about you and dive into the Lightning Deals.

How do you get Lightning Deals from Amazon?

Lightning Deals are sales with special Prime Day pricing. They typically offer a heavy discount, but as the name implies, they come and go quickly. These items often have a limited supply, and given the amount of traffic the site gets even on a relatively slow day, the best can sell out before you even get the item in your cart. Because they are so popular, users are required to complete their purchase within 15 minutes. If they don’t, the item in question is put back on the market. If the entire stock of an item is sitting in shoppers’ carts, you can join a wait-list for that specific item to become available again, and receive a notification if the item has been made available.

If you’re smart, which we know you are, you’ll want to go to the Amazon Deals page on the day of the event and sort by “upcoming deals.”This will give you the chance to get prepared for a deal before it goes live. Just because you’re being proactive doesn’t mean you’ll be lucky enough to nab all of the savings you want. You’re competing with thousands of people for a limited quantity, so don’t feel too bad if you miss out on something you wanted.

What kinds of deals can you expect?

For starters, you’re going to see deals on just about every Amazon device we know of. Everything, from the Kindle Paperwhite to the Amazon Echo Dot, will likely be receiving a price cut on the big day. So if you’re looking to start your smart home, or just add to it, Prime Day is a great time to do just that.

Beyond the obvious deals, however, you’ll likely see something that very closely resembles Black Friday. That means low prices on TVs, smartphones, home appliances, and of course, the Instant Pot. The day will certainly be ripe with savings, you just need to make sure you find the right ones — which is where we come in.

How do you know if a deal is actually a good deal?

It can be easy to get swept up in the fast-paced nature of Prime Day, but like with all online shopping, sometimes you just need to stop and ask yourself this question: Am I getting a good deal? Online retailers want you to make purchases and will often discount products to insanely low prices to get you to pull the trigger. However, not all price cuts are as they seem. Just because the internet tells you something is at it’s lowest price ever doesn’t mean it actually is. If you see a coffee shop claiming to have the best coffee in the world, do you believe them, or scoff at their baseless assumptions?

To make sure you’re getting the absolute best price, there are a few different things to consider. CamelCamelCamel is a great starting point for anyone trying to avoid being duped by all of those “low prices” out there. Though their website name makes very little sense, the application of their price tracking is quite useful. With this tool you can actually track price histories and see whether or not the product has been at a lower price point in the past — meaning it will probably drop further in the future.

It’s also important to note that Amazon isn’t the only online retailer participating in the summer savings. Make sure you compare prices fromBest Buy, Walmart, and Jet prior to making a purchase. Chances are pretty good these companies will have similar price points, but occasionally you’ll get lucky and find something for much cheaper than you expected.

Can you shop on Prime Day if you aren’t a Prime Member?

The short answer is no, but there are definitely ways around it. If you’ve never signed up for Amazon Prime before, you can get a free one-month Amazon Prime trial. This 30-day free trial comes with everything you’d expect from the subscription, including the bulk of the site’s streaming options and access to Prime Day deals. And if you’re still a student, and meet the same criteria, you can get a six-month free trial to get you started. If you are going to use the free-trial method, just make sure you start it sometime in late June to ensure it doesn’t run out before the big day.

It should also be noted that Amazon will usually offer discounted Prime subscriptions as a lead-in to Prime Day. So if you have already used your free trial, you should be able to get access to Prime for a lot less just by waiting for the discount.

Looking for awesome savings? Find tech deals and more from our curated deals page, or follow us on Twitter for daily updates.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and choose what we cover carefully and independently. If you find a better price for a product listed here, or want to suggest one of your own, email us at dealsteam@digitaltrends.com.

Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.


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