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The summer’s premier online shopping frenzy is just around the corner and even though the exact date hasn’t yet been announced, there’s no time like the present to get “primed” for Amazon Prime Day 2018.
That’s because whatever date is picked — and the odds favor Tuesday, July 10 in 2018 — the deals leading up to the members-only summer sale are likely to begin weeks earlier. Amazon also has a habit of stretching time on the big day. Last year’s day of discounts was actually 30 hours, beginning at 9 the night before and running three hours beyond the stroke of midnight. This fourth annual Prime Day could run even longer.
Here’s what you need to know to get the most for your money.
7 Weird Things About Amazon Prime Day 2018
Amazon discounts more than just products. Last year, they took $40 off the price for someone to come to your house to set up your new TV. Or configure your WiFi router for faster internet.
There’s currently a section on Amazon’s search bar labeled “Amazon Warehouse Prime Day Sale.” Meaning the bargain bin full of other items other people returned could have surprise sales, too. The likelihood of Amazon discounting Apple or Google products is very low. But, you might see those items on sale from Best Buy that day.
In past years, the start of the sale has seen some glitches. A lucky few receive multiple Prime savings discounts, which made their items 40 to 60 percent cheaper.
Merchants are always charged $150 to run a “lightning deal,” but Prime Week that price jumps to $300. And Prime Day, merchants have to pay $500 to run a lightning deal.
One theory states, $10 billion is lost in productivity, because of Prime Day. In a survey of some Prime members, 78 percent said that they would shop on Prime Day at their desks.
If you think Prime Day’s $2.4 billion is big, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s Singles Day generates $25.3 billion in 2017 – making it the actual biggest shopping day of the year in the world, sorry Jeff. Don’t forget, check out Debt.com on Prime Day for great deals too.
You’ll need a membership
Prime Day is for Amazon Prime subscribers only. The cost of the membership recently increased from $99 a year to $119 (Students can pay half that). But the benefits are so attractive that the number of subscribers has topped 100 million worldwide.
Every day of the year, members get free two-day shipping on most things, free same-day shipping or even two-hour shipping in certain zip codes. Free music and video streaming add to the draw, as do a variety of discount opportunities.
Prime Day is the company’s moment to highlight those opportunities in a big way.
But if the price tag for a year-long membership strains your budget, a 30-day trial subscription will open the Prime Day doors for you just as well — just remember to cancel before that month is up because the payments begin automatically after that.
Amazon also offers a $12.99 month-to-month enrollment.
You’ll need a computer, but using an app or Alexa may get you even better deals
Sales via Amazon’s phone app have more than doubled with the company reporting that tens of millions of people used it to buy on Prime Day 2017. The app is certainly handy to “watch” the prices on your target items.
One word of caution: According to news accounts, some shoppers encountered glitches when it came to buying with the app last year — their add to cart button didn’t work.
No buttons are needed for Amazon’s voice-operated virtual assistant. And on Prime Day 2017, Alexa dished out discounts from the get-go. Shoppers got $20 off Prime by saying, “Alexa, sign up for Prime.” The experts expect Amazon to offer hundreds of discounts exclusively to those who “talk shop” with Alexa – so-to-speak.
Get a list
Shoppers do best by their budgets when they know what they want and stick to the list. Prime Day offers discounts on a multitude of items from kitchen appliances to electronics. (Yeti Garden Statues, jasmine mint-flavored toothpaste, and rubber ducks were also in the mix.)
Some of the best deals are Amazon’s own electronic hardware including Fire Tablets, Kindles and the Echo and Echo Dot. For those just venturing into voice-controlled smart home devices, those last two are the tools you use to speak to Alexa.
On Prime Day 2017, buyers also saw a popular pressure cooker drop $40, Philips Hue smart bulbs at half price, and a 65-inch LG OLED TV discounted $700. Gaming consoles also dipped in price.
Keep in mind, not everything billed as a deal actually is one. This is where a price tracker like CamelCamelCamel comes in handy. The tool reveals price histories for many Amazon products. Also, sort the legit reviews from the fake ones using Fakespot.com.
Watch the competitors
When Prime Day rolls around, other retailers such as Newegg and Walmart often try to get in on the action by offering competitive prices on their inventory. So, shop around.