Amazon’s Prime Day is approaching fast. This year, the online retailer’s mega-sale event kicks off on July 16 and runs through July 17, going for a total of 36 hours–longer than we’ve seen in the past. Amazon promises it will have big savings across all categories of items–which covers everything from games to TVs–basically like a Black Friday sale in July. The only catch is that you have to be a Prime member to get the deals–though if you’re not, we have a free solution below. Here are some tips to make the most of Prime Day and how you can secure the best possible deals.
Free Amazon Prime Trial
One of the best tips for anyone without a Prime account heading into Prime Day is that Prime subscriptions begin with a month-long free trial (six months for students). Seeing as trial members get full access to Prime deals, that means you can sign up for the month of July to take advantage of the offer. If you don’t like it, you can always cancel your subscription before paying a cent.
The only caveat here is that the free trial month is only open to customers who haven’t had Prime within the past 12 months. If you fall into that category, you can sign up for a one-month Prime membership for $13. That gives you access to all the Prime Day deals without having to spend $120 on a year’s membership.
Some Deals Are Already Live
In an effort to get people excited for Prime Day, Amazon has already begun discounting prices on certain products. You can save money on an Echo Show, Kindle Unlimited, and more. Most notably, however, Prime members can get a bunch of free PC games from the Amazon-owned site Twitch. Here’s everything you need to know about the free games you can get in July.
Know That Deals Can Go Fast
To best take advantage of Prime Day deals, you can always spend a lot of time on Amazon July 16-17. Many of the best opportunities to save are hourly Lightning Deals that are only available for a limited amount of time. Making matters worse, the best deals often sell out in minutes, so they’re only available to the first people who jump on them. That said, Amazon gives you 15 minutes to check out before removing a Lightning Deal from your cart. So if you miss out on a deal, it’s worth adding yourself to the waiting list to see if more inventory frees up because people take too long.
To keep track of the fast-moving deals, keeping an Amazon tab open while you’re at your computer might be a good idea. If you can’t do that and you’re primarily interested in deals relating to video games, you can keep an eye on GameSpot during Prime Day. We’ll be covering the best game deals, so make sure to check back often and follow us on Twitter. If you’re in the market for deals on electronics, our sister-site CNET has you covered.
Turn On Notifications
In the settings section of the Amazon app for iOS and Android, you can turn on notifications for when items on your watch list and wishlist go on sale. This is an especially handy feature for deal hunters who don’t want to be wooed by sales on products they’re not already seeking out. This way, if you’ve already expressed interest in an item by adding it to one of your lists, the Amazon app will let you know when and if any of your selected items gets a discount.
Alexa Can Help
If you have a device with Amazon’s AI-driven assistant Alexa–like an Echo or Amazon Fire tablet–you can ask it about what deals are available starting now and running through Prime Day. Also, don’t be surprised if you see some deals that can only be ordered through Alexa once Prime Day rolls around. Amazon’s been known to do that in the past.
Make Sure You’re Getting A Good Deal
With deals flying around left and right, it can be hard to know if any given sale price is actually a good deal or not. To make sure you don’t blow the bank on bad deals, you can check price history on Amazon items on a third-party site like Camelcamelcamel.com. Here you can run a search for the item or paste in the Amazon URL to see how low the price of any item has gone in the past. That way you can determine whether the deal you’re considering is actually a good offer or not.
Watch For Sales Elsewhere
While customers are whipped up into a consumer feeding frenzy for Prime Day, you can bet other retailers will try to take advantage of the blood in the water by offering sales of their own. Keep an eye on competing retailers like Best Buy, Newegg, Target, and Walmart to see if they offer compelling discounts of their own.
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