Secrets of Amazon Prime Day

I’ve been covering Amazon Prime Day since it launched in 2015, and over the years I’ve seen it blow up into a huge made-up shopping holiday. But is it actually a good way to save money?

On the plus side, there are literally tens of thousands of items on sale. On the minus side, those deals are literally impossible to sort through, and for every decent discount, there are 99 random duds no one would ever care about. Still, if you know where, and how, to look, real steals can be found.

These are my top Prime Day shopping tips, based on years of covering Prime Day, Black Friday and other shopping events.

More on Amazon Prime Day:

Don’t wait for Prime Day

This year, Prime Day runs July 11-12, but early deals have already started. A lot of these early ones are for Amazon’s own products, like Fire TV sets and Amazon Echo devices, but I’ve also seen AirPods and Dyson vacuums. But note that these deals can come and go randomly, so by the time you check, they might already be gone.

You don’t need to buy an Amazon Prime membership

Prime Day is really there for one reason — to get people to sign up for an Amazon Prime subscription. The free shipping and Amazon Prime video catalog are usually incentive enough, but these member-only deals can offer a little push if you’re on the fence.

If you don’t feel like giving Amazon $140 per year for the privilege of being a shopping club member, remember that there’s still a 30-day free trial you can sign up for anytime, which is good for getting access to Prime Day deals.

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