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The annual shopping blowout that is Amazon Prime Day is upon us once again. Every year, it seems to become a bigger deal and this year it’s a full two-day retail extravaganza with deals starting at midnight PST, July 15, and running through 11:59 p.m. PST, July 16.
I took a straw poll of the Zing team on some of our Prime Day finds from past years. Among them were an Echo Dot and a year’s supply of toilet paper and paper towels. Personally, on last year’s Prime Day I bought a 1-year subscription to Rosetta Stone Spanish. It was almost $100 off, but like many self-improvement goals, it fell by the wayside.
Every year, there’s a deal on a great new TV and I always pass up my chance at 4K because I can only put a 32-inch screen where my current TV is. I regret it. This might be the year that makes a 29-year-old man take an interest in interior design to redesign my entire space.
There are so many deals available that day that you’re probably asking yourself, “How do I prepare for Amazon Prime Day?”
I’m here to help answer that question until you have everything you need to know to get the deals that are actually steals and how to get ready for July 15. I’ll give you the lowdown to get ready, so stretch out those clicking fingers and get ready to shop until the last deal drops.
What Is Amazon Prime Day?
Amazon Prime Day is an annual international shopping event for Prime members that has launched every July since 2015. The best Prime Day deals include Amazon devices, other smart home devices, headphones, 4K TVs and more. Prime Day deals last up to 48 hours, unlike the 24-hour sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The 2018 Prime Day sales event was record setting, with prime members buying over 100 million items. Amazon Prime Day 2019 is expected to shatter those records.
Since it began in July 2015, Amazon Prime Day has now become a shopping event to rival other major retail sales including Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Mother’s and Father’s Day. In fact, in some ways it might be an even bigger deal. Here’s why:
In creating Prime Day, Amazon wanted to create a retail event that it owned to help it stand out at a time when no other competitors were holding huge sales. Since its inception, competing retailers and even companies who don’t occupy the same space as Amazon have taken the opportunity to offer some of their own deals in an attempt to generate business of their own on a day when online shopping is top of mind on what would otherwise be just another quiet day in July.
Prime Day is exclusively for members of Amazon’s Prime service. If you’re not a member yet, the best thing to do is take advantage of Amazon’s 30-day free trial. You can cancel it at the end of Prime Day if you want.
For Prime Day itself, Amazon offers special deals. And this year they’ve partnered with several companies to have them launch products in conjunction with Prime Day, so it continues to establish itself as a major retailer happening.
When Is Amazon Prime Day in 2019?
Prime Day is July 15 and 16 this year. It’s a 48-hour event running from midnight PST on July 15, to 11:59 p.m. PST, July 16. Beginning in 2015, although it’s moved around a little bit, the date has consistently been in mid-July.
Best Deals to Look for in 2019
The obvious question you might be asking yourself is whether buying on Prime Day is really worth it? In this section, we will take a look at some of the deals that have been announced. Then we’ll discuss how to know if you’re getting a great deal because some are better than others. If you can find the right deal for you, the answer to the question of whether Prime Day is really worth it is certainly yes.
Amazon’s big spotlight deal heading into this year’s sale is a Toshiba Smart TV with the Fire TV entertainment interface built-in. At the time of this writing, the deal should be available for a few more days.
Right now, at a sale price of $179.99, this particular model is selling $20 cheaper than you can find it anywhere else, so it’s a good deal. If you’re not ready to buy a new TV, the deal may come back around, again. According to The Camelizer, CamelCamelCamel.com, a browser extension for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome that tracks the history of Amazon item pricing, the last time the TV was available at this price was in April.
For price comparisons at other sizes, feel free to look at Camelizer and run a search to get a price comparison. This strategy will serve you well for any of these products. It’s also best to buy certain products at a given time of the year if you want a deep discount.
This is a garage door opener and security camera package. Amazon has preannounced very few deals thus far, and those that have been revealed are tied to Amazon exclusives. However, the deal on this bundle is a good one as it’s the lowest price for the two items that’s ever been available based on The Camelizer data. This is also Amazon Key enabled, meaning if you get lots of Amazon packages, you can have them deliver the package inside your garage. You can watch a video of them opening your garage door, leaving the packages, and then seeing the garage door close again. You can also get alerts when your garage door opens and closes.
Jabra Elite 85h Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones
This one’s a little odd for Amazon to be promoting because at a retail price of $299.99, they have the same price as Best Buy®for this pair of headphones. We’ve included this one to show you the importance of searching around.
However, with this one, Amazon is using it as an entrée to promote Alexa because the technology is built into the headphones. In addition to being a smart assistant, Alexa’s real moneymaker for Amazon is when you use her for voice shopping. In fact, there will likely be Alexa specific deals for prime day, so if you have an Alexa enabled device, be sure to ask it for the deals.
Amazon hasn’t mentioned any specific deals on its stand-alone Fire TV, Echo, Kindle and Fire Tablet devices, but it’s almost assured that there’ll be some discounts on these products, so keep an eye out on Prime Day.
These are perennial loss-leaders for Amazon in order to get you into the ecosystem and buying more stuff from e-books to bleach when you’re voice shopping.
Amazon only lets a few of the deals for Prime Day out in advance, so there will be thousands of deals to evaluate over those 2 days. Another thing to keep in mind is that many of the deals will be Lightning Deals, Amazon’s term for price drops that are in effect for a certain period of time, usually a few hours or until they sell out. When it gets close, they will show you how many are left at that price. Be smart, but if you see a deal, don’t hesitate.
How to Know When You’re Actually Getting a Good Deal
There are some very good deals you can get on Prime Day, but then there are also those that are not really as good as they look. The following are some good techniques that can be used to quickly evaluate whether you’re getting a steal or getting your money stolen.
Price Check to Other Sales on the Same Product
This is where something like The Camelizer can really help you out. Amazon will sometimes bump up the prices before prime day in order to make it seem like you’re getting a deeper discount. They aren’t the only ones that do this, as it’s a common retail technique, but you should be aware that you can get the same deal or better in a sale at a different time of year in some cases.
Competitors like Walmart®and Best Buy®are likely to be operating competing sales in order to try to steal some of Amazon’s business, as well. Use this to your advantage to find out who gives you the best savings. Apple®and Google may also offer deals on things like e-books, music and movies to compete with Amazon deals in this area.
Fact Check Product Reviews
The internet is a wonderful thing in that everyone can share their opinion and we all have access to more information than ever to help us make a decision on what to buy. However, this system is not immune from being gamed. For instance, one thing competitors will often do is leave terrible reviews under internet pseudonyms. Meanwhile, someone who’s posing as a consumer from the manufacturer might leave an overwhelmingly glowing review, so you do have to be careful.
One thing that might help is that Amazon and its competitors in this space will show you when someone is verified to have purchased the product based on their records. If you restrict yourself to verified reviews, odds are you’ll at least be hearing from actual consumers.
If you don’t do your research, you can easily get bit. One of my big regrets is a fancy flight simulator joystick I bought to plug into my video game controller and make it easier for me to use. When I got it and plugged it in, I found it didn’t actually work with the game I was playing, so make sure the reviews live up to the description and that the product or service will actually work for your purposes.
Use Alexa Voice Search to Find Even More Exclusive Deals
As we mentioned above, Amazon is betting heavily on its Alexa voice search functionality is the next frontier for many things, but one of the things Alexa is really good for is voice shopping. The idea is that you realize you’re running low on toilet paper and asked Alexa to order more, for example.
There are also exclusive deals for Alexa devices which Amazon uses to entice people to get used to using the voice shopping. Some of the exclusive deals it listed for me today were Amazon Echo remote and something from the “Jason Bourne” movie series.
Evaluate Quickly or Risk Losing a Deal
Much like Black Friday at brick-and-mortar retailers, there are certain products that are only available in a limited quantity, or at the very least only have a limited number available at that price. With that in mind, you want to quickly price check sales with competitors using extensions like The Camelizer and by performing some quick Googling.
If you have products you’re particularly interested in, one of the things you can do is get on the Amazon watchlist for that item so you know when there’s a price drop and you don’t miss out on any deals. This no doubt will out me as a proud nerd, but one of my bigger Amazon sale regrets is missing out on a huge deal on “The Hobbit” trilogy Blu-ray discs.
Do you have any tips for deal evaluation? Let us know in the comments at the end of this article!
Is Annual Prime Membership Worth It?
You may be asking yourself whether it’s worth jumping through all these hoops just for a sale, and it’s a fair question. If you don’t cancel after Prime Day, here are some of the benefits Amazon offers its Prime customers year-round:
- Free 2-day shipping on all Prime eligible items
- Free 1-day shipping on qualifying orders
- Prime Now is a service that will get qualifying items to you within 2 hours of your order if you live in an eligible area.
- Access to the company’s commercial-free Prime Video streaming service
- Prime Music which gives Prime members access to a subset of Amazon’s complete music catalog available via Amazon’s Music Unlimited. There are discounts on Music Unlimited for Prime members.
- Discounts at Whole Foods Market along with access to Amazon Fresh and Prime Pantry grocery services in eligible areas.
For a full list of the service features, check out Amazon’s info page.
You can decide whether the service is worth it to you, because after the free trial, it’s $12.99 per month or $119 per year. Students and those with a valid Medicaid or EBT card are eligible to get a discounted membership that comes with a few of these services like 2-day shipping.
The History of Amazon Prime Day
Amazon really wanted to create its own July Black Friday event when Prime Day started in 2015, and to a large extent, it has succeeded. Competitors have been known to take notice and now often put on their own sales in order to match or beat what Amazon is offering.
For this year, Amazon is doubling down on making this a cultural event with exclusive product launches, as well as a star-studded streaming concert for Prime members headlined by Taylor Swift.
How Will Amazon Prime Day Impact Retailers?
Prime Day has had quite the impact on the retail industry, forcing competitors to try to steer shoppers away from Amazon and toward their products or services on an otherwise random day in July. To give you an idea of the kind of numbers we’re talking about here, analyst estimates of Amazon’s sales alone during prime day last year were $4.2 billion.
According to at least one price comparison study, the deals offered on Prime Day are better than those of the then Black Friday for bargain hunters.
What are your thoughts on Prime Day? Is it worth the hype or a dud? What deals are you on the lookout for? What’s the best deal you’ve ever gotten? Do you have any tips for our readers? Share in the commentsbelow.
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