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The Best (and Worst) of Amazon Prime Day 2019

Prime Day 2019 was Amazon's biggest retail holiday to date. But will it be able to top Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019? 

According to a recent industry survey 44% of Amazon shoppers shopped on Amazon Prime Day this year. That's a slight increase in comparison to last year's 42%. 

The survey also found that 86% of current Amazon Prime members plan to keep their membership, while 14% plan to cancel. Only 5.5% of Prime members plan to cancel immediately.

Although Prime Day 2019 is a  distant memory now, we here at Tom's Guide are taking a look back at the best and worst of Prime Day 2019. (After getting some much needed sleep, of course).   

First, we'd like to thank you — our readers — for joining us this Prime Day. It was a hectic couple of weeks with massive sales that started immediately after Father's Day. Everyone from Walmart to eBay jumped in on the Prime Day action this year, which gave Prime Day more of a Black Friday-like feel than ever. 

While there are still many post-Prime Day deals you can still get (you'll find the best Amazon deals here), here's our take on the best and worst of Prime Day 2019.  

Post Prime Day Reminders

  • If you signed up for a free Prime membership, put that free 30-day trial to work. Stream some Amazon Music, watch Prime Video (we're huge fans of Fleabag), or rewatch the Taylor Swift Prime Day concert (just keep in mind that there are tons of cringe-worthy Amazon ads throughout the concert. They're bad. I mean really bad). 
  • Plan on cancelling your Prime membership? Here's everything you need to know before you cancel your Amazon Prime membership.  
  • Don't worry if you missed out on a deal. The good news is we're smack in the middle of back-to-school season and deals will heat up again come mid-to-late August. Amazon is also likely to have another sale next month and on Labor Day, which is not that far off.
  • Buyer's remorse?  Instead of shipping stuff back to Amazon, you can now make Amazon returns at all Kohl's nationwide stores (excluding Anchorage, Alaska). If a return is eligible, you'll see the "Kohl's dropoff option" in Amazon's Online Return Center. (Not all items are eligible for Kohl's dropoff, so if you don't see the option, chances are it's not eligible). 

What were Prime Day's best-selling Devices?

The numbers are out and Prime Day was another massive success for Amazon. The e-tailer sold more than 175 million items worldwide and Prime Day sales surpassed the previous year's Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

July 15 also proved to be a huge day for new Prime memberships with more Prime member sign ups than any day in Amazon's history. 

Amazon's own hardware topped the charts once again. This year, shoppers doubled down on Alexa devices with screens such as the Echo Show and Echo Show 5. The Fire 7 Tablet was the best-selling Amazon tablet and according to Amazon, shoppers also purchased twice as many Fire TV Edition Smart TVs than Prime Day 2018.

Our favorite Prime Day deals (now expired)

As we've said before, Prime Day is an excellent time to purchase Amazon hardware. So it's no surprise that many of our favorite deals were on Amazon devices. However, there are a few other deals that we thought were great. But my personal favorite deal is one that Amazon hid deep in its site. 

On Tuesday, it offered Amazon credits of up to $60 on select purchases. The sale was available on purchases made via the Amazon app only. Moreover, you had to search for the promo via the app and click a specific link to activate the promo. Bottom line, it wasn't easy to find or score. But the sale (now expired) broke down as such:  

  • Spend $100: get $10 Amazon credit
  • Spend $200: get $22 Amazon credit
  • Spend $500: get $60 Amazon credit

Echo Dot 3rd Gen (2-Pack)
The Editor's Choice Echo Dot dropped to an all-time low of $22 on Prime Day. For a limited time, you can buy two of these best-selling smart speakers for the price of one. Enter coupon, "DOT2PACK" at checkout to secure this deal.View Deal

Echo Show 5 (2-Pack)
This was my favorite Amazon device deal on Prime Day. I didn't think they'd do it, but not only did Amazon discount its new Echo Show 5, but it took a generous $40 off dropping it to $149.98.  View Deal

Gift Card Bonus
This was my first Prime Day 2019 purchase. I bought myself a $25 Amazon eGift card and got a free $5 Amazon credit (which I used on a post-Prime Day deal). When Amazon gives away free cash, you take advantage of it.
View Deal

Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS)
Amazon took $50 off both the 40mm and 44mm versions of the current-gen Apple Watch. Meanwhile, the Apple Watch S3 dropped to $169. These were our favorite Apple deals during Prime Day. View Deal

Apple AirPods
I had mixed feelings about this deal. On the one hand, Macy's had them for $129 a few days before Prime Day. On the other hand, Amazon actually had stock of the AirPods (Macy's deal ran out in hours), even if they had been selling at this $144 price since Father's Day. View Deal

Whole Foods
As a Prime member who shops at Whole Foods, I was excited to see this 2018 promo back in 2019. Spend $10 at Whole Foods (or on a Prime Now order) and you get a $10 Amazon Prime Day credit. It's the kind of deal everyone should take advantage of (especially anyone planning to make a purchase on Prime Day). View Deal

35% Off Gatorade, Pepsi, Doritos, More @ Amazon
Tech deals make up the majority of Prime Day deals, but this year we noticed Amazon make a big push for food deals. It's not too much of a surprise (they own Whole Foods, afterall) but everything from Pepsi to protein bars were on sale during Prime Day. View Deal

What were Prime Day's biggest disappointments?

This year was Prime Day's 5-year anniversary. As a result, I expected Amazon to offer one spectacular deal that would take everyone by surprise. Personally, I expected them to offer a discount on Prime memberships. (They've done so in the past, albeit this was years ago). 

I also expected to see a killer Apple deal on a current-gen Apple device. Don't get me wrong, there were many excellent Apple deals on Prime Day, but there wasn't a standout deal that shouted "Amazon is the king of Apple deals." 

And while Amazon's website didn't crash (sorry eBay), there were a couple of instances where the wrong price was displayed on a product.

MacBook Air (2017)
Controversy! Yes, many of us were excited to see the MacBook Air (2017) slashed to $699, but I found it a slightly disappointing deal. It's an old laptop (a good one, but an old one) that was selling for $749 earlier in the month. Bottom line: I would've preferred that Amazon slash the price of the current-gen MBA down to $949 or (gasp) $899. This MacBook is currently a modest $66 off now. View Deal

$15 off your first Prime Now order @ Amazon  
Prime Now has rapidly expanded and is now available in various cities. In previous years, Amazon has offered $15 off your first three Prime Now orders. (For new Prime Now users only). I know because I took advantage of that deal last year. This year, however, it only took $15 off your first order with no discounts on your second or third order. Tsk, tsk, Amazon.View Deal

What does this mean for Black Friday 2019?

Black Friday traditionally offers lower prices than Prime Day. It's also longer in that it's a full season that starts in November and runs through Christmas. Moreover, whereas Prime Day now involves multiple retailers, Black Friday involves every retailer. 

As far as discounts go, I don't see Amazon offering the Echo Dot for less than $22 on Black Friday. What could happen is that Amazon could announce new, refreshed products and offer discounts on the devices it has now (as it has done in the past). 

Another thing to keep in mind is that Cyber Monday will take place on Monday, December 2. That's later than usual, which means shoppers will have less time to do their holiday shopping. This isn't the first time this has happened, but what it means is that retailers will offer more aggressive discounts possibly as early as Halloween.