Amazon Prime Day 2024 — what you need to know

Amazon Prime Day
(Image credit: Future)

Prime Day is one of the biggest retail holidays of the year. Traditionally held in mid-July, Amazon's 48-hour event is known for offering a wide range of Prime Day deals  on everything from 4K TVs to robot vacuums. However, it's usually Amazon's own line of hardware that sees the biggest discounts. 

We're still months away from Prime Day 2024, but make sure to keep this page bookmarked for everything Prime Day-related. Alternatively, for more ways to save, make sure to check out our list of the best Amazon promo codes and Amazon deals coverage. 

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Prime Day is an annual retail holiday celebrated by Amazon, typically during the month of July. During the 48-hour event — which is for Prime members only — Amazon offers sitewide discounts on everything from 4K TVs to kitchen appliances. However, Amazon hardware tends to receive the biggest discounts. In fact, outside of Black Friday/Cyber Monday — Prime Day is when you'll find the lowest price on Amazon devices like Echo speakers, Fire TVs, and Ring security cameras. It's worth mentioning that last year we saw two major retail events from Amazon. There was Prime Day during the summer and the Prime Early Access sale in October. The latter didn't offer Prime Day deals per se, but was instead a kick-off event to the holiday shopping season. 

What are the origins of Prime Day?

The first Prime Day was held in July of 2015 as a way to celebrate Prime members on Amazon's then 20th anniversary. Since then, Amazon has celebrated Prime Day every year, usually during the month of July. The event's overall purpose is to get more consumers to subscribe to Amazon's Prime membership by teasing them with deals. 

Were Prime Day deals any good last year? 

Amazon is known for offering solid deals during major shopping events and this year's Prime Day was no exception. 

In addition to deals on Amazon hardware, the retailer offered deals on major brands like Nespresso, Philips, Samsung, iRobot, LEGO, Melissa & Doug and Hasbro. Amazon claims that Prime Day features their lowest prices of the year, and in some cases, that's certainly true. (Excluding Black Friday deals, which come later in the year with even lower prices). 

Nevertheless, we always recommend consumers proceed with caution as every retailer has its fair share of bogus deals. So we recommend that you always price check deals using a site called CamelCamelCamel. The site lets you track the price history of select items sold out Amazon. You can also read our guide on using CamelCamelCamel to save money on Amazon.

What retailers offer the best Prime Day alternatives?

Prime Day deals are exclusive to Amazon. However, the past few years have seen an uptick in deals from competing retailers. If you're not a Prime member, or simply don't want to partake in Prime Day, your best bet for alternative deals will come from Best Buy and Walmart. Both retailers will closely price match many of Amazon's deals and in some cases, they may offer discounts that Amazon doesn't. 

For example, the Best Buy 4th of July sale had great deals available on OLED TVs. Right now, Best Buy has the LG 48-inch A2 4K OLED TV on sale for $649. That's the least expensive OLED TV we've seen and it's just $30 shy of its Black Friday price low. The 48-inch model is a Best Buy exclusive, which makes them the go-to retailer if you want a good, inexpensive OLED. 

Meanwhile, Walmart, tends to offer better deals on Google smart home devices than Amazon — which normally doesn't offer many Google smart home deals. Bottom line: look to Amazon's biggest rivals for the best alternative Prime Day sales. 

Tips for finding the best Prime Day deals

Prime Big Deal Days

(Image credit: Amazon)

Price check everything: Our number one rule when shopping on Prime Day is to price check what you're about to buy. Price checking on Prime Day is quite easy. We're big fans of CamelCamelCamel, a website that price checks millions of items sold on Amazon. The website tracks price lows, so if the item you're looking at was cheaper in March, you'll be able to see the price difference. There's even a Chrome extension called Camelizer, which you can install and click on anytime you want to look at the price history of a product. Keep in mind that there might be some items CamelCamelCamel doesn't track.  

Don't limit yourself to Amazon: That leads us to our second point: Prime Day is a faux retail holiday designed to promote Amazon devices and services. However, just like you wouldn't buy your entire wardrobe from one designer, you shouldn't do all of your Prime Day shopping at Amazon. Walmart, Target, and Best Buy are just a handful of competitors offering "Prime Day" sales of their own. 

And based on what we saw from these retailers last year, we expect them to once again offer very competitive sales throughout the duration of Prime Day. Bottom line: Amazon doesn't always offer the best prices. 

Take advantage of free credits: Amazon really wants you to spend money on Prime Day. However, if there aren't any items you want to buy or if you're just really trying to stick to your budget, there are some pretty amazing Prime Day deals you can get right now. We like these deals because after spending $10, you'll get a $10 Amazon credit in exchange. 

Make sure to check out our dedicated Amazon promo codes page.

Watch out for shady reviews: In addition to fake deals, shoppers should always keep an eye out for fake reviews. Although Amazon has removed many bogus reviews from its website, there are so many that it's become near-impossible for Amazon to keep up. That's why we're fans of Fakespot. The site's engine can analyze the quality of reviews on any Amazon page and churn out a letter grade indicating whether the product has mostly fake or real reviews. ReviewMeta is a similar site that looks for suspicious terminology or repeated phrases in reviews before offering a failing or passing grade. 

Don't be afraid of refurbs: Prime Day deals typically don't highlight deals on refurbished items. However, if you're looking to save the most possible a refurbished item may be the best route to go. Amazon tends to offer solid refurbished Apple Watch deals and the retailer also has an Amazon Warehouse website where it lists deals on pre-owned, used, and open-box items. 

What is Prime Big Deal Days?

Prime Big Deal Days is Amazon's massive fall sale. Last year, the event started on Tuesday, October 10 and ran through Wednesday, October 11. Prime Big Deal Days offered discounts on popular brands like Dyson, SharkNinja, Peloton, Jabra, and more. The 48-hour event is very similar to July's Prime Day. Additionally, Prime members will be able to request access to doorbuster deals by signing up for Invite-only deals on select products. 

Can I get a free Amazon Prime membership?

Louis Ramirez

As deals editor at Tom’s Guide, Louis is constantly looking for ways to avoid paying full price for the latest gadgets. With over 10 years of deals-hunting experience, Louis price checks against multiple retailers and searches high and low for the best deals to bring readers. A born-and-bred New Yorker, Louis is also an avid swimmer and marathoner. His work has appeared on Gizmodo, CNET, and Time Out New York.