Chances are that Prime Day is the last thing you're thinking about right now, but if you want to snag the best offers during Amazon's summer deal-a-thon, it's never too early to prepare.
Now celebrating its fourth year, Prime Day 2018 is expected to be bigger, better, and perhaps longer than last year's event. So what can you expect from this year's shopping bonanza? We're here to tell you everything you need to know about Amazon's summer event.
What is Amazon Prime day?
Amazon Prime Day is an all-day, online-deals event that debuted on July 15, 2015, to celebrate Amazon's 20th birthday. Amazon described it as a "global shopping event, offering more deals than Black Friday, exclusively for Prime members."
As the name suggests, the event is only open to Amazon Prime members only ($119 per year or $12.99 per month). However, if you don't have a Prime account, you can sign up for one or get a free trial here. Students with an active .edu address can also save 50 percent with a student Prime membership ($59 per year or $6.49 per month).
When is Prime Day this year?
Last year, Amazon celebrated Prime Day on Tuesday, July 11. The actual deals, however, started two weeks before that date. On June 26, Amazon slashed the price of its $129 Echo down to just $79. At the time, it was the best price we had ever seen for the Echo. The 24-hour deal was the kick-off to Prime Day and a clue of how big a role Alexa would play during Prime Day 2017.
Although Amazon hasn't declared an official date for Prime Day 2018, we expect it to fall sometime during the week of July 9, possibly Tuesday, July 10. Whatever day they choose, we expect Amazon will offer another Echo deal in late June and then kick off Prime Day deals the night before Prime Day is scheduled to begin.
How popular is Prime Day?
Prime Day has been a massive success for Amazon. In 2017, the 30-hour event saw sales growth of more than 60 percent when compared to Prime Day 2016. According to Amazon, "tens of millions" of Prime members made a purchase on Prime Day 2017, which was 50 percent higher than Prime Day 2016.
The event was the biggest shopping day for many of Amazon's devices including the Echo, Fire tablets, and Kindle devices. However, according to Amazon, the company's most purchased item on Prime Day 2017 was the Echo Dot.
Outside of Amazon's own devices, Prime Day also saw record sales of the InstantPot DUO80 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker and the 23andMe DNA Test Kit. The e-tailer also sold a record 3.5 million toys.
MORE: Best Tech Deals of Today
What's new with Prime Day 2018?
Prime Day 2015 suffered from a few minor setbacks. It was the e-tailer's first Prime Day, and demand for many of its deals was so high that it ran out of inventory on many popular items. Now in its fourth year, Amazon has a better grasp of what to expect on Prime Day, so you can expect to see better stock of popular items.
That's not to say that Lightning Deals won't disappear in the blink of an eye, but it might be a little easier to catch some of the more popular deals than it has been in previous years.
Last year, deals started at 9pm ET on the night before Prime Day. This year we expect deals to commence just as early, if not earlier.
We also expect Amazon to offer a host of Alexa-exclusive deals, with hundreds of discounts that you can only get by ordering with your voice on devices such as the Amazon Echo Spot, Echo, or Echo Dot. Last year, voice shoppers also got $20 off Prime just by saying "Alexa, sign up for Prime."
We also predict you'll see some Whole Foods deals this Prime Day, as Amazon has been making a huge push to lower the grocery store's prices.
Is Prime day really about the discounts??
Studies have shown that Prime customers spend more than twice what nonmembers do, so it's no wonder Amazon is trying to spread the Prime love as much as it can.
How will I know if the deals are any good?
There's no doubt that you'll find great deals on Prime Day. We just recommend you shop with caution, because not every deal will be a good deal. Make a list of the items you'd like to buy and stick to it.
Also, tools like CamelCamelCamel — a site that tracks the price history of many Amazon products — can help you spot fake deals from true price drops.
You'll also want to put Fakespot.com in your bookmarks; this site can help determine whether the Amazon user reviews for a given product are legit or fake.
We've also created this list of Amazon devices and their lowest prices to date, so when you see these items on sale on Prime Day, you'll know whether it's a decent price drop or a deal worth skipping.
- Echo Dot: $29.99
- Echo: $79.99
- Tap: $79.99
- Cloud Cam: $99.99
- Echo Spot: $103.99
- Echo Plus: $119.99
- Echo Show: $149.99
- Fire TV Stick: $24.99
- Fire TV with 4K: $44.99
- Fire 7: $29.99
- Fire HD 8: $49.99