Amazon's third annual Prime Day is in full swing, a self-created shopping holiday that promises more discounts than Black Friday. But before you take out that credit card, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Also be sure to check out our Best Prime Day Deals.
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 ($99 per year or $10.99 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.
When is Prime Day this year?
Amazon Prime Day 2017 kicks off Tuesday, July 11. However, Prime members got a head start this year, as select deals will be available as early as Monday, July 10 at 9 p.m. ET.
Here are the latest deals that our editors like:
How popular is Prime Day?
Prime Day has been a massive success for Amazon. In fact, Prime Day 2016 was the biggest day ever for the company, surpassing Prime Day 2015 by more than 60 percent worldwide and by more than 50 percent in the U.S.
Although the company doesn't disclose precise numbers, some analysts estimate that Prime Day 2016 may have generated $525 million in sales for Amazon, up 26 percent from Amazon's projected sales of $415 million in 2015.
According to Amazon, the company sold more than 90,000 TVs, over 1 million pairs of shoes, 200,000+ headphones, 23,000+ iRobot Roombas, and more than 14,000 Lenovo laptops on Prime Day alone. That beats the number of sales the retailer generated on Black Friday, which for most retailers is considered to be the biggest shopping day of the year.
What's new with Prime Day 2017?
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 third year, Amazon has a better grasp of what to expect on Prime Day, so you can expect to see a 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.
The biggest change to this year's Prime Day is that it kicks off a few hours early. You'll start to see deals pop up starting at 9 p.m. on Monday, July 10, so be sure to keep your browser open.
Amazon will once again offer a host of Alexa-exclusive deals, with over 100 discounts that you can only get by ordering with your voice on devices such as Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Tap as well as Alexa-ready Fire TVs and Fire tablets. Voice shoppers will have extra-early access to deals starting on July 10 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET, and can even get $20 off Prime by saying "Alexa, sign up for Prime."
Is Prime day really about the discounts??
The purpose of Prime Day is simple — to promote Amazon's Prime subscription service. Many consumers will use this day to test the service for free, and many of those customers will remain Prime members once their trial membership is done.
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?
You will 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.