What Not to Buy on Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day 2018 is upon us and while Amazon would love it if you went on a shopping frenzy, we're here to remind you that not every deal you see on Prime Day — or in these hours leading up to it — is worth your time.

In fact, there are many devices we recommend that you don't buy on Prime Day — either because they'll be cheaper in the days to come or because Amazon just isn't the best source for these products.

Avoid all Apple devices

Sorry, Mac fans. Although Amazon has good Mac deals every now and then, as a general rule of thumb, Amazon shouldn't be your go-to source for Apple deals. Just searching for Apple products on Amazon's site is a hassle (you'll need to know the exact model number or sku) and when you find an item, such as the 2018 iPad, you'll notice Amazon doesn't even sell it, but instead directs you to third-party resellers. For Apple deals, we prefer Best Buy, which so far this year has had incredible flash sales taking up to $500 off Apple's MacBook Pros. The retailer usually has at least one of Apple's devices on sale on any given week. 

720p and 1080p HDTVs

If you see a deal on a 720p HDTV, avoid it like the plague. Buying a 720p TV is like buying a Galaxy S III, there's just no need for it. And unless you see an amazing deal on a 1080p TV (we're talking sub-$199 for a 50-inch model), I'd recommend avoiding 1080p TVs as well. 4K sets are as cheap as they can get — you can get Toshiba's 4K Alexa Fire TV Edition for just $329 — and there's simply no reason to buy outdated 720p or 1080p technology. You'll hate yourself for doing it.

Look elsewhere for Google products

Amazon and Google are bitter rivals — especially when it comes to smart home devices. As a result, Amazon only sells a handful of Google products and excludes most of Google's best products like its Chromecast devices and Google Home speakers. So if you're invested in the Google ecosystem, we recommend you look elsewhere for deals. Walmart, for instance, currently has an excellent sale on most of Google's Home devices — you can get a Google Home Mini for just $34 (normally $49) — and usually undercuts or matches Amazon's prices on items like Chromebooks.

Don't buy that Switch or Xbox One X

Amazon is great with video game deals. In fact, Prime members get 20 percent off many video game pre-orders. However, when it comes to the consoles, proceed with caution. Yes, Amazon stunned us with this Xbox One S bundle last year, but so far this year Amazon has been destroyed by its rivals on console bargains.

Earlier this summer, we saw the Xbox One X sell for $367.99, the Nintendo Switch for $239.99, and an Xbox One S 2-game bundle sell for $161.49. None of those deals came from Amazon, but instead from Newegg's eBay store, Rakuten, and Monoprice. So on Prime Day, get your video games from Amazon, but look for console deals elsewhere.

Back-to-school items

If you're shopping for back-to-school items, such as backpacks and kids apparel, we'd recommend waiting till August or even September to take advantage of better deals. Amazon just launched new back-to-school and back-to-college shopping hubs, but generally speaking — the deals aren't that exciting. Don't get me wrong, you will find good back-to-school deals on Prime Day, the thing is — they'll be better in the coming weeks. Moreover, many states observe tax holidays in August, which means you'll be able to buy school supplies and (in some cases) computers, sans sales tax.

However, if you can't wait and need a new laptop stat, Amazon will have good laptop deals on Prime Day — particularly on bargain machines and mainstream rigs. But for gaming, XPS, ThinkPad, or Mac laptops — either wait until later this summer or shop elsewhere.

Remember, Prime Day was designed to sell Prime memberships. That's not to say you won't find good deals — we think Amazon's hardware will see excellent discounts — it just means you should treat it like any other holiday and shop within your budget and with caution.

Louis Ramirez

As deals editor-in-chief at Tom’s Guide, Louis is constantly looking for ways to avoid paying full price for the latest gadgets, appliances, and apparel. 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. He's also always on the look out for the best coupon codes to use when shopping. 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.