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Amazon Prime Day 2018: How and when to find the best deals

2018-6-19    Editor:Edith

Amazon's annual summertime sale is around the corner. Here's what to expect from this year's event.

Amazon Prime Day is basically a summertime Black Friday.


Name one person who doesn't shop on Amazon. You can't do it, right? ZDNet has detailed Amazon's every move for years now, including its insane growth and the dreaded Amazon e-commerce effect on retail as whole.


But, doom and gloom aside, one of the more fun aspects of this company is its Amazon Prime Day fire-sale event. Pitched as Amazon's "holiday of savings," it's been giving Black Friday a run for its money -- while also likely making Walmart and other rival stores wince with jealousy.


Here's what you need to know about Prime Day.

Amazon Prime Day

WHAT IS AMAZON PRIME DAY?

Amazon celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015 by offering a full-day sales event on Amazon.com. The company offered deep discounts on Amazon-branded products as well as tens of thousands of other items from third-party sellers. The entire event, called Prime Day, was a huge success, and so Amazon has turned it into an annual sales extravaganza.


WHEN IS AMAZON PRIME DAY 2018?

Typically, Prime Day is held in mid-July. The first Prime Day was Wednesday, July 15, 2015. The second Prime Day was Tuesday, July 12, 2016. And the third Prime Day was a multi-day, 30-hour event that started late on Monday, July 10, 2017, lasted all of Tuesday, July 11, and ended early on Wednesday, July 12. Amazon has yet to announce this year's Prime Day date, but rumor has it we can expect the event to start on July 10, 2018. We'll keep you posted.


IS AMAZON PRIME DAY BIGGER THAN BLACK FRIDAY?

Yes. Last year, Amazon kicked off Prime Day with 30 hours of deals, and it later reported a sales uptick of more than 60 per cent compared to the previous year.


In fact, Prime Day 2017 sales were higher than both the 2016 Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping holidays combined. As for the best-selling item that year, it was Amazon's own Echo Dot speaker, which was priced at $35, down from the regular $50 price tag.

Amazon Prime Day

(Image: Getty Images, Leon Neal)



CAN ANYONE SHOP AMAZON PRIME DAY?

No. Prime Day, naturally, is for Amazon Prime subscribers only. So, if you're not a paid subscriber to Amazon Prime, you can't take advantage of the deals.


Amazon Prime costs $119 per year (or $12.99 per month), plus a free 30-day trial. It gives Amazon shoppers a few distinct advantages, including free one- or two-day shipping on most items, as well as access to Prime Video, Prime Music, Prime Pantry, Prime Now, etc.



If you've never subscribed to Prime before, you can get a free one-month trial. We recommend signing up sometime in early July in order to shop Prime Day during the trial period.

Note: Amazon recently raised its annual Prime rate to $119 for newcomers; existing customers started paying the higher price on June 16. Students get 50-percent off Prime.


WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM AMAZON PRIME DAY 2018?

Amazon has yet to announce which deals will go live on Prime Day. It is safe to assume Amazon-branded products will be reduced. So, expect deals on Fire TV devices, Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers, and all the Echo devices. Elsewhere, look for a Black Friday-style deals across the entire site. But, believe it or not, the sales might even be better than Black Friday.



According to BestBlackFriday.com, 77 percent of Prime Day prices in 2016 were better than Black Friday prices that same year. In 2015, 64 percent of the prices beat the Black Friday deals. We will update this piece with some of the stand-out tech deals when they go live.

Amazon Prime Day

HOW TO FIND THE BEST DEALS ON AMAZON PRIME DAY 2018

Here are our tips on how to take full advantage of Amazon's sales event.


Prime Day 2018 hub


If you want to a one-stop shop with all the best deals, visit the company's Prime Day 2018 hub. It'll have the lowest prices and sales across a range of categories. Last year, a new deal was posted every five minutes over the course of the 30-hour Prime Day sale.


Voice-shop with Amazon Alexa


Last year, Amazon gave certain people a two-hour head start on the deals if they voice-shopped with Alexa. It did the same thing with Black Friday -- giving voice shoppers a seven-hour lead. To order something by voice, just say to your Alexa device, "Alexa, what are your deals" followed by "Alexa, add [the item] to my cart." Alexa will confirm your order, but if you prefer, you can set up a 4-digit pin within the Alexa app to prevent unintended purchases.


Amazon Assistant


Amazon Assistant is a free browser plugin (for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Microsoft Edge) that lets you watch for product comparisons, provides shortcuts to popular Amazon hubs, and issues desktop notifications when deals that you're watching go live.


Deals of the day, Lighting deals, and Prime Early Access deals


Amazon also has its regular "Gold Box Deals of the Day." However, since it is Prime Day, these sales should be extra noteworthy. If Prime Day 2018 is like last year's event, there will be new deals going live every five minutes, including "Lightning Deals", which are limited-time and often end in minutes. And finally, Prime Early Access deals are a type of Lightning Deal that are specifically for Prime members. Amazon typically gives Prime members 30-minute early access to certain deals, though all deals are available while supplies last.


To stay on top of all these different deals, use Amazon's app, where you can view most deals 24 hours in advance and sign up for alerts. You can also go here to see deals you're watching. You can even get the deals delivered to you via Amazon's daily deals email.


Did you know Amazon.com has coupons?


There's actually an entire hub on Amazon where you can find coupons for electronics, pet supplies, toys, and other items. Just go to Amazon.com, then click on the link at the top for "Today's Deals," and in the menu of subitems, click on "Coupons" (or use this link).


When you find an item you want to buy, click on the "Clip this coupon" button near the price to automatically clip the