Prime Day Primer
Amazon Prime Day 2016 is fast-approaching, but similar to last year, deals are shrouded in a cloud of mystery. We do know that Amazon gave sellers some pretty strict guidelines as far as pricing goes -- click here to catch up. Prime Day 2016 begins at midnight PT on July 12th, and Countdown Deals are live now. Amazon's 2015 Prime Day event outdid their sales for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2014! If you're interested in shopping this event it's best to be as prepared as possible. Keep reading to get all of our tips and tricks on how to take advantage of Prime Day!
Amazon Prime Day Primer
If you've ever shopped at Amazon on Black Friday, congratulations; you've probably got this down to a science. Prime Day deals look exactly like Black Friday deals, with the exception that Prime Day Lightning Deals are available exclusively to Amazon Prime members. Over 100,000 Lightning Deals will be available over the course of the one-day event. New items can become available as often as every five minutes. Note that this does not necessarily mean that a new deal will be going live that often -- just that they can. Items are available in limited quantities and the best deals tend to sell out within minutes if not seconds.
Deals are split into three sections -- Missed, Upcoming, and Available. Missed Deals are no longer available to purchase. However, usually there is a Waiting List available to put your name down in case of order cancellations or added inventory. If you missed the deal of your choice, make sure you join the Waiting List if one is available! Upcoming Deals are deals that will be going live soon. They'll have a countdown showing when they'll be going live. The Available Deals section will have a countdown showing how much time a deal has left, but remember: once an item's inventory expires, so will the deal, even if it had a substantial amount of time left.
Now that you know how the sale works, let's get down to the best ways to prepare for Prime Day. These are great practices for Amazon's Black Friday 2016 sale as well!
1. Get Your Prime Membership
We can't stress this enough! You will not be able to shop Amazon's Prime Day sale without an Amazon Prime membership. Additionally, signing up early means that you'll be able to get in on any potential early deals. Luckily, there are a few ways to snag one that are perfect for any family and any budget.
Click here to get a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime. There is no obligation to continue your membership and you can cancel it at any time. Students with .edu email addresses can get a free 6-month Amazon Prime trial!
A full year of Amazon Prime costs $99, but if you'd rather not invest that much money, you can opt for the $10.99 monthly Prime Membership instead. Just click the link above and then click "See more plans" for those options!
Aside from being able to shop Prime Day, there are a ton of other benefits for Amazon Prime Members. You'll get exclusive deals and coupons year-round, and free 2-day shipping on millions of items. You can also get a 30-minute head start on select Lightning Deals. Prime Members get instant access to thousands of TV shows and movies, as well as unlimited ad-free Prime Music streaming. You also get unlimited Photo Storage and over 800,000 eBooks.
2. Details, Details, Details
Once you've got your Prime Membership taken care of, the next step is to let Amazon know all of your information. Make sure you add your billing and shipping addresses, as well as your credit card information. Once that's saved it'll be much easier and faster to purchase an item. You can even enable 1-Click Ordering in your account settings, where you click one button to purchase and ship your item. Some Lightning Deals don't have the option of 1-Click Ordering, but it's best to be prepared just in case. Saving even a few seconds ensures that you'll be one step closer to beating others to the punch.
Make sure that your cart is empty before you start shopping. In addition, clear your favorite browser's cache to help avoid any issues during checkout.
3. Download the Amazon App
Make sure that the Amazon app is installed on your smartphone! It's available for free on both iOS and Android. With the app, you'll be able to "Watch" a deal (similar to eBay). Watching a deal lets you know when that Lightning Deal you can't pass up is about to go live. After download, there are three simple steps to follow.
Under "Settings", tap "Notifications" in the app menu and enable "Your Watched & Waitlisted Deals". Then tap "Watch this Deal" on an upcoming Lightning Deal during the Prime Day sale. You'll get a push notification when your deal is about to go live.
4. Do Your Research
Unfortunately, Lightning Deals don't have a visible price until they go live. This means you should do some research. We suggest making a list of deals that you're interested in to avoid overpaying. The limited time aspect of these deals means it's easy to just click and buy without giving it much thought, which can add up quickly. Shopping sprees are awesome, but if you're trying to snag good deals, having an idea of a base price is important.
If you spy a deal in the "Upcoming" section that you are interested in, it's good practice to see what the item typically goes for. One of our favorite tools for Amazon price research is a handy dandy little website called Camelcamelcamel. Our Deal Hunter team uses it frequently! Simply enter the product's ASIN (found in the item details or URL) into Camelcamelcamel's search bar. The following page has tons of useful insight, including the lowest price an item has ever been on Amazon.
Tools like these are invaluable when it comes to shopping on Amazon. With this information, even if an item is currently on sale for $30 down from $50, you can see if it's been $20 frequently in the past. If you see something like that on a deal you don't absolutely need right away, you can probably just wait it out and get it cheaper in the future. Camelcamelcamel even has alerts that send you an email or tweet once an item drops in price.
With these tips and tricks, you're ready to take on Prime Day! Make sure to keep an eye on our Hot Deals page for updates on the hottest Lightning Deals, and check on our front page often for coverage of competitor sales. Good luck! Thanks for Visiting and Tell Your Friends!