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Amazon Prime Day Aims to Add July 15 to Your Shopping Calendar

July 14, 2015
Shopping News
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There’s Black Friday. There’s Cyber Monday. And now there’s Prime Day.

Online marketplace Amazon has created what could be the next big deal-shopping holiday.

Amazon Prime Day is a one-day-only shopping extravaganza that the giant marketplace touts as a bargain-hunting experience filled with “more deals than Black Friday.”

But as savvy shoppers know, not every sale is a deal. Here’s how you can decide if you should add Prime Day to your shopping “holiday” calendar.

How will Amazon Prime Day work?

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Pacific time on July 15, new and existing Amazon Prime members can start shopping the event, which promises to boast price cuts in a variety of departments, including electronics, toys, video games, movies, clothing, back-to-school supplies and more.

The cyber sale day features a combination of Lightning Deals (promotions with a restricted number of discounts on a particular item for a short period of time), Deals of the Day (one-day-only deals) and unlimited free two-day shipping. New discounts will launch throughout the day – sometimes even as frequently as every 10 minutes.

What are the rules?

Unlike Black Friday or Cyber Monday, Prime Day doesn’t include multiple stores or websites. It’s limited to Amazon only. What’s more, this sale is also restricted to select products from the online giant, which it has not yet announced.

Furthermore, participation in Prime Day is exclusively for Amazon Prime members. Prime is a paid subscription service from the shopping site that gives members free two-day shipping on eligible products, unlimited music streaming and free unlimited photo storage, among other benefits. Membership costs $99 per year, and new members can enjoy a 30-day free trial of the service.

To take part in Amazon’s mid-summer shopping spree, you’ll need to be an existing or new member of the website’s Prime subscription service. That means that even if you only sign up to try Prime, you can get immediate access to the deals.

[Amazon Prime or Google Express? Decide which shipping subscription is right for you.]

Who’s it best for?

Prime Day is a perfect chance for savvy shoppers to snag that one item they’ve been waiting to buy at a super-low price. As with any major sale, trying to purchase items simply because they’re on sale isn’t the best strategy, but having a specific product in mind can prove worthwhile.

The July 15 shopping spree is also ideal for Prime members who want to get the most out of their subscription. If you’re already a member, it can’t hurt to at least take a look at the deals that will be made exclusively available to you and your fellow Prime users.

How can you get the best deal?

Before you start celebrating Prime Day, follow these tips to guarantee you’re getting a good deal:

  • Select the right product. When you’re shopping, knowing what to buy is often an extension of knowing when to buy. Some items, such as electronics, usually reach their lowest prices at the end of the year. Others, such as furniture and jewelry, see good deals in mid-summer. Try to time your Amazon purchases accordingly. Buy wisely and don’t spring for an item only because it’s on sale.
  • Check the price. It’s easy to get taken in by enticingly large percent-off discounts, but don’t forget to pay attention to the actual price of the item. It’s more important to see how the sale price compares to prices at other retailers than it is to get caught up in how substantial the discount appears. Remember, original prices may not always reflect the price the item was selling for in the days or weeks before (or after) the sale.
  • Time your purchase. Scoring one of Amazon’s Lightning Deals is all about timing. They’re typically only available for a limited period and can sell out fast. When you spot an item you want, act on it quickly – before your fellow shoppers beat you to the deal.

Courtney Jespersen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @courtneynerd.

Image via iStock.