Originally posted on October 13, 2020
Every year, Amazon runs Prime Day, an event for Prime members which offers great deals on thousands of items. In today’s article, we’re going to help you to find the best deals for your budget.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. What’s your budget?
Before you visit Amazon, you’ll want to look at your finances and ask yourself if you can afford it. If you have high interest debt (like credit cards), unpaid bills or you’re not putting money into savings each month, it’s worth waiting until the holidays to take advantage of Black Friday deals. Prime Day doesn’t always offer the best deals, anyway.
If you have room in your budget, set a limit on how much you’re happy to spend before you start browsing. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and to spend more money than you were planning to.
2. Check deals using a price tracker
Some third-party Amazon sellers raise their prices before Prime Day and then offer “discounts” to trick buyers into thinking they're getting a great deal. For example, a shirt that normally costs $10 might be priced at $20 on prime day with a 50% discount.
Don’t fall for their tricks. Use a price tracker instead to make sure that shady marketers aren’t taking advantage of you. Here are two of our favorite price trackers:
Keepa is perfect for Amazon shoppers and tracks the pricing on over 600 million products. You can look up specific products, view detailed graphs of historic pricing and even install a browser extension to make the whole process easier. Keepa also allows you to set price drop and availability alerts for specific items.
CamelCamelCamel is similar to Keepa but is focused primarily on the US Amazon store. It has a simpler interface and is easier to use for some people.
Honorable Mention: Honey
Honey doesn't track prices like Keepa or CamelCamelCamel, but it does automatically track and apply coupons on differentsites for you. It might help you to save even more money when you’re shopping on Amazon.
3. Make a list and stick to it
"Savings” from sales aren’t really savings if you buy things that you wouldn't normally buy. Amazon counts on customers making "impulse buys" without thinking. That's how it makes money on Prime Day.
You can avoid this by making a shopping list of the items that you normally buy or have been looking for a good deal on (e.g. household items you often buy at the grocery store, a new coat, a replacement for your dying toaster). If you stick to this list, you get the best of both worlds: great deals and useful purchases.
It’s also okay to set aside some extra "fun money" that you can spend on something that you want but wouldn't normally purchase. You just need to plan for it!
4. It’s okay to have regrets
We’ve all bought something that looked great in store and then asked ourselves why we bought it as soon as we got home. One of the good things about Amazon is that it has a generous returns policy. If you realize you overspent or that you don’t actually want something, you can send it back!
5. What’s worth buying (and avoiding) on Prime Day?
Amazon Gift Cards (Prime Members): On 10/13 and 10/14, Prime Members receive an extra $10 for every $40 worth of gift cards they purchase. That's the same as a 20% discount on a $50 purchase!
Amazon Devices: Prime Day is a great time to pick up a Kindle, Echo or Fire Stick. Even though they often have sales on these devices, Prime Day and Black Friday tend to have the best deals.
Apple Products (older models): Older Apple products are on sale on Prime Day as Amazon tries to clear out its inventory. Make sure that the seller is reputable, though.
Digital Products: On Prime Day, Amazon often has great sales on digital subscription products like Kindle Unlimited, Amazon Music Unlimited and FreeTime Unlimited.
Accessories: Because it uses Prime Day as an excuse to clear its shelves, Amazon has lots of discounts on accessories for phones, electronics and even clothing. They’re definitely worth searching for!
Vacuums: This year, Amazon has some decent Prime Day deals on vacuum cleaners from brands like Dyson. Even though Black Friday generally has even better deals, it’s a great opportunity if you can’t wait.
TVs: In previous years, we told people not to bother with TVs on Prime Day and to wait for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. That’s because Prime Day usually promotes low-quality TVs that aren't produced by reputable brands. However, there are some better options this year, with deals on products from TCL and LG. Black Friday and Cyber Monday still have the best deals, but Prime Day isn't a bad option.
The first thing to mention here is that you can still sometimes find good deals in these categories, so don’t be afraid to shop around. As a general rule, though, the offers in these categories aren’t particularly good on Prime Day and you might be better off waiting for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Here are some of the categories that you might want to skip.
Laptops and Computers: The best time of year to buy laptops and computers is usually during the back to school sales during August and Black Friday. With that said, there are a couple of decent deals this year if you shop around, but it’s only worth it if you can’t wait.
Cameras: Cameras generally don’t get as many discounts as other products, especially during Prime Day. The best time to shop for them is towards the end of the year when new models are being released.
Consoles and Video Games: While there can be occasional good deals on consoles on Prime Day, the holiday season tends to be a safer bet. The pricing often stays the same, but retail stores often provide bundles and gift cards that offer more value.
New iPads: Prime Day has some great deals on older Apple products, but if you’re looking to purchase the latest devices then you’re generally better off waiting until closer to the holidays.
Outdoor Security Cameras (Except Ring): Black Friday tends to have better deals on third-party brands, because Amazon prioritizes its own products on Prime Day. If you’re looking for a Ring Doorbell, Prime Day is your best bet. Otherwise, wait for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Now that you know the best ways to get a good deal on Prime Day, you’re ready to start shopping. Just be sure to follow our top tips, and in particular to create a budget and a list and to stick to it.
Done well, Prime Day shopping can be a great way to snap up a few bargains, but it’s also easy to go overboard if you’re not careful. Luckily,with these tips and tricks in your toolkit, you’re ready to make the most of Amazon’s Prime Day. Happy shopping!