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Just what is Prime Day, you might be wondering as early buzz starts to generate at this time of year ahead of summer. Amazon's Prime Day event is its annual members-only summer sale and is the hottest event of the season for bargain fans.
Expect to see low prices across thousands of products at the online giant. As indicated by the name though, you will need to be a Prime member to enjoy these exclusive discounts. On the plus side, if you're not a member when the sale kicks off, you'll be able to sign up for a free 30-day trial to avoid missing out and are free to drop it once the sale's over if you don't want to turn into a paying subscriber.
The sale involves big discounts on pretty much every category Amazon has under its vast empire. Tech, gadgets, home, kitchen, garden, fashion, jewelry, beauty, gaming, and many more all get involved.
As you'd expect, Amazon really leans on its own products, usually giving the year's lowest prices on Kindles, Echo smart speakers, Fire TV Sticks, and Fire Tablets - usually with prices even lower than Black Friday's.
Here's everything else you need to know about Amazon Prime Day and how to find the best deals for you.
Related: See Insider's picks for the best credit cards to use on Amazon purchases.
When is Amazon Prime Day 2023?
We're expecting Prime Day 2023 to land in July, most likely around the 10th or 11th going off past form as it's run on similar dates in the past and always takes place early in the week. Yes, the Prime Early Access Sale, ran from October 11 to 12 but that wasn't an official 'Prime Day' event although Amazon really should have tried branding it as Prime Day 2 as 'Early Access Sale' didn't exactly help create buzz for the members-only event. We wouldn't bet against it making some sort of comeback this October.
But the Summer event is what you should be more excited about as we've found it to have a better selection of deals. As soon as Amazon confirms the date, we'll be sure to update this article so you can get it in your diary.
History of Prime Day dates
What once started as a small event to celebrate Prime members has grown into a full-scale shopping holiday. Here's a complete rundown of the history of Prime Day dates:
Prime Day 2023
Prime Early Access Sale 2022
Tuesday and Wednesday, October 11-12
Prime Day 2022
Tuesday and Wednesday, July 12-13
Prime Day 2021
Monday and Tuesday, June 21-22
Prime Day 2020
Tuesday and Wednesday, October 13-14 (delayed due to the pandemic)
Prime Day 2019
Monday and Tuesday, July 15-16
Prime Day 2018
Monday and Tuesday, July 16-17
Prime Day 2017
Monday and Tuesday, July 11-12
Prime Day 2016
Tuesday, July 12
Prime Day 2015
Wednesday, July 15
Is Prime Day only for Prime members?
Amazon's Prime Day deal events are exclusive to Amazon Prime members. In addition to access to Prime Day, Prime membership includes tons of other perks, most notably free two-day shipping and free access to streaming services like Prime Video, Prime Music, and more.
While Amazon Prime costs $15 a month or $139 a year, there is a free 30-day trial for new subscribers. The trial grants you access to the sale — just remember to cancel your membership after the event if you don't anticipate using your Prime membership often enough to make the annual fee worth it.
For non-members, there are many competing sales from other retailers to consider. Major retailers like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy offer their own deals during Prime Day. Though these sales aren't as splashy, they deliver similarly low prices on tech and home goods and don't require a Prime subscription.
Is Prime Day worth it?
During the two-day event, thousands of products are put on sale, and not all of them will pique your interest. Given the number of deals — many of which go up and sell out in an hour or even minutes — the sale can get overwhelming pretty quickly.
Prices for Amazon devices like Kindles, Fire TVs, and Echo devices are typically the lowest on Prime Day. Beyond that, you'll find deals across categories like household essentials, beauty products, electronics, and more.
All that said, whether or not Prime Day is worth your time ultimately depends on what you're shopping for. There are plenty of deals worth exploring, and the tips below will help you find them.
How are Prime Day deals organized?
Amazon runs several different types of deals that run for varying lengths of time. You'll only score the discount when you place an order while the deal is live during the event.
Prime Day deals are typically broken up into two types:
- Deals of the Day:These deals last 24 hours only. They typically feature Amazon's best-selling products. This means many deals on the first day of the sale may not be available on the second day.
- Lightning Deals: These flash deals are run on specific items and are offered for a short period of time. They usually last for a few hours, or until the item sells out. New Lightning Deals pop up as frequently as every five minutes.
Are Prime Day deals the same on both days?
Over the 48-hour event, Amazon releases thousands of sales. There are some deals that span both days, but some deals sell out quickly. If you shopped on the first day of Prime Day, you can expect a whole new set of fresh deals on the second day.
Can you return Prime Day deals?
Yes, you can return Prime Day deals. Amazon's return policy for items bought during Prime Day is the same as it is any day of the year. The majority of items, including Amazon devices, can be returned in 30days. However, there are some items you can't return, including grocery products and gift cards — so be sure to read the fine print.
7 tips for getting the best deals on Prime Day
Make no mistake: Amazon Prime Day is a big shopping holiday. And if you want to set yourself up for success, there are a few tips to keep in mind.
1. Prepare a wish list
Between the big-ticket sales and limited-time Lightning Deals, Prime Day is chock-full of impulse buys. It's smart to go into Prime Day with at least some idea of what you want to buy (and save on).
For making a shopping list, we like Amazon's Wish List feature. You can add all the items you're interested in, and keep track of what you actually want. As an added bonus, you can set up Alexa or the Amazon mobile app to alert you when a deal goes live for any of the items on your list.
2. Price-check everything
One of the most common Prime Day questions is "how do I know if I'm getting a good deal?" The answer is only if you research the product's price history.
To understand the real value of any deal, we recommend using the free tool CamelCamelCamel, which allows you to track the price history of everything on Amazon. We're also big fans of Keepa, which has a browser extension that actually offers a price history chart directly on each Amazon product page.
3. Take advantage of the Amazon mobile app
Amazon's mobile app is a great way to keep track of items and set up notifications. The app can send you a push notification 5 minutes before the deals start, which is especially useful if you've set up a wish list (see above).
4. Get deal notifications from Alexa
Alexa can now alert you to deals and, even make the purchase for you. The smart voice assistant can alert you when eligible products in your Wish List or shopping cart are on sale. Here's how to set up Alexa to give you deal notifications.
Once enabled, you'll see a yellow ring light or a pop-up notification on your Echo device. From there, you can ask Alexa for more details or order the item for yourself.
5. Get free Amazon credits and subscriptions
Before, and sometimes during, Prime Day-type events, Amazon often offers a few ways to get free credits or subscriptions. Last time around there were numerous options to get some free cash to spend during the big event.
During the Prime Early Access Sale, members got a $10 promotional credit when they bought a $50 gift card from participating brands including Amazon, GAP, Panera, and more. If you purchased your first year of an Amazon Prime subscription, you got to enjoy unlimited Grubhub deliveries for a $0 delivery fee. Prime members got up to four free months of Amazon Music Unlimited (it's usually only 30 days), and non-Prime members received up to three free months. Alternatively, Prime members could have grabbed a 3rd Generation Echo Dot for a mere $0.99 with a one-month subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited.
We expect plenty of similar incentives around July this year and will keep this guide updated when they arrive.
6. Compare prices with other retailers
For non-members, there are many competing sales from other retailers to consider. Major retailers like Walmart,Target, andBest Buy offer their own deals during Prime Day. Though these sales aren't as splashy, they deliver similarly low prices on tech and home goods and don't require a Prime subscription.
7. Bookmark Insider Reviews' Prime Day coverage
The Insider team will be working around the clock to help you find the best deals. We'll be running a live blog that highlights deals throughout the 48-hour event and we'll also have roundups of deals per category if there are enough good deals to choose from, but you're more than likely see us rounding up items like headphones, homewares, Apple products, gaming, and the like. And if you're trying to avoid splurging too much, we'll have you covered for the best deals under $50. Stay tuned as we'll update this guide with new pages as they come online. For now though, check out our central hub for all things Prime Day.
As a Tech Deals and Streaming Reporter for Insider's Reviews team, Sarah covers the latest movie and series releases along with the best sales on products we recommend. Prior to joining Insider Inc., she was a Deals Writer at Wirecutter, a New York Times company. After graduating from California State University, Fullerton with a degree in Marketing, Sarah started out as a Freelance Deals Writer at Wirecutter; there she focused on newsletter creation, social media promotion, and syndication in addition to deals writing before stepping into a full-time role. Her accomplishments from this position, in addition to the countless deals she's written, include implementing multiple social media marketing campaigns and launching a Deals Facebook group for the company. Say hi (or send a picture of your pet) to Sarah at email@example.com, or reach her on Twitter at @sarahhahr or on Instagram at @lord_ponty. Learn more about how our team of experts tests and reviews products at Insider here. Learn more about how we research deals.
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