Amazon Prime Day Sale (2018): Tips and Sneak Peeks


Alas, we knew this day would come. Amazon’s fourth annual Prime Day Sale is about to crash from the virtual sky like a meteor in Fortnite, and as of April, there are 100 million Amazon Prime members set to scoop up all the deals that land.

Prime Day started innocently enough back in 2015. It was a day-long sale celebrating Amazon’s 20th anniversary, and a fun gift to the millions of Prime subscribers. The sale was so successful that Amazon made it an annual event, and it’s been getting bigger and nuttier ever since.

This year, Prime Day will stretch 36 straight hours, and likely feature more deals then ever, and in new categories. Amazon now owns Whole Foods and is trying to promote Twitch Prime, so we can expect more food and gaming deals for starters. Below are some tips if you have something you’re hoping to buy on discount.

When Prime Day Starts

  • Starts: Prime Day kicks off on Monday, July 16 at 3 p.m. ET.

  • Ends: 36 hours later on Wednesday, July 18 at 3 a.m. ET.

That’s not all, though. You can expect bursts of pre-Prime Day deals all the way to kickoff. Amazon already has a bunch of deals on its own devices, which we’ve highlighted below, and more are on the way.

Early Prime Day Deals

Here are a few of the early Prime Day deals Amazon has going.

Early Prime Day Device Deals

  • Amazon Echo Dot for $35 (Was $50)

  • Ultimate Ears Wonderboom for $50 (Was $100) – This is an awesome durable, waterproof speaker that we named as one of our Best Bluetooth Speakers.

  • Amazon Echo Show for $130 (Was $230) – This is the Amazon Echo to buy if you want a screen, which lets you watch news updates and see lyrics to music, among other things. It’s one of the Best Smart Speakers you can buy.

  • Amazon Echo Plus for $150 (Was $165) – This Echo has the best speakers of the bunch and comes with a free Philips smart lightbulb to boot.

  • Amazon Tap for $85 (Was $130) – It’s not our favorite Bluetooth Speaker or Alexa device, but it is a decent (and cheap) battery-powered Echo.

  • Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition 2 Pack for $210 (Was $260) – WIRED Recommends

  • Amazon Kindle for Kids Bundle for $100 (Was $125) – This Kindle comes with reading goals and other tools to help kids read, as well as a cover and a 2-year warranty, just in case your child totally destroys it.

  • Amazon Echo Show + Cloud Cam for $300 (Was $350) – WIRED Recommends both devices.

  • Echo Spot + Cloud Cam Bundle for $210 (Was $250) – The Spot has a small screen, but can still be very useful in combination with the Cloud Cam.

  • Echo Spot + Ring Video Doorbell Pro for $278 (Was $380) – We like both of these devices. Read our Echo Spot review here for more info.

  • Fire TV Cube + Cloud Cam Bundle for $200 (Was $240) – If you want to see what’s on your Cloud Cam and control it from your TV, this is the bundle for you.

  • New Products Are Launching During Prime Day – Yes, Prime Day is so big that it’s become a product launch event for electronics, baby, home & kitchen, and other items. Some products are launched and immediately on sale … which is odd, but that’s Prime Day for you.

  • Today’s Goldbox Deals

  • Today’s Warehouse Deals

Early Prime Day Subscription Deals

  • $30 Off Your First Amazon Fresh Order – Enter the code 30FRESH at checkout to get this deal when you start the free trial. Amazon Fresh is Amazon’s grocery delivery service. It’s normally $15 per month.

  • $10 Off Orders $40 or more on Prime Pantry – Enter the code PANTRY at checkout to get this deal. Prime Pantry is Amazon’s way of letting Prime members shop for common household items. You save more by bundling items together.

  • Free Games if You Subscribe to Twitch Prime – Amazon is offering a free game every day, and exclusive pieces of in-game gear, for those who sign up for Twitch Prime. The service gives you ad-free game watching, free channel subscriptions, and other perks.

  • 3 Months of Kindle Unlimited for $1 (Was $30) – If you read more than one Kindle book a month, it might be cheaper to pay a $10 subscription and get access to a million of them.

  • 3 Months of Kids FreeTime Unlimited for $3 (Was $9) – This service offers more than 10,000 vetted games, movies, TV shows, and apps for a child. Expect kid-friendly content from Nickelodeon, Disney, and PBS. This works best if you own a Fire Tablet. Amazon is also offering 1 Year of FreeTime Unlimited for $49 (Was $83)

  • 3 Months of Audible for $5 (Was $45) – Audible is the most comprehensive source for audio books and has apps for most every device. You get one free book per month with the subscription.

How to Snag the Best Deals

Prime Day is basically another Black Friday for Amazon. There are deals on almost everything, but not all of them are great. But to join the deal party, you must be an Amazon Prime member. You can sign up for Amazon Prime here. There is a 1-month free trial, and students can get 6 months free (and a discount), but odds are you’re already onboard. If not, you should know that Prime is about $10 a month (if you subscribe annually) and offers free 2-day shipping on many items and access to the Prime Video service. There are other perks, like free Kindle books, and you can read them all here.

Get Your Cards in Order: Timing is everything. Sign up for Amazon Prime, and if you don’t shop on Amazon all that often, make sure your credit card and shipping address defaults are set, and that you have 1-click ordering enabled. Once you add a deal item to your cart, you’ll have about 15 minutes to buy before it’s released to another eager shopper.

Set Up Deal Alerts for Particular Products: If you’re hoping a particular item will go on sale, there are ways to keep an eye on it. First, install the Amazon Shopping app for iPhone or Android so you can get instant notifications. Then add the items to your Amazon Cart (You can “Save for Later”). Amazon should notify you if the price changes.

Another way to track changes is by using CamelCamelCamel.com. It lets you search up the price history of any product on Amazon and track them at a click. Better yet, if you sign up (free), it can import and track prices on your entire Amazon Wish List. (You can easily make wish lists on Amazon by clicking on the “Add to List” button on every product page.)

Track Upcoming Lightning Deals: Lightning Deals can be super stressful. It’s so easy to miss them, but if you have the time to browse through deals in the morning, you can track upcoming Lightning Deals using the Amazon Shopping app. Click on the hamburger icon in the upper left, then Today’s Deals > Upcoming. You can click the “Watch this Deal” button on any deal that’s more than 10 minutes away to add it to your “Watching” list. The app should then notify you the moment Lightning strikes.

Amazon

Set up an Echo for Alexa Exclusive Deals: Last year Amazon offered Alexa-only pre-Prime day deals, and this year it’s already doling out prizes to try it. If you own an Echo device, you can set up voice purchasing. In the Alexa app on your phone, head to Settings > Accounts and select “Purchase by Voice.” Learn more about it here.

Other Stores Will Have Sales, Too

Historically, retailers like Walmart and Best Buy have gotten pretty worked up about Amazon Prime Day and offered their own defensive sales to try and steal some of Amazon’s thunder. Below are a few stores likely to start having sales right around Prime Day and before.

If you’re shopping over the 4th, be sure to check out the Best 4th of July Tech Sales going on.

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