Odds are by this point you've heard of Amazon Prime Day, but that doesn't mean you actually know what it is and why you should care about it. The annual event normally takes place in mid-July, but is it just another day for Amazon to push some silly sales out to people, or is it a meaningful shopping event? Should you be planning ahead for things to buy, or just winging it?

Well, there's a lot to know about Prime Day, so let's get right into it.

Amazon Prime DaySource: Amazon

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Underneath all the advertising and marketing jargon you'll read about Amazon Prime Day is a rather large shopping event that kicks off on in the middle of July each year. It used to be a one-day event, but Amazon has since expanded that. In 2018 the company ran it for 36 hours, and in 2019 it expanded to 48 hours. Amazon claims that Prime Day is bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and basing it off of what we saw last year, it is entirely possible that the company can pull that off this year.

The shopping event is exclusive to members of Amazon's Prime service, which offers free 2-day shipping on millions of items, access to Prime Video, photo storage, and much more. An Amazon Prime membership now costs $119 a year, but you can get a free 30-day trial to get all the benefits without shelling out any cash. Yes, that means that you'll be able to shop all the Prime Day deals, get the free 2-day shipping, and all without paying anything for it. Keep in mind that after the 30 days Amazon will charge you for the year in full, so you'll want to set a reminder to cancel if you don't want to keep it.

What is the history of Prime Day?

To help celebrate its 20th anniversary, Amazon kicked off Prime Day back in 2015. Since then, the company has grown the event, making it a little bigger each year. 2020 will mark the sixth anniversary of Prime Day as we know it. The event started as a one-day thing that had a random mix of things on sale, and has evolved into what was a 48 hour event last year that offered well over 1 million deals.

Beyond just discounting its own hardware, Amazon features discounts on popular products from Bose, Instant Pot, TCL, KitchenAid, and many other big brands. The growth hasn't been flawless for Amazon, though. Last year, the company experienced nearly two hours of downtime at the beginning of the event due to the extra traffic. The site had immense troubles loading listings, showing updated pricing, and getting through the checkout process. Once this was resolved, the rest of it went pretty smoothly.

When is Prime Day 2020?

As of right now, we don't know exactly when Amazon Prime Day 2020 will take place. It normally takes place in the middle of July, so if we had to guess right now we would say that Amazon Prime Day 2020 will kick off on July 13, and run through at the very least July 14. We imagine Amazon will expand it beyond 48 hours this year, though.

When will Amazon announce Prime Day 2020?

Normally, Amazon officially announces the event at the end of June. If it follows the same course as it has in previous years, we could expect to hear more from Amazon on this all somewhere around June 23, 2020.

Will the Coronavirus impact Amazon Prime Day 2020?

Update: According to some recently obtained emails, Amazon is still actively pursuing Prime Day and hoping to keep it on schedule for a mid-July event.

It's still a little early to tell officially, but with the way things are going we could expect that Prime Day may be greatly affected this year. Right now, Amazon is only shipping essentials to customers, and new inbound shipments to its warehouses from third-party sellers have been halted temporarily.

It's entirely possible that things turn around and Prime Day 2020 can go on as planned, but at this point we think there will be some type of long-lasting affect from the events that hinders that.

When will Prime Day 2020 deals begin?

Amazon tends to kick off a few deals alongside its official Prime Day announcement, and then the deals really start flowing when the event begins. As of now, we don't have any official information about the timeline of when this will take place, so be sure to stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

How does Amazon Prime Day work?

Prime Day is not as straightforward as some other big shopping days, and that's not such a bad thing. There are some things that you'll want to keep in mind, especially if you are looking for deals on specific products. Last year, Amazon released deals in batches every three hours. This year, some of the promotions are based around six-hour blocks, so it's possible the company has extended the times each deal will be available to accommodate for the longer event.

Who is Prime Day for?

Only people who are Amazon Prime members will be able to participate in Prime Day. You don't have to be a long-standing member. Even if you just use the 30-day Prime Day free trial for the event you can shop the sales.

You should also be able to participate if you're part of Amazon Household, Family, or using the student-discounted Prime membership.

So, do I need to be a Prime member to get Prime Day deals?

The short answer: yes. Sign up for a free 30-day trial if you aren't already one so you can still take advantage of the great deals we will see.

Should I sign up for an Amazon Prime trial now?

Amazon offers a free 30-day free trial of its Prime service, but since the company has yet to announce an official date for the event, it may pay off to wait a bit more. We anticipate that it will take place in mid-July, but Amazon could push that back, and you don't want to risk your membership trial running out before you can take advantage of the deals at no additional cost to you.

What type of Prime Day deals will there be?

Amazon will have a few different deal styles running on Prime Day. There are a few different types of deals you can expect to see during the event, including Gold Box deals, Lightning deals, Coupon deals, and direct price drops. Each of these is a little different, so here's what you can expect from each type:

  • Gold Box Deals of the Day: These are Amazon's daily deals, and generally for these, the company has plenty of stock to fulfill orders on it all day long. We have seen Gold Box deals sell out in the past, but it's far less often that these sell out than the other types of deals.
  • Lightning Deals: Like an actual bolt of lightning, these deals will come and go fast. On an average day, Lightning deals tend to last for around six hours, but on Prime Day it's likely that the most popular deals will go in the blink of an eye. You can generally join a waitlist if it sells out, but that won't guarantee that you will actually get the product.
  • Coupon Deals: Many sellers will be offering coupon codes as a way to help people save on Prime Day, and these require a little more work. Some will offer landing pages that automatically clip the coupon code for you, and others will require you to manually enter them during the checkout process. The few seconds of extra work can sometimes save you big, though.
  • Direct Price Drops: For a vast majority of deals on Prime Day, you'll visit the page and the price will just be reduced.

These price drops span all of the categories that Amazon covers. Whether you're in the market for kitchen appliances or knives, or happen to need a new TV, computer, clothing, or even a new mattress, odds are it will be on sale during Prime Day.

What were the most popular deals of Prime Day 2019?

Each year, Amazon announces the top-selling Prime Day deals, and in 2018 most of its own hardware topped the list. It's not a huge surprise to see this, as Amazon tends to aggressively lower the prices for the big event. Aside from its hardware, SanDisk microSD cards, Instant Pots, and a few others made the list.

In the U.S. Amazon said the highlights included:

  • A record number of Prime members shopped during Prime Day in the U.S.
  • Prime members purchased more than 100,000 lunchboxes, 100,000 laptops, 200,000 TVs, one million headphones, 350,000 luxury beauty products, 400,000 pet products, 650,000 household cleaning supplies, and more than one million toys.
  • Prime members purchased more than 200,000 LifeStraw Personal Water Filters and 150,000 Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips Kits.
  • This year, Prime members in the U.S. received tens of millions in Prime Day savings when they shopped at Whole Foods Market. The best-selling Prime Day deals were organic strawberries, red cherries, and blueberries.

What deals do we expect during Prime Day 2020

There's no easy way to tell what will be discounted on Amazon until we receive the official word from Amazon, but after all these years of covering the event, we have a few ideas. It's nearly a guarantee that all of Amazon's own hardware, like the Fire TV sticks, Echo line, Kindles, Ring gear, and more will be on sale. Prime Day tends to bring many of these devices to historic low prices.

Beyond the usual suspects, we'd imagine that popular electronics like the TCL Roku TVs and Sonos speakers will be on sale, along with kitchen gadgets from Instant Pot, Keurig, and more.

Why should I care about Prime Day?

Most people shop all year, not just around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Odds are there is something that you're looking to buy, and who likes to pay full price for the items they want the most? Whether you're heading off to college this year and need some essentials for your dorm room, or you've just been putting off a purchase of new luggage, cell phone accessories, headphones, and more, Prime Day may just offer the deal you need to own that new gear.

On Prime Day, Amazon doesn't have deals in only one or two categories, it's basically across everything that the site sells. This means there is literally a deal out there for everyone. Seriously. From Echo devices to Amazon services like Kindle Unlimited, Instant Pots, DNA test kits, and almost anything else you can think of, you'll probably see a discount or ten on some of the most popular products.

How Amazon's One-Day Shipping can improve Prime Day

Fast shipping and steep discounts may prove to be a game changer for Amazon this year. The company has offered free 2-day shipping on millions of Prime eligible items for years, but earlier this year Amazon began offering 1-day shipping to Prime members in many areas. The ability to order something and have it show up the next day is just magic, and to be able to save big in the process is going to make buying random things on Prime Day a more fun experience.

How do I prepare for Amazon Prime Day?

Preparing for Prime Day 2020 is actually pretty simple, but there are a few things that you may not think to do. First of all, you're going to want to make sure your Amazon Prime membership is current and won't lapse just before the event. If you don't already have one, be sure to add a credit card so that it auto renews.

Speaking of credit cards, you'll want to make sure that you audit your payment methods on your account. Remove old cards that you don't want to use, and ensure that the correct expiration date is entered for the ones that you do want to use. Alongside this, make sure your shipping address is current. There's nothing worse than missing out on a deal because something as simple as your payment information wasn't set up properly.

Which countries participate in Amazon Prime Day?

In 2019, Amazon offered Prime Day in 17 countries, and it's likely that more will be added this year. The countries that participated include: Australia, Japan, Singapore, China, India, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Mexico.

What other retailers participate in Prime Day?

As Amazon Prime Day grows in size and popularity, more retailers begin to join in on the fun, too. Odds are that you'll see Best Buy, Target, and other big-box retailers joining in on the online fun. Even if you don't want to shop at the other sites, it's still great for the day. We've seen Amazon aggressively price-match other retailers in the past, and expect the same will happen if someone tries to beat its pricing this year.

How do I stay on top of Prime Day deals?

Amazon Prime Day 2020 is likely to be the biggest one yet, with over a million deals that cycle through the course of it. Luckily, there are a few great ways to stay on top of the deals, and some of them you can do right from your phone. If Amazon continues some of what we've seen in the past few years, you'll be able to look forward to the following.

First up is the Amazon app. You'll want to make sure you have it downloaded and installed on your phone. First-time users will actually even get a $10 credit to use on Prime Day for signing in the first time, so don't miss out. In the Amazon app, you'll be able to set alerts for upcoming Lightning deals, watch deals that you're interested in, and quickly check out when they go live.

If using your phone during the workday isn't permitted, Amazon's Assistant browser extension may be a better bet for you. You can install it for free, and as a Prime member, you'll get $5 off your next $25 order for goods sold and shipped by Amazon. You will need to use the Assistant extension to find the deal, but it's a small trade-off for the additional discount.

Our pals over at Thrifter will also be covering all of the event. When it comes to big events like this that are full of deals, the team just doesn't sleep. From deals that are likely to sell out quickly to coupon codes you may not have uncovered on your own, Thrifter will be the absolute best place to look for a Prime Day deal that you may be interested in. You'll want to make sure that you are following them on Twitter and signed up for the Prime Day newsletter to have the best deals delivered right to your inbox.

Will there be Prime Day exclusive products that launch?

In 2018, we saw something new from Amazon. The company used its Prime Day event as a time to unveil a bunch of new products for different brands, like an Alexa-activated faucet, Bluetooth soundbars, Crayola crayon sets, and much more. These weren't the highlight of the day, but it could be a step towards a bigger vision for Amazon. On Black Friday, we tend to see a lot of companies release specific models that are only sold during that time frame, and if Prime Day continues to grow we could see the same for the mid-summer event.

The same carried true in 2019, and we expect Prime Day 2020 will bring even more new exclusive product launches.

What else should I know?

So, now that you know the basics about Prime Day, here are a couple of pro tips to help you get the absolute most out of the big event that you can. Our first words of advice are "Buy now, think later." Seriously, some of these deals will sell out in just seconds, and the last thing you'll want is to miss out on a great price because you were thinking too much about it. Amazon allows you to cancel an order before it ships, and on most items, the company even offers free returns. Instead of missing out, buy the deals that you're most interested in, and then do your research on the product and such after you've completed the checkout process.

With such a wide variety of products being on sale during the event, it's often times helpful to have some sort of game plan ahead of time. Think about the things you want to buy and need the most. Jot them down, mark them in the app, and be ready to buy them when you see the deals hit. If you go in blind, you'll either come out having purchased way too much (which is still a win when it's discounted) or with nothing at all. The old saying "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail" definitely applies here.

As mentioned above, you do 100% need to be an Amazon Prime member in order to get in on the Prime Day action. Get yourself the free 30-day trial to help save you money without costing you anything.

Let Thrifter help you

Prime Day just keeps getting bigger and bigger, and it's really hard to maximize your savings during these big events. The team over at Thrifter is full of professional deal hunters who will literally be providing around the clock coverage of everything on Prime Day. From the best savings, as they hit to roundups of what you should be buying, the team will aim to make it as easy as possible to find the best deals that are available from the first to the last minute.

Drop them a follow on Twitter and sign up for their Prime Day newsletter to have the best deals delivered right to you throughout the day.

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