Summer means different things depending on who you ask. For some, it's a break from school or work. For others, it's time to hit the waves and get some sun. For us, it's shopping time, thanks in large part to Amazon Prime Day.
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This two-day sale, which historically takes place in the middle of summer, is one of the biggest online sales events of the year. It promises thousands of deals and some of the year's very best offers on Amazon products and services, as well as other goodies featured on Amazon—everything from tech to pet products to kitchen appliances and more. Usually, in the days leading up to Prime Day, Amazon kicks things off with thousands of early deals and time-bound deals before the launch of the even bigger deals. If you're new to all of this, we've laid out everything you need to know.
If you're already familiar with Prime Day and want to get straight to the good deals, we've rounded up some of the best early Amazon Prime Day deals, which you can shop now:
What Is Amazon Prime Day?
If you've never taken advantage of Amazon Prime Day before, just know that you're missing out. Having first kicked off in 2015, Prime Day is one of the biggest online sales events of the year, eagerly anticipated and often enshrouded in mystery as to the official date up until a few weeks before the event.
This year, Prime Day will begin at 12 a.m. PT (3 a.m. ET) on Tuesday, July 12, and end at 11:59 p.m. PT (2:59 a.m. ET) on Wednesday, July 13. Expect to see prices drop to their lowest all year, even beating out some Black Friday deals. Speaking of Black Friday, you might be wondering: Which is better, Prime Day or Black Friday? It really depends on what you're looking for.
Prime Day is more likely to feature sweet deals on items that usually go for under $100, like many home organizers and storage products, as well as products you're more likely to buy throughout the year. During Prime Day 2021, some of the top-selling items included the Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser and the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus. The deals really run the gamut, however. Last year, for example, the iRobot Roomba 692 Robot Vacuum was the most popular vacuum cleaner sold during Prime Day, so some big-ticket items are definitely in the mix.
Black Friday, on the other hand, typically features a greater number of deals on big-ticket items such as a new television or home entertainment system. Black Friday can also take place both online and offline in brick-and-mortar stores (you've probably heard news stories about Black Friday stampedes before) and isn't limited to just Amazon, of course. Following on the heels of Black Friday, Cyber Monday features the best online deals for electronics.
But we're talking about Prime Day, here. You may be wondering about a few other things. And we've got answers.
Who Is Amazon Prime Day For?
Amazon Prime Day is for everyone … who has an Amazon Prime membership. That's the biggest caveat—that Prime Day is exclusively accessible to Amazon Prime customers. Not a Prime customer yet? Consider subscribing to Amazon Prime. For over 200 million people, it's worth it.
Amazon offers a 30-day free trial and after that, if you continue, it's $14.99 a month, plus any applicable taxes, or $139 for a full year, which is a better value. As of writing, there doesn't seem to be anything stopping you from signing up for a free trial in order to take advantage of Prime Day—provided that you haven't already used a free trial before.
What Do You Get Out of Amazon Prime?
An Amazon Prime membership grants you access to Prime deals and free two-day shipping (and in select cities, one-day shipping) on Prime-eligible products, not to mention other benefits like streaming access to thousands of movies, TV shows and Amazon Originals and over two million ad-free songs.
Regarding shipping, keep in mind that not all Amazon products are Prime-eligible, so not all will ship within two days, but a very large number of products are. Amazon has also begun prioritizing essential orders over regular shipments, but in general, it strives to fulfill Prime orders in two days or less. In some cases, you'll still benefit from faster shipping but notice a slightly later arrival date, especially during peak shipping times like the holiday season.
If you're someone who likes shopping online and saving on shipping and finding good deals, it's really something to consider. If you're a student, you could likely qualify for a Prime Student membership that's 50% off the regular price, paying only $7.49 a month after a free six-month trial. That's right, six months, not one month, for trial users who are students.
Long story short: You do need a Prime membership in order to participate in Amazon Prime Day deals. However, if you like shopping online and enjoying perks like fast and free shipping, access to entertainment and even savings at places like Whole Foods, it's probably worth it.
When Exactly Is Prime Day, Again?
Amazon Prime Day will begin at 12 a.m. PT (3 a.m. ET) on Tuesday, July 12 and end at 11:59 p.m. PT (2:59 a.m. ET) on Wednesday, July 13. We expect to see pre and post-Prime Day deals as well.
What Are the Benefits of Prime Day?
- Last year, from June 7 through Prime Day, spending $10 with any of the more than 300,000 small businesses participating on Amazon earned Prime members a $10 credit to use during Prime Day. We expect something similar this year and will keep you updated on the exact date this benefit begins.
- Last year, also from June 7 through Prime Day, if you used the Amazon Prime credit card to shop at Amazon's small businesses, you earned 10% back.
- Gain access to thousands of deals on products in various categories, including day-of deals (remember, these have a short window, usually around 3-6 hours before expiring), similar to daily Amazon "lightning" deals.
- In the weeks leading up to Prime Day itself, take advantage of thousands of early deals.
As we get closer to Prime Day, keep an eye out for our Prime Day coverage—we'll highlight the best early deals and confirm the dates some of the pre-Prime Day benefits begin. During Prime Day itself, we'll continually update you on the best deals on the best products in multiple categories, including kitchen, home goods and appliances. In the meantime, you can check out or bookmark our weekly article, The Best Online Sales to Shop This Weekend, which will give you plenty of shopping opportunities to keep you busy until Amazon Prime Day.