How to Shop Like a Pro During Amazon Prime Day – July 2024

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Amazon Prime Day It’s arguably one of the most confusing shopping holidays. It’s not even a “day” — this members-only event lasts 48 hours. Amazon also promises “millions of deals,” but the discounts displayed are often misleading — or outright false. Few deals are actually available to those who don’t subscribe to Prime. Add the frenzy of limited-time Lightning Deals and you’ve got a perfect recipe for spending too much money.

Fear not! We’re here to help. WIRED’s gear team is familiar with common shopping pitfalls, and I’ve been a deal writer for nearly a decade. What time do sales start and end? How can you tell if something’s a deal In fact Are you looking for a deal? We’ve shared our collective knowledge to get you ready for Amazon Prime Day.

Updated in June 2024: We’ve updated this story with additional details about Prime Day, which is set for sometime in July 2024.

If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps fund our journalism. Learn more.

When is Amazon Prime Day?

Amazon has officially announced that Prime Day will be held in July. Based on past sales, we believe Prime Day 2024 will be held on a Tuesday and Wednesday in the middle of the month.

When do Prime Day deals start?

The event will officially begin at 3 a.m. Eastern time and run for 48 hours. WIRED will be covering the best Prime Day deals from Amazon and retailers that have competing sales. Some deals and sales will start before the official start time. (We’ll cover those, too.)

Are Prime Day deals only for Prime members?

Officially, yes. You must be an Amazon Prime member to shop Amazon’s Prime Day deals. A 30-day free trial is available for new accounts. (There are plenty of perks that come with a Prime membership, and we’ve listed them all here.) The trial will let you get in on the sale — just remember to cancel your membership later to avoid any renewal fees.

There are some discounts available if you’re not a customer (those deals might not be as great). But other major retailers like Best Buy and Target usually hold concurrent sales during Prime-exclusive sales events. Their prices are often close to what Amazon is offering on the same products, and sometimes they match the price. This is a good way to participate in Prime Day sales if you don’t want to support Amazon.

Walmart is launching a rival Walmart+ Plus Week sales event for its members, which will run from June 17-23, 2024. Like Amazon Prime, Walmart+ gets you free express delivery and a few other perks, but it costs just $98 a year. The deal includes 20 cents off a gallon of gas at Exxon and Mobil stations nationwide, so you could pay off your entire annual Walmart+ membership by buying just 490 gallons of gas!

Is Prime Day worth it?

It depends. For some items, Prime member-exclusive event prices are usually the lowest they’ve been all year. This is especially true for Amazon hardware, such as Kindles, Fire tablets, Fire TV Sticks, and Echo devices, but there are other factors to consider. Prices fluctuate throughout the year, and some products are frequently discounted. Even if the price is good, getting a deal on a product that goes on sale all the time reduces the overall quality of that deal.

The sheer volume of deals Amazon promotes during sales like Prime Day is both a blessing and a curse. It can be hard to identify the really good discounts — there’s so much stuff on sale that the overall selection can feel overwhelming. But there’s a good chance that the item you want will be on sale. We’ve seen some great Prime-exclusive discounts in the past, from cheap Kindles to the elusive price drop on the Nintendo Switch. The tricky part is finding the diamonds in the rough.

WIRED covers legitimately good deals all year long, including the Prime Day event. Our tips below will help you find those great discounts on your own.

How do I know if a deal is good or not?

ABC: Always check (i.e. prices). Researching the price of an item is the most important aspect of determining the quality of a discount. Don’t fall prey to deceptive marketing language and inflated MSRP prices – our tips only take a few moments. The easiest step is to take a second to search Google for the item you’re considering so you can see the price in multiple stores.

One tool we like to use is camelcamelcamelcamelwhich tracks Amazon prices over time. Paste an Amazon link or ASIN (found in the product information section on an Amazon product page) into Camelcamelcamel’s search bar and you’ll be able to see an item’s lowest recorded price, its average price, and how often the price fluctuates. Some deals, like Lightning Deals, are excluded from the pricing history, but it’s useful to see how much an item has sold for in the past. We also like keep itWhich has an extension (available for multiple browsers) that shows the recent price history of products directly on the Amazon page so you don’t need to open a new tab.

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