Amazon Prime Day Begins Tonight: Here Are 5 Tips for Maximizing Deals

amazon prime day deals
Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder
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Amazon Prime Day is a trap.

My opinion is only halfway unpopular. Last year, we compiled a list of ridiculous Prime Day deals to show the breadth of stuff Amazon discounts on its self-made shopping holiday.

The year before, I walked you through the inaugural Prime Day and spent most of the morning-of scouring the site for deals I deemed worthy of sharing.

The problem with Prime Day? Amazon has such a variety of goods that a wide-ranging celebration like Prime Day turns it into a wasteland.

How do I know what’s a good deal? How do I know what I should jump on right now? Did I order a Roomba just for my cat to enjoy? Just curious.

My advice? Stay away from Prime Day. It’s going to suck your wallet into its black hole of two-day shipping.

How to Get the Best Amazon Prime Day Deals if You Can’t Stay Away  

Just because Prime Day takes place on July 11 doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels until then.

Deals start at 9 p.m. EDT on July 10, because we all know 24 hours of deals isn’t enough. Some deals will start appearing on July 9 so you can plan to snatch them up on July 10.

“New deals start as often as every five minutes for 30 hours straight,” the Prime Day insider guide explains.  

These big discounts are in limited supply, so you’ll want to act fast to claim a deal that piques your interest. If you miss it, you can join the waitlist to be notified if extras become available.

If you use Alexa, you have even more time to save even more money.

Alexa users can start shopping two hours early, and if you use the voice shopping feature for the first time, you get a $10 credit to your Amazon account.

Alexa users can also be entered into an Amazon sweepstakes for the chance to win $5,000 in Amazon gift cards. To enter simply ask Alexa, “What are your deals?”

These big discounts are in limited supply, so you’ll want to act fast to claim a deal that piques your interest. If you miss it, you can join the waitlist to be notified if extras become available.

Here’s how to maximize this single day of amazing deals.

1. Get a Trial Amazon Prime Membership

If you don’t already have an Amazon Prime account, don’t shell out $99 just for Prime Day. Instead, sign up for a free 30-day Prime membership trial and take part in Prime Day before you commit to the service.

2. Make a Shopping List

Just because something is half-off with free shipping doesn’t mean you need it.

If you’re planning to purchase specific items or upgrade what you already have, write it down. Check that list during Prime Day to make sure the items in your cart are good spending decisions instead of a bunch of stuff you’ll regret buying in a week.

You can even save Amazon items to a wishlist to make it easier to spot if any discounts magically appear on Prime Day.

3. Snag Early Amazon Prime Day Deals

Prime members get extra benefits leading up to Prime Day. Save up to 40% on a new Kindle Unlimited membership, save 40% on your first six months of Audible and pay just 99 cents for four months of Amazon Music Unlimited.

Additionally, stream a Prime Video on your TV for the first time by July 7 and get a $10 credit to use on anything sold and fulfilled by Amazon on Prime Day.

Keep an eye on the Prime Day insider guide to get the scoop on additional deals on music, video, essentials and reading matter in the week leading up to Prime Day.

4. Play the Instant-Win Game

Want to try your luck? Check in daily to spy Amazon’s daily prizes leading up to July 11. Click on one you’re interested in, watch a short video about the Amazon app and then click to enter the random drawing. You’ll find out instantly if you won.

5. Follow Amazon on Social Media

The company posts frequent Twitter and Facebook updates about Prime Day and related contests, so stay tuned on July 10 and 11 to catch any extra-special or surprise deals.

Disclosure: Here’s a toast to the affiliate links in this post. May we all be just a little richer today.

Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.