Plan to Shop Amazon Prime Day? Read These 6 Prime Day Tips First

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Photo courtesy of Amazon
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Amazon Prime Day is a trap.

Since 2015, Amazon has lured millions of online shoppers to its site with the promise of hot deals during its self-made shopping holiday.

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? 

Our advice? Stay away from Prime Day (unless you have a plan). It’s going to suck your wallet into its black hole of two-day shipping.

But, if you simply can’t resist …

6 Tips to Get the Best Amazon Prime Day Deals

Just because this year’s 48-hour Prime Day event takes place on July 11 and 12 doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels until then.

Early deals on tech and select Amazon devices kicked off June 21 and discounts are going on until the official Prime Days begin.

That’s right — Amazon started three weeks before Prime Day because 48 hours of deals apparently isn’t enough.

If you use Alexa, it’s even easier to blow your money on Amazon.

Prime members can add products to their wish list, cart or save for later, and then ask Alexa to notify them about the deal when it’s live. Amazon’s AI assistant will even order products for you if you want.

You can also tell your Alexa device, “Remind me when Prime Day starts,” to be alerted when the deals start.

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 these days of tempting deals.

1. Get a Trial Amazon Prime Membership

If you haven’t been an Amazon Prime member in the last 12 months, don’t shell out $139 just for Prime Day. Instead, sign up for a free 30-day Prime trial and take part in Prime Day before you commit to the service.

College students and some people who receive government assistance can get half off an annual membership.

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 wish list to make it easier to spot if any discounts magically appear on Prime Day.

You can also subscribe to receive deal alerts related to your recent Amazon searches and recently viewed items.

Simply visit the Prime Day event page on the Amazon app between now and July 11 to create deal alerts. When the big day arrives, you’ll get push notifications on available sales.

3. Explore Invite-Only Deals

New this year, Amazon is introducing invite-only deals, where you can request an invitation to buy some of Prime Day’s best deals that are expected to sell out.

You can request an invitation to access these products any time before Prime Day begins. If you’re selected, you’ll get an invite on July 11 or 12 with a link to access your selected product at its discounted price.

You can check out this page to view available items.

4. Check Out Prime Coupons

Keep an eye on the Prime Member Coupons page to get the scoop on additional deals on everyday products from clothing and fashion to tools and camping gear in the days leading up to Prime Day.

5. Compare Historical Prices to Get the Best Deal

Sellers have been known to increase prices before a discount event so that you think you’re snagging a great deal — when really you’re paying the standard price.

Be a savvy shopper and use a price tracker like CamelCamelCamel to show you the historical price of an item on Amazon over time.

You can even download the CamelCamelCamel browser extension and check it while you shop Amazon Prime Day to see a chart of past prices.

6. Follow Amazon on Social Media

The company posts frequent Twitter and Facebook updates about Prime Day and related contests, so stay tuned on July 11 and 12 to catch any extra-special or surprise deals.

Rachel Christian is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder. Lisa Rowan, a former Penny Hoarder writer, also contributed.