Move over, Black Friday and Cyber Monday -- there’s a new shopping holiday that’s growing in popularity: Amazon Prime Day.
As consumers become tech savvy (and have faster internet speeds), they’re doing more of their purchasing online, foregoing brick-and-mortar stores for the convenience of Amazon.com, which kicks off its annual two-day sales bonanza at 2 a.m. Central Standard Time on Monday, July 15.
Like proverbial “Christmas in July,” the Seattle-based multinational technology company started Prime Day in 2015 by offering deep discounts and deals to members of Amazon Prime.
Amazon Prime is a paid subscription service offered by Amazon that allows members to access additional services that are unavailable or would cost extra to the typical Amazon customer.
For example, year-round membership perks include free two-day delivery of purchased items, two-hour delivery for a fee through Prime Now, streaming music and video, and more. In April of last year, Amazon reported more than 100 million worldwide are Amazon Prime members.
Not a Prime member? No problem. Sign up for a free 30-day trial to take advantage of Prime Day deals. Members will be able to watch select videos for free, select free two-day shipping or same-day delivery on more than 100 million items, and will have unlimited music streaming, photo storage and reading.
Prime Day is Amazon’s largest shopping event for Prime members and will last for 48 hours -- 12 hours longer than last year. Thousands of products such as electronics, apparel, household items and more will be marked down. Last year, top-rated Instant Pot was the best-seller.
“Lightning deals” will also be offered and last a few hours, while supplies last. Prime members get access to these 30 minutes before they go live to the public. And downloading the Amazon app allows early deals to be snapped up to a week in advance.
Want to save even more? Sign up for the Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Visa Card that automatically gives card members 5% cash back on nearly everything bought from Amazon.com, on top of any Prime Day deals or savings, or any other time of year.
But are the savings offered on Prime Day really best? Don’t take Amazon’s word for it. And with CamelCamelCamel and Honey, free browser plug-ins that can show the price history of Amazon products and product price histories at other stores as well, respectively, one doesn’t have to.
In fact, a simple Amazon Assistant tool for Chrome, Firefox and Safari web browser does triple duty. The free tool from Amazon can alert a person to deals he is following on Amazon, show how the Amazon price of a product compares to other websites’ prices, and add items from other shopping sites to an Amazon Wish List a person can create to keep track of desired items.
To add the Amazon Assistant browser extension to a web browser, visit the browser extension page for Chrome, Safari and Firefox and then click the Add button to install the Amazon Assistant extension. It will appear as a button in the particular browser toolbar at the top.
Still prefer a brick-and-mortar store over the online retail giant, especially when it comes to possibly returning a regrettable purchase but reluctant to skip out on Amazon’s promised savings of Prime Day? Fear not.
Walmart, eBay and Target have announced sales of their own during the same two-day period as Amazon Prime Day, riding Amazon’s coattails and hoping shoppers will send some business their way.