Amazon Prime Day is almost upon us. For two days, Amazon will be awash with offers, huge discounts, and more bargains than an everything-must-go sale. It’s a kind of Black Friday for Amazon Prime customers, with deals on TVs, smart speakers, and more. With less than a week to go before one of the biggest shopping events of the year, here’s how to save big on your Amazon Prime Day shopping this year.
1. Unlock Prime Day credits
You can earn credits to spend during the Prime Day promotions by completing different tasks on Amazon. For example, Amazon is offering $10 to Prime customers who get four “stamps” by using Prime Video, Prime Music, Prime Reading, and making a Prime-eligible purchase.
You can also get credits for other activities. These include a $20 credit for spending $75 on Procter & Gamble products, or buying a Lightyear movie ticket and merchandise. You can also get benefits for buying gift cards. If you were already planning to buy the credit-earning products, this can be a nice bonus — but don’t spend just so you can earn them.
2. Avoid impulse buys
Those tempting 30% or 50% discounts make it very easy to get caught up in the two-day buying frenzy and walk away with a bunch of things you didn’t really need or want. There are a few ways to keep your spending under control this Prime Day.
- Look for particular items and shop by department. Rather than browsing the whole of Amazon for two solid days, think about what you need and look for it. If you’ve been hunting for a great deal on a new TV, search specifically for TVs. If you’re looking for kitchenware, stay in that section of the site.
- Make a budget beforehand. Work out how much you can afford to spend on the items you want, and keep this number in your head. If you find yourself justifying why you’re going over that figure, it’s time to re-think the items in your cart.
- Don’t be afraid to pause and think. Thinking is your biggest weapon against impulse buying. Don’t give into the artificial urgency created by a two-day shopathon. Not only can you plan your purchases in advance, you can also walk away from the computer for a few hours.
It’s worth browsing Prime Day offers in the run up to the big days. Many deals will only appear on the site on July 12 and 13, but there are already plenty of offers available. Add them to your wish list for now in case there are even better deals next week when the sale is official.
3. Shop around. Even on Prime Day
Just because this is a two-day celebration of all things Amazon, it doesn’t mean Amazon is the only gig in town. Many other retailers will have special offers during Prime, including Walmart, Best Buy, and Target. Plus, some stores will match Prime prices. The temptation on Prime Day is to only focus on Amazon, but if you compare prices, you may still get a better deal elsewhere.
4. Only sign up for Prime if you’ll use the service
You need to be a Prime member to benefit from the Prime Day deals. But if you’re not a regular Amazon customer, an annual membership that costs $139 may be a bit much. There are ways around this. For example, if you’ve never used Prime before, you can get a free 30-day trial. If you’re an occasional Prime user, you’ll need to pay $14.99 a month. In both cases, make sure you cancel the automatic payment if you only want one month’s worth of Prime.
Prime Day bargains aren’t the only benefit of Prime membership. You can also get free delivery on many items and access other services such as Prime Video, Amazon Music, and Amazon Photos. But if you won’t make use of these outside of July 12 and 13, think about what you plan to buy and how much you’ll save. Unless you qualify for the free trial, it may only be worth signing up if your Prime savings will be more than $15.
5. Earn spending rewards
If you have a credit card that pays rewards on your spending, use this to pay for your Prime Day purchases. This especially applies to big-ticket purchases like TVs. If you have more than one card, look for the one that will give you the most rewards. You may also be trying to spend enough to qualify for an introductory sign-up bonus. Think about what payment method will benefit you the most. You may also be able to use a cash-back app for extra benefits on your Prime Day shopping.
Aimlessly browsing bargains is a surefire way to buy products you’ll never use. You’ll come across thousands of discounted products shouting “buy me.” Whether it’s the latest headphones at a great price, a discounted wifi router, a flying orb toy, or an at-home tofu maker, Prime Day is prime time for impulse shopping. Sometimes the best way to save money is to not spend it — so don’t let the bargain hunting push you to spend on things you later regret.
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The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Emma Newbery has positions in Amazon. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon, Best Buy, and Target. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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