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What is Prime Day?

Amazon app icon on smartphone screen
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Prime Day, which began in 2015, is a massive two-day sale for Amazon Prime members. The annual event features discounts on virtually every type of product in the company’s vast catalogue of goods.

Even if you’re a frequent Amazon shopper, you can only take part in the hoopla if you sign up for a Prime membership. A standard membership costs $79 a year — or $7.99 a month (about $96 a year), if you'd rather not make the commitment. If you just want a small taste so you can take advantage of Prime Day in 2020, you can always sign up for a 30-day free trial.

While Prime Day is normally held in July, the pandemic forced Amazon to delay the event in order to deal with a surge of orders from people limiting their in-person shopping. The company warned customers of "delivery promises being longer than usual" because of the sudden boom in business.

As the months went by without an announcement, some shoppers feared they’d have to wait until next summer to stock their cart on Prime Day.

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Prime Day early deals

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At time of writing, most Prime Day deals haven’t been revealed; you’ll have to check the site for the latest. But we do know a few early offers members can grab now as they wait for Oct. 13. 

  • Audible: Get two audiobooks and a bonus credit when you sign up for Audible until Oct. 13.
  • Amazon Music: For $0.99, new customers can try Amazon Music Unlimited for four months. The music streaming service has more than 2 million songs and a wide selection of podcasts.
  • Amazon Devices: Get two Echo Dot devices for $49.98. The smart speaker with Alexa has a regular list price of $69.99 each.
  • Gift card: Get a $7.50 promotional credit when you reload your gift card balance for the first time with $100 or more. (Remember, you can get free Amazon gift cards just for watching videos, playing games and taking surveys.)

That’s just the start. Judging from previous Prime Day deals, you can expect sales on smart home products, kitchen essentials, top fashion brands, major appliances and much more.

How to find the best deals

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Visit the Amazon deal page for all the sale items. On Prime Day, deals come and go throughout the two days — so check early and often. 

You can also search for Lightning Deals (in Deal Type on the left side of the page); these are limited-time, limited-stock offers on everything from big gadgets to small household items. The deal might only last hours, so gather no moss on Prime Day.

And remember, while Amazon has great deals on Prime Day, they may not always be the best available. Big chains like Walmart often host huge sales events of their own to compete, so it pays to do some comparison shopping before you click “buy.”

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