It's official: today is Amazon Prime Day and we've compiled a list of ongoing deals for July 16 and July 17. What will be on sale? Our in-depth preview below tells all.
In the US, the start date and time is today at 3pm in the the Amazon.com time zone (otherwise known as Pacific time zone), but Prime Day 2018 has already begun with early deals on cheap 4KTVs, GoPro cameras, and $100 off the Echo speakers.
Amazon is keen on building out your budding smart home with its own multimedia-rich technology, so you can almost instantly turn your dumb appliances into remote-controlled automated machines (instant meaning in two days with two-day free shipping).
The Amazon Echo Show and Echo Dot speakers are the star of today's deals list. Also, Amazon's own Kindle ereader is getting a big price drop today. It's not all Amazon, though. The popular DJI drone is at its lowest price ever, too. Both the Kindle and DJI drone price drops launch in the coming hours.
But what's on sale right now? How long will Amazon Prime Day last? What are the best Prime Day deals for 2018? These are Prime Day 2018 FAQs we've covered in addition to the list of deals that rivals our Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals list. We've also listed Amazon Prime Day in the UK and Australia. CEO Jeff Bezos is taking over the world with sales today.
Here’s how to get the best prices out of your Prime membership this month, based on the list we're updating every hour in the US.
What time does Amazon Prime Day start?
Monday, July 16: The first Amazon Prime Day deals
Amazon Prime Day is today and tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday, and the Seattle-based company has already begun discounting products with early deals before the official start time at 3pm Pacific. So far, we like a few 4KTV deals (if you don't have a new TV yet) and savings on the most expensive Echo speaker, with a $100 discount on the original list price.
Big Prime Day deals to come today
How to get the best Amazon Prime day deals in the US:
1. TechRadar is your ultimate Prime Day guide
Point yourself to TechRadar for the best Amazon Prime Day prices because we have a 20-strong team of deal hunters tracking down the top bargains.
We've become experts on every major sale holiday, including the ongoing 4th of July sales that are happening right now. We can spot the difference between genuine bargains and prices that are jacked up just to pretend the products are cheaper.
Do bookmark us, or take a screenshot to remember, or whatever you do nowadays to make sure you're ready for the ultimate Prime Day deals list.
2. Get Amazon Prime membership beforehand
You're not going to get very far with nabbing the best Prime Day deals – even with our help – if you don't have a Amazon Prime membership ahead of time.
The good news is that signing up doesn't take long. But you also don't want to wait until the last minute, because lightning deals often go fast. If Nintendo Switch is on sale for the first time, expect it to sell out in seconds.
Pro tip? You can sign up for a free 30-day trial today. And that membership will last you until the top of August, well clear of the Prime Day sales period. You'll also get the other perks of the subscription, including two-day free shipping and Prime Video streaming. Here's our in-depth analysis of the benefits Amazon Prime offers.
3. See the price history in an instant
We use a lot of tools to determine the best prices on Amazon Prime Day, and we'll share one of our all-time favorites with you: CamelCamelCamel.com. It's a great price-checking site that tracks all of the past Amazon.com pricing (stretching back over a year) and let's you see if this really is the best deal for that shake weight.
4. Is it within your budget?
This is something you'll never hear from a deals site: you don't have to buy an item just because of the hype of Prime Day. There's a lot of tempting offers, but if it's outside your budget, even when on discount, it doesn't mean it's the right deal for you.
There are still several shopping holidays (invented by marketers and real) in the 2018 calendar year that you're going to want to wait until you see the best price for you at the best possible time. After all, you're going to have spent a lot of money on BBQ and seeing fireworks during the 4th of July. Sometimes delicious hotdogs and hamburgers are more important than buying a new 4KTV on Prime Day.
We always have a Deals section running 24/7/365, too. We never close.
5. Who cares, buy it anyway!
Prime Day purchases should be a calculated, not rash decision. You shouldn't buy something just because it's on sale; you should buy it because you'll be able to use it to better your life (a productivity tool), or simply enjoy it (entertainment content).
"Am I going to be better off if I purchase this now on Amazon Prime Day today at the given discount?" is what you should ask yourself. Let's give you a concrete example, according to our Prime Day deal experts on this. If you're going to buy a brand new DSLR camera this year, and it's 15% off list price, and you're going to take photos for special occasions coming up between July and the rest of the summer, then that's worth getting today. Don't miss out on putting tools to work today, especially if they are cheaper and you really want to buy them.
Phones and apps are dominate in 2018, but going back to an old-school computer to visit Amazon.com (and us first) is the best way to save strategically. It's the most reliable way to canvas the official website and weave in and out of pages to find the best Prime Day deals.
You also have to keep in mind that there's going to be a huge surge on traffic to the website and app, so we recommend browsing the deals on a laptop or PC. It's been more stable for us in years past.
7. Late Amazon Prime Day deliveries offer savings
There's a huge rush for Amazon Prime Day goods across the country, so much so that the hours after July 16 and July 17 are going to be difficult on UPS drivers across America. We're ordering so much, and the promise of two-day free shipping is likely to be a part of most everything we buy.
Deliveries don't alway show up on time – or at all. That's difficult during Christmas when it ruins the big day, but you still deserve to get your items quickly right after Prime Day. Here's a tip: if it doesn't arrive on the promised date, complain to the customer service on Amazon.com. They'll usually add an extra month to your Prime membership, or sometimes refund the item in full if it's a bad enough slip up.
8. Check Amazon rivals: Walmart, Best Buy, Target, etc
Obviously, Amazon has the best and only Prime Day deals, but plenty of other retailers discount items in droves in July to attract online shoppers. They figure, well, you're online, so maybe you'll be swayed by their pricing.
That's why our tech reviews are always updated with the best price through a widget. You can see which retailer is giving you the best value for your dollar. Also, keep in mind, you won't need to be a member of retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Khol's in order save on electronics and other goodies from them.
What deals can we expect on Prime Day 2018?
The best Amazon Prime Day always surround its own products, so that means we're in for deals on Amazon Echo speakers. We anticipate all-time low priced for $50 Echo Dot ($25 maybe?) and the Amazon Echo Spot (fingers crossed for $80). The latter will be entering its first-ever Prime Day.
Besides nearly guaranteed Amazon Echo deals, you can anticipate other Amazon gadgets on sale: Kindles, Fire TV Sticks, and Fire Tablets. The unmentioned goal of Prime Day is to sneak as many Amazon products and services into your home as possible.
That said, you may also see Amazon's chief rival, Google, compete with a price match on the Google Home smart speaker, as we predicted: Why Amazon Prime Day will also be the best time to get a Google Home Mini. Google is playing the same game with its Echo-rivaling smart speaker.
And that Amazon Fire TV Cube that was just announced in the US for $119.99 could get a warm reception on Amazon Prime Day, luring new customers into the Amazon Prime family. We predict Amazon may have an epic discount if you buy two of these, as it has done for Echo Show speakers in the past. We've hold off on buying, as we've noted in Why we're waiting until Amazon Prime Day to buy the Fire TV Cube.
Nintendo Switch may be getting its first big discounts for Amazon prime Day even though it was only recently that it was nearly impossible to buy in stores. We're even more certain that PS4 and Xbox One console bundles will see a price drop, or at least come with more value-added games to sweeten existing bundle deals. Microsoft's Xbox One X and Sony's PS4 Pro are competing heavily, which is no doubt good for everyone else on a day like Prime Day 2018. That's why we've also written about waiting for an Xbox One X Prime Day deal.
Philips Hue bulbs are a great way to upgrade your home into a smart home. That can be expensive at full price, so we're waiting until July 16 and 17 to see how many of the multi-colored lighting solutions we can scoop up.
Cheap 4K TVs are a staple of every sales holiday, and Amazon Prime Day is no different here. We're already running a US cheap TV page. Expect even lower prices from manufacturers like Samsung, LG, and TCL, to name a few..
What is Amazon Prime Day?
Amazon Prime Day is the retailer's big members-only summer sale and it's been a massive success in the few short years it's been going. If you want to get involved with the best discounts though, you'll need to be a member of Amazon Prime. With free next-day delivery on thousands of items and the excellent Amazon Instant Video streaming service being just two of the membership's key highlights, millions of you are already signed up.
Brilliantly though, you can always sign up for a free 30-day trial to take advantage of the sale and other membership benefits. And if you don't want to continue the service after Prime Day, just cancel the trial before the 30 days are up. Amazon know too well that many shoppers will find it hard to say goodbye to those super perks though.
More people signed up for Prime on Prime Day last year than on any other day in Amazon’s history. As of April 2018, Amazon confirmed it had passed 100 million subscribers for Amazon Prime, that's up from around 80 million before Prime Day last year and 58 million in 2016. That's some pretty incredible year-on-year growth for the last few years. We wouldn't be surprised to see Amazon Prime's 2018 numbers grow dramatically again by the time Prime Day arrives.
Amazon also reported that sales via the Amazon app more than doubled year-on-year and "tens of millions of people" used the app to buy items last Prime Day.
So is Amazon Prime Day just another Black Friday? Actually, no. As Amazon puts it, Black Friday is largely about gifts for other people (it's ok, we had a laugh at that too) – it takes place just at the start of the Christmas shopping season – but Prime Day is all about treating yourself.
The overwhelming majority of decent deals on Prime Day were on things you might buy for yourself or for your home. As you’ll see from the best sellers there were lots of smart home devices sold to Prime customers as well as quite a lot of kitchen gear. There were good deals on laptops and consoles too of course, but they were alongside deals on hammocks, juicers, robot vacuum cleaners and pressure cookers.
Amazon Prime Day 2018: how long will it last?
We know what you’re thinking: Amazon turned Black Friday into Black Friday Deals Week, so there’s no way it would limit Prime Day to just 24 hours. And you’d be right. Last year's Prime Day was 30 hours long starting at 9pm the night before and lasting until 3am the day after. We wouldn't be surprised to see Prime Day 2018 last even longer. Prime Day 2022 may well start before Prime Day 2021 finishes.
Prime Day: do Amazon's rivals respond?
They did. It was Free Slurpee Day at 7-Eleven and Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A, which offered free food to anybody in an animal costume. Meanwhile eBay threw some shade, with a front page claiming that “Their Prime Deal Is Our Everyday Deal”.
According to research firm Bazaarvoice, 76% of US Prime Day shoppers visited rival retailers to check whether they were getting the best deals. And as PwC Consumer Markets analyst Steve Barr told CNBC, “We are seeing other big box retailers use Prime Day as an opportunity to capture shoppers' appetite for deals and as way to compete against Amazon for share of wallet and mindset.”
So we won't just be calling out the best Prime Day deals at Amazon, we'll keep an eye on all your favourite retailers to see what bargains they have. At the very least we expect some sneaky price matching from many stores like Walmart, Newegg and Jet in the US.
So are Prime Day deals really real?
As with any sale, some products are end of line stock or things that just aren’t selling (like all those shoddy TVs idiots fight over in supermarkets on Black Friday), but many deals are genuine. Let’s take a look at the US bestseller, the Instant Pot DUO80 pressure cooker. On Prime Day it was $90, and if you check its price history on CamelCamelCamel.com you’ll see that it was tracking at $129 for most of 2017. The camel site is pretty reliable and a great way to check how good a deal really is and it works. It'll also show you how likely a price is to come back around again, meaning your spending budget might be better spent on something with a rarer discount on Prime Day itself.
There’s one big blip in the graph, though: on the 2nd of July it went up to $209.10, dropping back to $129 the following day. If you’re comparing the Prime Day price to the 2nd of July price then the saving is clearly illusory – but compare it to the normal selling price and it’s clearly still a good deal.
Checking other devices can be illuminating, though. Amazon’s Echo Dot is usually $49.99, but it dropped to $39.99 last June, May, December and on Black Friday. The Kindle Paperwhite price goes up and down more often than a kangaroo on a bouncy castle, moving from $119.99 to $99.99 every fortnight or so.
The lesson here, other than “don’t buy Amazon devices at full price”, is that you really need to know the value of what you’re looking at. Some deals, such as the pressure cooker, are genuine (and no doubt arranged with the supplier way in advance to trade margin for volume). Others aren’t necessarily deals you need to race to get, because the devices will be discounted again soon. And as with any sale, forget the RRP/MSRP when you’re looking at the sale price – especially on big ticket items such as televisions. The RRP on those only exists to give retailers a laugh.
Were there any Prime Day problems last year?
As you’d expect from an event this big, not everything went according to plan on Amazon Prime Day last year. Twitter featured many irate users who found that deals didn’t appear at the specified times, while others suggested that Amazon had a “bot problem” with some deals being oversubscribed instantly. Still, others had problems with the app, where deals weren’t sold out but the App’s Add To Cart button didn’t work. There were concerns over some of the deals too. Some deals were more expensive on Prime Day than they were normally, while other deals simply reproduced deals that had been available the day before. And still others were laughable: would an incredible four cents off the $1,799.99 price of a soundbar tempt you to buy? Problems didn’t end at the ordering stage either. While Amazon boasts about the fastest-ever Prime Day delivery of just 14 minutes between ordering and delivery, many of us saw our next-day or two-day deliveries become even longer.
Pro tip from us here at TechRadar: if any of your Amazon Prime delivery dates are longer than they should be, complain to Amazon and you might get something back. A free month of Prime added to your sub for example.
Could Amazon do better?
We think so. One of the biggest problem with Prime Day was actually finding the deals, which involved wading through lots of irrelevant products: Amazon ordered its deals by categories, so for example you could choose Computers & Accessories but you couldn’t narrow the selection further to specific kinds of computers or accessories.
Finding interesting deals meant looking past an awful lot of Lightning cables. We're here to make things easier for you though as we'll provide a guide to the very best Amazon Prime Day deals, as it can be a right pain browsing the site if you're not used to navigating it every single day like we are.
We were a bit disappointed to see deals we did want, such as Philips Hue bulbs, limited to single orders per customer. Presumably it’s to stop them ending up on eBay at a higher price, but Hue’s a system for smart homes, not a single smart lampshade.
The biggest problems were with availability and delivery, though. Amazon or its logistics partners appeared to underestimate demand, and while part of us thinks “fair enough”, the whole point of Prime is its fast delivery. And seeing Lightning Deals disappear before you had time to read them was particularly frustrating. Not everybody is accessing Amazon on a super-speedy broadband network, and logging into the mobile app at the right time to see the deal had already sold out was a particular torture for phone users.
What can we learn about Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
The short answer: not much. Prime Day may be a big deal, but it’s still small potatoes compared to the annual holiday extravaganza – and you can be sure that while many people still won’t have heard of Prime Day, they’re very familiar with Black Friday and maybe Cyber Monday too. Amazon isn’t going to let the Black Friday / Cyber Monday opportunity pass it by: Black Friday 2016 was the first billion-dollar shopping day for mobile payments, with a total of $3.34 billion sold in the US alone. Expect Amazon to be just as enthusiastic about Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 as it was for the last few years. Although truth be told, we reckon the Amazon device deals on Prime Day will be slightly better than Black Friday.
What were the best Prime Day deals last year?
As ever, you can count on us to find the very best Amazon Prime Day deals. Last year's best Prime Day deals included the PS4, high quality headphones and Oral-B toothbrushes. Other top deals included:
- Amazon Devices: Echo speakers, Kindles, Fire TV Stick
- Pressure cooker: the Instant Pot Duo80 cooker was $40 off
- Philips Hue: smart bulbs were 50% off in US
- LG OLED TV: $700 savings on 65-inch LG OLED TVs in the US
Amazon's warehouse workers had a huge task ahead of them last year with an incredible number of items needing to be shipped for next day delivery via Amazon Prime.
- Amazon Prime Day sales last year:
- 3.5 million toys
- 50,000 TP-Link smart plugs
- 200,000 dresses
- 300,000 lightbulbs
- 100,000 Amazon Launchpad items
- 45,000 pairs of headphones
- 32,000 electric toothbrushes
- 52,000 kitchen items
- 37,000 power tools
Prime Day on Twitter:
As you can probably imagine, the reaction to Amazon Prime Day on Twitter featured snark and moaning in roughly equal measures. Jeff Grub encouraged everyone to consider the true meaning of Prime Day, Marky Bummers mourned what we’ve lost, and Mila expressed herself through the medium of Muppets. Reverend Scott marvelled at Amazon’s marketing, Christine Hennessey spotted the significance of it all and Jacqueline Herrera stressed the importance of reading the reviews.
Come back to TechRadar on Amazon Prime Day 2018 where we'll once again be listing the best deals so you don't have to suffer the pain of navigating the Amazon website!