Amazon Prime Day is right around the corner and, for shopping events like this, it helps to be prepared. Amazon’s website will be inundated with deals over the course of 48 hours and the more you know going into Prime Day, the less likely you’ll be to waste your time and money. Engadget’s Prime Day coverage will keep you in the loop when it comes to the best tech deals, but we also wanted to provide you with some information ahead of time so you can be a smart shopper -- even if you’re going “anti-Prime” and shopping with retailers like Walmart and Best Buy.
When is Prime Day 2020?
But first, a very important piece of information: Amazon Prime Day officially begins at 12AM PT on Tuesday, October 13 and will end at 11:59PM PT on Wednesday, October 14. Prime Day deals are only available to Prime members, so you should sign up for a 30-day trial before the event begins if you want to take advantage of the deals and sales.
Prime Day deals -- what will be on sale?
Amazon Prime Day is chock full of deals across the entirety of Amazon’s catalog, meaning no one person can sift through them all alone. Discounts and sales will also go live throughout the 48-hour event, so while some products may be on sale for a full day, others may only be discounted for a few hours (or while supplies last). That means you won’t want to wait too long after seeing a price drop to buy an item on your list.
As far as deal variety goes, Prime Day is always unpredictable. There’s no guarantee that a certain item will go on sale. However, the devices that are most likely to go on sale during Prime Day are -- you guessed it -- Amazon devices. Echo speakers, Fire TV devices, Kindles and other Amazon-made products typically fall to all-time-lows during Prime Day, making it arguably the best time of the year to buy them.
Amazon just announced a number of new Echo, Fire TV and Eero devices, too. While we probably won’t see steep discounts on the newest models (most aren’t even shipping before Prime Day), there may be deals that save you money when you buy more than one device at a time. As for the rest of Amazon’s devices -- things like the Echo Studio and the Kindle Paperwhite -- you’ll likely be able to cross them off your list (and save a ton) on Prime Day.
That being said, 2020 is a strange year because Prime Day is much closer to Black Friday and Cyber Monday than ever before. Amazon’s devices tend to be deeply discounted after Thanksgiving as well, and we expect to see some sales during that time as usual. However, it’s impossible to know if the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales will be as good as those during Prime Day. When it comes to Echo speakers, Fire TV devices, Kindles and the like, we recommend crossing them off your list early in the holiday shopping season by taking advantage of the discounts on Prime Day.
The rest of the deals are a mixed bag. There’s a bit of everything on sale during Prime Day, which means you’ll probably see a bunch of discounts you’re not interested in before you get to the good stuff. In the tech space, past Prime Days have brought good sales on TVs, monitors, portable SSDs, microSD cards, mobile accessories, headphones, speakers, smart home and kitchen tech (looking at you, Instant Pot) and more. We’ve also seen deals on brands like Apple, Microsoft and Samsung. This year in particular, we could see extra deals on work-from-home essentials.
How to make the most of Prime Day 2020
If you’re going to participate in Amazon Prime Day, there are things you can do ahead of October 13 to maximize your savings (and minimize headaches). First, sign up for Prime if you’re not already a member and be sure to check out the offers available to new Prime subscribers. Amazon has special prices for students and those with EBT/Medicaid cards, so you may be eligible for a discounted membership rate.
Next, make a list of the items you hope to buy during Prime Day. Yes, this requires some thought, but you’ll thank yourself for doing it. There’s always the chance that you’ll stumble upon a great deal on a fancy electric toothbrush and impulse-buy it, and that’s ok. But now more than ever, most people want their dollars to stretch as far as possible and making a list of items you want to get for others (or for yourself) will help you stick to script. Either use Amazon’s Wish List feature or write your list down so you can use it to search for the important stuff during the event. You can also sign up to receive alerts when a product goes on sale.
If you’d rather not contribute to the Prime Day madness, you can still find great savings online. Retailers like Walmart and Best Buy will likely be holding their own “anti-Prime Day” sales events that you can shop instead. These retailers may even match some of Amazon’s deals, but given the breadth of its catalog, that may only be the case for big-ticket items.
Engadget will be covering Amazon Prime Day from start to finish, so come back to our Deals homepage and follow the @EngadgetDeals Twitter account to see all of the best tech discounts as they become available. We’ll also cover deals we find on competing sites, so we’ll let you know of the best sales you can get on Best Buy, Walmart and others throughout the same time period.