It's official: July 11 is the date for Amazon's annual Prime Day sale extravaganza. But the madness starts tonight, July 10, at 9pm Eastern Time, so you'll have 30 hours to shop instead of a mere 24. So how do you grab the best deals? Here's a Prime Day game plan! (Also check out my segment on Good Morning America! http://abcnews.go.com/Business/save-big-amazons-prime-day-year/story?id=48536036.)
1. Get Prime for free! If you aren't already a Prime member, you can sign up on the day of the sale and get a free trial for 30 days.
2. Make a list and do a price check. TVs are going to be a big push during the sale so if you've got your eye on a new big screen it's a good time to buy. But start shopping now. Read reviews and figure out brands and models you want and then price them out. That way, you'll know a good deal when you see one on Amazon and won't lose your mind—and your money—while you're watching the deals go by. Yes, in some cases, you might find lower prices at Walmart.com and at other sites trying to compete with the online giant.
3. Download the Amazon app. It will help you stay on top of the action so you don't miss the best markdowns.
4. Buy Amazon gadgets and services! Now is the time because they'll all be deeply discounted for this special occasion, including Kindles, Fires, and all of the company's Alexa devices: the Echo, Dot, Tap, and the new Show. Also, starting right now Prime members will see all kinds of deals on offerings like Amazon Music Unlimited (4 months for just 99 cents) and Kindle Unlimited (40% off).
4. Get extra discounts. Sign up for the Amazon credit card and you'll get 5% back plus a $40 gift card if you're a Prime member. And if you already own an Alexa device you can use it to snag exclusive deals. Just say, "Alexa, what are your Prime Day deals?"
5. Do a price check before you check out! Prices will be changing fast on Prime Day all across the Internet. So even if you've already done your price research ahead of Prime Day do another quick check before you hop on a deal. Check Walmart, Best Buy, Costco, Target, eBay, and use Google.com/shopping to check prices.
(For more tips, check out my Money blog on last year's Prime Day bonanza at http://time.com/money/4401363/how-to-get-best-amazon-prime-day-deals/)