It's official: July 16th is Prime Day 2018. Here are 10 steps to take before the big day so you're ready to pounce on the best deals.
Mark your calendar! You've got 36 hours to shop Prime Day this year. It starts at 3 pm ET and runs through July 17 at midnight.
Make your list! According to Amazon, you'll find the biggest deals of the year on Alexa-enabled Amazon electronics, including Echo devices, Fire TV, and Fire tablets. The sale has already started with $100 off the Echo Show. TVs are another big category for Prime Day so if you've been thinking of upgrading, do your research now to figure out what you want before the big day. But you'll find deals in just about every product category, including furniture, toys, fashion, appliances, and back-to-school items. Even Whole Foods stores will be getting in on the action this year, according to Amazon.
Sign up for a free Prime trial. You can do it on or during Prime Day and you'll get 30 days for free. Also keep an eye out for possible special discounts on Amazon Prime memberships, which are now $119 a year or $12.99 a month (students pay $59 or $6.49 a month). So if you want to jump in but aren't sure you want a membership, you've got some time to try it out.
Bookmark deal sites. Sites like TheWirecutter.com, DealNews.com, Slickdeals.net, and CNET will be tracking deals and offering commentary and reviews on products for sale.
Download browser apps. Honey (JoinHoney.com) is a great browser app to try before you buy. It will check prices on Amazon and let you know if products in your cart are cheaper from another Amazon seller and you can even check product price histories so you can see if you're getting a good deal. CamelCamelCamel also provides price histories. For price comparisons, try Invisible Hand or Price Blink, which automatically pop up on your screen with competitors' prices.
Check Walmart.com, and eBay.com. Before you check out on Prime Day, remember to check prices at competing sites. EBay has a big competing sale on Prime Day. But also check Walmart, Best Buy, Macy's, Staples, Home Depot, Lowe's, Kohl's, Target, J.C. Penney, and Costco.
Download the Amazon app. It's the best way to keep up on the action during Prime Day with deal previews and alerts. You can also shop from your phone, of course. And you can tap the Prime Day banner on the app for a sneak peek of Prime Day deals. (For more details, go to amazon.com/watched.) Also download the Whole Foods Market app so you can save at the grocery store on Prime Day by scanning the Prime Code.
Check out Prime Day Launches. This year, Amazon will be launching a sale on exclusive new items from established and new brands. Some examples include a new Android smartphone, a portable propane grill, and a voice-activated faucet that's Alexa-enabled (not sure about that last one!). Sounds like a great way to treasure hunt for deals on fun gifts for yourself and home goods.
Talk to Alexa. If you've got an Alexa-enabled device, ask "Alexa, what are my Prime Day deals?" and she'll tell ya! You might find special deals that are only available through Alexa. You can also participate in Alexa Home-Smart-Home Sweepstakes by asking Alexa questions (or by downloading the Amazon app.) The grand prize is a Lexus.
Sign up for the Amazon credit card. You can get 5% back on all Prime Day purchases (that's very generous for cash-back cards!). Plus you get a sign-up bonus. But steer clear if you've already got credit card debt! Adding to it will probably erase any savings you score on Prime Day!