After the year we’ve had, who doesn’t need a crazy-awesome online shopping sale right about now?! Here are answers to your top questions — and amazing insider tips to get everything you want — minus the stress.
BUY NOW OR WAIT?
Buy early this year. The pandemic is still disrupting supply chains — which slows down new shipments of the most sought-after products. Online sales are through the roof, adding strain on delivery networks… and shopping analysts predict more supply shortages in high-demand items like electronics and work-from-home gear come November.
Also — the minute Amazon announced the dates of Prime Day, Walmart, Target, Overstock — and many others — announced sales, too. These early price-wars are a big win for us — and these retailers all compete for our hard-earned dollars.
So there’s something you really want or need — especially in time for the Holidays — jump on it. Historically, the biggest sales happen around 8 or 9 am on the first day — Tuesday.
How can we make sure a Prime Day deal is really a deal?
Start with CamelCamelCamel. This is an incredible shopping tool that monitors Amazon pricing. Just copy and paste the Amazon URL for any given product (or use the Camelizer browser plug-in, which saves a ton of time) and you’ll see the complete history for that product.
You can also set alert and even shop with your Alexa enabled devices: Prime members can say, “Alexa, what are my Prime Day deals?” Or, for a limited time, new Prime members who sign up for using an Echo device will receive a $5 Amazon credit. Just say, “Alexa, sign me up for Prime.”
Be sure to take advantage of price matching offers too. Both Best Buy and Walmart do some degree of price matching. If you install a tool like the Amazon Assistant Chrome app — it alerts you if it sees you shopping someplace else for something on sale at Amazon.
For the first time ever, Prime Members who order $10 or more from any small business on Amazon between now and Prime Day will receive $10 of credit that can be used to purchase anything (from large or small businesses) during Prime Day.
Do you have to be a Prime Member to get the big deals?
You do need a Prime Membership — which costs $13 a month. But — you can sign up for a free 30-day trial to get the big discounts — and cancel it in a month. Also — students can get six months of Prime benefits for free, along with other exclusive offers for Amazon Music and Video by signing up for a free trial.
You can also opt to purchase a yearly subscription if you want to enjoy the convenience of free, two-day shipping on the other 363-days of the year.
Are there any cybersecurity concerns we need to know about this year?
Check out a website called Fakespot that analyzes Amazon reviews for their authenticity.
Counterfeit products can also be can issues: One security expert told me he always looks at the product description — and said — the number one red flag that I look for is, do they have a writing that has a comma with no space after it? Basic grammar and punctuation mistakes could be a red flag — especially when taken into consideration with other anomalies on the page like bizarre pictures or weirdly-laudatory reviews.
If it’s a big purchase or a brand you’re unfamiliar with, checking that in the “Buy Now” box that it says “Shipped and sold by Amazon.com” provides an extra layer of protection and insurance.
Identity thieves prey on vulnerability and distraction … the most common is with a deal that truly is too good to be true.
Be on the lookout for suspicious emails, text messages, and social media ads — don’t click on any of them.
There are so many phishing emails … that tell you your account has been temporarily suspended or a package is waiting for you somewhere. It’s typically a ploy to get your login credentials or payment information. If you get email, text, or even social media DM from PayPal or Amazon — never never click on the link in the email.
Instead, go to the site itself and make any changes directly there.
Use different, creative passwords and keep them straight with a virtual vault like LastPass.
Use a designated credit card versus a debit card, go to well-established brands and websites, and pay attention to the URL – it should say HTTPS. And follow basic security guidelines such as ensuring data anti-malware is up to date.
ADDITIONAL DETAILS FROM AMAZON:
- Holiday Gift Guides: Get an early start on holiday shopping with Amazon’s biggest-ever selection of gift guides and exclusive storefronts, available earlier than ever before at amazon.com/gifts. Launching in time for Prime Day, Amazon’s gift guides offer Prime members exclusive gifting selection and Prime Day deals from some of the hottest brands in toys, electronics, home, beauty, fashion and more.
- Amazon Prime Credit Cards: Now through October 31, eligible Prime members who apply and are approved for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card will instantly receive a $100 Gift Card. To apply, visit amazon.com/primevisa. Additionally, from October 12 through October 18, eligible Prime members with an Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card or Amazon Prime Store Card will receive up to 25% back on a curated selection of best-selling products across categories including consumer electronics, home, digital gaming, and more. More details can be found at amazon.com/pcb.
- Go In-Store: Prime members can visit Amazon’s physical retail locations, including Whole Foods Market, Amazon 4-star, Amazon Books, Amazon Pop Up, and Amazon Fresh to find in-store deals.
- Amazon Live: Tune in to Amazon Live throughout Prime Day to see live product demonstrations, hear directly from brands, and shop can’t miss deals the minute they go live. Customers will see products in action through cooking demonstrations, try-on hauls, and more, and celebrities and influencers will be joining live to surprise customers with exclusive experiences. Viewers can easily shop the products and brands featured through a carousel that updates in real-time as hosts discuss the products. To watch, visit amazon.com/primeday and via the Amazon Shopping app on Fire TV.
- AmazonSmile: Customers can visit smile.amazon.com and find the exact same Amazon experience – amazing deals, wide selection, fast and free delivery options – with the added bonus that AmazonSmile will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible purchases to the charity of their choice. AmazonSmile customers can now shop AmazonSmile on the latest version of the Amazon app by opening the app and finding ‘Settings’ in the main menu (?), tap on ‘AmazonSmile’ and follow the on-screen instructions to turn on AmazonSmile on your phone.
- Climate Pledge Friendly: Customers can discover and shop for products that have one or more of 19 different sustainability certifications, which help preserve the natural world. Get details at amazon.com/ClimatePledgeFriendly.
- Amazon Photos Prime Day Photos Sweepstakes: Customers can enter for a chance to win the Prime Day Photos Sweepstakes by downloading the Amazon Photos app, sharing a photo that shows how Prime delivers joy, tagging Amazon Photos (@amazon.photos on Instagram and @amazonphotos on Facebook and Twitter), and using the hashtag #PrimeDayPhotos. A total of 30 winners will receive $1,000 Amazon.com Gift Cards good for purchases on Amazon.com. Get details at amazon.com/primedayphotos.
- Amazon.com in Spanish: Customers can visit amazon.com/espanol or use the Amazon App to shop, browse, search for millions of products, read reviews, view their carts, and place orders in Spanish. On the mobile App customers can go to Settings and tap on “Country and Language” to select Spanish. Amazon.com in Spanish gives customers the same convenient shopping experience in their preferred language on any device.