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Prime Day is just a few days away. The deals are already starting to roll in, but this is a trickle. When the clock strikes midnight on the West Coast (3 a.m. EST) this Monday, July 15, the floodgates will open.
More: The 5 best early Prime Day deals you can get this Friday
There will be tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of deals flying off the virtual shelves for a full 48 hours, and that can make it totally overwhelming if you’re coming to browse for things you might want.
More: Amazon just released their Prime Day Preview—here are the best deals to look out for
To help you navigate the crowded landscape of deals, avoid duds, and find the best Prime Day deals, I wanted to share the things I and my team do to determine if a deal is worth sharing with you. You can also watch our Prime Day coverage, as we’ll be monitoring all the deals and sharing the best throughout the sale. But if you want to take matters into your own hands, check out these tips:
1. Browse carefully
If you want to just explore Amazon and see what deals you can find, go for it! That’s half the fun of shopping these sales, especially if you don’t have something specific in mind.
- Look for brands you recognize and know are decent first.
- Read reviews to learn more about what other buyers like and don’t.
- Look at ratings. Aim for things with at least 4 stars unless you know the product.
- Do not trust the listed savings without doing your homework.
2. Look at the price history
One of the worst parts of shopping Prime Day is not knowing if a deal is actually good or not. Sellers can manipulate the information on the product page, and often raise prices in the weeks ahead of the sale only to drop them back down to their usual price to make it look like a sale when it’s not. You can avoid this by installing some browser extensions, namely the Camelizer, Keepa, and Honey.
The Camelizer, which is a browser extension by Camelcamelcamel, and Keepa will show you the price histories of a product, from both Amazon and third-party sellers, so you can see if there’s anything suspicious or if the sale price is the best you can get. I recommend using both to make sure you’re getting the most accurate picture. Look at the total lifespan of a product’s price history too, not just the closeup 1- or 3-month views they offer. (And you can track products you want with Camelcamelcamel so you get alerts when they drop in price.)
Honey is a great asset to use when you check out. It will automatically find and try to apply any available coupon codes for you, saving you the trouble of googling around for codes and potentially saving you some extra money in the process. It may not be as effective during Prime Day, which is historically not the most coupon-heavy sale, but worth trying and great to use every time you shop online, Prime Day or otherwise.
3. Read and verify reviews
When you’re looking to buy something you don’t know much about, reading through customer reviews can give you the inside scoop on the issues you might encounter or features you might not have considered. With apparel this can help you determine the correct size if something runs larger or smaller. With other items, there may be little flaws that won’t affect the function of the product but might drive you crazy.
Not all reviews are real, though. Some retailers may ‘buy’ reviews or hire people to write fake ones. If you take the URL of a product you like and paste it into Fakespot.com, they’ll spit out a letter grade, like a report card, and give you some more detail on the quality of reviews, letting you know if deception may have been involved. It’s important to note that this is not 100% accurate, but can be a good gut-check when you’re not sure of a product.
4. Act fast on Lightning Deals
You know the saying “lightning doesn’t strike twice”? The same is kind of true for Lightning Deals on Amazon, especially during Prime Day.
What are Lightning Deals? These offers are different than regular deals because they have a set expiration date that is typically six hours from when they begin. But that’s not all. Lightning Deals have a limited inventory, so when something’s really popular or at a great price, it will sell out before the countdown timer hits zero. This year, Amazon is also introducing Spotlight Deals, which will last for four hours and feature best-sellers that are on sale.
Once you add a Lightning Deal to your cart, another countdown begins. You have 15 minutes to complete your checkout or you’ll have to re-add the deal to your cart. If the limit has already been reached, you’ll be waitlisted and have a chance to score the deal if someone who already has it does not check out on time. We’re not certain yet if this will be the same for Spotlight Deals, so keep an eye out for that and we’ll let you know as well.
5. Look at what people are sharing
If browsing Amazon doesn’t seem to be turning up any deals that make your heart beat faster and your credit card jump into your hands, turn to the internet for help. We will be vigilantly watching every deal and sharing the best ones with you all day Monday and Tuesday. Follow Reviewed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest updates from our team.
You can also google things like “best Prime Day deals” and “best Prime Day [whatever you’re looking for] deals.” And searching Prime Day (or #primeday) on social media, mainly Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter, is sure to turn up conversations about deals people are finding and getting excited about.
6. Trust your gut
Look, there’s no exact science to finding the best deals. Nor are there any secret tools people like me use to find the best ones (besides years of experience and inherent product knowledge from doing this job). At the end of the day, if something looks like a good deal, you’ve done at least a little homework, and you want the item, just go for it. One of the best perks of being a Prime Member is that you typically get free returns on most everything, so if it isn’t exactly what you wanted, you can get your money back.
The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Reviewed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest deals, reviews, and more.
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.