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Oct 03, 2020
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When July came and went with no Amazon (AMZN) Prime Day, shoppers and industry-insiders speculated if and when the e-commerce giant’s banner sales event was going to happen in 2020.

We now know that the two-day event will kick off Oct. 13, and the retail giant is advertising early deals.

Here’s what else we know now about what has been dubbed by Wirecutter as the “Strangest Prime Day in History.” Yahoo Money tapped Nathan Burrow, deals expert for Wirecutter, for some of the answers.

Do I have to be an Amazon Prime member to get Prime Day sales?

The most economical option is an annual membership at $119. Members also have the option to pay $12.99 per month, which comes out to $155.88 for the year. Discounts are available for students and EBT and Medicaid recipients.

What are the best Prime Day sales?
“Last year we saw savings that ran the gamut from electronics and major appliances to small household items,” Burrow said. “We expect similar products to be on sale this year. Look out for deals on Amazon devices, including Fire tablets and TV streaming sticks, Echo smart speakers, and Kindles.”

Read more: Retail bankruptcies: What happens to your store credit card, gift card, and rewards?

Amazon isn’t limiting discounts exclusively to branded items. Deals are rumored to include products from Apple, Dyson, Roomba, and Instant Pot, with products ranging from TVs, toys, games, vacuums, apparel, kitchen appliances, and home security systems.

Will the Prime Day deals be as good as last year’s?
You must be a member of Amazon Prime to get Prime Day deals. There is an annual and monthly membership to choose from. (Photo: Getty)
You must be a member of Amazon Prime to get Prime Day deals. There is an annual and monthly membership to choose from. (Photo: Getty)
Yes, Burrow predicts. The slate of deals from yesteryears will roughly stay the same, but certain product categories are still recovering from the supply chain breakdown brought on by the pandemic.

“It’s very possible we won’t see deals at all for certain products that we’ve historically seen sales for like adjustable dumbbells,” Burrow said. “Rather, we’ll be hoping just to see them in stock.”

Read more: Here's how quickly the richest CEOs in America can pay your bills

Industry-experts are also interested to see if Amazon will address the loss of certain products or deals with consolation items for shoppers.

“They may opt to mix things up,” he said.

What Prime Day deals can I get now?
To whet the appetites of shoppers, Amazon is honoring Prime Day prices with steep discounts on certain products in advance of Oct. 13. Right now, shoppers can score $100 off electronics like a 43" Toshiba TV with Amazon Fire integration for $180 and a Fire TV Recast for $130.

There are also early deals to expand your digital library like a year’s worth of Audible for $99, down from $150, movies as low as $0.99 in the Prime Video store, and six months of Kindle Unlimited for $30, down from $60.

Prime members can also get up to 40% discounts on Amazon house clothing brands like Amazon Essentials, Goodthreads, and Daily Ritual.

What is the average discount for a Prime Day deal?
A fair assumption is 20%, Burrow said. Even if you see deals marked 60% or 70% off, that’s not really accurate, he warned,

“Those deals are nearly always framed in terms of an elevated MSRP or high initial asking price,” he said.

Should consumers complete their holiday shopping via Prime Day?
Some shoppers may want to do all of their holiday shopping during Prime Day to avoid worries over delayed shipping caused by the pandemic. (Photo: Getty)
Some shoppers may want to do all of their holiday shopping during Prime Day to avoid worries over delayed shipping caused by the pandemic. (Photo: Getty)
“There’s so much uncertainty swirling right now that buying early is advisable if you have any concerns,” he said.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may have “slightly better pricing” in certain product categories, but Prime Day pricing will be “roughly equivalent,” he said. Plus, you don’t have to worry if your item is in stock and on sale during these sales, or if shipping delays could impact you.

“That peace of mind is worth a few bucks to me,” Burrow said.

What are the best (and worst) purchases for Prime Day this year?
If you’re looking to delegate more household tasks to Alexa, Burrow said that Prime Day is a golden opportunity to buy Amazon-branded devices and Amazon-owned brands like Eero or Ring. Newer devices like Echo Buds and Amazon Halo fitness tracker are also forecasted to be on sale.

Read more: Top tips for shopping online marketplaces for back-to-school and remote work supplies

“The worst purchases on Prime Day will probably be really hastily made decisions,” Burrow said.

“Things like countdown clocks/flash sales drive a sense of urgency that can lead us to buy before asking ourselves how this item fits into our lives,” he said, “or even whether the product in question is worth our time or money at

Add items you have your eye on to a wishlist via an “Add to List” button: You can adjust your settings on your Amazon app, so you get a push notification when an item becomes available.

Take advantage of brick-and-mortar price matching: Best Buy (BBY) and Walmart (WMT) offer some price matching.

“If you're willing to do the additional legwork, you can try online chat for Best Buy price matches or the Walmart customer care line to see if they'll honor a competitor's online price,” Burrow said, “though there are ample exceptions.”
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