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7 Expert Tips For Shopping Amazon Prime Day Like A Pro

It’s official: We now know that Amazon Prime Day will take place on June 21 and June 22 this year. The online retail giant’s annual savings event is one of the biggest sales of the year, perhaps second only to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But in order to save the most money and actually find the deals that are worthwhile, you need to know how to shop Amazon Prime Day.

Whether you’re a seasoned Amazon shopper or a brand new Prime member, Prime Day can be difficult to navigate because it’s so massive. There are literally thousands of items on sale, and many of the deals sell out or expire quickly, so if you don’t know how to prepare for Prime Day, you might miss out on the best sales entirely. Plus, there are the various incentives Amazon offers to entice you to join in the sale. If you don’t take advantage, you might be leaving money behind at the virtual register.

So just like an athlete stretching’s before the game or a student prepping for an exam, there are a few things you should do to get ready for June 21. As someone who has written about (and shopped) Prime Day for years, I’m uniquely qualified to offer some advice about how to shop Amazon Prime Day. Here’s what you need to know ahead of the big event.

First, Make Sure You’re An Amazon Prime Member

If you haven’t heard, Amazon only offers its Prime Day deals to Amazon Prime subscribers. That might sound like a big barrier if you aren’t currently a Prime member, but you can actually sign up for Prime quickly and easily anytime. Even better: If you’ve never been a Prime member before, you can take advantage of the 30-day free trial to get access to Prime Day 2021 for free.

There are also a lot of ways to get a Prime subscription at a steep discount or even for free. In addition to the 30-day free trial, you can get a month of Prime for $13, get added to someone’s Amazon Household family plan, or get a discounted plan as a student, EBT or Medicaid card holder. Check out the story below for all the details.

MORE FROM FORBES7 Genius Tricks For Saving Money On Amazon Prime Day

Delay Nonessential Purchases Until Prime Day

We’re so close to Prime Day 2021 that it’s worth holding off on making any nonessential purchases until Prime Day, just in case the items you want to buy happen to be on sale on June 21 and June 22. There are some exceptions (household essentials like paper towels and dishwashing soap aren’t likely to go on sale for Prime Day), but if you’ve been eyeing a new air fryer or smartwatch, there’s a good chance it could get marked down during the event. Amazon will almost certainly deeply discount its own gadgets, like Alexa Echo, Echo Show, Kindle, Fire TV and other smart home devices like it has in years past, so resist the urge to buy any of them until June 21 rolls around.

Put Items On Your Wish List Ahead Of The Sale

Of course, you can wander the virtual aisles during Prime Day in search of interesting deals that strike your fancy, but if that’s your primary shopping strategy, you’ll probably miss out on a lot of good bargains (and also end up getting suckered into spending money on things you don’t really need).

A much better option? Add all of the products you genuinely want and need to your Amazon Wish List. The easiest way to do so is by navigating to each item’s product page and clicking “Add to List” on the right side under the purchase options.

Then on Prime Day, you can visit your Wish List (simply click the main account menu at the top of the page and click “Wish List”) to see everything you want to buy at a glance, and which of those items are on sale for Prime Day.

Consider Signing Up For An Amazon Credit Card

If you aren’t already signed up for Amazon’s Prime Rewards Visa Signature card, there’s never been a better time to do so. Not only does it give you 10% cash back on select Prime Day purchases, but you’ll also automatically get a $150 Amazon gift card when you sign up. That’s free money you can use right away during Prime Day.

There are a couple of other reasons to consider getting an Amazon credit card. After Prime Day is over, you’ll get 5% cash back on many Amazon and Whole Foods purchases year round. It’s a no-annual-fee card as well.

Use The Amazon Mobile App To Watch For Prime Day Deals

The Amazon mobile app for iOS and Android is deceptively useful, especially during Prime Day. After you install it and sign in with your Amazon account details, you can use it to see the current deals, which will definitely come in handy during Prime Day.

Better yet? It allows you to see upcoming deals. The day before Prime Day, open the Amazon app, tap the menu button (three short horizontal lines) and select “Today’s Deals.” Then, in the “Availability” drop-down menu, choose “Upcoming.” Scroll down, and you’ll be able to see all the deals that will drop over the next 24 hours. If you see a deal you want to get when it goes live, tap “Watch this deal.” That’ll ensure that you get a notification when the deal goes live. You can also browse all the deals you are watching—in the Availability menu, choose “Watchlist” to keep a close eye on when they start.

Keep An Eye Out For Credits And Incentives

Amazon loves dropping incentives to encourage shoppers to partake in Prime Day. Last year, for example, Amazon let shoppers earn up to $50 in Prime Day credits just by shopping at Whole Foods. For every $10 you spent in the store, you’d automatically get $10 in shopping credit for Prime Day.

This year, the retailer has announced a similar program where you can earn a $10 credit to spend on Prime Day every time you spend $10 at one of Amazon’s small business vendors. The promotion is live now through June 20, and we’ll likely see more offers of this kind as the shopping event gets closer.

Compare, Compare, Compare

Finally, remember that just because something is on sale for Prime Day, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s being offered at it’s lowest price ever, or even at a price as good as the current one at Target or Best Buy. Before you make a purchase, it’s a good idea to compare the Amazon price of an item to its price at a couple of other top retailers. You can do that manually (have your favorite alternative stores open in different browser tabs) or rely on a browser plug-in like PriceBlink to warn you if your selected Amazon product is available elsewhere for less. You can install PriceBlink in Chrome or Firefox.

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