The 2021 edition of Amazon Prime Day kicks off on Monday, June 21. Online shoppers can expect to be tempted with over a million deals, featuring sweet discounts on popular items like air fryers, headphones, tools and robot vacuums, and promotions from major brands such as Levi’s, Le Creuset, Lego, Ring, Shark, DeWalt and, of course, Amazon itself.
There are plenty of early Prime Day deals as well, including cash back bonuses for purchases through small business sellers at Amazon , free $10 credits with Amazon gift card purchases and plain old discounts of 30% to 50% off products like smart TVs, Amazon Fire tablets, mesh Wi-Fi systems and indoor and outdoor security cameras.
As usual, Prime Day deals are available only to members of Amazon Prime, the company’s subscription program that comes with free two-day (or faster) shipping on most Amazon purchases, plus unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows. Here’s everything you need to know about Prime Day 2021.
When is Amazon Prime Day 2021?
Amazon Prime “Day” actually takes place over the course of two days: Monday, June 21, and Tuesday, June 22.
The first official 2021 Prime Day deals go live at midnight PDT on June 21, which is 3 a.m. EST. Millions of deals will launch periodically in the hours that follow, until Prime Day sales come to an end 48 hours after they began.
Bear in mind that there are plenty of pre-Prime Day deals as well in the weeks before June 21 (see below).
This year marks the first time that Prime Day is taking place in June. The inaugural Prime Day, in 2015, was promoted as a “summertime Black Friday,” and it happened on a single day in mid-July. Amazon has since expanded Prime Day into a two-day sales event, which has traditionally occurred in July but was shifted to October in 2020 because of the pandemic. In 2021, Amazon again moved the dates for Prime Day, and this time it’s happening in June.
As you might guess, competing retailers don’t want Amazon to grab all of the attention (and cash from shoppers), so they are also hosting big sales around Prime Day. So if you’re hunting for deals, don’t limit yourself to Amazon. Look for great discounts around the same time from stores like Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Kohl’s and others.
What are the best Prime Day deals?
Amazon rarely announces specific deals in advance of Prime Day — or Black Friday and other major sales events, for that matter. But Amazon has offered some hints in a press release and, based on previous years, we have a pretty good idea of what shoppers can expect.
To scoop up Prime Day deals, you must be a member of Amazon Prime. In fact, Amazon Prime memberships are really what this day is mostly about. Amazon knows that once people have Prime subscriptions, they tend to do a lot more of their shopping on its website. So the online giant does everything it can to coax people into signing up for Prime — including hosting special exclusive members-only sales like Prime Day.
Amazon’s many devices also help the company keep consumers in its retail ecosystem, which is why products like Amazon’s Echo smart speakers, Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers and Fire TVs almost always see major discounts on Prime Day. Same goes for products sold under the generic brands Amazon owns, including Amazon Basics, Amazon Essentials, GoodThreads and Core 10.
Beyond Amazon’s own products, shoppers can look forward to great deals on a wide range of merchandise. In particular, Prime Day tends to have very good discounts on kitchen goods and housewares, Roombas and other vacuums, small appliances like air fryers, espresso makers and blenders, and popular tech items like AirPods and other headphones, Chromebooks and laptops, smart watches and smart home goods.
Here’s a look at some of the best deals from Prime Day last year, and we will update this story with current deals as soon as they’re available.
Does Prime Day or Black Friday have the best deals?
Prime Day and Black Friday are both known for having great deals. Thanksgiving Day, Cyber Monday and the rest of the winter holiday season have their share of amazing deals too.
So which day is the best overall for shopping discounts? The unsatisfying but honest answer is that there is no single best day for deals.
Traditionally, Thanksgiving and Black Friday tend to have the best deals on cheap TVs, as well as things like tools and gaming consoles. Amazon Prime Day, on the other hand, has been known to feature incredible deals on Amazon products, kitchen goods and housewares, as well as somewhat mediocre sales on TVs. And Cyber Monday is associated with big sales on clothing and electronics, including smartphones, tablets and (once again) TVs.
All that being said, every one of these major sales events features a huge array of deals, and shoppers can and will find compelling discounts in virtually every shopping category on each of the days.
Just bear in mind that not everything you see on sale on Prime Day — or Black Friday or other days — is being offered at the absolute cheapest price. In fact, some of the “deals” on Prime Day are nothing special. To evaluate just how good any given discount is, consult a price-tracking site like CamelCamelCamel or Keepa, which show how much Amazon has been charging for different products over the past year.
Are there early Prime Day deals?
Amazon features discounts every day of the year, and yes, the site has quite a few early Prime Day deals.
Among the deals at Amazon leading up to Prime Day, which are available exclusively to Prime members unless otherwise noted:
• Toshiba 50-Inch Smart TV 4K UHD Fire TV Edition: $309.99 (list price $429.99)
• Insignia 43-Inch Smart TV 4K UHD Fire TV Edition: $219.99 (list price $319.99)
• Amazon eero 6 Dual Band Mesh Wi-Fi 6 System: $226 (list price $349)
• Blink Outdoor 3 Cam Kit Bundle With Echo Show: $159.99 (list price $334.98)
• Ring Video Doorbell: $44.99 (list price $59.99)
• From June 7 through June 10, Amazon is giving $10 bonus credits for purchasing at least $10 worth of select small business products.
• 10% back in rewards for qualifying small business purchases made with an Amazon credit card.
How much is Amazon Prime?
The only way to be eligible to buy Prime Day deals is to be a Prime member. You can get a free Amazon Prime subscription trial for 30 days if you haven’t been a member in the recent past.
After the free trial is over, Prime costs $12.99 per month or $119 per year for most people. Students and low-income people with EBT or Medicaid cards qualify for discounts of roughly 50% off. Students have a choice of paying either $6.49 per month or $59 per year for Prime membership, while consumers on government assistance programs would pay $5.99 per month.