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By Brad Tuttle
July 13, 2015

Wednesday, July 15, is shaping up as the summertime Black Friday that Amazon.com envisioned. But Amazon may not have pictured that one of the main reasons the day will be a huge sales event is because Walmart is involved.

Soon after Amazon.com announced it would be hosting a huge Black Friday-like sale called Prime Day on Wednesday, July 15, analysts noted that it would likely inspire the competition to piggyback on the event with special summertime online sales promotions of their own.

And wouldn’t you know it? Walmart is doing just that. Starting today, Walmart lowered the threshold for free standard shipping with online purchases from $50 to $35, and the $35 minimum order policy will remain in effect for at least 30 days.

What’s more, when Amazon kicks off its sales event on Wednesday for members of its $99-per-year Prime service, Walmart will introduce thousands of exclusive discounts for online purchases on the very same day. And Walmart is making a big point of the fact that its sale merchandise can be purchased by anyone, not only those who belong to a paid subscription service like Amazon Prime.

According to a blog post from Walmart published on Monday, the world’s largest retailer’s sale is all about “standing up for our customers and everyone else who sees no rhyme or reason for paying a premium to save.” Walmart spokesperson Ravi Jariwala took an even more direct swipe at Amazon and Prime when he told USA Today, “We just don’t believe you should pay a fee to get a better price.”

Neither Amazon nor Walmart has released the details about prices or what, exactly, will be on sale. But both are promising huge discounts, with Walmart hyping up that it will have “some special atomic deals.”

UPDATE: In reaction to Walmart’s comments and announced sale, Amazon released a statement from Greg Greeley, vice president of Amazon Prime:

“We’ve heard some retailers are charging higher prices for items in their physical stores than they do for the same items online. The idea of charging your in-store customers more than your online customers doesn’t add up for us, but it’s a good reminder that you’re usually better off shopping online. Prime Day is the day after tomorrow. If you’re already one of the tens of millions of Prime members, you’re all set. If you’re not a member, you’re still invited to Prime Day — just take advantage of our 30-day free trial at amazon.com/prime.”

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The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

EDIT POST