Amazon announced that there will indeed be a Prime Day sales event this year — but it'll happen in mid-October, not July like usual. Amazon Prime Day 2020 officially takes place on October 13 and October 14.
Prime Day was first launched in 2015 as a summertime version of Black Friday — only all the deals are online, and they're only available to members of the Amazon Prime subscription service. The event has traditionally taken place in July, and the "day" has been expanded to two days. In 2019, Prime Day rolled out well over a million deals over the course of a couple days, with major discounts on Amazon devices, Instant Pots, smart TVs, and more.
Prime Day 2020 was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and though many news outlets have previously reported rumors that it would shift to autumn, Amazon had not confirmed the October dates until September 28. Like usual, Amazon is promising "incredible savings and deep discounts on over one million deals across every category" for this year's version of Prime Day, as well as some special promotions available before Prime Day. (Scroll down to see more details on these below).
And, like usual, the deals on Prime Day are available exclusively to Prime members. If you don't have a subscription, it may be a good time to consider signing up. Here's where you can sign up for a 30-day free trial of Prime, the service that includes free two-day (or faster) shipping on most Amazon purchases, plus free unlimited streaming of movies, TV shows, and music content, among other perks. After the free trial, Amazon Prime usually costs $12.99 per month or $119 per year.
Here's more information about Prime Day 2020:
When Is Amazon Prime Day?
The first Amazon Prime Day 2020 deals go live at midnight PT (3 a.m. ET) on Tuesday, October 13, and sales run through Wednesday, October 14.
What Are the Best Prime Day Deals?
Amazon rarely announces specific sales details before promotions go live. Yet looking back on previous Prime Day sales can give a pretty good indication of what shoppers can expect starting October 13. For Prime Day 2019, the deals were heavy on Amazon devices, electronics, and home goods, including great discounts on Apple MacBooks, TCL smart Roku TVs, Vitamix blenders, vacuums from brands like Roomba and Shark, and more.
We wouldn't be surprised if there's a great deal on Amazon Prime Day (or Black Friday, which isn't far away) for Apple AirPods Pro earbuds either: Recently, Amazon and a couple other retailers offered the best AirPods Pro deal we've ever seen, with a $50 discount off the regular price ($199, rather than $249).
Are There Good Deals Before Amazon Prime Day?
Yes, Amazon has some "pre-Prime Day" deals available, also only for Prime subscribers. For example, as of Monday, September 28, Prime members could buy a pair of Echo Dot smart speakers for $39.98. How good of a deal is this? Well, the list price is normally $49.99 each. So you can now buy two Echo Dots for less than the regular price of one. (For the sake of comparison, during Black Friday promotions last year, Amazon was offering them for $22 apiece — although you didn't need to be a Prime member to take advantage of the sale.)
[UPDATE: As it turns out, the early Echo Dot deal wasn't as good as the one available on Prime Day itself. On Tuesday, October 13, Amazon was listing Echo Dots on sale for $18.99 each for Prime members. In other words, the price was cheaper than the early Prime Day sale, and there was no requirement to buy them in sets of two.]
As of Monday, October 12, Amazon had some special Amazon device deals available only to Prime members. The Amazon Echo Show 5, for example, was on sale for $44.99, or 50% off the $89.99 list price.
Another early deal: Prime members can get a $10 credit to spend on Prime Day when they spend at least $10 this week at Amazon-owned Whole Foods stores, or by placing an order worth at least $10 for pickup or delivery with Whole Foods.
Also, Amazon is giving Prime members extra incentive to make purchases from small businesses in advance of Prime Day. Now through October 12, when you spend $10 with a small business partnered with Amazon, you'll get $10 from Amazon that you can spend on Prime Day.
How to Get the Best Deals on Amazon Prime Day
With over a million different promotions being hyped on Amazon Prime Day, it can seem impossible to tell which "deals" are actually good deals. Amazon, like other retailers, is prone to promoting short-lived sales that look amazing at first glance — but are truly nothing special in the grand scheme of things.
Our advice for sifting through deals on Amazon Prime Day (and every day, really) is to ignore Amazon list prices entirely. List prices, as well as "original," "regular," and "compare to" prices, are often misleading and inflated. A big reason that high list prices are so common is that they enable retailers to create excitement when they inevitably roll out huge discounts on them.
To tell if a deal is genuinely special, look instead at a product's pricing history. In particular, you'll want to see what the product's price was during major sales events, like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and previous Amazon Prime Days. If the new price you see for a product is comparable or better to what was offered during these other days known for great deals, then it's highly likely that the promotion is indeed outstanding.
To help you with price comparisons, here are our roundups of the best deals from Amazon Prime Day last year, as well as the best deals at Amazon on Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019. You can also type in a product name and look up its pricing history using helpful tracking services like CamelCamelCamel and Keepa. These price-tracking services will show that, for example, that the Echo Dot smart speaker may have a regular list price of $49.99, but over the past year it's regularly been discounted to $30 — and dropped as low as $22 around the Thanksgiving-Cyber Monday period in 2019.
There's some classic consumer advice to keep in mind too: Shop around. During previous Prime Day sales events, Amazon competitors like Target, Walmart, and Macy's launched their own assortment of flashy deals, and this year they'll probably do the same. In fact, Target has already announced a 48-hour "Deals Day" event, with special sales and promotions on (you guessed it) October 13 and 14.