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How to Get the Best Deals on Amazon Prime Day

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Starting last night, Amazon’s 3rd annual flash sale, called Prime Day, went live. The big event runs for 30 hours, ending at 3am EST on Wednesday, July 12. So, shoppers still have plenty of time to take advantage of hundreds of huge deals on the site.

So, what is Amazon Prime Day, and how can you make the most of this big shopping event?

Prime Day is for Prime Members

As the name suggests, Amazon’s epic Prime Day is reserved for Prime members. But don’t fret if you haven’t signed up yet!

Prime membership runs $100 a year, or $12 a month. Amazon also offers a free 30-day trial, if you’d like to try the service before committing to the $100 annual fee.

If you aren’t yet a Prime member (why not?!), there’s still time to sign up and take advantage of Prime Day. Simply visit this page and either sign up for a membership (annual or month-to-month) or just the free trial. Then, get to shopping.

The Types of Deals

There are two basic types of deals on Prime Day: spotlight deals and lightning deals.

Spotlight deals are all-day discounts offered on hundreds of items throughout the site. These include deals like 33% off of a Roomba robotic vacuum or 51% off Sony Wireless Headphones. You’ll find discounts on pretty much every Amazon-branded product available, like the popular Echo Dot with Alexa technology. You can also snag magazine subscriptions for as low as $0.99 for 5 issues (Country Living and Redbook are two on the list).

Lightning deals are limited-stock items that are typically offered at even greater savings. The catch is, though, that these deals go quick (hence the “lightning”).

The items being offered as lightning deals are available at different times, and are offered until they sell out. These items go live as often as every 5 minutes, so you’ll need to be quick if you want to snag the next big deal.

When Will I Get My Stuff?

The glorious part of Prime membership — aside from being able to participate in Prime Day, of course — is that shipping for Prime items is two days or less.

Many Prime items now come with Next Day shipping, and some are even lucky enough to have Same Day delivery! You’ll also have access to Prime Now, the service that can deliver select items, groceries, and household goods in as little as two hours.

I’ve used Prime Now many times. It has saved me a trip to the grocery store in rush hour traffic. I’ve also used it to send ice cream treats to the house when a babysitter was there with my kids. I’ll admit, the service has spoiled me rotten.

There’s Not Much Time Left!

If you want to take advantage of the Prime Day deals you’ll need to act fast. The deals continue until 3 a.m. EST tonight, or until the lightning deals sell out.

Remember, Prime Day is only available to Prime Members, so you’ll need to at least sign up for a free 30-day trial if you want to snag a big discount. Now, what are you waiting for? Hop on over to Amazon and start shopping!

What’s the best deal you snagged for Prime Day?

Published or updated July 11, 2017.

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About the author

Stephanie is the managing editor at Consumerism Commentary, as well as a contributing writer. She graduated from Baylor University with a Biology degree, but has since found a passion for personal finance. She also writes for a number of other sites -- including Dough Roller, Five Cent Nickel, and allCards -- in addition to running her small business, Pink Orchid Press. Stephanie lives in Washington, DC with her two sons and a German Shepherd. View all articles by .

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