It truly will be Black Friday in July as shoppers snap up more than a million deals on Amazon Prime Day, which begins July 15. Target and eBay also will hold competing online sales.
Amazon's annual dealfest will kick off at 3 a.m. July 15 (ET) and run 48 hours — the longest ever — with the online retailer promising the "biggest celebration of deals with limited-time offers, never-before-seen entertainment and exclusive launches," according to a news release.
This year, expect more Lightning Deals (to qualify, products must be at least 20% off), with the best prices on top-tier brands. Quantities will be limited, so plan on checking them often. There also will again be special savings at Whole Foods Market stores.
Here is what you need to know to prep for Prime Day, which celebrates the internet company's founding on July 5, 1994.
Q. Where do I find offers?
A. Go to Amazon.com/PrimeDay.
Q. Do I need an Amazon Prime membership?
A. Yes. But if you don't want to pay for an $119 annual membership, sign up now (with a credit card) for a free 30-day trial at Amazon.com/Prime to get access to the sale. College students can sign up for a six-month trial of Prime Student at Amazon.com/joinstudent. Another alternative to paying for a yearly membership: Opt for a $12.99-a-month Prime membership for one month to stock up on whatever you need. Repeat when you need to restock. Don't' forget to cancel your membership or you'll be charged.
Q. When will offers go live?
A. The sale starts at 3 a.m. Eastern on July 15 and runs through 2:59 a.m. on July 17. Amazon, based in Seattle, is running its sale on Pacific time, which accounts for why the sale ends at 2:59 a.m. in the east. For East Coasters, that means you're going to have to get up early and go to bed late to catch the start and end of the sale.
A few offers are live now.
Toshiba HD 43-inch Fire TV Edition Smart TV for $179.99 ($120 savings) through June 30 or while quantities last
Key for Garage myQ Smart Garage Hub + Amazon Cloud Cam Kit for $99.98 ($89 savings)
Prime Video offer to rent "Us," Jordan Peele's horror movie (starring Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke) for $2.99 (normally $5.99)
Q. How do I find the best deals?
A. Download the Amazon app. The free iOS or Android app will let you see offers in advance. Click "Today's Deals," then "Upcoming" to see offers. Click "Watch This Deal" so you'll be notified when the sale is about to start.
Q. What will be on sale?
A. Last year, there were crazy-good savings on HDTVs, smartphones, electronics, housewares, appliances, jewelry, toys and more. The 2018 sale featured $40 off the popular Instant Pot and big savings on 23andMe DNA test kits. Expect to find the best offers of the year on Amazon devices, such as Echo- and Alexa-enabled Fire TV Sticks, HDTVs, tablets, smart speakers, Cloud Cams and Kindles.
Q. What's Alexa got to say about all this?
A. Plenty. Ask the Amazon voice assistant "When is Prime Day? and "What are my deals?" to get a list of Gold Box deals on sale daily until the big day arrives. Also, subscribe to get Daily Deal email alerts.
Q. Will eBay and Target have deals again, too?
A. Yes! eBay's Crash Sale kicks off July 15 with 50% off deals, plus extra savings if Amazon's site crashes, the company announced. It also will launch presales on July 1-7. Look for up to 85% off stand mixers, cookware, robotic vacuums, camping gear and outdoor toys. Then, daily deals run July 8-22 with offers on electronics, smart home devices and home appliances.
Target Deal Days runs July 15-16 with "red hot online sales, no membership required" on thousands of items on Target.com and in its free app, the company said.
Expect other retailers, such as Best Buy and Walmart, to get in on the Prime Day action with their own sales.