Ryan P. Cleary
Prime Day is Here! Don’t be Caught by the Frenzy
Updated: Aug 2, 2019
Every year Amazon runs an event in July for Prime Members which is advertised as having great deals on thousands of items. While there are great opportunities, it is essential to keep a few things in mind when shopping.
What is your budget?
Before you even visit Amazon, you need to look at your finances and ask yourself “can I afford this right now?” If you have any form of high interest debt (like credit cards), have unpaid bills, or aren’t currently putting money into savings each month we recommend waiting until the holidays before chasing good deals (Prime often isn’t the best deals anyways).
If you do have available funds, set a limit before you start making purchases. It is very easy to be caught in the buying frenzy, but a little self-discipline can make the effort worthwhile.
Check your deals using a price tracker.
While Amazon is not as notorious for this, some third party Amazon sellers raise their prices before Prime Day and then offer “discounts” to trick buyers. Don’t fall for it! We have two favorite price trackers (that we’ve mentioned before in our holiday guide) that we suggest using to make sure you’re getting a deal:
Keepa is ideal for Amazon shoppers, tracking the pricing on over 600 million products. You can look up a specific product, view a detailed graph of historic pricing, and even install a browser extension. Keepa is also allows you to set price drop and availability alerts for specific items.
CamelCamelCamel is very similar to Keepa, but is focused primarily on the US Amazon store. With a simpler interface, CamelCamelCamel may be less daunting than Keepa for some users.
Have a list of interest items going in and stick to it.
Remember that “savings” from sales aren’t really savings if you weren’t already planning on buying an item. It can be easy to see an interesting product that you can picture yourself owning with a seemingly good price and add it to your cart without thinking. This is what retailers like Amazon count on: impulse purchases. When the item arrives in 1-2 shipping days, you may have some buyer’s remorse.
The good news is that you can avoid this by keeping a shopping list of items you normally buy or have been looking for a good deal on (household items you often buy at the grocery store, a new tablecloth because your old one is showing its age, a replacement for your dying toaster, etc.). Using this list you can have the best of both worlds: great deals and planned for purchases.
It is ok to have regrets.
We have all been there. Something looked great in the store, you get home, and quickly ask yourself “why did I by that?” The nice thing about Amazon is that it often has a generous returns policy. If you realize you overspent or something isn’t really what you want just send it back!
What’s worth buying (and avoiding) on Prime Day?
Amazon Devices: Prime Day is a great time to pick up a Kindle, Echo, or Fire Stick. Though sales are frequent, Prime Day and Black Friday tend to have the best pricing (good news if these aren’t on your list: Black Friday isn’t far off!)
Digital Products: Amazon often has great sales on their digital subscription products like Kindle Unlimited, Amazon Music Unlimited, and FreeTime Unlimited.
Consoles and Video Games: While there can be good deals, often the Holiday Season has better ones. While the pricing may be the same, retail stores often provide bundles and gift cards that offer more value.
Accessories: Since Prime Day is an excuse to clear its shelves, Amazon has lots of discounts on accessories for phones, electronics, even clothing. These are worth searching for!
Laptops and Computers: The best time of year to make these purchases are during back to school sales during August and Black Friday. While past years have not been worthwhile, there are a few deals out there this year. We suggest checking only if you are greatly in need of a laptop now- otherwise, wait just a few weeks.
TVs: Don’t even bother- Black Friday/Cyber Monday are your prime days for deals. You are unlikely to find anything that comes close.
Cameras: Again, not usually well priced compared to other deals. The best time to purchase a camera is near the end of the year when new models are being released.
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