Steals, deals and things to avoid on Amazon Prime Day

Posted at 7:07 AM, Jul 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-16 17:27:31-04

Amazon Prime Day is set to begin at 3 p.m. on Monday, July 16 and last for the following 36 hours, but Amazon kick-started the savings early with markdowns on a number of their own products.

Early Monday morning, deals appeared on the website with deals on items like Amazon Echo Dot, the Amazon Fire TV Stick and the newer Amazon Echo Show. The deals on Amazon items appear, in many cases, to be matching the lowest prices we’ve ever seen.

As usual, the biggest “doorbuster” type sales expected will be electronics, but Amazon has promised deals on more than 1 million products over the 36 hours of this year’s Prime Day (the longest to date).

While grabbing a deal is important, it’s also important to keep a level head and spend smart. That’s why 7 Action News’ Matthew Smith has compiled a list of best practices to help you make the most of this year’s Amazon Prime Day.


  • SIGN UP FOR A FREE 30-DAY TRIAL: Amazon Prime Day is specifically for Prime customers, but that doesn’t mean you have to commit to the $119 service. Sure, signing up for Amazon Prime will help you with shipping costs, allow you access to its streaming service and give you insider access to deals — but if you’re here for one day only, don’t waste your hard-earned money. You’ll find Amazon offers a 30-day trial for prospective customers that will allow you to participate in Amazon Prime Day without purchasing a membership but keep in mind that you’ll want to cancel it before the 30 days are up. Amazon automatically updates you to a paid membership at the end of the 30-day trial if you haven’t canceled.
  • SET UP YOUR ACCOUNT BEFORE THE SALES START: Prime Day has limited items for sale, and the sales don’t last start-to-finish. In many cases, a sale may only last a few hours, and in other cases, they may only have a number of products available for the special price. The smart shoppers will sign up for their Amazon Prime trial (if you’re not a member already), and fill out credit card information along with proper shipping details so you can speed up the purchase process.
  • UTILIZE THE AMAZON APPS/WAITLIST FEATURE: The Amazon app allows you to track upcoming deals and get push-notifications when a deal is about to start; that’s important if there’s a finite amount of items for sale that you’re searching for. This isn’t a traditional, “marathon, not a sprint” scenario. The reality is the deals stretch like a marathon, but certain items ARE a sprint. Some items are only available on sale for a few hours or less. Waitlists are a helpful tool for this reason. If you see a sale that’s already maxed out, you shouldn’t give up. If someone fails to finish the purchase (see our last “DO” suggestion to speed up the checkout process) in a specific timeframe, the item will go back up for grabs for the next person in line, which is why Amazon allows a “waitlist” for products that are in high-demand.


  • FALL FOR SCAMS: Just as Amazon brings out customers in droves, it unintentionally brings out the scammers too. One of the most common scams is a fake email thanking customers for their recent order. It’s not unusual to get an email from Amazon, but you must be careful when clicking on links within emails — scammers tend to “clone” the Amazon page and will do any number of things, including offering gift cards and require you to log in, essentially giving them your login and password — a major issue since your credit card information is tied to your account. Before you ever click on an email, double-check the email for some tell-tale signs of a possible scam. You can read more details from the Better Business Bureau about the type of things you should watch out for.
  • ASSUME AMAZON IS THE ONLY DEAL: Amazon Prime Day is the new Christmas in July, and they’ve essentially created a holiday of their own. That doesn’t mean you can’t find deals elsewhere. Walmart, Macy’s and other big box retailers have started to offer their own deep discounts during Amazon Prime Day to avoid losing customers. Also, while Prime Day is a huge day of discounts, not all of them will be the lowest prices of the year. Amazon promises more than 1 million items on sale, but that doesn’t mean that all of those items will be marked down to the best price of the year. Keep in mind that once you’re hooked you’re more likely to spend, so plan accordingly.
  • SPEND MORE THAN YOU CAN AFFORD: The beauty of Prime Day is the countless deals, the pitfall is that you may find yourself outspending your means. It’s smart to plan a list of things you’re looking for and sticking to the list. PNC Bank has more ideas on how to prevent yourself from overspending when shopping online.


Amazon released a number of sales early that you can purchase before Prime Day even begins. That includes:

- Toshiba 50-inch 4K Fire TV $289.99 (regularly $399.99)
- Amazon Echo Dot $29.99 (regularly $49.99)
- Amazon Echo Show $129.99 (regularly $229.99)
- Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote $19.99 (regularly $39.99)

Per usual, the hot items for Prime Day is expected to be electronics ranging from 4K TVs to GoPros and laptops. With more than 1 million deals expected, you can imagine they’ll extend far beyond electronics, though.

If you’re looking for a deal, but you’re not sure what you’re looking for, a good leaping off point is Tom's Guide.

Over at Tom’s Guide, they’ve already started comparing deals between competitors that are offering up deep discounts. You’ll also find a running list of the best purchases throughout the 36-hour sale. They’ve already got a number of deals they’ve spotted ranging from speakers to pressure cookers and cameras. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, Tom’s Guide is a great spot that will highlight the best deals.