mazon’s biggest sale of the year, Amazon Prime Day, starts Tuesday, July 12. Amazon Prime Day, which began as a single-day sale, has now become a 2-day event that runs through July 13 to give bargain hunters more opportunity to shop for great deals.
Amazon Prime Day can feel overwhelming. There are many products on sale, and some of the most popular items selling quickly due to high demand. It can be hard to know whether you’re actually getting a good deal on that 50-inch flat-screen TV you didn’t know you needed. We have some suggestions to make sure you don’t spend too much on this sale.
Make a list—and check it twice
“I would definitely make a list,” says Stefanie Lew, a mother of two in Oakland, Calif., and longtime Amazon Prime member.
Lew, an online clothing buyer keeps a list of all her needs throughout the year on Amazon. She opens her Amazon Prime Day list to see what’s on sale.
A list helps you avoid impulse shopping, according to Trae Bodge. “Shoppers should make a list of what they want and need and try to stick to it.” Boge says it is important to be honest with yourself about what you can actually afford and whether you have “wiggle room” in your budget. “If not, you might need to sit this one out.”
Impulse purchasing is more prevalent. OnePoll conducted a recent Slickdeals poll and found that 33% (73%) of people surveyed said their impulse buying tends to occur. This is up from 59% last year. People who don’t want to buy unnecessary products might avoid going to bed at night. According to the study, 37% of total impromptu buying was done by bed-sitting shoppers.
Do your due diligence
Even with all the hype around Amazon’s mega sale, from themed goodie bags being given out at Whole Foods to constant commercials online and on TV, don’t assume Prime Day’s sale always offers the lowest price, says Bodge. “Before checking out, Google the name of the item to get a sense of how it’s priced elsewhere,” she says. “Remember that other retailers will be offering competitive sales, so the best deal could be on Amazon or it could be at another retailer.”
Allow others to do all the hard work
If there is a specific item you have in mind, make sure you are getting the best prices by setting a “Deal Alert” on a site like Slickdeals, says Bodge. “That way, you’ll be alerted to where it’s on sale and for how much.”
If you do see that the price has dropped on an item you want to purchase, don’t wait too long to submit your order, says Kimberly Palmer, personal finance expert at NerdWallet. “Some of the most popular items are likely to sell out,” she says. Amazon-branded goods, like the Echo and Kindles, are the most popular categories.
Don’t fixate on the discount
Amazon can be defeated if you are an educated shopper. CamelCamelCamelCamel has been recommended by Caroline Vencil (budgeting expert). “It’s an Amazon price tracker so that you can actually see the trends on the products that are on sale to see if they will be a better buy on Prime Day,” says Vencil. “Or [whether] to wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to buy.”
CamelCamelCamel can also display price changes before Prime Day. This will help you determine if you’re getting a good deal on the product you want. “Seeing how prices were lower more than a month before Prime Day and were then increased as Prime Day approaches shows the urgency created around these days and the sale prices,” says Vencil. “Using this as a tool to really help you decide if a deal is actually a good deal and not some kind of faux percentage discount will help [you]Decide if this is the right time to purchase and [how] to be an informed consumer.”
Stick to your budget
You need to go into Prime Day “knowing exactly what you can spend,” says Kia McCallister-Young, director of America Saves, a campaign managed by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America. “Do this before you even start to peek at what deals are available.” You’ll want to consider all of your income, any upcoming expenses, and, most importantly, what you’re saving for. “Don’t lose sight of the big savings goals and expenses coming up,” she says.
Jessi Fearon, author of “Getting Good with Money,” recommends keeping one thing in mind when it comes to Prime Day or any big sales. “If it doesn’t fit into your spending budget, it’s too expensive no matter how deep the discount may be.”
Bodge says that by entering Prime Day with a limit on your spending, impulse purchases can be discouraged. “You will shop much more mindfully if you only have so much to spend.” And, if none of these approaches work, using a debit card rather than a credit card can make it easier, says Boge.
“If you don’t have it, you can’t spend it.”
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