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Amazon Prime Day 2018: How and when to find the best deals

Amazon's annual summertime sale is around the corner. Here's what to expect from this year's event.

This article originally appeared on ZDNet.

Amazon Prime Day is basically a summertime Black Friday.

Name one person who doesn't shop on Amazon. You can't do it, right? ZDNet has detailed Amazon's every move for years now, including its insane growth and the dreaded Amazon e-commerce effect on retail as whole.

But, doom and gloom aside, one of the more fun aspects of this company is its Amazon Prime Day fire-sale event. Pitched as Amazon's "holiday of savings," it's been giving Black Friday a run for its money — while also likely making Walmart and other rival stores wince with jealousy.

Here's what you need to know about Prime Day.

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Amazon celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015 by offering a full-day sales event on Amazon.com. The company offered deep discounts on Amazon-branded products as well as tens of thousands of other items from third-party sellers. The entire event, called Prime Day, was a huge success, and so Amazon has turned it into an annual sales extravaganza.

Read also: When is Amazon Prime Day 2018? (CNET)

When is Amazon Prime Day 2018?

Prime Day 2018 is starting earlier than ever — just like Black Friday. Some very early deals start July 3, 2018, but the actual Prime Day event starts at 3pm EST on July 16, 2018. Prime Day 2018 will span a full 36 hours, before ending on July 17, 2018.

Where are Amazon Prime Day 2018 deals available?

Prime Day deals are available in the US, UK, Spain, Mexico, Japan, India, Italy, Germany, France, China, Canada, Belgium, Austria,Australia, Singapore, Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

Read also: Amazon Prime Day 2018: Everything you need to know (CNET)

What can you expect from Amazon Prime Day 2018?

This year, Prime Day will feature deals at Whole Foods. Prime members in the US will receive an additional 10 percent off hundreds of sale items and "deep discounts" on select products.

Amazon is also introducing "Prime Day Launches" this year. These are special-edition products that are available just for Prime members for a limited time. One example is the Delta Trinsic Touch2O, an Alexa-enabled, voice-activated kitchen faucet.

Read also: How to make the most of Amazon Prime Day (TechRepublic)

BEST AMAZON PRIME DAY 2018 DEALS

Amazon is slowly announcing which deals will go live on Prime Day. It is safe to assume Amazon's own products will be reduced. So, expect deals on Fire TVs, Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers, and Echo devices. Elsewhere, look for Black Friday-style deals across the entire site.

Here's a few of the deals that have been announced but won't go live until Prime Day:

EARLY PRIME DAY 2018 DEALS

Here's a few of the early deals that have been announced and are already available:

Can anyone shop Amazon Prime Day?

No. Prime Day, naturally, is for Amazon Prime subscribers only. So, if you're not a paid subscriber to Amazon Prime, you can't take advantage of the deals.

Amazon Prime costs $119 per year (or $12.99 per month), plus a free 30-day trial. It gives Amazon shoppers a few distinct advantages, including free one- or two-day shipping on most items, as well as access to Prime Video, Prime Music, Prime Pantry, Prime Now, etc.

Read also: What is Amazon Prime? (CNET)

If you've never subscribed to Prime, you can get a free one-month trial. We recommend signing up in early July in order to shop Prime Day during the trial period.

Note: Amazon recently raised its annual Prime rate to $119 for newcomers; existing customers started paying the higher price on June 16. Students get 50-percent off Prime.

How to find the best deals on Amazon Prime Day 2018

Here are our tips on how to take full advantage of Amazon's sales event.

PRIME DAY 2018 HUB

If you want to a one-stop shop with all the best deals, visit the company's Prime Day 2018 hub. It'll have the lowest prices and sales across a range of categories. Last year, a new deal was posted every five minutes over the course of the 30-hour Prime Day sale.

VOICE-SHOP WITH AMAZON ALEXA

Last year, Amazon gave certain people a two-hour head start on the deals if they voice-shopped with Alexa. It did the same thing with Black Friday — giving voice shoppers a seven-hour lead. To order something by voice, just say to your Alexa device, "Alexa, what are your deals" followed by "Alexa, add [the item] to my cart." Alexa will confirm your order, but if you prefer, you can set up a 4-digit pin within the Alexa app to prevent unintended purchases.

AMAZON ASSISTANT

Amazon Assistant is a free browser plugin (for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Microsoft Edge) that lets you watch for product comparisons, provides shortcuts to popular Amazon hubs, and issues desktop notifications when deals that you're watching go live.

DEALS OF THE DAY, LIGHTING DEALS, AND PRIME EARLY ACCESS DEALS

Amazon also has its regular " Gold Box Deals of the Day." However, since it is Prime Day, these sales should be extra noteworthy. If Prime Day 2018 is like last year's event, there will be new deals going live every five minutes, including "Lightning Deals", which are limited-time and often end in minutes. And finally, Prime Early Access deals are a type of Lightning Deal that are specifically for Prime members. Amazon typically gives Prime members 30-minute early access to certain deals, though all deals are available while supplies last.

To stay on top of all these different deals, use Amazon's app, where you can view most deals 24 hours in advance and sign up for alerts. You can also go here to see deals you're watching. You can even get the deals delivered to you via Amazon's daily deals email.

AMAZON COUPONS

Did you know Amazon.com has coupons?

There's actually an entire hub on Amazon where you can find coupons for electronics, pet supplies, toys, and other items. Just go to Amazon.com, then click on the link at the top for "Today's Deals," and in the menu of subitems, click on "Coupons" (or use this link).

When you find an item you want to buy, click on the "Clip this coupon" button near the price to automatically clip the coupon. When you're all done shopping, go to your cart and check out. In the cart details, you will see the coupon amounts deducted from your total.

TRY CAMELCAMELCAMEL, WIKIBUY, OR HONEY

If you want to check a deal's price against what Amazon has charged in the past, try CamelCamelCamel. It's a free Amazon price tracker that monitors millions of products.

Wikibuy browser is similar to CamelCamelCamel — only it's an extension for Chrome that lets you check to see if a deal is at its lowest price on the web. Another extension you should try is Honey. It instantly informs you if any third-party sellers have the same product for a lower price.

CHECK COMPETITOR SITES

Finally, be sure to check other shopping sites. Walmart, Best Buy, and other retailers have been known to roll our their own sales on Prime Day in an attempt to lure shoppers.

Is Amazon Prime Day bigger than Black Friday?

Yes. Last year, Amazon kicked off Prime Day with 30 hours of deals, and it later reported a sales uptick of more than 60 per cent compared to the previous year.

In fact, Prime Day 2017 sales were higher than both the 2016 Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping holidays combined. As for the best-selling item that year, it was Amazon's own Echo Dot speaker, which was priced at $35, down from the regular $50 price tag.

About Élyse Betters

Élyse Betters is an editor at ZDNet and Pocket-lint. In the past, she's been an editor at 9to5Mac and 9to5Google. She's also been a contributor at BBC News. Elyse has covered the technology industry since 2011, publishing news, commentary, and review...

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