— Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. However, our picks and opinions are independent from USA Today’s newsroom and any business incentives.
Summer is in full swing, and while most people are getting excited about barbecues and pool parties and summer vacations, we're over here eagerly awaiting Amazon Prime Day. The online retail giant's annual Prime member-only sale comes every July, and is basically the Black Friday of the summer (if not better). Each year since Amazon first announced the summer event in 2015, the sales on Prime Day get bigger and better, so we're pretty excited about what the fourth annual sale will bring.
When is Amazon Prime Day 2018?
This year, Amazon Prime Day will begin on Monday, July 16 at 12 p.m. PST (3 p.m. EST). It's a little later than usual, but Amazon is extending Prime Day to 36 hours, which means you'll have a day and a half to cash in on some incredible sales on your favorite products. The sale will officially come to a close on July 17 until 11:59 p.m. PST (2:59 a.m. EST on July 18).
Amazon is also offering Prime members new deals every day leading up to Prime Day. Right now, you can get $100 off an Echo Show, save on Amazon Basics products, get 50% off Prime Video, DVDs and Blu-Ray, and get memberships for Amazon Music Unlimited, Kindle Unlimited, Twitch Prime, and Audible for discounted prices.
What to expect from this year's sales
This is only the fourth year Prime Day has taken place, so while we have a pretty good idea of what kinds of sales to expect, there's always a chance Amazon will throw a curveball and do something new.
Amazon loves giving love to their devices on Prime Day and will be offering double the deals on these items compared to last year's Prime Day. Plus, they will be offering biggest deals yet on Alexa-enabled products like Echo, Fire TV, and Fire tablets, as well as sign-up offers for things like Audible, Amazon Music Unlimited, and Amazon Fresh. You can also expect for some well-known brands like Delta, Coleman, and Moto to launch exclusive new items, content, and special-edition products know as Prime Day Launches.
This year, you'll also be able to celebrate Prime Day in person at your local Whole Foods Market. Prime members can receive an additional 10 percent off hundreds of sale items throughout the stores and huge discounts on select popular products, so you may want to hold off your weekly grocery shopping until Prime Day. To access these deals you'll need to download the Whole Foods Market app and scan the Prime Code. Additionally, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa cardmembers with Prime memberships can also get 10% back when shopping at Whole Foods Market on up to a total of $400 in purchases.
Beyond that, there will surely be a bunch of deals that can be ordered through Alexa, so Echo owners should be sure to ask Alexa "What are your deals?" when as Prime Day gets closer (there are always daily Alexa deals, so it's good to do this whenever you think of it).
Last year, we saw the most deals on TVs and other electronics, home goods, kitchen accessories, and smart home devices. There were also offers on phones, laptops, wearables, power tools, sporting goods, toys, clothing, groceries, and more. The problem in these categories was that most of the offers were either not very good discounts or not very good products, so the selection of worthwhile deals was much smaller.
The Reviewed team will be working practically around the clock on Prime Day to sift through all the sales and find the best sales on quality products that are actually better than everyday discounts.
How can I get ready for Prime Day?
Prime Day savings are only available for Prime members. If you’re not already enrolled, you can get all the perks of Prime in time for the sale with a 30-day free trial. If you don’t want to keep it (membership is $12.99/month or $119/year), you can just cancel your trial after Prime Day is over. But, you might find that two-day shipping and access to all the other Prime member benefits (including Amazon Fresh, Prime Video, Prime Wardrobe, and more) make the annual fee well worth it.
Once you’ve got Prime, your best bet is to make a list of the items you want and need. This could be general (“I want a good TV at a great price”) or more specific (“I really hope the Instant Pot will be on sale"), but it'll be extra helpful when you're looking for offers you actually care about in a sea of discounts and lightning deals. I recommend getting the Amazon app and creating a Prime Day wish list. This way, you'll get push notifications when something on your list goes on sale.
Are other retailers holding sales too?
The first time Amazon held Prime Day, it was just like any other online retailer sale. But now that it's gaining more and more traction, other retailers have started running specials that coincide with Prime Day to capitalize on the increased interest in online shopping. We expect plenty of other big-name retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, and Home Depot, as well as niche brands like Sephora, Pottery Barn, and Nordstrom to hold sales around this time too. The summer tends to be a bit of a lull for retail sales, but Amazon's annual event gives shoppers the right incentive to buy more this time of year, so it makes sense other brands want in on that cash cow.