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Some Amazon Prime Day tips before you click 'buy'

Prime Day is happening on two days: July 11 and July 12.
A package from Amazon Prime is loaded for delivery on a truck
Posted at 10:59 AM, Jul 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-11 10:59:45-04

Amazon Prime Day is back, and so is the temptation to shop and overspend on stuff you don’t need.

The made-up holiday, first held in 2015, has become one of Amazon’s busiest shopping days, offering discounts on gadgets, TVs and other goods. But it’s also a way for Amazon to get more people to sign up for its $139 annual Prime membership.

Despite its name, Prime Day is happening on two days: July 11 and July 12.

Here are some tips for navigating the sales holiday:

Plan ahead

To cut down on impulse purchases, write down what you want ahead of time and set a spending limit, says Ross Steinman, a professor of psychology at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Sara Skirboll, a shopping expert at deals site RetailMeNot, recommends setting up a "Wish List" on the Amazon app and allowing it to send notifications so you can get alerts if those items get a price cut.

Slow down

Use the two days of discounts to your advantage. Before you buy, give yourself some time to think about whether you actually need the items you’re eyeing. It can help cut down on overspending, says Steinman.

“You have some time to cool off,” he says.

Prime workaround

The deals are only for Prime members. But if you’re not a member, you don’t have to pay the fee to take part. Amazon offers a 30-day free trial when you sign up for Prime. Just remember to set a calendar reminder to cancel the subscription before you are charged $14.99 a month or $139 for the year.

An Amazon Prime box moves through the new Amazon Fulfillment Center in Sacramento.

Better Business Bureau warns of Amazon Prime Day scams

As millions of people look for deals during Amazon Prime Day and competing sales this week, the Better Business Bureau has an urgent warning.

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Shop around

Other stores are crashing Amazon's party, which means more deals for shoppers. WalmartTarget and eBay are offering their own discounts during Amazon’s Prime Day event. So make sure to search other sites to make sure an item isn't less expensive elsewhere.

Price history

Use price tracking websites, such as CamelCamelCamel or Keepa, to see how the price of an item has changed on Amazon over time. It can help you see if you're really getting the lowest price or if the item tends to be cheaper during other times of the year.

"Just because something is on sale doesn't mean it's a great deal," says Skirboll.