Amazon Prime Day 2020: Everything you need to know about the biggest savings event of the year

Kristine Solomon
·7 mins read

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Amazon Prime Day
Amazon Prime Day

Ever since Amazon announced that Prime Day 2020 will kick off on Tuesday, October 13, there have been only three words on our lips: deals, deals, deals!

In fact, the Prime Day Early Deals have already started, but Prime Day itself is a whole other beast. This two-day shopping bonanza (it runs through the end of October 14) is arguably the biggest savings event of the year, with deep discounts on everything from Amazon devices (Echo, Fire, Kindle) and other electronics to countertop appliances, beauty and wellness products, toys and fashion for the whole family.

Amazon Prime Day is major. Last year, the shopping event sold 175 million products and raked in $7.16 billion worldwide. This year, there will be more than one million deals globally in 48 hours—and the sales are constantly changing. There’s a lot you need to know in order to score the best deals possible before they sell out.

Here are 10 crucial things every shopper should know about Prime Day 2020.

Prime Day is usually in July but was pushed to October this year—so the deals are competing with Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Amazon Prime Day Black Friday Cyber Monday
Amazon Prime Day Black Friday Cyber Monday

The pandemic upended the timing of just about everything this year, and Amazon Prime Day was no exception. Prime Day is usually a summer event—it took place July 15 through 16 last year—but this year, its October launch makes it “a sort of kickoff for the holiday shopping season,” says Julie Ramhold, Consumer Analyst with, to Yahoo Life.

There’s a strong chance Amazon will really throw down the gauntlet, enticing shoppers to make their holiday purchases a little early in the gift-shopping season by offering deals they just can’t refuse. Other retailers are anticipating this, in fact, by launching their own big sales to coincide with Prime Day.

“Walmart and Target jumped on board to offer competing sales during Prime Day,” notes Sara Skirboll, Shopping and Trends Editor for RetailMeNot. In fact, the company’s research revealed that this year, retailers are way more likely than they were in 2019 to offer their deepest discounts during Amazon Prime Day rather than on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

You have to be an Amazon Prime member to shop the deals on Prime Day

Amazon Prime memberships
Amazon Prime memberships

If you haven’t yet been convinced to become an Amazon Prime member, let Prime Day 2020 be the tipping point for you. You’re not going to want to miss this year’s deals, especially since experts have such high expectations.

Becoming an Amazon Prime member entitles you to a lot of things other than Prime Day shopping, too. You can get fast, free shipping year-round (sometimes same-day); stream tons of movies, TV shows, music and podcasts for free; and use the site’s customized Prime Wardrobe experience.

Plus, Amazon is offering a 30-day free trial for new sign-ups. So if you join Amazon Prime today, you’ll have free membership during the Prime Day extravaganza—and then you can decide if you want to continue your membership for $13 a month.

Prime Day deals sell out fast! The Amazon mobile app will help you catch them in time—and simplify your shopping experience

Amazon Prime Day mobile app
Amazon Prime Day mobile app

You don’t have to stay glued to your computer screen if you download the Amazon mobile app. The night before Prime Day is the best time to start going through the upcoming deals there.

“Mark anything you're interested in as ‘watching’ so you'll receive a notification before it goes live,” says Ramhold. “This way you'll know if there's anything you want to wake up in the middle of the night for. Largely the best deals will be during the ‘normal’ waking hours, but Amazon has had some winners listed before the sun comes up in previous years.”

The Amazon app also offers app-exclusive benefits, like tracking orders in real time and the ability to chat with customer representatives.

If you miss a Lightning Deal, you might still be able to shop it

Lightning Deals pop up all throughout the two-day Prime Day event, and these deals usually disappear fast! But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re gone forever.

“If a Lightning Deal is sold out, don't despair,” says Ramhold. “See if you can join the waitlist for the item. Often shoppers will throw items into their carts and then decide whether they want them or not [at checkout].” If a Lightning Deal is deleted from someone’s cart, you might be the next in line to snap it up.

Electronics are consistently the top-selling products on Prime Day—and clothes are the most overlooked

Prime Day Amazon Basics clothing (Photo: Amazon)
Prime Day Amazon Basics clothing (Photo: Amazon)

Prime Day historically brings the deepest discounts on electronics,” says Skirboll. “In fact, electronics remain the most popular item to shop for on Prime Day, as 70 percent of shoppers [polled by RetailMeNot] plan to purchase items in this category.”

The top-selling electronics of all are, unsurprisingly, Amazon’s own line of products, such as Kindle, Fire and Echo. That’s because “with Prime Day being an Amazon-centric holiday, it's likely going to be a better day to shop for any of Amazon's house brands,” says Ramhold.

So don’t overlook Amazon’s best-selling fashion brands either—especially AmazonBasics, which Ramhold believes will be heavily discounted. Skirboll suggests keeping an eye on Amazon fashion deals too. “While shoppers focus mostly on home devices, goods and appliances, there have historically been deals across beauty and fashion categories as well. Shoppers can likely look forward to savings on fashion for the whole family,” she says.

Prime Day is giving small businesses an extra push this year—and Amazon will pay you to buy from them

This year, Amazon has curated a selection of small business sellers on its platform and is offering early bird shoppers a cash incentive to support these mom-and-pop shops by purchasing their goods ahead of Prime Day.

Start shopping small business collections in the U.S. based on product category, business location and owner profiles. If you spend $10 on Amazon’s small business merch by October 12, Amazon will give you a $10 credit to use on Prime Day.

Amazon will also pay you $100 (to spend on Prime Day deals!) if you sign up for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card  (Photo: Amazon)
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card (Photo: Amazon)

One smart way to shop Prime Day is by charging all of your purchases on an Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, which offers 25 percent back on best-sellers for Prime Day. Anyone who signs up now will also receive a $100 Amazon gift card instantly.

Membership has other benefits too. An Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card gets you five percent back when you shop at Amazon and Whole Foods; two percent back at gas stations, restaurants and drugstores; and one percent back on utilities and ride shares.

Amazon is also having a Prime Day sweepstakes—and you could win a $1,000 Amazon gift card

There’s yet another way to earn money by shopping Prime Day, but this one’s a little more of a gamble. If you’re good with a camera—or just an Instagram ace, or anyone, really—consider entering the Amazon Photos Prime Day Photos Sweepstakes.

All you have to do is download the Amazon Photos app, share a photo that shows “how Prime delivers joy,” tag your pic with on Instagram and @amazonphotos on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #PrimeDayPhotos. Then—voila!—you’re entered for a chance to be one of 30 winners who will receive a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

The Amazon Live streaming platform will spotlight the best deals and broadcast interviews with popular sellers

This year, Amazon will be live-streaming video content throughout Prime Day on its Amazon Live platform. It offers you yet another way to monitor the best deals—but you’ll also get to see live product demonstrations, hear directly from brands and shop the best deals the instant they go live.

We’re talking cooking demonstrations, clothing try-ons—there will even be surprise celebrity and influencer guest stars. Amazon Live makes it easy for viewers to shop the products and brands featured on-air in real-time too.

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