Including how to get the best deals

By Nivea Serrao
July 10, 2017 at 12:42 PM EDT
Credit: AMAZON

Between Black Friday deals and Christmas sales, shoppers looking for ways to save money have a few ways to save money when it comes to the end of the year. But what about savvy purchasers looking to buy a big-ticket item in the summer? Enter Amazon Prime Day.

The 30-hour celebration sees the online ordering giant offering deals on hundreds of its products akin to those you might find on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. It originally got its start in 2015 as a way to celebrate Amazon’s 20th anniversary. Since then, it’s become a yearly day-long sale that offers discounted prices on a range of big-ticket products (especially televisions and toys), with new products being rolled out throughout the day.

Considering this “holiday” is a relatively new one, EW has put together a handy guide breaking down all your major questions — including some tips on how to get the best deals.

When is Amazon Prime Day?

This year’s purchasing period will commence on July 10 at 9 p.m. ET and continue until July 12 at 3 a.m. ET. Anyone looking to score a deal on an item they’ve been eyeing lately has 30 hours to do so.

What kind of deals can I expect?

While the first-ever Prime Day in 2015 only featured Amazon-centric products like Kindles and Echo products, the e-commerce company has since added a range of products to its sale inventory, even categorizing them based on certain hobbies or themes. So now prospective customers can click on options like “Movie Night,” “Bookworms,” “Gamers,” and “Techies” and get a whole host of products personalized toward their own interests — like big-screen televisions, headphones, speakers, etc.

Not every deal will last the full 30-hour period, though. There may be some deals that last the entire 30 hours, but Amazon Prime Day will also see the site roll out new deals throughout that time period. So just because one product isn’t on sale when you check in the morning, it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get it a cheaper price later in the day. One way to ensure you don’t miss out on a deal is by tracking them throughout the day (and setting an alert) using the Amazon app.

What products should I keep my eye out for?

This year Amazon will be offering a record level of television inventory, a prime choice considering that not only will Game of Thrones be returning soon but that Amazon Prime members can add HBO (and some other premium networks like Starz) to their package. One product, in particular, that customers can expect is the Element 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV – Amazon Fire TV Edition.

And if you’re looking to watch anything on your new TV, more than 300 movies are getting an 83 percent discount, and thus available to purchase for only $5 and rent for only $0.99.

But if books are more your jam, Kindle Unlimited, Amazon’s subscription-based reading service, is currently offering up to 40 percent off memberships. Though if you’re an audiobook fiend, Audible is offering 40 percent off of the first six months of a Gold membership for new users, during which subscribers will pay only $8.95 a month before reverting back to the usual $14.95 a month price.

Also available this Amazon Prime Day is a four-month membership to Music Unlimited, Amazon’s on-demand music service, for only $0.99 a month.

What do I need to participate in Amazon Prime Day?

Well, the No. 1 requirement of Amazon Prime Day is that any and all potential customers need to be members of the Amazon Prime program. There are a few ways of going about this:

1. If you haven’t already used it up, you can sign up for a free 30 Day Amazon Prime Trial.

2. You could purchase a Prime membership for $99 per year or $10.99 a month, which would also give you access to Prime Reading (which features Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and The Hobbit among others), Prime Music, and the Prime Video streaming library which includes critically acclaimed series like Catastrophe and Fleabag, fan favorites like Doctor Who and Suits, classics like Cheers and Dynasty, and family-friendly fare like iCarly and Just Add Magic. Members can also use the Prime Now app, which allows users to order products and receive them the same day. Perfect if you really want popcorn for that binge-watching session.

3. If you’re in the United States and you’re enrolled in a university, you can use your .edu email to sign up for six free months of Student Prime. This is perfect for those looking to move into summer program housing or just get a leg up on decorating their new dorm rooms. An added bonus is some of the sweet deals you might be able to score on those expensive textbooks.

However, in order to take advantage of any of the deals on offer throughout the 30 hours, Prime members will need to have signed up before or on July 11.

How can I save some extra money this Amazon Prime Day?

Say hello to Alexa — literally. By using Amazon’s voice-activated virtual assistant, shoppers will be able to not only access upcoming deals a whole two hours before anyone else (all you have to do is ask, “Alexa, what are your deals?”) — like $50 off a Bose Soundlink Bluetooth speaker — but voice shoppers will be able to save $20 off their one-year Prime membership (meaning they only pay $79) if they sign up for the service by simply saying, “Alexa, sign me up for Prime.” Additionally, first-time voice shoppers who purchase anything with Alexa between now and Prime Day will be able to receive a $10 promo code.

Alexa-activated devices include the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show or the Amazon Tap — all of which will be on sale at various times throughout Amazon Prime Day.

Anything else I need to know?

If you don’t live in the United States, fret not! Thirteen other countries will be celebrating Amazon Prime Day including the United Kingdom, Spain, Mexico, Japan, Italy, India, Germany, France, China, Canada, Belgium, and Austria.