A survival guide to Amazon Prime Day

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Black Friday? Been there. Cyber Monday? Done that.

But what about Amazon Prime Day? The online summer sale offers some of the year’s biggest discounts on a wide variety of products. But are you prepared? Do you have an attack plan?

If not, there’s no need to panic. We called in the reinforcements. RetailMeNot’s Sara Skirboll talked to "Good Morning America" about all things Amazon: What to buy, what to avoid and what to expect during the online extravaganza.

What is Amazon Prime Day, anyway?

Amazon Prime Day is an online sales event that typically lasts about 36 hours in July. Deals are exclusive to Amazon Prime members and range from TVs to baby wipes to all kinds of products. Despite being called Prime “Day,” not all the deals are daylong. Sara says to expect certain “lightning sales” on items that have limited quantities. While some bargains will be available for the duration of Prime Day, these “lightning sales” will pop up at random and last only as long as items are in stock.

“It’s like Black Friday, but without all the lines!” Sara says.

If you’re not a Prime member already, Sara recommends signing up for the free month-long trial. It’ll help you get a grasp on whether or not Amazon Prime is right for you. If you decide it isn’t, just remember to cancel your trial or you’ll automatically enroll and pay the $12.99 monthly service fee.

What will be the biggest deals this Prime Day?

Sara points out that for the first time in Prime Day history, Whole Foods is now a part of Amazon. So that means the deals on groceries should be interesting this year. Sara anticipates big savings in the actual brick and mortar Whole Foods stores which you don’t normally associate with Amazon Prime.

PHOTO: Whole Foods Market in Union Square in New York City is pictured on June 15, 2018.Michael Brochstein/LightRocket via Getty Images
Whole Foods Market in Union Square in New York City is pictured on June 15, 2018.

Two sure bets: great deals on Amazon-branded items like Kindles and Echoes. In fact, Sara thinks the deepest discounts could come on older models of those Amazon products. If the past is predictive, get ready for big savings on toys and electronics.

PHOTO: An Amazon Echo multimedia smart speaker is pictured on Nov. 28, 2016.Joby Sessions/T3 Magazine via Getty Images, FILE
An Amazon Echo multimedia smart speaker is pictured on Nov. 28, 2016.

PHOTO: A man is seen using the Amazon Kindle application on an iPad, Nov. 2, 2017.Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images, FILE
A man is seen using the Amazon Kindle application on an iPad, Nov. 2, 2017.

What should you avoid buying on Amazon Prime Day?

While there are exceptional opportunities to save big time on Prime Day, Sara suggests waiting until black Friday to buy things like beauty products, designer products, winter wear, sneakers, cookware and appliances.


What tips and tricks does Sara have for a successful Amazon Prime Day?

Planning goes a long way. Make sure you really need what you’re going to buy. Don’t get distracted by deep discounts. That said, there will be amazing deals on things like toys and smarthome devices. Sometimes things sell out quickly, so if you need them, get them. And it’s OK to get ahead on your winter holiday shopping.

Also, Sara encourages looking around for other retailers offering deals besides just Amazon.

“That pair of sneakers doesn’t need to necessarily come from Amazon,” she notes.

RetailMeNot collected data suggesting the number of unique retailers competing with Amazon during Prime Day jumped from 27 retailers in 2016 to 119 in 2017. That’s an increase of 340 percent and Sara thinks the number will be even higher this year. So be sure to triple check that the deals featured on Amazon Prime!

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