What is Prime Day?

Amazon app icon on smartphone screen
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Prime Day, which began in 2015, is a massive two-day sale for Amazon Prime members. The annual event features discounts on virtually every type of product in the company’s vast catalogue of goods.

Even if you’re a frequent Amazon shopper, you can only take part in the hoopla if you sign up for a Prime membership.

A standard membership costs $119 a year — or $12.99 a month (about $156 a year), if you'd rather not make the commitment. If you just want a small taste so you can take advantage of Prime Day in 2020, you can always sign up for a 30-day free trial.

While Prime Day is normally held in July, the pandemic forced Amazon to delay the event in order to deal with a surge of orders from people limiting their in-person shopping. The company warned customers of "delivery promises being longer than usual" because of the sudden boom in business.

As the months went by without an announcement, some shoppers feared they’d have to wait until next summer to stock their cart on Prime Day.

Prime Day early deals

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At time of writing, most Prime Day deals haven’t been revealed; you’ll have to check the site for the latest. But we do know a few early offers members can grab now as they wait for Oct. 13.

  • Kindle Unlimited: New customers can save 50% off a six-month membership for Amazon’s e-reader.
  • Audible: Save $50 on a year on Audible’s annual plan.
  • Amazon Fresh: Get $15 off your first order of $50 or more on Amazon Fresh, the company’s grocery delivery service.
  • Amazon Music: For $0.99, new customers can try Amazon Music Unlimited for four months. The music streaming service has more than 60 million songs and a wide selection of podcasts.
  • Amazon Devices: Get two Echo Dot devices for $39.98 and Fire TV Recast for $129.99 to store up to 75 hours of HD programming.
  • Amazon Essentials: You can already save up to 40% off Amazon’s brand of clothing and accessories.

That’s just the start. Judging from previous Prime Day deals, you can expect sales on smart home products, kitchen essentials, top fashion brands, major appliances and much more.

How to find the best deals

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Visit the Amazon deal page for all the sale items. On Prime Day, deals come and go throughout the two days — so check early and often.

You can also search for Lightning Deals (in Deal Type on the left side of the page); these are limited-time, limited-stock offers on everything from big gadgets to small household items. The deal might only last hours, so gather no moss on Prime Day.

This year Amazon is also offering a reward to shoppers who support small businesses on the platform. Until Oct. 13, if you spend $10 on items sold by select small businesses, you’ll receive a $10 credit to use on Prime Day.

And remember, while Amazon has great deals on Prime Day, they may not always be the best available on the World Wide Web. If you really want to be a smart shopper, try a price-comparison app like Capital One Shopping.

While you’re browsing Prime Day deals, Capital One Shopping will instantly search thousands of other sellers — including big chains Walmart and Target — for a better price. Those retailers often host huge sales events of their own to compete with Prime Day, so it pays to play the comparison game.

About the Author

Ethan Rotberg

Ethan Rotberg


Ethan Rotberg is a staff reporter at MoneyWise. His background includes nearly 15 years as a writer, editor, designer and communications professional. He loves storytelling, from feature writing to narrative podcasts. His work has appeared in the Toronto Star, CPA Canada and Metro, among others.

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