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What’s that in the air? Ah, yes, it’s the smell of consumerism that comes with another Amazon Prime Day, aka July 11th, aka the made-up holiday Amazon created to “rival Black Friday” in terms of deals and hype.
But…all snarkiness aside…there actually *are* likely to be some pretty good Prime Day deals out there.
To get ready for Prime Day, there’s a couple things you should know. First of all, the Prime Day deals are only available to current Amazon Prime customers. But if you’re not currently a Prime member, no worries, because you can get a FREE 30-Day Trial that will allow you to participate (and you can still cancel it after Prime Day, but keep the discounts you got during the trial period!)
Secondly, you won’t know the actual prices of things until they go “live” on the site. That makes pre-planning a little difficult, but in the meantime you can “watch” certain items that you may be interested in.
- Amazon’s Own Products & Services
If you’ve been thinking about bringing an Alexa or Echo into your home, these are likely the best prices you’ll see all year on those. It’s rumored that Echo will be offered at $99.99, an $80 savings. The Kindle and Fire lines are likely to be marked down as well. Look for these to go live starting at 9pm ET tonight (Monday) and lasting throughout the event.
Similarly, if you’re interested in any of the services Amazon offers, there are deals on those too (and in fact, these deals have already started.) Audible Gold membership and Kindle Unlimited membership are both marked down 40% for Prime members, and you can nab their Spotify-killer Amazon Music Unlimited for just $0.99 for four months.
- The Chewbacca mask from the viral video earlier this year
Current Alexa users are being given a special treat: the ability to voice order certain deals BEFORE they go on sale on the regular site. Luckily, this gives us a glimpse into what’s likely to be available. One deal I liked: you can get the mask made famous by the laughing Chewbacca mom video for 20% off. You can get the deal now by saying “Alexa, order a Chewbacca mask” or just wait until the deal goes live for us normal folks sometime during the sale.
- Oculus Rift & Oculus Touch Bundle
This one’s pretty epic for the gamers (or those of you doing a little early Christmas shopping for kids.) In celebration of Prime Day, Oculus has marked down the price of their bundle from $598 to $399. That’s a 33% savings on one of the coolest gaming devices out there. And in fact, this deal is also already available – no need to wait until the event “officially” starts.
- Instant Pot Programmable Pressure Cooker
Yes, the InstantPot, aka the thing that basically every woman I know has gone crazy over in the past year, is rumored to be going on sale for $89.99 — $40 off the regular price for the 8 quart model. This thing gives you “slow-cooked” flavor without actual slow cooking; you can cook a giant roast in less than an hour, for example. This is currently my most-watched item…I fully intend to scoop one up!
- Whatever is currently on the Woot-Off
Woot.com is a funny little site. They’ve essentially been doing “deal of the day” type promotions since before Groupon was ever even a spark of thought in someone’s brain. A few years ago, Amazon purchased Woot, and now they’re doing a Woot-Off to celebrate Prime Day/the site’s anniversary.
What is a Woot Off, you ask? Oh, I’m so glad you did:
Anyways, there’s no telling what they’ll be featuring at any given moment on Woot, but that kinda adds to the fun of it. And the best part — there’s a “Wine Woot” category as well.
- A 12.5 inch Cast Iron Skillet
After publishing my top camping gear article a couple months ago, I heard a few grumbles about how expensive one of my recommended items, a cast-iron skillet, could be. Well, never fear, because it looks like this one will be marked down by 50% off (or more!) Seriously, if you don’t have one of these in your kitchen, it’s one of the most basic items available: just get it. The sale for this will start at 4:30am ET. (Yikes!)
- Radical Candor: a book by Kim Scott
What? People actually still buy books from Amazon?! This book‘s been on my “professional to-read” list for a while, as it looks like it will jive really well with my existing management style. And luckily, it’s set to go on sale as well — for books, expect a smaller discount in the 10%-20% range. This sale will start at 7:30a ET.
- And finally, a new water bottle
Here’s another one from my personal watch list. I need a new water bottle for my office. This one is insulated, BPA-free, comes in a variety of pretty colors, and is likely to be marked down 20-30% during the event. The sale for this one starts at 11am. #Winning
And here’s two deals I’ll be avoiding:
That being said, remember not to get caught up too much in the mania. It’s still smart to actually comparison shop. A few of the supposed “Prime Day Deals” didn’t look like deals at all, really. Those include:
- Vizio Smartcast 45″ 5.1 Slim Sound Bar System
We tried this sound bar system earlier this year before ultimately getting our Sonos system, and it was a big fail. The sound wouldn’t sync up with the video, and the overall sound was tin-ny and hollow; ultimately, we returned it. Beyond the quality issues, while we don’t know just how this will be priced yet, Amazon’s pre-sale prices have the refurbished edition available at $300 MORE than the brand new edition, which just doesn’t make much sense. I’d skip this one, no matter the price.
- The Game Of Thrones seasons 1-6 BluRay boxset
But, wouldn’t it be great to catch up before the next season premiers next week? Yeah, it would. But you’d be better off adding HBO to your Amazon Prime Video subscription than buying the existing seasons on Blu Ray, even if it is marked down to $69.99, as is rumored. Plus, keep in mind that there’s still two seasons of the show yet to go. Splurging on a box set now just means you’ll have mismatched versions once the whole series comes out…stream it for now, and save your money for when a true series collectible edition debuts (my guess is just in time for Christmas 2018).
Happy Prime Day, folks! And don’t forget to tell us what other great deals you’re finding in the comments!