Prime Day Is Full of Secrecy. Here's What Has Been Revealed

A guide to the 4th annual extravaganza
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2018 7:27 AM CDT
Updated Jul 16, 2018 3:04 PM CDT
How to Make the Most of Amazon Prime Day
In this Aug. 3, 2017, file photo, Myrtice Harris applies tape to a package before shipment at an Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore. Amazon's Prime Day starts July 16, 2018, and will be six hours longer than last year's and will launch new products.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Amazon's "epic day (and a half)" is here: The 4th Prime Day began at 3pm ET Monday and will run 36 hours, up from last year's 30. Or, for some would-be customers, a portion of 36 hours: Some shoppers ran into issues accessing the site right after the sale began. Here's a guide to what you need to know.

  • NBC News reports "secrecy" is one of Prime Day's hallmarks, with little revealed about many of the deals until they're actually available. It offers a guide of how to take advantage of the day without blowing your budget, with tips like making an Amazon Wish List in advance, as Amazon will then alert you if any of your items become Prime-Day eligible. It also recommends you look out for hourly Lightning Deals and avoid certain product categories, like kitchen appliances.
  • CNN Money looks at the numbers—or estimated numbers—behind the day, as Amazon doesn't reveal its Prime Day revenue stats. It cites one estimate that puts expected sales at $3.4 billion, which would be up a huge 40% over last year and set a one-day sales record for the company. But it tempers the wow-factor by noting that the aforementioned amount would be only six times what Amazon does on a regular day.

  • CNET plans to update its guide to the best deals as they roll in, so this is a good link to reference throughout the event. It rounds up a few already-revealed deals, like a cut on Amazon's audiobook service Audible from $14.95 a month to $4.95 a month for three months, an $80 Kindle Paperwhite, and $70 Jabra Elite 45e sport earphones. It reminds shoppers that as the name implies, you have to be a Prime member to access these deals, but if you haven't bit the bullet yet, you can sign up for a free one-month trial.
  • The AP reports a number of companies will debut new products on Prime Day, and it reports on two: a Fingerlings unicorn doll with light-up horn and a Delta kitchen faucet that can be activated using Amazon's Alexa voice assistant.
  • CNET also notes that Whole Foods is getting in on the action. Prime members who spend at least $10 there through Tuesday will get a $10 Amazon credit that can be used during the Prime Day period; more deals are expected in-store.
  • Instead of aggregating the best deals, Slate decided to compare last year's mega Prime Day deals with those offered on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in an attempt to gauge just how great Prime Day is (or isn't). Among its conclusions: Don't buy an expensive TV, and don't expect discounts "greater than 40 or 50%."
  • ABC News points out that an increasing number of retailers are trying to chip away at (or capitalize on) the Prime Day frenzy by offering big deals of their own; it cites RetailMeNot data that showed some 119 retailers did so in 2017, and the number is expected to rise this year. One big rival: Target, which WSET reports will be offering some steep discounts on Tuesday, including 30% off Target-exclusive home brands and 25% off beauty care products.
(More Prime Day stories.)

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