What to know, according to experts

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Amazon Prime Day will run from Oct. 13 to Oct. 14. Amazon officially announced the Tuesday-morning-to-Wednesday-night sales event on Sunday afternoon, finally clarifying when to expect the months-delayed Amazon Prime Day 2020.

On Oct. 13 and 14, Prime members will be able to take advantage of sales and deals on select products sitewide, from tech and small appliances to clothing, toys and more. The annual sale, which began in 2015, has grown so vast that it’s caused other retailers like Walmart, Macy’s and Target to offer their own deals, which we can most likely expect again this year. “Prime Day is no longer just a day for people to purchase cheap items on Amazon,” CNBC’s Annie Palmer told us in our brief history of Amazon Prime Day. “Quite frankly, it has completely altered the retail calendar.” And while much of Amazon Prime Day consists of shopping on Amazon’s website, you can also purchase discounted items from the company’s other business units. “In addition to shopping on Amazon, [Prime members] can buy groceries from Whole Foods, listen to audiobooks with Audible, subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, watch Amazon Video and use Amazon Echo speakers,” Amanda Bourlier, head of global retailing research at Euromonitor International, told us previously.

To help you make the most of Amazon Prime Day 2020, we consulted Michael Bonebright, a consumer analyst at DealNews.com, and Sara Skirboll, a shopping and trends expert at RetailMeNot, to better understand how the sale will look this year and what types of products you ought to consider.

Months of uncertainty: ‘Will there be a Prime Day 2020?’

After its initial delay, shoppers were left wondering whether Amazon will be having a Prime Day sales event in 2020 given the coronavirus pandemic? The answer is now officially yes.

  • Oct. 13: The annual Prime Day sales event will start at midnight PDT on Oct. 13, or Tuesday morning.
  • Oct. 14: Prime Day 2020 will end the following day, Oct. 14, at 11:59 p.m, or Wednesday night.

As Amazon Prime Day 2020 is much closer to the holiday season given its first-ever delay into October, as well as closer proximity to notable sale events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Skirboll advises shoppers begin looking for holiday gifts they’ve been eyeing and planning for since some of the best deals will be starting now.

How long will Amazon Prime Day last?

Just like last year, Amazon Prime Day will be live for a full 48 hours. During the sale, you’ll find a number of sales and deals on select items sitewide, including beauty products and various tech, from older generation Android phones to Amazon devices, which are traditionally heavily discounted during Amazon Prime Day. Throughout the sale, other retailers will also be offering competitive discounts, too, so Skirboll suggested shoppers spend a couple minutes looking at other sites for their favorite items as well.

What should I not buy on Amazon?

According to Bonebright, shoppers should approach this a little differently this year. Normally, he would advise shoppers to be picky about marketplace deals and to do some digging to find notable offers often surrounded by “filler deals.” However, due to the delay in Prime Day, Bonebright said many retailers are anticipating the sale as much as the rest of us. “They’re incentivized to offer bigger deals on Prime Day than any other day, so they can make up for all the sales they missed this spring and summer,” he said. “While we still expect to see some ho-hum discounts, it’s more likely that prices will be competitive across the board.”

Skirboll also noted that, while many of us have shifted to working from home, we shouldn’t expect to see deep discounts on items such as gym equipment and furniture, as well as office supplies and other work from home essentials. “Supply and fulfillment centers will be unable to meet the demand Prime Day would bring,” she said.

What is the benefit of Prime Day?

Overall, Amazon Prime Day provides Prime members (existing and new) the opportunity to shop for a range of products, both spontaneous ones and ones they’ve been waiting on all year, at significant discounts. To really take advantage of the sale, both Bonebright and Skirboll advised readers to download the Amazon app and start setting up a wishlist of what they hope to buy. Then, once the items go on sale, an alert will be sent to them. Skirboll also said to shop with your Alexa-powered device, if possible, so you can access Alexa-exclusive deals. Of course, NBC News Shopping will be publishing around the clock to keep you informed of some of the best deals.

Why did Amazon delay Prime Day?

Originally, many people expected Amazon Prime Day to take place sometime in mid-July, its normal schedule since launching in 2015, a commemoration of the retailer’s then-20th anniversary. However, 2020 ended up looking a lot different than any year since then. As NBC News Shopping previously reported, the onset of coronavirus, current economic downturn and other factors all contributed to the company’s decision to ultimately postpone its annual sales event.

What happens on Amazon Prime Day?

Since its inception, Amazon Prime Day has been largely anticipated by shoppers waiting to buy tech, small kitchen appliances and more. James Thomson, a partner at marketing agency Buy Box Experts, previously told NBC News Shopping that although Amazon offers “legitimate discounts” on products, the sale doesn’t offer discounts on “a smorgasbord of items,” but rather focuses heavily on Amazon products such as the Kindle or Fire Stick. Still, the big sale rallies customers to snag deals at attractive discounts that have amounted to overall sales topping that of Black Friday and Cyber Monday for Amazon. This year, we can anticipate deals on everything from fashion items and homewares, to beauty products and Alexa-enabled devices. The retailer is currently offering sales on Beats wireless headphones, Asus Wi-Fi routers and Anker power banks, which we anticipate to be on sale during Amazon Prime Day, as well. According to Amazon and marketing research company Digital Commerce 360, Instant Pots and the Echo Dot were some of the most popular items for sale on Amazon from 2015 to 2019.

What is the best deal on Amazon Prime Day?

While there are a plethora of items offered at massive sales and deep discounts sitewide, Amazon Prime Day is notable for its sale of already-top-performers like Instant Pots, which saw 24,000 sales in 2015’s Prime Day. Since then, sales of the popular Instant Pot have dramatically increased to 215,000 in 2016 and 300,000 in 2018. Additionally, 3.5 million toys were sold in 2017. Although the best deal on Amazon Prime Day 2020 isn’t known at the moment, we can share that last year plenty of shoppers worldwide purchased Fire TV Stick, and the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter was the top seller in the U.S. This year, we anticipate sales and deals on popular electronics, from Apple AirPods and Beats headphones to TVs and laptops, as well as discounts on face masks, luggage and kitchen appliances.

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