How to make the most of Amazon Prime Day 2021

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With less than a week left before Amazon Membership Day, it is wise to make a plan. Even if you sneer at this blatant manifestation of consumerism, Prime Day provides an opportunity to save money on what you might have on your purchase list — and saving money is never a bad thing. But it's easy to be distracted by the large number of other deals Amazon offers. Unfortunately, this is the design of Prime Day. However, if you plan ahead, you can avoid falling into this trap-our Engadget will showcase all the valuable Prime Member Day offers, and you can also do some extra preparations for Amazon's biggest shopping event this year.

When is Prime Day?

But first, a few logistics. Amazon Prime Day begins at 12AM PT on Monday, June 21 and concludes at 11:59PM PT on Tuesday, June 22. You’ll have to be a Prime member to participate, and you can sign up for a free 30-day trial of the service before the two-day event starts. If you’re not a Prime member, you can look to other retailers like Best Buy and Target, which are running their own, competing deals at the same time.

Prime Day deals

One of the most important things to keep in mind about Prime Day deals is that they all have various durations. While the event lasts 48 hours, not all deals will be available the entire time. Some may only be live for one day, while others will only be available for a couple of hours. This is Amazon’s way of getting shoppers to buy things as soon as they see a price drop, and come back frequently to check for the latest deals.

In general, if you see an item on your wishlist go on sale during Prime Day, it’s wise to grab it as soon as possible. That’s not only because the deal may expire quickly, but also because stock could sell out even faster.

But if there’s one category of items that will likely be discounted throughout the entirety of Prime Day, it’s Amazon devices. It’s basically guaranteed at this point that Echo speakers, Fire tablets, Kindles and most of Amazon’s other gadgets will be on sale during the two-day event. And if this year is anything like previous ones, they will be at all-time-low prices. Prime Day is the best time of year (aside from Black Friday) to pick up an Amazon-made gadget because you’ll be hard pressed to find it at a better price.

However, it’s still unclear if we’ll see discounts on Amazon’s newest devices — namely the updated Echo Show 5 and 8 smart displays. There’s a good chance the previous models will be on sale during Prime Day — the first-gen Echo Show 5 is already — but brand new devices are a bit more of a toss-up. We did see the second-generation Echo Buds drop earlier this week, though, which is promising.

As for what else will be on sale during Prime Day, it’s usually a mixed bag. Admittedly, many Prime Day deals are either not great or on products that aren’t worth your time — but you’ll probably come across a couple of things you’re really interested in. When it comes to gadgets, past Prime Days have brought good deals on headphones, monitors, speakers, portable drives, microSD cards, kitchen tech, robot vacuums and more.

Julie Clopper via Getty Images

How to get the most out of Prime Day

If you’re going to participate in Prime Day, the last thing you want to do is blindly open Amazon’s homepage on June 21. It’ll be easy to either get lost clicking through product pages for hours, or get overwhelmed by the plethora of deals available. It will help to make a list of the items you want to look for — doing so will keep you focused and lessen the threat of being distracted by Lightning Deals.

It’s also a good idea to use a price tracker like CamelCamelCamel when considering any discount. Either via the website or through the browser extension, Camel lets you check out a product’s price history dating back months and even years in some cases. It’s a convenient tool when you want to know if that deal on the fancy electric toothbrush you’ve been eyeing is actually a good one.

Finally, make sure to check out Amazon’s competition. Retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, Target and others will have their own “anti-Prime Day” savings events happening at the same time, and they usually match some of the biggest Prime Day deals. That was especially true last year when it came to tech — many of the worthwhile Prime Day deals on gadgets popped up at Best Buy, and since it has no Prime-member requirement, anyone could take advantage of them.

Engadget will be covering Prime Day in its entirety, so come back to our Deals homepage and follow the @EngadgetDeals Twitter account for the latest tech discounts. The volume of deals available will be daunting, but we sift through them all and pick out the best ones to make Prime Day a bit easier for you. We’ll also be on the lookout for matching and competing sales from Best Buy, Walmart and others.

Get access to our offers homepage and follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter to get the latest Amazon Prime Member Day offers.

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