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What to expect from Amazon Prime Day 2018

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Dates, deals, and tips on how to shop smarter this year

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Amazon Echo on nightstand Amazon

Prime Day, Amazon’s annual one-day blowout sale, is officially coming back on July 16, but Prime members can start shopping some of those deals right now.

Amazon announced this morning that Prime Day will be a full 36 hours this year—from 12 pm PT on July 16 to midnight on July 17—with early access deals running throughout the month of July.

It’s basically Black Friday in July, with doorbusters, flash sales ,and a frankly overwhelming number of deals to sort through. We’ve got you covered with all the info about what to expect from Prime Day (and a half), plus tips on how to make sure you’re getting the most out of the shopping event.

1. Prime Day is for Prime members. Prime Day deals are exclusive to Amazon Prime members, though there will likely be Amazon merchants running non-official deals for everyone. Amazon offers a 30-day free trial, so if you’re not a member but want to shop Prime Day this year you can try it out for the month of July. The $12.99 monthly ($119 yearly) membership includes free two-day shipping on Amazon orders, plus access to a bunch of Prime rewards programs.

Amazon Prime members also have access to Prime Now, Amazon’s same-day delivery service, plus TV, movies, books and music from Prime Video, Amazon Music, and Prime Reading.

2. Early deals are dropping now. As mentioned above, Prime Day 2018 is happening pretty much all of July this year. Early access deals are available now, the most tempting of which includes $100 off Amazon’s Echo Show smart home hub. And if you’re interested in Amazon’s subscription services like Amazon Music Unlimited and Kindle Unlimited, both are already on sale for 99 cents for three months.

Most of Amazon’s subscription services have free 30-day trials, just make sure you pay for the subscription during the month of July in order to get the Prime Day discount.

3. New this year: Prime Day Launches. Amazon is offering a new Prime Day perk this year: exclusive products and content that will only be available to Prime members. Launch deals include new throw pillows and blankets from Amazon’s in-house furniture brands Rivet and Stone & Beam.

4. Do your research. There will likely be thousands of deals happening on Prime Day this year and not all of them are going to be winners. The Amazon suggested price isn’t always the real MSRP so in order to make sure you’re actually getting the best deal, it’s a good idea to check other retailers like Best Buy and Walmart, or a price tracker like CamelCamelCamel. eBay has also announced their own sales that just so happen to coincide with Amazon Prime Day, so be sure to shop around before dropping major cash.

Amazon usually publishes lightning deals a few hours before they go live, and the Amazon App has a “Watch” tool that will send a push notification when a deal goes live. If you see a lightning deal that you want to take advantage of, you can set a reminder in the Amazon app to let you know when you can shop that deal.

5. We’re here to help. If you don’t feel like wading through thousands of products to find that perfect smart home device or furniture piece, just watch this space as Curbed hunts down the best home deals. We’ll be rounding them up on July 16 and 17, so be sure to stay tuned if you’re planning on shopping Prime Day this year.