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Amazon Prime Day is coming back, here’s what you need to know

Dates, deals, and tips

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Amazon logo Illustration by Alyssa Nassner

Amazon Prime Day, the e-commerce site’s massive annual summer shopping event, is returning July 15. As usual, it’ll bring a dizzying flood of deals across categories like electronics, furniture, and appliances (more on that below).

The most important thing to know before Prime Day gets here is that, as the name suggests, the event is only for Amazon Prime members. So if you want to take advantage of Prime Day discounts, you’ll need a Prime membership (you can sign up for a 30-day free trial here), which also comes with fast free shipping, streaming music and video, and more. Keep reading for everything else you need to know before Prime Day 2019 arrives.

When is Prime Day?

Since the very first Prime Day in 2015, the event has always come in mid-July. This year’s event will be on Monday, July 15. Do note that Prime Day is no longer a single day—the event has steadily creeped up from the original 24 hours to 36 hours in 2018, and this year it will last from 12 am PT on Monday, July 15 to 11:59 PT on Tuesday, July 16. And, as you’ll read about below, deals pegged to Prime Day will actually begin before Prime Day, so at this point, July 1 is when you can expect to watch out for Prime Day perks around Amazon.

Is Prime Day available outside the U.S.?

Yes. Prime Day continues to expand to more countries each year. In 2018, Prime Day went live in 17 countries across North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. That number could go up again this year.

How does Prime Day work?

Prime Day starts as soon as the calendar flips to July. That’s when Amazon will begin dropping “early deals” to build anticipation leading up to the main event. These tend to promote the company’s own offerings, whether it’s Echo smart home devices or subscription services like Amazon Music Unlimited and Kindle Unlimited.

For the main event, thousands of deals will go live in batches, including “Lightning deals” that are available in limited quantities for a limited time. In the past, Amazon published 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 you want, you can set a reminder in the Amazon app to let you know when that deal is ready to shop.

What are the best deals?

Surprise: Amazon’s own products, especially devices like the Echo smart speakers, Fire TV line, and Kindle e-readers tend to get big discounts. Don’t forget that there are also Amazon furniture brands now—including the midcentury-inspired line Rivet and the more farmhouse-style Stone & Beam—which should also serve up plenty of discounts come Prime Day. Of course, there are Prime Day sure bets—great deals that tend to be popular every year—such as the Instant Pot pressure cooker and Philips Hue smart light bulbs.

To determine whether any deal you’re interested in is actually worth it, we suggest cross-checking Amazon’s prices with other retailers like Walmart and Best Buy, or a price tracker like CamelCamelCamel.

What about Whole Foods?

After Amazon bought Whole Foods in 2017, the grocery chain showed up for its first Prime Day the next year. In 2018, Prime members who spent $10 in Whole Foods stores got a $10 Amazon account credit to use on Prime Day. Whole Foods stores also stocked up on Amazon devices like Echos and offered exclusive savings on select seasonal items like organic strawberries and Icelandic cod fillets. We expect at least similar Whole Foods deals this year and probably a whole more.

How do I keep up?

If the thought of wading through thousands of products to find the best smart light bulb or mattress deal has you shuddering, then stay tuned to Curbed for can’t-miss discounts for the home. Keep updated with our daily newsletter, on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and storystream on all things Prime Day 2019.

Don’t miss a single Prime Day deal to spruce up your home. And head right here for the latest savings in tech, gaming, and for the kitchen.