It’s been six years since Amazon’s first Prime Day shopping extravaganza, and contrary to the initial naysayers, the event is now so big that Amazon brings in more money from it than it does from Black Friday and Cyber Monday, combined.
Despite the name, Prime Day is 48 hours of deals. The Prime Day 2021 sale starts on Tuesday, June 21 at 12:01 am PT and ends on June 22 at 11:59 pm PT. As usual, WIRED will cover the discount madness, sifting through the offerings to pull out the best deals. We’ll also keep a close eye on the inevitable competing sales from the likes of Walmart and Target. Below you’ll find our favorite early deals you can shop right now, along with some expert advice to help you keep a cool head once the sales officially start.
We strike through items that sell out or rise in price as of publishing. Discounts sometimes return quickly, so check for yourself. You’ll need a subscription to Amazon Prime to get most of these deals.
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Sign Up for Prime: You can’t access the deals without joining Amazon Prime. If you’re not a member, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial. Be sure to set a reminder to cancel your membership if you aren’t interested in the subsequent $13-per-month charges.
Make a List: It’s easy to feel pressured to buy things you don’t need. Avoid falling into that trap by making a list ahead of time. Need a new rug? On the hunt for a birthday gift? Want a new Kindle? Great! Write down exactly what you’re shopping for so you don’t fall prey to the frenzy.
… and Check It Twice: Retailers lie. That “50 percent off” price drop you see may actually be only a few bucks off the normal selling price. That’s why we love Camelcamelcamel, a price tracker that lets you see fluctuations in Amazon’s pricing. It can help you make sure you’re spending your money wisely. We use this tool frequently in our deal hunting here at WIRED. It isn’t always perfect, but the data it shares definitely comes in handy on Prime Day. There are browser plug-ins, but we prefer the bookmarklet.
Conquer Lightning Deals: Lightning Deals are frustrating. They are short-lived discounts (far less than a day, usually) and often sell out quickly. They’re the easiest way to fall into the trap of spending too much money. Don’t let FOMO win; install the Amazon app on your phone and navigate to Today’s Deals > Upcoming. You can tap “Watch This Deal” on any deal that’s more than 10 minutes away. The app will notify you when the price drop goes live. Just remember to track the price and read reviews before purchasing.
Shop Safely and Smartly: Use common sense when shopping. If a price is too good to be true, you don’t recognize a brand, an item doesn’t have many reviews (or too many five-star reviews), or a seller has just joined Amazon, you might want to avoid purchasing. Our articles on shopping safe on Amazon, deciphering star ratings, and what “Amazon’s Choice” means can help bolster your knowledge.
These Prime Day deals are already live. Usually, Prime Day drops Amazon devices down to the best deals of the year, but so far we haven’t seen any noteworthy discounts on Kindle devices, Fire tablets, or Fire TV sticks. Hopefully, Amazon surprises us with some when the sale kicks off.
The Echo Buds (8/10 WIRED Recommends) offer good sound and have great app and Alexa integration. The noise-canceling isn’t quite on par with what you’ll get in Apple and Samsung earbuds, but it’s good enough for blocking out most ambient sounds. They come with a charging case and plenty of eartips and earfin sizes to ensure a good fit.
The Amazon Halo isn’t a useful fitness tracker, but it does something no other device we’ve tested will do: track your emotions. WIRED associate editor Adrienne So wore it for a month and found it interesting and ultimately helpful. At the same time, should any company, let alone Amazon, normalize the process of full-body strip-down scans for its customers? This is a good price, but there are some problems with this device. You should know what you’re getting into with this one.
This smart display was released in 2019 and goes on sale frequently. It isn’t one of the absolute best smart displays; we prefer larger sizes. This model’s 5-inch screen is more suited to a nightstand than a kitchen counter or front entryway. Still, if a compact design doesn’t irk you, $45 is a match of the best price we’ve seen for this model.
Here’s your chance to add Alexa to more rooms in your house without spending a fortune. The 4th-gen Echo Dot (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is the best Alexa smart speaker. This deal is only available if you buy two, and be sure to use the code PDDOT2PK at checkout to get the full discount. We saw a similar deal during last year’s sale. If you only need one Echo Dot, it’s likely that the single speaker will be dirt cheap once Prime Day officially begins.
There are two sizes and finishes to choose from, and shipping is free. You’ll need to upload the photos you want to print if you haven’t already, but this could be a good way to redecorate the fridge (or print out some cheap room decor).
If you haven’t tried Prime Wardrobe, this will get you $15 off a $100 purchase. Prime Wardrobe lets Prime members try on clothes and other items before buying. You have a week to decide to keep or return your items.
Amazon Launchpad highlights small businesses that sell products on its website. For Prime Day, Amazon is offering a free $10 store credit when you spend $10 with participating small businesses. The free credit will show up in your account on Prime Day and will automatically apply during checkout. Here are some more details.
New subscribers can get in on this deal. Amazon Kids+ (formerly FreeTime Unlimited) gives youngsters access to age-appropriate books, movies, games, and more. The service also offers parents user-friendly parental controls to set screen time limits or manage web browsing. Usually, Amazon Kids+ costs $10 per month. Remember to cancel your subscription before the trial automatically renews if you aren’t interested in subsequent charges. It’s best paired with a Kids Edition Fire Tablet.
Free trials for Amazon Music Unlimited are nothing new, but typically, brand-new subscribers can only try the service for a month. This trial lasts for four. If you don’t cancel, it’ll renew at the normal rate of $8 per month. Amazon Music Unlimited offers ad-free music streaming, lossless audio, and more. It’s not one of the best music streaming services, but if you’re sick of Spotify, it might be worth a shot.
Kindle Unlimited offers free access to millions of Kindle ebooks. I (Louryn) highly recommend it. It usually costs $10 per month. This deal offers varying discounts for six-month, 1-year, and 2-year subscriptions. If you’re already a member, this is a good way to save on renewals, but it also might come in handy for those that have been pining for a reason to join. As a reminder, you don’t need a Kindle to read these books—there are free apps for iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows—but a Kindle discount will likely pop up during the event for folks in the market.
If you’d like to peruse the deals yourself, here are some links to all the sales going on this week.
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