WIRED covers pretty good deals all year round, including on Prime Day. Our tips below will help you find these great discounts yourself.
How do I know if a deal is good?
ABC: Always check (prices, that is). Researching the price of an item is the most important aspect in determining the quality of a discount. Don’t fall for misleading marketing language and inflated RRP prices—our tips only take a few moments. The easiest step is to take a second to google the items you are considering so you can see the price across multiple stores.
One tool we like to use is Camelcamelcamel, which tracks Amazon’s prices over time. Simply paste the Amazon link or ASIN (found in the Product Information section of the Amazon product page) into Camelcamelcamel’s search bar and you can see an item’s lowest recorded price, its average price and how often the price has fluctuated. Some offers such as B. Lightning Deals are excluded from price history, but it’s still useful to see what price an item sold for in the past.
We also really like Keepa, which has an extension (available for multiple browsers) that shows the current price history for products right on the Amazon page, so you never have to open a new tab. Other great tools are Honey, which can potentially save you money via promo codes, but also track price trends across different retailers around the web, and Octoshop, which can quickly show you the price of a product across multiple retailers.
Note that these services may not always work. But being able to see how much a product cost (and if the MSRP happened to increase) can be very helpful. Putting these tools together can help you determine if a deal is worth your money.
WIRED always fact-checks deals to determine their quality. You can check out our ongoing deals coverage for summaries of the best deals available – during Prime Day and throughout the year.
What is a Lightning Deal?
Lightning Deals are limited-time offers that Amazon only offers for a few hours at a time. They’re not limited to Prime Day, but they’re particularly common at big sales events. Once an item is sold out you may be able to be placed on a waiting list, but not always.
In short, the range of lightning deals is often full of impulse purchases, such as makeup and skin care products or toys. Prime members can browse upcoming offers on the Amazon website and mobile app. The app can also notify you before a lightning deal starts.
How do I make sure a deal doesn’t sell out?
It’s always disappointing when an item on sale is sold out. If you know when a deal starts, actively watch the product page around the start time. You may also be able to add an item to your cart before the sale starts so you can refresh the page to grab it right away.
It’s smart to create an account with trusted retailers so you can save your credit card information and shipping details in advance. This will make the ordering process as quick as possible. It’s also a good idea to clear your web browser’s cache before you start shopping during sales events like Prime Day. Just make sure to sign up with those retailers again afterwards.