WIRED covers legit good deals all year round, including on Prime Day. With our tips below, you can find those great discounts for yourself.
How do I know if a deal is good?
ABC: Always checking (prices, that is). Researching the price of an item is the most important aspect in determining the quality of a discount. Don’t fall prey to misleading marketing language and high suggested retail prices: our tips only last a few moments. The easiest step is to Google the items you’re considering so you can see the price in multiple stores.
A tool we like to use is: camel camel camel, which tracks Amazon’s prices over time. Just paste the Amazon link or ASIN (found in the Product Information section on the Amazon product page) into Camelcamelcamel’s search bar and you can see the lowest recorded price of an item, the average price and how often the price fluctuates. Some deals, like Lightning Deals, are excluded from the price history, but it’s still useful to see what an item has sold for in the past.
We like it a lot too hold a, which has an extension (available for multiple browsers) that shows recent price history for products right on the Amazon page, so you never have to open a new tab. Other great tools are: sweetheartwhich may allow you to save money through promotional codes, as well as track price history at various retailers on the web, and octopus shopthat allows you to quickly see the price of a product at multiple retailers.
Keep in mind that these services may not always work. But being able to see how much a product cost just before the sale started (and whether the suggested retail price happened increase) can be very helpful. Putting these tools together can help you infer whether a deal is worth your money.
WIRED always fact-checks deals to determine their quality. You can check our current deals to find overviews of the best discounts available – during Prime Day and all year round.
What is a lightning deal?
Lightning Deals are limited-time deals that Amazon only runs for a few hours each. They are not limited to Prime Day, but are especially common during major sales events. Once an item is sold out, you may be able to join a waiting list, but not always.
Put bluntly, Lightning Deals’ selection is often full of impulse buys, such as makeup and skin care products or toys. Prime members can browse upcoming deals on the Amazon website and mobile app. The app can also warn 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 out of stock. If you know what time a deal starts, keep an active eye on 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 hold it right away.
It’s smart to create an account with trusted merchants so you can save your credit card and shipping information ahead of time. This will make the checkout process as fast as possible. It’s also a good idea to clear your web browser’s cache before shopping during sales events such as Prime Day. Make sure to sign in to those retailers again after that.