Photo: techradar
Photo: techradar

Last year we saw Amazon Prime Day pushed back from its usual summer spot due to the world's ongoing health crisis meaning it brushed up against Black Friday season. There's no doubt Amazon will want to bounce back in a big way with Prime Day 2021 so we're expecting a huge event this time around — and now we know exactly when Prime Day is going to take place!

During the event, Prime members will be able to take advantage of sales and deals on select products sitewide, from tech and small appliances to clothing, home decor, and more. The annual Amazon Prime Day sale, which began in 2015, has grown so vast that it’s caused other retailers like Walmart, Macy’s, and Target to offer their own counter deals, which we expect to see again this year. “Prime Day is no longer just a day for people to purchase cheap items on Amazon,” CNBC’s Annie Palmer told us in our history of Amazon Prime Day. “Quite frankly, it has completely altered the retail calendar.”

To help you make the most of Amazon Prime Day 2021, we consulted multiple experts to better understand how the sale will look this year and what types of products you ought to consider once it begins.

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Prime Day began in July 2015 as a deals-filled, single-day celebration of Amazon’s anniversary. Now in its seventh year, the event for Amazon Prime members has gradually expanded in size (Prime Day 2020 was two days long, and surrounding sales expanded it even further) and scope to include a huge variety of discounted items, many of which will be available at the best prices we’ll see until Black Friday (if not better). According to Amazon, Prime Day sales surpassed $3.5 billion in 2020, a 60% increase from 2019 and reflective of the larger shift to online-based shopping that accompanied the pandemic.

Prime Day discounts take many forms, from Lightning Deals that require you to move quickly to grab that sought-after stick vacuum to deals that last the entire event. In short, you have many ways to save, and the deals aren’t even entirely exclusive to Amazon Prime members: Competitors such as Best Buy and Walmart have gotten in on the act, matching Amazon’s pricing and offering specials of their own.

When Is Amazon Prime Day 2021?

As mentioned above, early this morning Amazon officially announced that Prime Day 2021 will take place from 12 a.m. PDT on Monday, June 21 to 11:59 p.m. PDT on Tuesday, June 22. Just like the past few years, that means you’ll have exactly 48 hours to take advantage of the site-wide discounts.

Some outlets have also reported that there may be two Prime Dayevents this year, with a second one taking place in the fall. Amazon hasn’t addressed those claims, though.

How long do Prime day deals last?

The first Prime Day celebration lasted 24 hours. In 2017, Amazon expanded Prime Day's duration from a 24-hour event to one that lasted for 30 hours. In 2018, Amazon expanded the holiday to 36 hours and in 2019 it lasted a full 48 hours. Prime Day 2021 will last 48 hours as it did last year.

Where is Prime Day celebrated?

The first Amazon Prime Day was celebrated in 9 countries including the U.S., UK, Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada, and Austria. Amazon Prime Day has since expanded in popularity. Last year, Prime deals were held in 18 countries including the United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Spain, Singapore, Netherlands, Mexico, Luxembourg, Japan, Italy, India, Germany, Austria, France, China, Canada, Belgium, and Australia.

However, Amazon recently announced that it will pause Prime Day in Canada and India, reports CNBC. Both countries are undergoing a significant COVID-19 spread, which is the reason Amazon is postponing its retail holiday.

How Does Prime Day Work?

Photo: nytimes
Photo: nytimes

In years past, Amazon has released its Prime Day deals at midnight PDT on the first day of the sale, which translates to 3 AM EDT. From that point on, many of the discounts are typically available through midnight PDT on the second day of the sale, with the exception of Lightning Deals which are usually only live for a few hours. As long as you’ve signed up for Amazon Prime, you can shop Prime Day deals and you’ll get free shipping on every order that you make during the 48-hour window (per usual).

What will be on sale during Amazon Prime Day 2021?

As always, anything and everything. But this is definitely the time of year to look for deep discounts on Amazon gear, including:

  • Echo smart speakers and displays
  • Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks
  • Fire tablets
  • Kindle e-readers
  • Ring security devices
  • Eero networking products

Granted, that stuff goes on sale all the time -- a recent Mother's Day sale revealed close-to-Prime-Day savings on a lot of these devices -- but the absolute lowest prices are usually reserved for Prime Day and Black Friday.

We also typically see better-than-usual deals on things like Instant Pots, Apple AirPods, Bose headphones and Roku streamers. Make no mistake: This might be Amazon's party, but plenty of other stores and sellers will be getting in on the action.

What other stores will participate in Prime Day 2021?

This may be an Amazon event, but that won't stop other stores from getting in on the action. Walmart has already announced a "Deals for Days" event running from June 21-23. Expect Best Buy, Kohl's, Target and other stores to roll out big sales of their own. Best Buy, for example, is likely to compete heavily on TV deals, while Target will likely lean into its RedCard credit card, which can save you an extra 5% on most purchases.

What deals do we expect during Prime Day 2021?

The offers above are just a small selection of the many excellent deals that Prime Day brought to Amazon customers.

There's no doubt that there will be a huge Echo sale, tons of Fire TV deals, discounted Fire tablets, and more of Amazon's first-party products seeing their prices slashed during Prime Day 2021. These are the sort of deals Amazon has the most control over and the products they can use as an exclusive draw to the event.

This year, we expect to see deals again on these popular products as well as some additional Nintendo Switch offers iPad savings, and maybe even some sweet AirPods Max deals.

What are the best deals so far?

Photo: independent
Photo: independent

As we get closer to the main event, there will be loads of Prime Day deals to prepare for. For now, these are the best things we've been able to find.

  • Best streamer deals for Prime Day 2021
  • Best early Prime Day TV deals
  • Best early Prime Day phone deals
  • Best early Prime Day kitchen and cookware deals

Keep an eye out here for more. Amazon and its partners will be making a ton of announcements over the next two weeks.

Do I need a Prime membership to get the Amazon Prime Day discounts?

Yes — Prime Day discounts on Amazon are exclusive to Amazon Prime members (both existing and new), currently 200 million strong across 19 countries. Yearly membership is priced at $13 per month and includes a 30-day free trial (which you can sign up for right before Prime Day if you haven’t used yours already). Plus, students can register at half the price ($7 per month) and receive a six-month free trial. They'll also get exclusive offers on everything from Amazon Video and Amazon Music to Kindle Unlimited and discounts on textbooks.

Starting today and for a limited time, those who sign up for Prime using an Echo device will receive a $5 Amazon credit — to trigger the coupon, just say, “Alexa, sign me up for Prime.” Through June 20, Prime members can also get a $10 credit with the purchase of $40 or more in select Prime-branded Amazon gift cards, which can be spent on a Prime membership or other Amazon items.

How to get a free Prime account for 30 days to use for Prime Day 2021

If you have yet to become an Amazon Prime member but want to get in on the action ahead of the big event, you can sign up for a 30-day trial to gain access to the sale.

While you won’t be charged for the trial period, you will need to input your card details when signing up, as Amazon automatically converts you to a paid membership after 30 days. But, if you decide to cancel ahead of the trial ends, you won’t be charged, which means you can get free access to the Prime Day event.

How to find the best Prime Day deals?

If you want to get your hands on the best deals this year, here are some tips that could help.

  1. Make a list - avoid being lured by cheap deals on items you may not necessarily need. Having some form of a list of what you really want and how much you're willing to spend on it will help narrow your search on the day.
  2. Research prices - it is always worth checking prices of items you have an eye on beforehand to see whether you are really getting a deal come sale time. Often prices fluctuate in the weeks leading up to big sale events so tracking the pricing will ensure you really are getting a bargain.
  3. Watch a deal - the Amazon App lets customers watch deals early in every country. This way you can preview, track and shop those limited-time lightning deals at home or on the go with deal alerts on the Amazon App. It also means you won't have to keep refreshing the website to see what new deals have come in.
  4. Don't panic buy - new flash deals are usually released throughout the day, you won't need to quickly buy the first cheap TV or coffee machine you see.

What should I not buy during Amazon Prime Day?

Skirboll noted that we shouldn’t expect to see many competitive discounts for gaming consoles, toys and cameras this Prime Day, and advised us to look out for those sales during Black Friday and closer to the holiday season. Additionally, Porwal said not to expect sales on Amazon from electronics brands that compete with Amazon devices, like Google, Samsung, and Apple — we’ll be reporting on Prime Day sales at other retailers and surface the ones they offer in the space. He also noted that since Prime Day will be held ahead of big back-to-school sales this year, there likely won’t be a large selection of computing devices (laptops, tablets, computers, and monitors) on sale, “so it’s best to wait for these items later in the summer when all retailers will compete for these purchases.”

What is the Amazon Prime Day concert?

Photo: shortlist
Photo: shortlist

For two years, Amazon kicked off Prime Day with a Prime Day concert that all Prime members could stream live via Amazon's website. In 2018, Amazon chose Ariana Grande, Alessia Cara, Kelsea Ballerina, and Julia Michaels to headline the show. The following year the Amazon Prime Day concert featured Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, Becky G, and SZA.

Both concerts were held in New York and available for streaming throughout Prime Day. (For Prime members only, naturally). However, last year there was no such concert. Currently, there doesn't appear to be a concert slated for Prime Day 2021.

What were the most popular Prime Day deals in 2020?

Despite taking place just a month before Black Friday, Amazon Prime Day 2020 was still a huge event with Prime members saving more than $1.4 billion during the two-day sale.

Outside of its own devices, Amazon indicated that iRobot Roomba robot vacuums, MyQ's Smart Garage Door Opener, and LifeStraw's Personal Water Filter, were among the most popular items with its buyers.

Based on our data, we can also say that the below were some of the biggest sellers:

  • Apple AirPods Pro on sale for $199
  • SanDisk and WD Storage on sale at up to 35% off
  • Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Headphones on sale for $199
  • Echo Show 5 with Blink Mini Smart Security Camera for $50
  • 23andMe Health + AncestryService DNA Test down to $99
  • Fire TV Stick 4K as low as $25
  • Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise-Cancelling Headphones with $25 gift card for $298
  • Echo Dot (3rd Gen) with 6 months of Amazon Music Unlimited for $19
  • Spend $40 or more on Amazon gift cards and receive $10 in credits to use on a future purchase
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