Amazon Prime Day 2017: Tips for scoring major deals

Mark your calendar for July 11!

Grand Opening Of Amazon Fulfillment Center Features State Of The Art Technology
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

Amazon has announced its annual day for offering big deals during the summer, and said customers can expect more than 100,000 Lightning Deals.

The date of Amazon Prime Day—offering deals and free shipping exclusively to Amazon Prime members—is July 11, 2017. But deals are actually slated to begin by 9 p.m. Eastern the day before, Amazon announced.

Here are things to know about Amazon Prime Day this year:

  • Deals will be in three main categories: Missed, upcoming and available.
  • If you miss a deal, there is usually a waiting list for customers in case others who order an item cancel it.
  • The “Available Deals” will have a countdown showing when deals will go live.
  • Items in limited quantities will be the best deals and tend to sell out in minutes (if not seconds).
  • Those with an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot “will have access to exclusive Alexa Prime Day voice shopping deals,” Amazon said.

Tips to prepare:

  • Get your Prime membership ahead of time in case deals go on even earlier than expected. Amazon Prime offers a free 30-day trial with no obligation to continue it, and cancelation can happen at any time.
  • Enable 1-Click Ordering in your account settings to speed up the purchase process.
  • Download the Amazon app and watch for deals. The app will walk you through steps for notifications.
  • Make a list of things you need, and think ahead to back-to-school shopping and holiday shopping.
  • Before the shopping day, visit smile.amazon.com to find your favorite charity and shop through the Amazon Smile program to help the charity of your choice.

Most Popular Items Last Year

In 2016, Amazon Prime Day’s orders rose 60 percent over the previous year worldwide. Amazon rolled out new discounts as often as every five minutes throughout the day.

The company said it sold more than 2 million toys, 1 million pairs of shoes and more than 200,000 headphones on the day in 2016. Members also bought more than 215,000 Instant Pot 7-1-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cookers.

The top selling items around the world on Amazon Prime Day 2016, according to Amazon, were:

• U.S.: Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker

• UK: Oral-B Pro 6000 CrossAction Electric Toothbrush with Bluetooth Connectivity and Smart Series

• Spain: SanDisk USB memory stick

• Japan: Calbee Breakfast Cereal 800 grams

• Italy: Lexar JumpDrive

• Germany and Austria: Tefal Jamie Oliver Frying Pan

• France and Belgium: Game of Thrones DVD – season 1 to 4

• Canada: Sennheiser HD 598 Special-Edition Over-Ear Headphones

This year, Amazon Prime Day — an online shopping event in which Amazon Prime members will have a special day to shop new deals on Amazon.com and also get free shipping — is slated for July 11, 2017. Deals are slated to begin at 9 p.m. Eastern on Monday, July 10.

The giant online retailer offers its deals only to those who pay for Prime membership, which costs $10.99 per month or $99 for an entire year.

Amazon features limited-time “lightning deals” on Amazon Prime Day, just as it sometimes does during the holiday shopping season in November and December.

Amazon In The News For Discounted Prime Membership

Amazon made the news recently for offering a discount on Prime memberships for anyone on government assistance.

Customers normally pay $10.99 per month or $99 per year for Prime subscriptions, which offers free two-day shipping on many products as well as access to streaming video and music services.

Now anyone with a state-issued debit card for government benefits can get Prime for $5.99 a month.

The aim is to make “savings more accessible” to everyone, according to spokeswoman Julie Law. She adds that delivery could make life easier for customers who may not have reliable access to transportation, and that Prime gives members discounts on essentials like diapers.

amazon photo
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

Amazon Targets Low-Income Shoppers

Amazon already has a well-heeled customer base, according to analysts. With this program, it hopes to pull in more low-income shoppers.

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“It makes it so there’s no component of the U.S. market that can’t be an Amazon customer,” said Mike Olson, an analyst with Piper Jaffray.

It’s unlikely to cause a big spike in sales, said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities. But it sends a message that Amazon is for everyone.

About 18% of U.S. households receive government assistance for food, according to the most recently available government data.

amazon photo
Getty Images | David McNew

The move also takes aim at Walmart, which has been gaining ground in the online shopping space since it bought online retailer Jet.com for $3.3 billion last year. In the first quarter of 2017, Walmart’s U.S. online sales were up 63%.

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But Amazon, a $484 billion company, does not intend to give up its crown.

It’s growing by doing everything from expanding its cloud computing business to testing drone delivery. It’s even opening physical stores. Last week, Amazon’s stock hit the $1,000 milestone.

Copyright 2017 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Story written by Mandy Gambrell. CNN writer Julia Horowitz contributed to this story.

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