Online retailer Amazon announced today that its annual Prime Day mega-sale will begin this year on July 15 and last for 48 hours.
We’ve got a guide that covers pretty much everything you can expect out of Prime Day this year here, but if you’re curious about which specific items might be going on deep discount, we’ve got some predictions from people who have been following the event closely since its inception in 2015 — money expert Clark Howard and ClarkDeals.com managing editor, Charis Brown.
Here’s what to expect from Amazon Prime Day this year
Clark used to get pretty excited about Prime Day, but he’s no longer quite so enthusiastic.
“The reality is that Prime Day is a brilliant thing for Amazon for two reasons. One is that Amazon uses it as a way to try to establish some street cred that the prices on Amazon are good, even though they’re really not,” he says.
“The second thing is that they create artificial demand that would not exist and purchases that would not otherwise happen this time of year. This is a terrible time of year for retail. Prime Day creates this frenzy and works wonderfully psychologically and financially.”
That said, Clark has a couple of predictions about what Amazon’s focus might be this year…
“Amazon has a very small number of items that they know that people price compare in their heads or that they comparison shop for. Everything else, they just buy,” he says. “This is all about those items where people will comparison shop. Amazon is trying to look more affordable than they actually are.”
Look for good deals on higher-priced goods like like televisions, laptops and appliances.
On the other end of the spectrum is Amazon’s private label, AmazonBasics.
“Amazon has had a lot of trouble establishing Basics in the marketplace,” Clark says. “I think it’s the wrong strategy. “Basics” makes it sound like it’s unexciting and maybe lower quality.
“If they’re going to lend their name to something, it should have been a premium quality product at a good price instead of making you feel like, “oh well, I really don’t care what brand I use, so I guess I’ll buy the Basics.”
That said, Clark thinks Amazon may use Prime Day this year to really push AmazonBasics products, so there may be some bargains to be found there.
Charis says to look for deals on Amazon-branded electronics, especially early on.
“Last year we saw deals on Amazon devices such as the Fire Stick TV, Kindle, Fire HD tablet and Amazon Echo Dot, and we’ll likely see prices on these items drop first,” she says. “A couple are already discounted right now, like the Amazon Echo Input for $19.99.”
Other products to look out for
Charis thinks that last year’s Prime Day sale is probably a pretty good indicator of what to expect in 2019. She says to watch for big price drops on:
- Instant Pots
- Genetic testing kits like 23andMe
- Smartphone chargers
- LifeStraw personal water filters
- Air fryers
The bottom line is that a Prime Day “deal” isn’t really a deal if you can find an item cheaper at another store.
“The more you comparison shop and avoid them saying ‘Sale! Sale! Sale!’ the better off you’re going to be,” Clark says.
Charis adds: “It’s definitely worth it to check other stores, though, as competitors such as Walmart and eBay offer their own deals to try to compete!”
“We’ll be monitoring Amazon Prime around the clock over at ClarkDeals.com. Keep in mind, though, that the best deals will be around Black Friday.”