WIRED covers legitimate deals throughout the year, including Prime Day. Our tips below will help you find these great discounts for yourself.
How do I know if the deal is good?
ABC: Checking all the time (ie price). Researching the price of an item is the most important aspect of determining the quality of a discount. Don’t fall prey to deceptive marketing language and high MSRPs – our tips only take a few minutes. The easiest step is to take a moment to Google the item you’re considering so you can check prices in multiple stores.
One tool we like to use is Camelcamelcamel, which tracks Amazon prices over time. Just paste an Amazon link or ASIN (found in the Product Information section of Amazon’s product page) into Camelcamelcamel’s search bar and you’ll be able to see the item’s lowest recorded price, average price, and how often the price fluctuates. Some transactions, such as lightning deals, are excluded from pricing history, but it can still be useful to see what an item has sold for in the past.
We also really like Keepa, which has an extension (for multiple browsers) that displays a product’s recent price history directly on the Amazon page, so you don’t need to open a new tab. Other great tools are Honey, which saves you money with promo codes, but also tracks price history across retailers across the web, and Octoshop, which quickly shows you product prices from multiple retailers.
Keep in mind that these services may not always be available.But being able to see the cost of the product (and whether the MSRP is happened increase) would be helpful. Putting these tools together can help you deduce whether a deal is worth the money.
WIRED always fact-checks transactions to determine their quality. You can check out our ongoing deals coverage to find a roundup of the best discounts available on Prime Day and throughout the year.
What is Lightning Deal?
Limited-time deals are limited-time deals that Amazon only runs for a few hours at a time. They’re not limited to Prime Day, but are especially prevalent during big sales. You may be able to join a waitlist once an item is sold out, but not always.
Frankly, the Lightning Deals selection is often full of impulse buys, like makeup and skincare or toys. Prime members can browse upcoming deals on Amazon’s website and mobile app. The app can also remind you before the Lightning Deal starts.
How can I make sure the deal doesn’t sell out?
It’s always disappointing when a discounted item is out of stock. If you know the start time of the deal, be sure to actively follow the product page around the start time. You can also add items to your cart before the sale starts, so you can refresh the page to buy right away.
It’s wise to create an account with a trusted retailer so you can save credit card information and shipping details 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 you start shopping during sales events like Prime Day. Be sure to log back into these retailers later.