When Prime Day was first announced in 2015, it was swiftly and brutally roasted. No one thought Amazon could get away with making up a holiday. By year two, we at WIRED had changed our tune, and five years later, Prime Day is so big that Amazon makes more money from it than Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The day has slowly expanded into 48 full hours of deals too. The Prime Day 2020* sale starts on October 13 at 12:01 am PT, and it ends on October 14 at 11:59 pm PT.
As usual, WIRED will cover the discount madness, sifting through the offerings to pull out the best Prime Day deals. We’ll keep a close eye on the inevitable competing sales from the likes of Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, too. Below you’ll find our favorite early deals you can shop right now, along with some expert advice to help you keep a cool head once the sales officially start.
We strike through items that sell out or rise in price as we update this guide. Discounts sometimes return quickly, so check for yourself. You'll need a subscription to Amazon Prime to get most of these deals.
WIRED's Prime Day Coverage
Updated October 12: We added a few new deals, including some from non-Amazon stores, and verified existing discounts.
First, Some Prime Day Tips
Sign Up for Prime: You can't access the deals without joining Amazon Prime. Nonmembers can sign up for a free 30-day trial. Just be sure to set a reminder to cancel your membership if you aren't interested in the subsequent $13 per month charges.
Make a List: It's easy to feel pressured to buy things you don't need. This year especially, when funds are short for so many of us, avoid falling into that trap by making a list ahead of time. Need a new rug? On the hunt for a specific holiday tech gift? Great! Write down exactly what you're shopping for so you don't fall prey to the frenzy. Remember that Prime Day is a kickoff to a season full of discounts. Whatever deals you see will likely be matched, or nearly matched, by Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales on Thanksgiving weekend.
... and Check It Twice: Retailers lie. That "50 percent off" price drop you see may actually be only a few bucks off the normal selling price. That's why we love Camelcamelcamel, a price tracker that lets you see fluctuations in Amazon's pricing. It can help you make sure you're spending your money wisely. We use this tool frequently in our deal hunting here at WIRED. It isn't always perfect, but the data it shares will definitely come in handy on Prime Day.
Conquer Lightning Deals: Lightning Deals are frustrating. They're short-lived (far less than a day, usually) discounts on basically everything you can think of. These deals have a limited inventory and sometimes sell out quickly. They're the easiest way to fall into the trap of spending too much money. Don't let FOMO win; install the Amazon app on your phone and navigate to Today's Deals > Upcoming. You can tap "Watch this Deal" on any deal that's more than 10 minutes away. The app will notify you when the price drop goes live, so you don't need to worry about missing out. Just remember to track the price and read the reviews before purchasing.