WIRED covers legitimately good deals all year long, including Day One. Our tips below will help you find those great discounts yourself.
How do I know if the deal is good?
ABC: Always check (prices, that is). Researching the price of an item is the most important aspect of determining the quality of a discount. Don’t fall for the misleading marketing language and inflated MSRP prices – our tips only take a few moments. The easiest step is to take a moment to Google the items you’re considering so you can see the price at multiple stores.
One tool we like to use is Camelcamelcamel, which tracks Amazon’s prices over time. Just paste the Amazon link or ASIN (found in the Product Information section of the Amazon product page) into Camelcamelcamel’s search bar and you’ll be able to see the item’s lowest price on record, its average price, and how often the price fluctuates. Some offers, such as Lightning Deals, are excluded from price history, but it’s still useful to see what an item has sold for in the past.
We also really like Keepa, which has an extension (available for multiple browsers) that displays recent price history for products directly on the Amazon page, so you never have to open a new tab. Other great tools are Honey, which can potentially save you money through promo codes, but also tracks price history at various retailers around the web, and Octoshop, which can quickly show you the price of a product at multiple retailers.
Please note that these services may not work all the time. But the ability to see how much a product costs right before it goes on sale (and whether the MSRP happened increase) can be very helpful. Combining these tools can help you decide if a deal is worth your money.
WIRED always checks facts to determine their quality. You can check out our current deals coverage to find roundups of the best discounts available – during Prime Day and all year long.
What is a Lightning Deal?
Lightning Deals are limited-time offers that Amazon only runs for a few hours. They’re not limited to Prime Day, but they’re especially prevalent during major sales. When an item sells out, you may be able to join the waiting list, but not always.
To be fair, the Lightning Deals selection is often full of impulse buys, like makeup and skin care products or toys. Prime members can view upcoming deals on Amazon’s website and mobile app. The app can also alert you before a Lightning Deal starts.
How do I make sure the business doesn’t sell out?
It’s always disappointing when a sale item disappears. If you know what time the contract starts, be sure to pay attention to the product page around the start time. You may also be able to add the item to your cart before the sale starts, so you can refresh the page to grab it right away.
It’s smart to create an account with trusted sellers so you can save your credit card and shipping information in advance. This will make the checkout process as quick 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 sign in to those vendors again later.