If the latest price hike on Amazon‘s Prime membership service didn’t scare you away, you’re in for a sales spectacular come Prime Day. Here’s what you need to know about its return in 2022.
What is Prime Day?
Prime Day is an annual sitewide sale that Amazon puts on for its Prime members. First held in 2015 in honor of Amazon’s 20th anniversary (with mixed success), it was originally plugged as a “one-day-only event filled with more deals than Black Friday, exclusively for Prime members around the globe.” In the years since, it’s morphed into a 48-hour extravaganza that’s preceded by a couple weeks of teaser deals. “Prime Day” is a misnomer at this point.
When is Prime Day in 2022?
After teasing the announcement in its first-quarter earnings report, Amazon confirmed in a press release(opens in a new tab) that Prime Day will begin on Tuesday, July 12 at 3 a.m. ET and run through Wednesday, July 13 in 2022. (We called it.) This is a return to its usual mid-July slot after two years of adjustments: Amazon bumped it back to October in 2020 because of the pandemic, then moved it up to June because of the Olympics in 2021.
Can’t wait ’til then? Early Prime Day deals and exclusive new offers began rolling out on Tuesday, June 21. More on those in a minute.
What’s new for Prime Day this year?
Amazon has launched a new virtual punchcard program called Prime Stampcard(opens in a new tab), where you can earn a $10 credit just by taking advantage of some key Prime benefits through July 13. That includes streaming on Prime Video(opens in a new tab), listening to Prime Music(opens in a new tab), borrowing a Prime Reading(opens in a new tab) or Kindle Unlimited(opens in a new tab) book (or adding one to a library), and making a Prime shipping-eligible purchase. The credit will automatically appear in your account within 24 hours of you completing the Stampcard.
The retail giant is also doling out Prime Day credits(opens in a new tab) to people who buy a movie ticket to Lightyear(opens in a new tab) or Elvis(opens in a new tab) and customers who spend at least $75 on Procter & Gamble products(opens in a new tab).
What will be the best Prime Day deals?
Prime Day has always been Amazon’s favorite excuse to discount its own devices and services, and this year is par for the course. The early deals that began June 21 feature savings of up to 55% on gadgets like the second-gen Echo Show 5(opens in a new tab), the new Amazon Glow(opens in a new tab), a fourth-gen Echo Dot(opens in a new tab) bundle that comes with a free smart bulb, and a slew of Fire TVs from several different brands. (That includes a new 75-inch Toshiba 4K smart TV(opens in a new tab), last year’s Amazon Fire TV 4-Series(opens in a new tab) roster, and a kitchen countertop-friendly 24-inch Insignia smart Fire TV(opens in a new tab) that comes in at only $90.)
Prime members who haven’t tried Amazon Music Unlimited(opens in a new tab) yet can now snag a free four-month trial through July 13 (normally $8.99/month), which gets upped to six months with the purchase of select Amazon Echo devices. If you’re more of a podcast or audiobook person, three free months of Audible Premium Plus(opens in a new tab) are also grabs for members through July 31.
Need something new to play? Prime Gaming(opens in a new tab) members can download 25 indie PC games for free in the weeks leading up to Prime Day, and AAA titles like Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, Need for Speed Heat, and Star Wars: Republic Commando will join the ranks on July 12. Enjoy your gaming.
Beyond that, our other usual Prime Day suspects include 4K OLED TVs, robot vacuums, headphones, earbuds, and basically every Apple product under the Sun. (Amazon’s been going ham on iMac, MacBook, iPad, AirPod, and Apple Watch deals ever since the Peek Performance event in March, so the pressure’s on for some extra-good Prime Day offers.) Discounts on Instant Pots are a given, too, though they probably won’t sell as fast as they have during Prime Days past now that air fryers have become everyone’s kitchen gadget of choice.
The dawn of Peloton’s flop era should shake things up on the home fitness side of things. Competitive deals on exercise bike alternatives from brands like NordicTrack and Echelon are definitely in the Prime Day forecast. We’ll also be on the lookout for sales on treadmills, ellipticals, rowing machines, smart mirrors, and adjustable dumbbells, just in case you never got around to renewing your Equinox membership after the lockdowns.
Outside of the Prime Gaming freebies, video game deals will probably pop off more than they have in recent years thanks to big releases like Elden Ring, Horizon Forbidden West, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Nintendo Switch Sports, and Pokémon Legends: Arceus. (Prime Day would be a great opportunity for Mr. Bezos to restock the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, too — wink wink, nudge nudge.) The same goes for discounts on pet tech, toys, and supplies; the Amazon Pet Day sale in early May was probably a sampling of what’s to come.
Wish list-wise, it would be nice to see some decent Prime Day discounts on camping gear — that way, outdoorsy folks have an opportunity to upgrade their tents, sleeping bags, hammocks,stoves, and other equipment before the usual end-of-season clearance sales in August and September.
Is everything on sale on Prime Day?
Prime Day isn’t an all-encompassing, blanket-statement sale, and only a fraction of its inventory will be discounted during the event. (Newer and harder-to-find items like the PS5 and the Amazon Astro(opens in a new tab) robot, which is still in its invite-only phase, are definitely no-shows.) It’ll still be a borderline-overwhelming amount of deals, though; the press release didn’t specify an exact number, but it’ll probably be similar to last year’s selection of “2 million deals across every category.” A post on Amazon’s blog name-dropped its Customers’ Most Loved(opens in a new tab) and trendy Internet Famous(opens in a new tab) storefronts, along with brands like Beats(opens in a new tab), Bose(opens in a new tab), Casper(opens in a new tab), Levi’s(opens in a new tab), iRobot(opens in a new tab), SharkNinja (which makes Shark vacuums(opens in a new tab) and Ninja kitchen appliances(opens in a new tab)), and Sony(opens in a new tab).
Who else is competing with Prime Day?
Target was the first to enter the anti-Prime Day foray, announcing dates for its biggest-ever Target Deal Days event mere hours after Amazon’s reveal went live. The 72-hour sale will run from July 11 to 13 on Target.com and the Target app across every category, with no membership required for access. A press release(opens in a new tab) previewed discounts of up to $70 on Apple products, up to 50% off select tech and headphones, up to 40% off kitchen appliances, and up to 35% off floor care products, so Amazon will definitely have some steep competition.
Meanwhile, Walmart already hosted its own version of Prime Day this year called Walmart+ Weekend. The sitewide sale from June 2 to 5 featured juicy offers that were available exclusively to Walmart+(opens in a new tab) members, including $200 off the 2020 iPad Airs, a $49 Keurig, and several Xbox Series S bundles. No word yet on whether the big box store is reviving The Big Save, a separate event that’s exactly coincided with Prime Day in years past, but it probably won’t be able to resist another opportunity to take a slice of Amazon’s pie.
Other retailers like Best Buy, Target, and even ebay have also hosted anti-Prime Day in years past, and we’ll almost certainly see a repeat of those in 2022.
Prime Day versus Black Friday: When’s the best time to shop?
Black Friday has been (and likely always will be) the biggest shopping event of the year for several reasons: One, because you’ve got lots of different retailers participating both in stores and online. Two, because nobody’s sales are paywalled behind a membership fee. And three, because it always falls right before everyone’s holiday gift exchanges. It’s basically open season for deal-hunting.
More recently, many retailers have also taken it upon themselves to expand Black Friday into a monthlong event, releasing teaser deals weeks ahead of time and extending them through Cyber Monday in an ongoing quest to one-up each other. (“Black Friday” is probably a misnomer, too.) Walmart set the stage for an especially competitive Black Friday last year when it released the first of its deals in mid-October, and we wouldn’t be surprised if it made a habit of it going forward.
That being said, it’ll probably be easier to find a deal on something specific come Prime Day. With Amazon as the self-appointed star of the show, you don’t need to be comparing prices across retailers and parsing through different ad scans. You definitely don’t need to get off the couch to do any in-person shopping. And aside from a few stragglers, you can pretty much guarantee that its offers will strictly adhere to the two-day time slot. It’s way more contained compared to the chaos of Black Friday; it won’t leave you feeling as shopped-out.
The only semi-stressful part of Prime Day is staying on top of its time-sensitive Lightning Deals(opens in a new tab) (or flash sales), which tend to sell out fast, but Amazon gives you a couple different ways of figuring out when they’ll drop.
Prime Day shopping tips and tricks
Aside from aggressively lurking on Amazon’s dedicated Prime Day page(opens in a new tab) (and reading our coverage of the sale), there are several ways to ensure you don’t miss out on a great deal:
Organize your Wish List. Amazon’s virtual shopping list feature puts all of your must-haves in one convenient spot so you’re not constantly flipping between links and tabs; you can even rank items based on how much you want them. Once Prime Day rolls around, you’ll be able to see which ones are on sale at a glance. (Read Mashable’s guide to “wishlisting” for additional intel.)
Download the Amazon mobile app. You can activate push notifications(opens in a new tab) to get alerted whenever there’s a deal on an item on your Wish List or a product related to your recent searches/views.
Sort Amazon’s Deals page(opens in a new tab) by “Upcoming(opens in a new tab)” (found at the very top of the left-hand column). That’ll pull up a grid of deals that are happening in the near future, with exact start times listed for each. Mark your calendar accordingly.
Take advantage of Alexa’s new advanced deal alerts feature. This one’s really cool: Amazon’s virtual assistant can now notify you of a sale on an item in your Wish List, Shopping Cart, or “Saved for Later” queue up to 24 hours before it goes live. Enable the feature on a newer generation Echo smart speaker, and you’ll see its light ring turn yellow (or a pop-up alert) whenever an item you’ve saved has a discount in the pipeline. You can then ask Alexa for more information about the deal, have her set a reminder for when it’s available, and even give her permission to order it for you using your default payment info when the time comes.
Cross-check prices on camelcamelcamel(opens in a new tab). You can plug any Amazon URL into this free price-tracking site to see how much it’s gone for over the weeks/months/years, which will give you a good idea of whether a discount you see is actually worth it. (Note that this may not work on every Lightning Deal.) It also gives lets you create a price watch for individual items — say, if you’re hoping the new Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones dip under the $400 mark.
How to sign up for Amazon Prime
Anyone who hasn’t been an Amazon Prime member within the past 12 months can sign up for a free 30-day trial by following these steps:
Click on the orange button that says “Start your free 30-day trial.”
Sign in or create an Amazon account.
Add a payment method and a billing address. (Don’t worry — you won’t be charged.)
Click the yellow button that says “Activate your free trial.”
After your trial period ends, you’ll automatically be upgraded to a paid membership plan for $14.99 per month or $139 per year. Pro tip: The latter saves you just over $40 annually.
Getting your degree? Anyone with a .edu email address can take advantage of a free six-month trial that converts to a $7.49-a-month paid tier under the Prime Student(opens in a new tab) program. (You can ride out that rate for four years or until graduation, whichever comes first.) As a member, you’re entitled to several bonus offers on top of the standard Prime perks:
EBT and Medicaid cardholders also quality for a discounted monthly rate(opens in a new tab) of $6.99 — you just have to verify your eligibility every 12 months.
Is Amazon Prime worth it?
Prime’s current annual rate is the result of a 17% price bump earlier this spring (from $119 to $139), which wasn’t totally unexpected: Amazon has increased it by $20 every four years since 2014. But that higher cost is undoubtedly harder to swallow after two years of a pandemic that made us ultra-reliant on deliveries — especially when Walmart’s rival service hovers at just $98 a year.
That being said, $139 is still a decent value for all of the perks(opens in a new tab) a Prime membership includes if you’re someone who does most of their shopping online. Subscribers get free two-day (or faster) shipping on millions of items, plus exclusive access to the Prime Video(opens in a new tab), Prime Music(opens in a new tab), Prime Gaming(opens in a new tab), and Prime Reading(opens in a new tab) libraries and unlimited photo storage with Amazon Photos(opens in a new tab). Amazon also offers special discounts on items to its members beyond Prime Day, including early access to Lightning Deals. (Check out Mashable’s guide to maximizing all the perks of a Prime membership while you’re at it.)
But there is a way to shop this year’s Prime Day deals without committing to a Prime membership, and that’s by scheduling your 30-day free trial(opens in a new tab) around the sale. We recommend activating it a week ahead of time so you can take advantage of any early offers; just remember to cancel as soon as the sale is over to avoid getting charged.
UPDATE: Jun. 21, 2022, 12:21 p.m. EDT This story has been updated with details on live early Prime Day deals.