In typical years, Amazon Prime Day falls in mid-July, perfectly placed to interrupt the midsummer retail doldrums.
But 2021 is not a typical year.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt global supply chains in an echo of 2020 when Amazon temporarily refocused its energies on essential business lines like food and personal care products. Prime Day 2020 didn’t happen until October, ahead of a nasty second wave of the pandemic that upended global trade again.
To complicate things further, the arrival of reliable vaccines in early 2021 spurred millions of Americans to make ambitious summer plans. Many people who’d normally jump at the opportunity to capture once-a-year deals in July might not be anywhere near a computer at that time.
That could be why Amazon has decided to move Prime Day 2021 to June.
When Is Amazon Prime Day 2021?
Amazon Prime Day 2021 will take place on Monday, June 21 and Tuesday, June 22.
Be forewarned that Prime Day deals aren’t guaranteed to last the entire 48-hour span. When they’re gone, they’re gone.
Despite its new position on the calendar, Prime Day 2021 is shaping up to be no different from past Prime Days in at least one crucial respect: offering a vast array of attractive deals and discounts on sought-after consumer goods, household products, and small-business essentials.
In the past, Prime Day shoppers have enjoyed discounts of 50% or more on high-demand products. According to Amazon, Prime Day shoppers collectively saved about $1.4 billion in 2020, equivalent to 700 million pairs of socks.
This year, they’ll get in on the action early. Amazon has already announced a slew of pre-Prime Day sales that could be gone before the main event begins.
Best Amazon Prime Day Deals for 2021
What can shoppers expect from Amazon Prime Day 2021? Its Prime Day 2021 flyer offers some tantalizing clues.
The retail giant has already instituted some stealth price drops on popular items like the Fitbit Sense, Instant Pot multicooker, Apple products like iPads and AirPods, and Amazon-branded daily essentials like multivitamins and nonperishable food staples.
It’s also promoted specific early deals on the Amazon Halo wellness band ($69.99, down from $99.99) and the controller for Amazon’s all-new Luna gaming device ($48.99, down from $69.99).
Other early Prime Day 2021 deals include:
And on Prime Day 2021 itself? Prime members can look forward to a host of category- and product-specific deals like:
A general word of advice: Don’t wait to jump on specific Prime Day deals. Once inventory runs out, the deal is gone for good.
Tips to Prepare for Amazon Prime Day & Maximize Your Savings
Want to save as much as possible on Amazon Prime Day without impulse-buying items that you don’t really need? Careful preparation is key to a successful, budget-friendly Prime Day shopping experience.
That means becoming an Amazon Prime member (if you’re not one already), making and sticking to a concise shopping list, and using the proper payment method.
1. Join Amazon Prime
Prime Day deals are only for Amazon Prime members.
That means becoming a Prime member is an essential prerequisite for anyone with big Amazon Prime Day shopping plans — and anyone interested in taking advantage of the $119-per-year subscription’s considerable benefits during the rest of the year.
These benefits include:
- Free two-day shipping on all eligible Amazon purchases
- Free one-day or two-hour delivery on eligible purchases in select areas
- Free no-rush shipping with bonus reward credits against eligible future Amazon purchases
- Free grocery delivery through Amazon Fresh in select areas
- Access to Amazon Prime Video’s library of thousands of movies and shows, including exclusive features and series not available anywhere else
- Unlimited e-books through Kindle Unlimited
- Unlimited access to more than 2 million digital songs through Amazon Music
- Free games, in-game content, and subscription to Twitch.tv through Amazon Gaming
- Exclusive savings (and delivery in select cities) from Whole Foods Market
- Deals and discounts up to 20% on select products (such as diapers) through Amazon Family
If you’re a first-time Amazon Prime subscriber, opt into the 30-day free trial right before Prime Day. If you’re not satisfied with the service, you can always cancel after Prime Day and before the trial expires, paying nothing for the trouble.
That said, Prime membership is definitely worth the cost for frequent Amazon shoppers able to take advantage of its content and delivery perks.
For additional savings, read up on more tips to save shopping on Amazon.
2. Familiarize Yourself With Last Year’s Deals
Use actual examples from last year to familiarize yourself with the sorts of deals Amazon is likely to offer on the big day.
For example, CNET highlighted a slew of deals on electronics and home goods, some of which remain available (albeit at different price points) in 2021:
Prior-year availability won’t predict with 100% accuracy what Amazon has up its sleeve this year, especially in light of the ongoing pandemic-related supply chain disruptions that delayed Prime Day 2020. But it can and should form the basis of informed guesswork.
3. Set a Reasonable Shopping Budget
Next, set a reasonable Prime Day shopping budget. It’s essential you do so before compiling your shopping list. Otherwise, the temptation to overspend on things you desperately want but don’t need becomes too powerful to resist.
As you likely know from budgeting for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, your retail holiday budget — in this case, your Prime Day budget — should fit neatly into your larger discretionary budget. Avoid the temptation to use Prime Day as an excuse to expand it.
For example, if you typically earmark $500 per month to spend on luxuries or nice-to-haves like restaurant meals and electronics, don’t spend $700 on Prime Day.
In fact, unless you’re willing to go without any other luxuries that month, you need to spend considerably less — perhaps $250 or $300 in this example.
4. Make & Stick to a Needs-Based Shopping List
Making a list is a vital step to take ahead of planned shopping events of any significance, not just Prime Day. The objective is clear: avoiding impulsive purchases you don’t need and could regret in hindsight.
Using clues gleaned from prior Amazon Prime Day deals, your list should include everything you both plan to buy before the end of the year (or, if you prefer and your shopping budget allows, within the next six months) and those reasonably likely to be discounted on Prime Day.
On Prime Day, stay disciplined and condition your purchases on value. If a particular item on your list isn’t discounted for Prime Day, don’t buy it. You’ll likely find better deals later in the year.
5. Use a Browser Extension to Find a Better Deal
Before Amazon Prime Day 2021, add Capital One Shopping, a free browser extension that automatically searches competing merchants’ inventories for a better price when you shop Amazon.
If Capital One Shopping can’t find a better price elsewhere, simply complete your Prime Day purchase as planned. If another retailer has a better price, shop with them instead.
Capital One Shopping isn’t the only browser extension that can save you money on online purchases you’d make anyway. It’s one of the best around, but legitimate and potentially lucrative alternatives abound.
Capital One Shopping compensates us when you get the browser extension using the links provided.
6. Ask Alexa for the Best Deals
Fair warning: This is an easy way to blow through your Prime Day budget. But it’s also incredibly convenient.
If you have an Alexa-enabled device like the Echo Show 5, wake up early on June 21, 2021, and pop the question: “Alexa, what are my Prime Day deals?” Just resist the temptation to purchase them all in one go.
7. Shop Early
Amazon makes no guarantees that any given Prime Day merchandise will remain available for the event’s duration. Quantities are always finite, and unexpectedly high demand for specific products could cause certain deals to sell out sooner than expected.
Your best bet is to shop early, logging on right away on Prime Day morning and getting as much of your shopping list out of the way as possible before the day begins.
You can always return later to complete your list or take advantage of last-minute deals (known as lightning deals) as your budget allows.
8. Look for Prime Day Badges
If you happen to be browsing Amazon anyway during the Prime Day period, look for the little blue badges denoting Prime Day deals. These highlight limited-time opportunities that aren’t likely to remain after June 22.
9. Download the Amazon App for Mobile Purchases
Amazon’s main website works just fine on desktop and mobile devices, but don’t overlook its user-friendly app.
The app is especially useful for shoppers stuck at work during Prime Day’s peak hours, as many employers frown on workers shopping (or conducting any personal business at all) on work-issued devices.
Beyond the obvious perks of a crisper shopping experience in a smaller package, Amazon’s mobile app offers:
- Voice-assisted shopping using the Amazon Alexa assistant
- Real-time order tracking and notifications
- Direct chat support from Amazon’s customer assistance team
- Single-tap shopping with your smartphone camera
10. Use a Rewards Credit Card (Preferably the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card)
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card is the best cash-back credit card for frequent Amazon patrons, period. Its three-tier cash-back program earns:
- 5% cash back on qualifying Amazon and Whole Foods purchases with an eligible Prime membership
- 2% cash back on eligible purchases at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores
- 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases
If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, the otherwise identical Amazon Rewards Visa Signature card earns 3% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases.
Of course, Prime Day sales are for Prime members only, so you must become a Prime member before the big event. But if you already have the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature card, you don’t need to reapply for the Prime Rewards card — the upgrade is automatic and immediate.
But if you have no interest in applying for an Amazon card or don’t qualify, use one or more of these Prime Day-friendly credit cards if you can:
Amazon and Whole Foods aren’t the only retailers worth patronizing on Prime Day. Many big-name sellers — Walmart and Target among them — slash prices to compete with Prime Day deals and offer price-match guarantees that may cover Amazon Prime Day deals (though be sure to read the fine print on these policies carefully).
If you play your cards right, your Prime Day shopfest could turn into a multi-retailer blowout that saves you hundreds on purchases you planned to make anyway while supporting your favorite non-Amazon merchants. Talk about a great way to get everything you need for less.
You can make your purchases count by joining the Amazon Smile program before the big day. Shop through the Amazon Smile site — not Amazon’s main site — to ensure Amazon donates 0.5% of eligible purchases to the charity of your choice.
You can also purchase actual products to give to thousands of registered Amazon Smile charities using the Charity Lists feature. It lets you buy frequently needed products, such as paper towels and cleaning supplies, preselected by participating charities, which are then shipped directly to them, putting your dollars to work right where charities need them most.