I've been writing about Prime for five years and these six tips will help you spot a REAL Prime Day bargain

Amazon Prime Day is one of the biggest sale events of the yearAmazon Prime Day is one of the biggest sale events of the year
Amazon Prime Day is one of the biggest sale events of the year | Oleksandr - stock.adobe.com

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Consumer technology writer Gareth Butterfield has a keen eye for a deal, especially when it comes to Amazon’s big sale events - here are his tips

I wanted to bag some quite specific bargains in last year's Amazon Prime Day. Given I write about consumer deals for a living, I consider myself quite well-placed to spot them, but you do need to have your wits about you and consider each purchase carefully.

Unlike the seasonal sales advertised by some retail giants, Prime Day isn't just a clear-out of rubbish that nobody has wanted to buy. There are some genuinely remarkable savings to be had.

But because of the power of such a huge consumer event, and the hysteria it can create, lots of other online retailers are responding to Amazon's big sales by aiming to match or even beat the prices put out over the two days.

This means you need to be a bit careful with impulse buys. Consider each purchase carefully, and always double-check before you hit the buy button.

Here are my tips to get the best out of Prime Day 2024.

1. Make a list

Do you need a new electric toothbrush? Is your lawnmower about to cough its last? Microwave making weird noises? Prime Day is perhaps the best time to make these investments because it's very likely you'll see the prices at the best they're going to be for quite a while.

Knowing which items you want to focus on can save time and moneyKnowing which items you want to focus on can save time and money
Knowing which items you want to focus on can save time and money

But stay in control. Flick through each category carefully, and look out for the discounts. Stick to your list though. Amazon will do its best to convince you to snap up other tempting deals while you're on there. They might be related products, or they might be something you never expected to need.

Amazon's algorithms know you very well, and Prime Day makes it tempting to purchase things you don't strictly need. Keep your wallet sealed up until you find the bits you want, and don't be tempted to spend what you save on something completely different.

2. Check the prices elsewhere

As good as Amazon Prime Day can be, it's quite possible Amazon won't have the best bargain. So, when you find the product you're keen on, head on to Google and look out for other competing prices.

After you've searched for your item, click Google's "Products" tab and you'll see a selection of offers. It doesn't always happen, but there's a chance someone will be trying to beat Amazon's price.

Remember that, even if the price is the same as Amazon, as long as you don't want next-day delivery, there could be hidden benefits to buying from elsewhere. Buying from Boots, for example, might top up the points on your Advantage Card. And eBay and Sainsbury's will give you Nectar Points.

It takes moments to double check you're getting the best deal, and it's always worth doing.

3. Focus on Amazon-branded devices

It stands to reason that Amazon will have more "wiggle room" when it comes to prices on its own products, so this is absolutely the best time to buy these sorts of products.

Amazon-branded tech like the Echo Show are likely to see big discountsAmazon-branded tech like the Echo Show are likely to see big discounts
Amazon-branded tech like the Echo Show are likely to see big discounts | Amazon

Think about Echo smart speakers, Fire tablets, Fire TVs and Fire Sticks, or Kindle eBook readers.

Also, though, think about Ring video equipment like doorbells, or Blink security tech. It's all part of the Amazon family and I can guarantee these will see the biggest savings.

4. Use the category tabs

When you load up an Amazon page, even if you've searched for something, you'll be swamped with options and featured products. But if you're careful with the tick boxes on the left-hand side of the page, you can zero in on a particular category.

And, on the next page, you can start to hone in on the biggest sellers, or the newest products, or the items that have deals on them currently.

5. Use software to do the heavy lifting for you

If you're serious about savings, and you don't mind investing a small amount to help you get the absolute best deals out there, there are some services that will use complex software to do the searching for you.

The three most popular systems people use are CamelCamelCamel, Keepa, and PriceTracker. These are premium services that have a sign-up fee, but they will constantly track the prices of products you're keen on, and alert you when the price drops.

Very usefully, they also keep track of millions of prices on Amazon, so when you see a deal you like the look of, you can check whether it has actually had a heavy discount, or whether it's still at a static price.

Prime Day is a fantastic time to buy expensive items, but not everything gets a discount, and it's well worth using a tool like this to make sure you're quids in.

6. Always check Amazon Warehouse

Prime Day events will save a lot of people a lot of money. But you don't necessarily have to wait for them to come around to get the biggest bargains. If you need a new carpet cleaner and you can't wait until the next sales event, have a look at Amazon Warehouse.

Essentially, it's all items that get returned to Amazon, but they're inspected, checked, and repaired or refurbished if necessary and then sold on in a separate part of the vast website.

Not many people know about the Amazon Warehouse section, but the savings can be incredible. Up to 80% off, in some cases. And you still have a returns policy if you're not happy with your purchase.