Everything you need to know about Amazon Prime Day 2019

China’s factories are key to Amazon’s lucrative Prime Day.
China’s factories are key to Amazon’s lucrative Prime Day.
Image: Quartz/Mike Murphy
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At 12am US Pacific time (3am US Eastern time) on July 15 through the end of July 16, Amazon will be hosting its fifth-annual Prime Day sale event.

Here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to know.

What is Amazon Prime Day?

It’s an annual sale on Amazon properties, open to anyone with Amazon’s Prime free-shipping membership. You can access it here and on the Amazon app until the end of July 18 US Pacific time.

What will be on sale?

Amazon has committed to putting more than 1 million products on sale during the buying bonanza. Though Amazon doesn’t release a full list of the deals (there are so many, after all), it has given a ton of hints about what’s on sale. Apart from its own gadgets—the Amazon Echo, Kindle, and Fire devices, as well its eero routers and Ring doorbells—expect decent discounts on all of Amazon’s house brands, a wide range of TVs, headphones, laptops, smart-home gadgets, cookware, furniture, home goods, toys, games, and just about everything else Amazon sells.

Amazon also announced that it will be putting Lady Gaga’s new line of cosmetics, which she recently developed exclusively for the retailer, up on its site for preorder during Prime Day.

How do I keep track of everything?

There are so many discounts that it would be nearly impossible to track everything. But there will be guides, such as this one by Wirecutter, that help track some of the best deals.

You can ask any Alexa-enabled device, “Alexa, what are my deals?” to get access to exclusive deals from 3pm US Eastern time on July 14.

Using the Amazon app, you can also follow products to find out when they’ll be on sale or have sold out. On any applicable product page during Prime Days, there will be a “Watch this deal” button that will send you notifications on the product throughout the day.

Or you can just keep refreshing all day. But be warned: the site crashed last year, and there’s a chance that will happen again this year.

Are the deals any good?

Although there will be literally more than 1 million things on sale, many will likely not be that compelling to you. That Wirecutter guide above will be updated throughout the day, so make sure to check whether the price drops are actually that big. The New York Times has some advice on other products to avoid on Prime Day.

Amazon has announced that products from many popular brands, including Under Armour, Lacoste, Champion, J. Crew, Toto, Sony, Samsung, Google, Paul Mitchell, Nintendo, HP, and many more, will be discounted during the event.

Prime Day is also a great time to buy anything you’ve been hankering after that Amazon itself makes. The company has announced that many of its generic brands and pretty much every one of its gadgets will be steeply discounted. A new Echo speaker will cost only $50 (down from $100), and a Fire 7 tablet just $30 (down from $50). There will also be up to 50% discounts on many Amazon clothing brands, including Amazon Essentials, Daily Ritual, Goodthreads, and Lark & Ro, as well as 30% discounts on many AmazonBasics products.

Amazon has listed the best-selling products during last year year’s event by country. In the US, the most popular Prime Day product was the much-loved Instant Pot pressure cooker; in France it was an internet-connected plug; in Japan it was whey protein; and in Singapore, it was Coke Zero, for some reason. The overall global bestseller was its Fire TV Stick streaming device.

Will Whole Foods and Amazon’s Bookstores be involved?

Oh yes. As Whole Foods is very much part of the Amazon family now, there will be some in-store Prime Day deals at the grocer. Amazon’s bookstores will also offer deals.

There’s an added bonus for Prime members who use Whole Foods or Amazon Prime Now delivery: If you spend at least $10 on an order between now and July 16, Amazon will give you $10 back to spend on during Prime Day.

For Amazon’s bookstores, anyone who spends $50 between now and July 16 will get a $10 Amazon gift card.

What about the rest of Amazon?

Just about everything Amazon owns will offer some sort of promotion during Prime Day. The daily deals site Woot!, the audiobook platform Audible, Prime Video, Amazon Photos, and all of the various services Amazon runs, like Kindle Unlimited, IMDb Pro, Prime Pantry, AmazonFresh, and Twitch Prime will be offering subscription discounts during Prime Day. The list goes on.

And if you have the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature credit card, any purchases made during Prime Day at Amazon stores, Whole Foods, or the website will receive 6% cash back. If you’d like to sign up for the credit card, you’ll also get an $80 gift card added to your Amazon account, assuming you’re eligible.

Is Amazon Prime Day just a US event?

No! Amazon has Prime Day deals in many countries, including the UK, Canada, Germany, France, China, Mexico, Australia, and India, where Prime subscriptions are growing faster than in any other country.

How are other retailers coping?

Even though Amazon has done what no other retailer before it could—created a holiday entirely devoted to buying things at its properties—no one else wants to get left behind. Everyone else in retail is jumping on the bandwagon, lest consumers forget who they are during the next day or so. Make sure to check around the web, because retailers’ counter-sales could potentially even be more enticing than what Amazon has on offer. But much like Black Friday, many will just be offering similar cuts to what Amazon has.