What is Amazon Prime Day? Everything you need to know and what to expect on July 15-16

Amazon Echo. Image: Getty Images

Big retail sales are no longer limited to a thinly-veiled partnership with major holidays.

In fact, Global behemoths like Amazon are not waiting around for Boxing Day or End of Financial Year to release major sales, but launching their own standalone shopping holidays like Prime Day.

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Introduced in 2015 in part to celebrate Amazon’s 20th anniversary, the first Amazon Prime Day was a one-day-only retail holiday that sought to overtake Black Friday as the sales event of the year. This year, Prime Day will be a 48-hour sale event held on July 15-16. It’ll feature major deals on Amazon devices, as well as over 1 million other deals sitewide — with all prices exclusive to Prime members.

The inaugural Amazon Prime Day received some criticism from shoppers who weren’t happy with the quality and quantity of deals offered, but Amazon has stepped up its game in both realms since, and to great success. Last year’s Prime Day was the biggest shopping day in company history until it was surpassed by Cyber Monday shortly after, a familiar pattern of record-breaking that it has experienced in years prior.

The fact that Amazon’s seemingly unshakable site crashed mere minutes after launching Prime Day last year suggests similarly record-breaking numbers this year (though fingers crossed shoppers won’t be met with the same error pages of apologetic puppies). The traffic is bolstered by prices that are their lowest ever, besting even Black Friday on popular items like tech, beauty, home and kitchen, and virtually every other category under the sun.

Prime Day has also been made available in more countries outside the US every year. Two years ago, it was extended to Canada, the UK, Spain, Mexico, Japan, Italy, India, Germany, France, China, Belgium, and Austria, and last year to Australia, Singapore, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. This year, it’s available to shoppers in the United Arab Emirates. The number of Prime subscribers surpassed 100 million people across the globe last year.

If you plan on shopping on Amazon Prime Day 2019 this year, we’ve compiled the best deals here.

When is Prime Day? What deals do we expect to see?

Prime Day this year will be a 48-hour event, starting at midnight PT on Monday, July 15 and ending at 11:59 p.m. PT on Tuesday, July 16. But Australia gets a whopping 65 hours of shopping, with US deals available until 5pm AEST on the 17th.

Amazon Prime Day as we know it is a global shopping event where Prime members can shop hundreds of thousands of deals sitewide, with new deals starting as often as every five minutes. This year will feature more than 1 million deals worldwide.

Some of the best Prime Day deals have already begun. You can try four months of Amazon Music Unlimited for only $0.99 (save $US31).

Last year, Amazon Prime Day began at 3 p.m. ET on Monday, July 16, and ran for 36 hours through Tuesday, July 17. It featured thousands of dollars of discounts on a range of products, from cult-favorites like the Instant Pot DUO60 ($40+ off) and Roomba robot vacuum ($120 off) to innovative products from small businesses.

Some of its best sellers were the Instant Pot, 23andMe DNA Test, and somewhat surprisingly, LifeStraw personal water filters. Business Insider readers in particular took advantage of noise-cancelling headphones from Sony, Bose, and Sennheiser; and a variety of Amazon devices.

It’s not surprising our readers loved Amazon devices. Historically, Amazon Prime Day is the best time of the year to buy one.

In the past, the company has offered double the deals on Amazon devices and the biggest deals yet on Alexa-enabled products like the Echo smart speakers, the Fire TV, and Fire tablets.

All of these Amazon devices will be on sale this Prime Day. They include some of Amazon’s newest Alexa-enabled products, introduced last September, like the 2nd generation Echo Plus speaker and the Echo Input speaker accessory. Amazon’s official press release promises that members will find the biggest Prime Day deals ever on Alexa-enabled devices.

Outside of physical device deals, expect deals on Amazon services and memberships like entertainment (Kindle Unlimited, Amazon Music Unlimited, Prime Video, Audible, etc.).

It sounds counterintuitive, but Amazon Prime Day is also a great time to shop everywhere except Amazon.

Plenty of other online retailers throw competing sales around Prime Day. If you’d rather hop over to Amazon for tech and Nordstrom for skin-care and beauty steals, you’re in luck, because they’ll both be courting you come mid-July.

Target and eBay are all holding directly competing summer sales to rival the deals of Prime Day.

However, Amazon’s perks like fast shipping remain, making Prime Day more often than not the winner in a competition of price and convenience.

If you still have lingering questions, read our guide to the most frequently asked questions about the day.

The most obvious tidbit is that you should sign up for a free 30-day Amazon Prime trial if you’re not already a member so you can take advantage of the deals.

If you plan on shopping this year, we’ll have you covered from nearly every point of entry, having combed through thousands of deals to cherry-pick the ones you won’t want to miss.

Find out some of the best Amazon Prime tech deals here.

At Business Insider, we independently select and write about products and services we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

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