UPDATE: Jun. 21, 2023, 4:01 p.m. EDT This story has been updated with new intel about early Amazon Prime Day 2023 deals and other retailers’ competing sales.
Amazon’s flagship Prime Day sale may not be as singular as it once was, but the members-only savings event remains a huge draw for inflation-weary shoppers hunting for summer deals.
Here’s what you need to know about Amazon Prime Day 2023.
When is Prime Day 2023?
Amazon has announced(opens in a new tab) that Prime Day will run from Tuesday, July 11 at 3 a.m. ET through Wednesday, July 12 in 2023, with new deals dropping every 30 minutes during the sale. This lines up with its historical preference for early-week slots in mid-July, so it comes as little surprise. (For reference, 2022’s dates were Tuesday, July 12, and Wednesday, July 13.)
Early access to select Prime Day deals(opens in a new tab) began Wednesday, June 21, in case you didn’t want to save all of your shopping for the day of.
What is Prime Day?
Prime Day is an annual sitewide sale that Amazon puts on for members of its Prime subscription service. First held in 2015 in honor of Amazon’s 20th anniversary(opens in a new tab) (with mixed success), it was originally plugged(opens in a new tab) as a “one-day-only event filled with more deals than Black Friday.” In the years since, it’s morphed into a 48-hour affair that’s preceded by a week of preview offers. “Prime Day” is a misnomer at this point.
What’s new or different about Prime Day this year?
Amazon is introducing a brand-new “invite-only” deals program for products it expects to sell out on Prime Day, which should alleviate some of the frenzied chaos that typically surrounds its doorbusters. Prime members can visit these products’ listings to request an invitation ahead of the event. If chosen, you’ll receive an email with a unique link to buy the item during Prime Day.
Amazon hasn’t explained how it’ll be picking these lucky eligible shoppers; all we know is that they’re exclusive to Prime members (paid and trial).
You can throw your hat into the ring on a handful of invite-only deals already, including a 43-inch Amazon Fire TV Omni 4K smart TV(opens in a new tab) (75% off), JBL Live 660NC(opens in a new tab) noise-canceling headphones (55% off), and the FOREO LUNA 3(opens in a new tab) facial cleansing brush (50% off).
What are the best early Prime Day deals?
Prime Day has always been Amazon’s favorite excuse to discount its own devices and services, and this year is no different. The early deals that began rolling out June 21 feature steep savings on gadgets like the Kindle Kids(opens in a new tab) (44% off), the fifth-generation Echo Dot Kids(opens in a new tab) (53% off), Fire Kids tablets(opens in a new tab) and bundles(opens in a new tab) (up to 50% off), eero mesh WiFi routers(opens in a new tab) (up to 56% off), the Luna Wireless Controller(opens in a new tab) (43% off), and a slew of Fire TVs from several different brands. This includes the bestselling 75-inch Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED Series 4K smart TV(opens in a new tab), the new 32-inch Amazon Fire TV 2-Series smart TV(opens in a new tab), and a countertop-friendly 24-inch Insignia smart Fire TV(opens in a new tab) that comes in at only $65.
Select titles in the Prime Video(opens in a new tab) library are now on sale for up to 50% off — rentals included — and Prime members can score 99-cent subscriptions to certain channels, including an MGM+ and Amazon Music Unlimited bundle. A half-off deal on two months’ worth of AMC+ and Paramount+ is also up for grabs for new subscribers.
For those trying to catch up on summer reading lists, a Prime membership now unlocks three free months of Kindle Unlimited(opens in a new tab) (normally $11.99/month), too.
Need something new to play? Prime members can claim bonus classic games like Prey and Baldur’s Gate II each week in the lead-up to Prime Day (via Prime Gaming(opens in a new tab)), as well as bonus content for newer titles like Diablo IV, Overwatch 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and Pokémon GO.
Beyond that, our other usual Prime Day suspects include robot vacuums, headphones, video games and gaming consoles, outdoor gear, fitness equipment, and basically every Apple product under the sun. (Amazon has been holding the second-gen AirPods Pro(opens in a new tab) at $200 and wasted no time in putting the new 15-inch MacBook(opens in a new tab) on sale, so the pressure’s on for some extra-good Prime Day offers.) Amazon’s press release specifically name-dropped brands like Bose, Peloton, YETI, Sony, and Theragun, which will all probably hold out until Prime Day proper.
Wait, didn’t Amazon just host a Prime shopping event?
The last Prime-exclusive sale isn’t all that far in our rearview mirror. The inaugural Prime Early Access Sale (an unofficial “Prime Day 2”) ushered in exclusive discounts across the site last Oct. 11 through 12, kicking off the holidays extra-early and marking the first time Amazon has hosted two such events in the same calendar year.
No word yet on whether we’ll get another Prime Early Access Sale in 2023, but the first iteration’s relative success(opens in a new tab) points to a likely “yes.”
Can you shop on Prime Day without being a Prime member?
You can snag Prime Day deals without committing to a paid Prime membership by scheduling a 30-day free trial(opens in a new tab) around the event. Just remember to cancel it as soon as the sale is over to avoid getting charged.
Who’s competing with Prime Day?
Walmart and Target both threw their hats into the anti-Prime Day ring mere hours after Amazon’s date reveal went live.
The former announced a new summer savings event called Walmart+ Week, a seeming expansion of last June’s Walmart+ Weekend that more directly competes with Prime Day: It’ll run on the Walmart website from Monday, July 10 at 12 p.m. ET to Thursday, July 13 at 7 p.m. ET. (More like Walmart+ Three Days And Some Change, but I digress.)
Members of the big box store’s Walmart+(opens in a new tab) subscription service will have early access to the sale for the first 24 hours before it opens to the public on Tuesday, July 11 at 12 p.m. ET. That only includes paid Walmart+ members, so you’ll have to upgrade from its free trial tier if you want to participate; plans go for $12.95/month or $98/year. Here’s a sneak peek of some of the top deals you can expect to see:
Several exclusive promotions will also be up for grabs for Walmart+ members during the event, including buy-one-get-one Six Flags tickets, $5/month Panera Unlimited Sip Club subscriptions, free Rover credits, and 30% off all SpaFinder gift certificates.
Meanwhile, Target plans on hosting one of its semi-annual Circle Week sales from Sunday, July 9 to Saturday, June 15. (A whole actual week!) Billed(opens in a new tab) as its “biggest sale of the season,” the event is open to members of the retailer’s totally free Target Circle(opens in a new tab) loyalty program and runs online, in stores, and on the Target app. Highlights will include:
Best Buy is also expected to run a competing Prime Day sale, as it has in years past, though it hasn’t made an official announcement yet. Stay tuned.
Prime Day shopping tips and tricks
Sign up for those invite-only deals. We’ll flag the best ones as they bubble up.
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.
Download the Amazon Shopping(opens in a new tab) mobile app. The app features a Prime Day event page where you can set deal alerts for your recent Amazon searches and views; you’ll get pinged with a push notification as soon as an offer goes live during the event.
Take advantage of Alexa’s advanced deal alerts feature. Amazon’s virtual assistant can 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-gen Echo smart speaker, and you’ll see its light ring turn yellow (or you’ll get a pop-up alert) whenever an item you’ve saved has a discount in the pipeline. You can then ask for more information about the deal, set a reminder for when it’s available, and even give Alexa 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 Amazon’s limited-time Lightning Deals.) It also lets you create a price watch for individual items — say, if you’re hoping the new Fire 11 Max dips below the $200 mark.
How to sign up for Amazon Prime
If you haven’t been an Amazon Prime member within the past 12 months, you 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 upfront.)
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. (The latter saves you just over $40 annually, FYI.)
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 qualify 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 last spring (from $119 to $139), which wasn’t totally unexpected: Amazon has increased its membership fees by $20 every four years since 2014. But the looming threat(opens in a new tab) of a recession can make that cost hard to swallow right now — especially when Walmart(opens in a new tab) and Best Buy(opens in a new tab)‘s rivaling subscription services cost $98 and $49.99 per year, respectively.
That being said, $139 is still a stellar value when you factor in all the perks(opens in a new tab) Prime includes; free two-day (or faster) shipping on millions of items is just the tip of the iceberg. Subscribers get complete on-demand access to the Prime Video(opens in a new tab) library, which has the biggest movie collection(opens in a new tab) of all the major U.S. streaming services. (A $139 annual Prime membership is almost $50 cheaper than a year’s worth of a Standard Netflix plan.) You also have free rein of the Prime Music(opens in a new tab), Prime Gaming(opens in a new tab), and Prime Reading(opens in a new tab) libraries, in case you somehow run out of things to watch.
Amazon sweetens things even further with unlimited photo storage via Amazon Photos(opens in a new tab), plus a free year’s worth of Grubhub+(opens in a new tab) that’s valued at about $120 itself. All things considered, Prime easily pays for itself if you use it to its full extent.