What you need to know before shopping Amazon Prime Day

Noelle Ike, CNN Underscored
Sun July 8, 2018

Story highlights

  • Amazon Prime Day deals aren't limited to the event's 36-hour window
  • We'll be curating deals and products to shop here, so stay tuned

This year, Amazon Prime Day will start on July 16 at 3 p.m. ET and run until July 17 at midnight, which means you'll have 36 hours to take advantage of huge sales and stock up on exclusive items, special edition products and a whole range of online deals. But Prime Day is exclusively for Amazon Prime members, so now is the time to sign up for a membership if you don't already have one. (You can scope out all the benefits here.)

Prime Day deals aren't limited to the event's 36-hour window -- which means starting now, you have time to find savings that may get lost in the chaos of the actual sales event.

But where to begin? That's where we come in. Below you'll find tips on how to find the best deals prior to Prime Day -- think of this as your cheat sheet for getting the most bang for your buck.

Know your categories

It goes without saying that different categories within Amazon will have different discounts, many of which will preview sales ahead of Prime Day. You'll want to be strategic about the categories you're eyeing and bookmark many of their deals now, so you don't miss out on any must-have products or sales.

  • Prime Video: There will be various discounts on popular digital movie orders in the days leading up to Prime Day
  • Amazon brands: Deals are now underway with 30% off a selection of everyday essentials, which range from coffee beans to baby food.
  • Amazon Home brand: A deal available now gives you 20% off AmazonBasics products that include cookware, bedding, accessories and furniture. In addition, you can save big on Rivet, Stone and Pinzon brands (up to 25% off).

Register for different Amazon services

This year, Amazon is offering discounted membership prices on a number of services, including Audible and Prime Pantry. You can shop these deals from now through Prime Day.

  • Audible: Save 66% off a three-month membership to Audible, for a total of $30 in savings.
  • Audible Romance: Start your 30-day free trial of unlimited access to thousands of romance audiobooks.
  • Kindle Unlimited: Save 33% off a 12-month plan or 40% off a 24-month plan.
  • Prime Student: Start your free six-month trial to ensure you can take advantage of all the Amazon Prime deals, ahead of back-to-school season. After the first six months, membership is only $6.49 a month.
  • Amazon FreeTime Unlimited: Save 90% off the FreeTime Unlimited three-month plan
  • Prime Pantry: Get $3 back with registration for a 30-day free trial of Prime Pantry. All new customers will also receive $10 off any $40 order.
  • Amazon Fresh: Start your free trial of Amazon Fresh and receive $30 off your first order with the promo code 30FRESH.
  • Twitch Prime: Twitch Prime is delivering free daily video games and/or in-game content, now through Prime Day. Make sure to link your Prime account to your Twitch account to take advantage of these giveaways.

Stay alert!

While a lot of information on savings has been released recently, there's more to come throughout the days leading up to July 16, and of course on Amazon Prime Day itself. To make your shopping search easier, we'll be curating deals and products to shop here on CNN Underscored, so that you can get the most out of your Prime Day. Happy shopping!