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When is Amazon Prime Day 2021? How to find the best deals

CBS News logo CBS News 6/21/2021 Fox Van Allen
Amazon Package Deliveries On Prime Day © Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images Amazon Package Deliveries On Prime Day A worker wheels a cart of Amazon packages during a delivery in New York City on Amazon Prime Day 2020 (Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020). / Credit: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images © Provided by CBS News A worker wheels a cart of Amazon packages during a delivery in New York City on Amazon Prime Day 2020 (Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020). / Credit: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Amazon Prime Day is the online retailer's biggest shopping event of the year. The small and mid-sized businesses who sell on the e-tailer reported more than $3.5 billion in sales during Prime Day 2020. That marked a 60% increase compared with 2019.

Spread out over two days, Prime Day features limited-time, limited-quantity deals (called lightning deals) on a wide variety of clothing, bedding, laptops, headphones, Amazon-branded gear and more. You'll also find spotlight deals on big-name merchandise that will last throughout the two-day shopping event.

The online shopping event has grown considerably since the first Amazon Prime Day in 2015. Research firm Digital Commerce 360 has estimated that Amazon sold $10.4 billion worth of goods overall on Prime Day 2020. That would mark an increase of 45.2 percent from $7.16 billion in 2019.

Nowadays, Prime Day is not just an Amazon phenomenon -- other major retailers, such as Best Buy and Kohl's, offer their own online deals on Prime Day, eager to compete during this shopping mega-event. Walmart's own competing Prime Day event, Deals for Days, starts June 20 and runs through June 23.

When is Amazon Prime Day?

Amazon Prime Day typically falls on a different day every year. The company has announced that Amazon Prime Day 2021 will be held on Monday June 21 and Tuesday June 22, 2021. The 2021 Prime Day will be the earliest on record; the event last happened in October 2020 -- the latest Prime Day on record.

That doesn't mean you need to wait to shop: There are plenty of pre-Prime Day deals you can shop right now.

text, letter: FILE - In this June 30, 2011 file photo, a United Parcel Service driver delivers packages from Amazon.com in Palo Alto, Calif. Amazon is offering deals July 12, 2016, for the second edition of its annual © Provided by CBS News FILE - In this June 30, 2011 file photo, a United Parcel Service driver delivers packages from Amazon.com in Palo Alto, Calif. Amazon is offering deals July 12, 2016, for the second edition of its annual

What do you need to take part in Amazon Prime Day?

Amazon Prime Day deals are, generally, exclusive to Amazon Prime members. Those who have never been Amazon Prime members can get a 30-day free trial right now, an offer that will last through Amazon Prime Day 2021.

An Amazon Prime membership costs $12.99 per month (plus taxes), or $119 per year. It includes much more than access to Prime Day deals: You get free, two-day shipping on most Amazon products (and free same-day delivery in some areas), access to TV shows and movies on Amazon Prime Video, plus special deals at Whole Food Market and more.

You can see a full list of Amazon Prime benefits by clicking here. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime by clicking the button below.


Video: Getting Ready for Amazon Prime Day (CBS SF Bay Area)

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By the way: If you're not an Amazon Prime member, it's still possible to take advantage of some Prime Day deals. Big-box retailers such as Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Kohl's have seized on Prime Day to offer their own Amazon Prime Day deals in-store and on their websites, no memberships required. Expect announcements about those sales closer to June 21.

What goes on sale during Amazon Prime Day?

There's no easy answer to the question, "what goes on sale during Amazon Prime Day?" Except, perhaps, for this: A lot. A lot of stuff goes on sale for Amazon Prime Day.

Amazon keeps its full list of Prime Day deals under wraps until they go live. That said, many items go on sale consistently from Prime Day to Prime Day. Amazon, for example, will likely offer discounts on its Alexa-based smart home products, such as the Echo Dot (the No. 1 Prime Day seller in 2020, per Amazon) and the Echo Show.

a speaker next to a remote control:  / Credit: Amazon © Provided by CBS News / Credit: Amazon

Expect other Amazon-branded products to go on sale too, such as the best-selling Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K streaming device with voice remote. It makes dumb TVs smart so they can stream shows from Hulu, Disney+, Netflix and other media services.

It's normally priced at $50, and currently priced at $40.

It's not just Amazon-branded products that regularly go on sale. In past years, shoppers have found great deals on the Instant Pot multi-cooker, apparel from Adidas, vacuums from Dyson and iRobot, Keurig coffee makers and much more.

icon:  / Credit: Apple via Amazon © Provided by CBS News / Credit: Apple via Amazon

Discounts on the Apple Watch -- and other Apple products such as AirPods Pro and MacBooks -- have been common during past Prime Days as well. For example, the Apple Watch 3, an older-but-still-useful version, was marked down to $169 for Prime Day 2020. (You can't get that deal right now at Amazon -- not until Amazon Prime Day 2021, perhaps? -- but the Apple Watch 3 is available for $169 right now at Walmart.)

graphical user interface, website:  / Credit: Amazon © Provided by CBS News / Credit: Amazon

And while historically, the best deals on new televisions have emerged on Black Friday and during Superbowl season, nowadays you can find great TV deals on Prime Day -- especially on smaller televisions and Fire TV Edition smart TVs. During Prime Day 2020, Amazon offered shoppers this 43-inch Amazon Fire TV Edition Smart TV with 4K resolution for $210, marked down from $290. (It's currently available on Amazon for $240.)

Here's how to get a $10 Amazon credit to spend on Prime Day

One of the best Prime Day deals to be head during Amazon Prime Day 2021 is the company's $10 small business promotion. If you spend $10 at participating small businesses between now and June 20, you'll get a $10 Amazon credit to spend between June 21 and 22 on Prime Day.

The full list of participating small businesses includes women-owned, black-owned, family-owned and military-owned businesses, and is searchable by region if you want to shop local.

How should you prepare for Amazon Prime Day?

It can be tricky to plan for Amazon Prime Day; the deals vary from year to year. But there are a few things to keep in mind while looking for the best Amazon Prime Day deals.

For starters: The best discounts usually apply to Amazon's own products. It's a good idea to put off any purchases of Amazon devices in the month before Prime Day -- they're the most likely products of to go on deep discount.

Prime Day is also a smart time to shop for everyday housewares, such as electric toothbrushes and small kitchen appliances. These products are typically featured sales items. We've seen great deals on coffee (such as K-cups), charging cables and other common essentials as well -- including prices that stand out as some of the best of the year.

But not every Prime Day deal will be a good one. To know for sure, try CamelCamelCamel -- it's a free Amazon price tracker. Just paste an Amazon URL in the site's search bar and you can see every the year-over-year price history for any Amazon item.

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