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What is Amazon Prime Day?

Including when it starts, special ways to save and what to shop for this year.
woman sitting in living room using laptop
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Last year Amazon held its longest Prime Day event ever — a full 48 hours worth of deals on everything fashion, beauty, tech and more. The event typically takes place during the summer months but was put on pause this year with little word of its return. But now the official details that avid shoppers have been waiting for are out: Amazon Prime Day is back for two days this October.

So, if you're looking for a chance to get most of your holiday shopping done early this year or want to indulge in a bit of retail therapy on items that you wouldn't typically purchase if they aren't on sale, consider this your chance.

We rounded up all of the information you need to know in order to navigate Amazon Prime Day 2020, including some extra ways to save during this shopping holiday. Read on for all you need to know.

When is Amazon Prime Day 2020?

The event will take place starting at 12 a.m. PDT on Tuesday, Oct. 13 and will last a full 48 hours, just like last year's event. Deals will last until they sell out, so if you want to make sure that you won't miss any markdowns on items that you've had your eye on, you'll want to make sure that you have a deal alert set up to notify you when it goes on sale.

When does Amazon Prime Day end this year?

Prime Day 2020 will officially draw to a close at 11:59 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, Oct. 14. If you think you might forget just when the chance to save big on big-ticket items will be gone, this year you can ask Alexa-enabled devices to set a reminder for you.

How can you save during Prime Day?

In order to take advantage of Prime Day markdowns, you'll need to make sure that you are signed up for a Prime membership. While a yearly membership costs $12.99 per month, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial if you want to take advantage of the Prime member deals just for Amazon Prime Day 2020.

Students can also enjoy six months of Prime benefits for free, along with exclusive student offers for Amazon Music and Video by signing up for a free trial. You can also opt to purchase a yearly subscription if you want to enjoy the convenience of free, two-day shipping on the other 363 days of the year.

How will I know what deals to shop?

Throughout the 48-hour event there will be thousands of items on sale as part of Prime Day deals, lightning deals, deals of the day and flash savings that you won't want to miss. During these flash sales, such as lightning deals, merchants will set a time window where a specific item will be on sale until it sells out (we're looking at you, Instant Pot). This is where downloading the Amazon app will come in handy, so you can set alerts to make sure you don't miss a thing.

What are other ways to save this year?

Along with savings on physical products from top-rated brands, you can also score major savings on other popular Amazon services, such as Amazon Music, Prime Video, and Kindle Unlimited. During the event, Prime members can enjoy special access to exclusive live performances and subscription deals for Amazon Music and Video.

If you prefer to head out to the store to get your grocery shopping done, you can also take advantage of a 'Spend $10, Get $10' deal at Whole Foods (which is owned by Amazon). From Sept. 28 through Oct. 14, you can receive a one-time $10 credit for spending $10 or more at Amazon's physical locations like Whole Foods, Amazon Books and Amazon Go, among others. You can receive up to five credits that can be put toward any purchase during Prime Day, for a total of $50 in credits. For those who prefer to use Amazon Fresh, you can receive $15 off of every $50 spent on the Amazon website or app.

How has Prime Day expanded this year?

This year, Amazon is allowing customers the option to make purchases using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cards or an Electronic Benefits Card (EBT), and is also increasing its delivery presence in food desert areas in the United States. Customers can use this form of payment to receive free shipping and discounts on select products across Amazon groceries, Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry. Qualifying customers with an EBT or Medicaid card can also receive a discounted rate of $5.99 per month for an Amazon Prime membership.

Amazon has also pledged to invest $18 billion in small and medium businesses this year and will be spotlighting small and medium businesses during this year's Prime Day event. Amazon will also be running another 'Spend $10, Get $10' promotion for customers that shop small in the days leading up to Prime Day, and customers are eligible to receive a $10 credit for every $10 spent supporting a small business on Amazon through Oct. 12.

What should I have my eye on this year?

This year you can expect deals on nearly every category on the site (plus some you likely didn't know about before). From deals on Amazon devices to fleece fashion must-haves to all of the hottest toys that will be on every kid's list for the holidays this year, here are a few of the items we think you'll want to grab before it's too late.

Prime Day was created by Amazon which has an affiliate relationship with TODAY. Whenever you buy an Amazon product through our site, Amazon pays TODAY a small commission on that sale.

Amazon Prime Day 2020 deals

1. Instant Pot Duo Pressure Cooker

The internet might just never stop raving about the Instant Pot, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see this bestseller on sale during Prime Day this year. It saw a $50 markdown last year and might see an even bigger discount this Prime Day.

2. Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

According to tech experts, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is one of the best streaming devices on the market right now. It offers quality sound and supports other software at an affordable price point. This new model will be released on Wednesday and previous generations might also be on this Prime Day.

3. Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation)

Prime Day is one of the best times to splurge on an Amazon device, as many of the retailer's own products see can't-miss markdowns during the annual event. The Echo Dot is a popular pick that allows you to connect with Alexa, play music, turn on lights in your home, check the weather and more.

4. Amazon Brand Core 10 ‘Build Your Own’ Legging

These leggings from Amazon Brand Core 10 allow you to choose the size, waistband and color, hence the 'build your own' concept. They're crafted from a polyester-spandex blend and are available in sizes XS to 3X.

5. Orolay Women's Thickened Down Winter Coat

The famous "Amazon Coat" is another internet-famous fashion item that we have our eye on this Prime Day. It's perfect for layering into the colder months and has more than 7,000 rave reviews from Amazon shoppers that love the lightweight yet warm feel.

6. Foxprint Princess Castle

This popular pop-up tent is adorable and portable, so they can bring the fun and imagination with them on-the-go. You can expect discounts on plenty of top-rated kids' toys this Prime Day.

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