Amazon announces Prime Day 2024 dates: How to shop deals and tips to avoid scams

How to score the best deals on Amazon Prime Day

NBC Universal, Inc.

The wait is over. Amazon has announced the official dates for this year's annual Prime Day event with a little help from Megan Thee Stallion.

The rapper unveiled a new original song called “It’s Prime Day,” which dropped overnight with an accompanying music video.  

First introduced in 2015 to celebrate Amazon's 20th year in business, Amazon Prime Day has become a much-anticipated annual shopping event. Now spanning two days, it offers deep discounts on thousands of products in Amazon's marketplace.

When Is Amazon Prime Day 2024?

Amazon Prime Day is taking place officially on July 16 and 17, but the online market place tends to kick off some early deals a few days before the main event. Prime Day will last for 48 hours, beginning Tuesday, July 16 at midnight Pacific time (3 a.m. ET) and ending Wednesday, July 17.

Do I need a Prime Membership for Amazon Prime Day?

The short answer is yes. You must be an Amazon Prime member to participate in the sale. The cost of membership is $139 a year.

The membership comes with free one-day or two-day delivery, and customers in some locations can also access same-day delivery. In addition to the free Prime delivery, membership gives customers access to Amazon video, music, gaming, photo storage and more, including the a free one-year membership to Grubhub’s premium “Plus” delivery service and discounts on prescription drugs.

You can sign up for a free, 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, after which you'll pay $14.99 per month or the full annual amount of $139 for the year (plus tax in some states). Prime accounts can be shared within a household, which includes up to two adults, four teens and four children.

Discounted memberships are available for students with a valid school email account at $69 a year.

How to shop Prime Day

Amazon said this year's Prime Day will offer deep discounts on Amazon-branded products like Alexa, Fire Sticks, Kindles and Ring Doorbells. The company is also leaning into back-to-school and college items for savings.

Prime members can also take advantage of early access discounts, which is available starting Tuesday June 25.

Compare prices

If you really have your eyes set on specific items, search for it online to cross-reference the prices. You can also use The Camelizer, an Amazon price tracking extension for your web browser, to make sure you're truly getting the best deal.

Watch for Lightning Deals

One way to find the best sales on Amazon Prime Day is by taking advantage of "Lightning Deals," which are short-lived discounts that last for short window of time — expiring when the item sells out or the timer runs out.

Amazon said shoppers can expect new deals to drop every five minutes during select periods through this year's Prim Day. Invite-only deals are also back this year, which means Prime members can request an invitation to exclusive deals that are expected to sell out.

You can monitor Lightning Deals on the Amazon Prime Day page and they'll be easy to spot since they display a countdown timer next to the item.

Ask Alexa

Amazon's Alexa device can be used to notify you of deals on items in your wish list or products you have "saved for later" in your cart.

Tips on Avoiding Amazon Prime Day Scams and Counterfeits

Amazon does sell many of its own goods and those by name brand companies, but the majority of their listings are from “third-party sellers.”

While many of those merchants are very reputable, some are peddling fake merchandise or advertising amazing deals on something you may want or need, but will result in you getting scammed. 

So, if you are planning to take advantage of Prime Day deals, here’s some tips to avoid getting scammed: 

  • First, only “click” on the Amazon Prime box — that will limit your exposure online to phony or scam ads. 
  • Avoid clicking on products with “no reviews.” Just about every item for sale will have reviews good or bad, if there are none, consider that your warning. 
  • Don’t just research the product, research the seller. Google their name along with the word "scam" and see what the search could reveal about prior complaints about the product and the company selling it. 
  • If there is odd spelling, poor descriptions or bad grammar, that’s another warning sign you could be dealing with a fraudster from overseas. 
  • Lastly, if the price just seems too good to be true, it probably is. Do some comparison shopping for the same item and if there is a vast difference, you could be dealing with a seller that’s not legit. 
NBC/The Associated Press
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