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COVID Chronicles: Preparing for Prime Day

COVID Chronicles: Preparing for Prime Day

October 09, 2020

I have been shopping Prime Day for several years now. For those who are unaware of what Prime Day is, it is a 48hour online shopping spree where there is a constant rotation of flash sales for various products on the Amazon site. Prime Day has been largely successful for Amazon, grossing $4.19 billion in sales in 2018. The advertising and marketing to get people spending money is very effective. If you are not careful, you can end up spending way more than you can afford on the 13th and 14th of this month.

When it first started, I would say I navigated Prime Day with varying success. The flash sales definitely engaged parts of my brain that made me check the site 24/7. The first year I shopped, I bought several things that I thought I needed at the time which ended up collecting dust in storage bins. Amazon Marketing 1, Nathan 0. I realized I needed to approach "Shopping-Holidays" such as Prime Day and Black Friday in a way that would be beneficial to my wallet. It turns out, the best way to fight the bug of overspending on Prime Day is the same tactic that we should use when approaching spending in the day to day. Here are some great steps to prepare for Prime Day.

Make a Budget

I know I am being a broken record, but simply budgeting how much you will allow yourself to spend on Prime Day is a surefire way to not spend more than you should. It makes your brain engage in the buying process, having to weigh out what you choose to add to the cart. The more you think about a purchase, the less likely you will make an ill-advised one.

Make a List of Things You Want to Buy

A great way to spend lots of money unnecessarily is to aimlessly open up the Prime Deals page and become entranced by all the shiny "deals". First off, not all deals that are listed are actually deals. When you see all the listings say that they are between 25% and 70% off, you begin to believe that you cannot lose with any purchase. Wrong. Prices can get manipulated or marketed up before the "discount" is applied. if you know what you are looking for and how much those items actually cost, you will be able to spot phony deals. I am shopping for a new laptop this year and I have already done research on the brands that I am looking for and how much they cost. Now that my point of reference is correct, I can shop for deals more effectively. 

Another great thing to do is to create your Christmas shopping list. I try to keep tabs throughout the year regarding what my family and friends would want or need. While searching the deals I have that list handy as a reference so I don't get off track. 

Collect Bonus Credit

There are some nifty ways to accrue credit on Amazon. I have listed some below.

  • Spend $10, Get $10 shopping Amazon's physical stores

    Shoppers who spend at least $10 at Whole Foods Market (in-store, pick-up, or delivery) can get a $10 credit to use when Amazon Prime Day comes around. You'll need to check out with your Amazon Prime account to snag the credit. This offer also extends to Prime members who shop at Amazon physical stores, including Amazon Fresh, Amazon Go or Amazon Go Grocery, Amazon Books or Amazon Pop Up, and Amazon 4-star. If you manage to shop at each location, you'll collect $50 to use on Prime Day. 
  • Earn $10 more by supporting small businesses

    Amazon is also offering the same 'Spend $10, Get $10' offer when you shop small businesses via Amazon. It's worth noting that this $10 credit, plus those available for shopping at Amazon's physical stores, can only be redeemed on Prime Day and can't be redeemed before or after. 
  • Pick up a $5 credit with Amazon Cash

    This service lets you shop Amazon without a debit or credit card by adding cash at participating locations. First-time Amazon Cash customers can get a $5 Amazon credit when they add $30 in their Amazon Cash bank.
  • Apply for an Store Card

    Shoppers who sign up and get approved receive a $60 gift card. If you have an Amazon Prime Store Card, you can earn 5% back on your purchases and up to 25% back on Prime Day purchases. Each month, your points can be redeemed as a statement credit or used to buy millions of items on Amazon. There's no annual fee, either.

While you most likely will not get everything that you put on your shopping list, this is one of the smartest ways to approach Prime Day to save money. I hope these tips will help you find great deals on things you actually need or want. Happy shopping!