Personal finance

Here’s what to buy on Amazon Prime Day

It’s become one of the biggest shopping events of the year, yet some discounts are better than others.

The 48-hour Amazon Prime Day extravaganza kicks off July 15, with more than 1 million deals for members, including intermittent “lightning deals.”

For example, the Toshiba HD 43-inch Fire TV Edition Smart TV is now $179.99, a $120 savings, while supplies last.

In fact, nearly 8 in 10 back-to-school shoppers mark their calendars with the Amazon event, according to the National Retail Federation.

“It’s worth it if you are looking in general for something,” said Micheal Bonebright, a senior blog editor at DealNews. However, “if you are looking for a very specific thing, like a computer monitor or backpack, that may not go on sale.”

Not surprisingly, Amazon devices, in particular, such as the Echo or Kindle, will be deeply discounted. (Prime members who haven’t tried Kindle Unlimited can get the first three months of unlimited reading free when they sign up, according to RetailMeNot.)

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But don’t count out home goods, Bonebright said. Last year, one of Amazon’s best-selling Prime Day items was a six-quart instant pot for $59.

Shoppers can also save up to 30% off on some Amazon-exclusive household items and an additional $10 off $40 pantry orders with the code “pantry,” Bonebright said.

That brings a 24-pack of Presto paper towels down to $32.89 — about $8 less than the price of Bounty at Target. (For what it’s worth, Target is hosting “Deal Days” on July 15 and 16 and similarly pushing its in-house brands, while other major retailers like eBay are also advertising sales.)

To best navigate Prime Day, Bonebright advises shoppers to download the Amazon app and scroll through upcoming deals, then mark the items you are interested in as “watching” — you’ll receive a notification when the price drops.

When a deal is live, add the item to your cart immediately. Some lightening deals can sell out within seconds, Bonebright said. Once it is in your cart, you’ll have 15 minutes to decide whether to complete the purchase.

If there is a specific product that you are set on and you don’t see it in upcoming sales, you can create your own wish list and Amazon will alert you if it does become part of a Prime Day deal.

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