5 Ways to Prepare for Prime Day 2019 Before Amazon's Sales Start

Leon Neal/Getty Images
Leon Neal/Getty Images

Check out Amazon's running list of Prime Day deals leading up to July 15 and 16 here.

Amazon's members-only summer anniversary sale, Prime Day, is just about the biggest online shopping event of the year after Black Friday. This year, the 48-hour sale will last from 2:59 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday morning, July 15 (midnight Pacific) and run through Tuesday, July 16. In previous years, the sale has only lasted 36 hours, so you'll get some extra shopping time this year.

Outside the U.S.? No problem. Prime Day deals are available in 18 different countries, including the UK, Canada, India, Germany, France, Australia, and more.

Limited-time flash sales can be stressful, and you want to be prepared to grab those amazing deals before they're gone, so here are five ways to prepare to have the best Prime Day yet.

1. Sign up for Prime (obviously).

As the name suggests, Prime Day deals are only for Amazon Prime members. If you don't have a membership yet, sign up for a free trial now—the promotional period lasts 30 days. After that, Prime costs $13 a month or $119 a year. If you're considering whether or not to make the jump to a full Prime membership, check out our list of all the perks Prime gets you beyond just free 2-day shipping.

2. Start thinking about what you want to buy on Prime Day.

Amazon devices are certain to go on sale, so Prime Day would probably be a great time to grab a Kindle e-reader, Fire tablet, Ring doorbell, Fire TV Stick or Cube, or an Echo. Bookmark this page to see all the Amazon device deals next week. What kind of discounts should you expect? Last year, Kindle Paperwhites were discounted $40 for Prime Day (going for $80), while Fire HD 10 tablets were listed for $100, a $50 discount. Prime Day is also often a good day for books: Last year, Amazon offered customers credits toward a future book purchase when they bought Amazon Charts books or Kindle e-books, as well as discounts on Kindle Unlimited subscriptions.

Other things that have gone on sale in previous years: Instant Pots, 4K TVs, luggage sets, Blu-rays, smartphones, FitBits, robot vacuums, and more. There's a higher likelihood that last year's models will go on sale rather than the latest and greatest gadgets, so if there's anything you coveted for Black Friday in 2018 that you didn't end up buying, Prime Day might be your lucky day.

3. Choose the right products—and prepare to comparison shop.

Trying to to decide what to buy? Check out our guide to fake reviews to learn how to spot the real deal, and consider downloading browser extensions like Fake Spot and Honey to help you analyze the quality of reviews and past prices to make sure that what you're buying is actually the killer deal it appears to be. Otherwise, you may discover too late that the massive "discount" you're getting is the same price the item has been listed at for months.

Prime Day has become a big enough event in the shopping world that other retailers have started offering competing deals, too. Macy's is running Black Friday in July deals until July 14 (use the code JULY for up to 25 percent off). Walmart is hosting Google Week, which includes up to 50 percent off products like Google Home and Nest from July 8 to July 16. You'll also want to check out Target's Deal Days on July 15 and 16 (and beforehand, because some things are already on sale), which will include discounts of 30 to 50 percent on small appliances, cookware, furniture, rugs, and more.

4. Check out the pre-sale deals you can already get.

Amazon is already offering a bunch of Prime-only deals in the lead up to Prime Day next week, including discounted Audible subscriptions ($120 per year, with an Echo Dot thrown in for just $1), discounted Marvel movie rentals ($2 each), 25 percent off Pepsi-owned brands like Lay's and Gatorade, and more.

You can already save on products sold by Woot, like this Wi-Fi-enabled countertop garden kit ($140 off right now), Stone and Beam home goods (including cookware sets, furniture, and decor for up to 20 percent off), and various Amazon-branded household goods, like coffee pods, toilet paper, trash bags, pain relief medication, and laundry essentials (all 20 to 25 percent off).

5. Check back with us next week.

Don't forget to return to Mental Floss on July 15 and 16, when the Smart Shopping team will be rounding up the best Prime Day deals as they become available.

11 Great Gifts for Retro Gaming Fans

No Starch Press/Amazon
No Starch Press/Amazon

Video games are more realistic, expansive, and ambitious than ever, but there’s one thing that most modern titles can’t offer: a hit of nostalgia. If you’re shopping for the retro gaming enthusiast in your life, check out these 11 gift suggestions that promise to level up their holiday season.

1. Pac-Man Ghost Light Table Lamp; $30

The Pac-Man Ghost Light Table Lamp is pictured
Paladone/Amazon

Liven up a stagnant work area or nightstand with this cool LED lamp in the likeness of Pac-Man’s ghost nemesis. It can flash in a variety of different colors, and at a compact 8 inches tall, you can buy more than one to haunt your living space.

Buy It: Amazon

2. Street Fighter II Home Arcade; $245

Street Fighter II Arcade Cabinet.
ARCADE1UP/Amazon

Relive the sweaty palms and raw fingertips of your youth with this Street Fighter II arcade cabinet from Arcade1Up. The entire package is true to its classic arcade roots, with era-appropriate artwork adorning the outside and buttons and joysticks that look like they were transported right out of a '90s Pizza Hut. But this cabinet comes with a bonus: Instead of just getting Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, it also plays Street Fighter ll: The New Challengers and Street Fighter ll Turbo. If you're not in the mood for competitive play, the company also offers a retro Star Wars arcade cabinet, featuring games based on A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi.

Buy It: Amazon

3. Level One Donkey Kong T-Shirt; $41

A Level One 'Donkey Kong' T-shirt is pictured
80sTees.com

Show off your love of arcade gaming with this cool design that depicts Mario’s earliest challenge: navigating the barrel-tossing rage of a giant ape.

Buy It: 80sTees.com

4. Playstation Coasters; $12

A set of four Playstation coasters is pictured
Paladone/Amazon

Keep beverage stains off your gaming-adjacent furniture with this set of four coasters depicting classic Playstation controller buttons.

Buy It: Amazon

5. SEGA Genesis Mini-Console: $79

Sega Mini Classic System.
Sega/Amazon

Flash back to the Genesis era with this retro console that features over 40 games from SEGA’s heyday, including Sonic the Hedgehog, Earthworm Jim, and Virtua Fighter. The system also features a port of the arcade version of Tetris, which never actually made its way to the original Genesis.

Buy It: Amazon

6. Sock It to Me Retro Gaming Socks; $11

Sock It to Me Retro Gaming Socks are pictured
Sock It To Me/Amazon

Keep it professional in a suit but game on underneath with these dress socks featuring iconic game controllers from Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony.

Buy It: Amazon

7. The Game Console: A Photographic History from Atari to Xbox; $19


No Starch Press/Amazon

Take in a photographic history of gaming consoles, from the vintage devices of the ‘70s like the Magnavox Odyssey on through Nintendo’s reign and the emergence of Sony and Microsoft. In all, 86 consoles are on display, ending with the era of the PS4 and Wii U.

Buy It: Amazon

8. Nintendo Super Mario Bowser Vs. Mario 3-Pack Diorama; $26

A Nintendo Super Mario and Bowser diorama is pictured
World of Nintendo/Amazon

Let other people display fine art. You can show off this diorama depicting the biggest rivalry in retro gaming between Mario and Bowser. You'll also get a Bob-Omb figurine, just in case you want to recreate one of the duo's video game battles.

Buy It: Amazon

9. Playstation Wallet; $25

A Playstation wallet is pictured
SONY PlayStation/Amazon

Keep your cards and cash in one place with this Playstation-shaped wallet. There's even a button-snap opening in the shape of the system's disc tray.

Buy It: Amazon

10. Pong Shirt; $38

A 'Pong' T-shirt is pictured
80sTees.com

Go so retro that Millennials won’t even know what you’re referencing with this nod to the popular game Pong.

Buy It: 80sTees.com

11. The Legend of Zelda Ugly Christmas Sweater; $39

Legend of Zelda Ugly Christmas Sweater
Nintendo/Amazon

It may call itself ugly, but those pixelated images of Link from Legend of Zelda are nothing but gorgeous to retro gamers. There's also a Mario version, if the portly Italian plumber is more your style.

Buy It: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Hallmark Released Some Adorable Harry Potter Ornaments—Just In Time for Christmas

Amazon
Amazon

Even if you never received your letter of acceptance to Hogwarts on your 11th birthday, you can still add some magic to your Christmas tree this year with some Harry Potter Christmas ornaments from Hallmark. These pieces have more of a minimalist style than Hallmark's other Potter releases, which are modeled to look identical to the characters' movie counterparts. But with that simplicity comes a unique charm that is sure to be popular with Potterheads.

Shoppers can look for seven different ornaments, which include Harry, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger in mid-flight, as well as Hedwig, the Sorting Hat, Dobby, and the Hogwarts Crest. Each one comes with a hanger, so is ready to be put on your Christmas tree as soon as its out of the packaging. You can find each one for $9 on Amazon—though be forewarned that Harry is currently out of stock (but you can find an equally adorable replacement Potter for $8).

If you can’t get enough wizarding gifts this holiday season, then check out our Harry Potter gift guide, which includes everything from magical cookbooks to chess sets.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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