Set a reminder, get all your credit cards and devices ready, and dust off your wish-lists 鈥 Amazon Prime Day is coming. The online retailer just announced their huge site-wide sale for Prime members will start on July 16 at 12pm PST/3pm EST and run through July 17. This year, the event is six hours longer, for a total of 36 hours of shopping 鈥 that鈥檚 an entire day and a half of deals on things you鈥檝e been wanting to buy as well as things you didn鈥檛 know you wanted to buy. It鈥檚 basically like Christmas in July, minus the crowds and mall Santas, and here鈥檚 everything you need to know to prep for it.

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What is Prime Day?

Because it can, Amazon started its own global shopping day in 2015 exclusively for Prime Members 鈥 the deals during that time rival those of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. During the event, Amazon will offer discounts across a wide variety of products, including fashion, beauty, home, tech, sports/outdoors, and baby items. Over those 36 hours, there will be various promotions and lightning deals, which are deep discounts on specific products that last for a limited time or until the product sells out. Due to high demand and limited supply, once you claim a lightning deal, you have 15 minutes to check out.

Since Whole Foods is now part of the Amazon family, Prime Day this year includes limited-time special deals at physical Whole Foods stores, as well as offers at Treasure Truck (a truck with one hand-picked must-have item that cruises through various towns) and Amazon Books locations.

Do You Need to have Amazon Prime to Shop Prime Day?

The short answer is yes. If you haven鈥檛 signed on for a Prime membership, we applaud your willingness to pay and wait more than two days for shipping, but also, you should seriously consider signing up to enjoy all the other benefits. Note that Prime membership recently increased from $99 to $119 a year.

In addition to free two-day delivery (on eligible orders, it can be even faster), Prime members get access to Prime Video (essentially Amazon鈥檚 answer to Netflix), which has a huge library of movies and TV shows to stream and rent, as well as Amazon original TV series and productions, such the upcoming A League of Their Own series.

With the Whole Foods acquisition, you get a entirely new world of grocery shopping. Prime members can now get nationwide discounts at Whole Foods stores, and Prime Now (only in certain cities) offers free two-hour delivery on organic produce, everyday items, and more.

You also get access to unlimited reading of Kindle books, Audible e-books, and magazines; music streaming; a $2 sample section for anyone who鈥檚 commitment-phobic and wants to try before they buy; Alexa deals; and more. If you鈥檙e still not convinced, you can check out a 30-Day Free Trial to see if it鈥檚 worth it for you.

How to Shop Prime Day Deals

Amazon will have a comprehensive list of all of their deals on the main Prime Day page, and we鈥檒l be picking our favorite ones as well here (if you already have an Alexa-enabled device, you can also ask her to tell you the deals). You can also track all the lightning deals on Amazon or through the app (free on iOS and Android). Although you鈥檒l find promotions on thousands of products across every category, there are definitely some deals that will be more worthwhile than others (for example, in 2017, Instant Pots were a top seller), so make sure you shop smart. Think before you click, and do your research: There are a number of browser extensions and apps you can use to track Amazon price drops, such as Honey and Camel Camel Camel. You can likely expect the best deals on Amazon products, such as the Echo and Echo Dot, Fire tablets, and Kindle devices. Starting from now until Prime Day, you鈥檒l also find exclusive and daily deals leading into the main event. Happy shopping!

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