Amazon’s next Prime Day is coming later this month. Lasting 48 hours, Prime Day is actually two full days of price drops and quick sales. But is it really a bargain?
Become a Prime Member
To take advantage of Prime Day, you do have to be an Amazon Prime member, but there are two ways to do this for little to no money.
One option is to get the free Prime membership. If you’ve never had a Prime membership before, you can try it free for 30 days. Of course, you need to remember to cancel the membership before it runs out, but set yourself a reminder on your phone, and get to shopping.
Another option is to share an account with someone. Prime members can share their accounts with another household member (though you should be able to share with someone with a different address). This isn’t exactly the most legitimate use of the Prime account, so try it at your own risk.
Check Prices Now
If there are items you’re looking for, check the prices now, both at Amazon and at other sites. The odds are good that Amazon has already boosted some prices in preparation for the sale, but it never hurts to go through and check the prices. Also be sure to look at other sites. What are the prices on those sites and are they comparable to Amazon’s? Make a list.
Is it really a deal?
The way that stores like Amazon really make their money on sale days like these is from impulse buying. These are short term flash sales, designed to get you excited and clicking the “buy” button before you give it too much thought.
But if it’s not something you were going to buy in the first place, is it really a deal?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have purchased from flash sales. I especially like them as I begin my Christmas gift shopping. It’s a great way for me to find ideas for gifts for others, even if I don’t end up buying it at the flash sale.
One thing that I make a point to do is do a quick search for prices at other major stores. If Walmart has the item for a similar price or a lower price, that’s a good sign I’m not getting a great deal. It doesn’t take long, and it might save you a bit of money.
Don’t be lured in by the promise of a great deal with limited availability. That’s what these sales are trying to do. Shop smart. There are deals to be had, you just need to keep your wits about you as you shop.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.
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