- Amazon will hold its annual Prime Day Oct. 13 to 14.
- Here's how to take advantage of the 48-hour sales event.
Amazon is betting that, after months of conserving cash, Americans may be ready to shop again — if the price is right.
The online retail giant is kicking off its annual two-day shopping event at midnight PT (3 a.m. ET) on Tuesday, Oct. 13.
Prime Day, which was originally slated for July but postponed due to the pandemic, will run through Wednesday, Oct. 14, with discounts on more than 1 million items, including intermittent "Lightning Deals," for Prime members.
However, even as the holidays approach, how much consumers are willing to spend remains very much up in the air, according to the National Retail Federation.
"The outlook is clouded, with uncertainty pivoting on Covid-19 infection rates," the NRF's Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a statement.
This year, the deal could make all the difference, said Bethany Hollars, a shopping strategist.
"People are cutting back on non-essential shopping and looking for deals," she said. "If they can't get a good deal, for a lot of people, they can't buy it."
"There is always one thing everybody goes for," said Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst at DealNews.com, of the two-day shopping event.
Last year, it was the Amazon coat. This year, it will likely be geared toward people staying in, she said. "I wouldn't be surprised if it was a fire pit."
Typically, about 40% of the deals on Prime Day are home- and garden-related, according to Ramhold.
That may prove even more desirable now that Americans are spending much more time at home amid the coronavirus crisis.
Already, the Toshiba 32-inch Smart HD Fire TV is marked down more than 30% to $119.99 and some furniture, appliances and tools are 20% off.
Not surprisingly, Amazon devices, such as the Echo or Kindle, will also be deeply discounted.
Other retailers are also starting holiday deals as early as October and extending them throughout the holiday season.
Target announced its own sales event — Target Deal Days — during the same two-day period. It said it will have more than double the digital deals it offered last year on electronics, beauty items, toys and more.
Walmart said it will feature Black Friday-like savings during its "Big Save Event," which starts the evening of Oct. 11 and runs through Oct. 15. The deals will include $50 off of a Pioneer Woman 6-quart Instant Pot and a 55-inch JVC 4K HDR Roku Smart TV for $248.
To best navigate Prime Day, Ramhold 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 Lightning Deals can sell out quickly, she 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 a wish list and Amazon will alert you if it does become part of a Prime Day deal.