Spending

Don't buy TVs on Amazon Prime Day, says expert, plus more deals to watch for and to skip

Prime Day is finally back on after a months-long coronavirus delay. Now that it’s scheduled, it’s time to think about what to buy — and what to avoid.

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Amazon Prime Day is officially back after being delayed for months because of the coronavirus pandemic. The retailer's deep discount event, which usually takes place in July, will happen on October 13 and 14.

The annual sale features two days of special markdowns on goods across Amazon's website. And while the company does not disclose how much it brings in from the affair, there's no question how popular it is with consumers: Amazon said it sold more than 175 million items during the event in 2019, beating out its sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

Some analysts estimate Prime Day made $7 billion last year. Amazon's 2019 net sales hit $280.5 billion.

Here are some categories where early deals are emerging, what surprising deals experts suggest you skip, and what you need to know to stay on budget.

What Prime Day deals to skip

Be careful not to buy something just because it's on sale. You may end up sending it back.

Prime Day is known for offering low prices on electronics, but experts suggest skipping certain deals, no matter how enticing: "Don't buy big electronics like TVs. Amazon has several pre-Prime Day deals on TVs right now, like 'this 43" Toshiba for $180,'" Michael Bonebright, a consumer analyst with retail website DealNews.com, tells Grow. "However, Black Friday will have much better deals on large electronics, like TVs. Last year, 40" TVs dropped below $100."

The same caution goes for bundles. You can likely expect to find exclusive package offers on small speakers, gift cards, and other add-ons but that doesn't necessarily mean you should press "add to cart."

You could end up with an item that has fewer features, like an Instant Pot with no yogurt-making setting.

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Deals to watch for: Home and garden, tech, and fashion

Prime Day deals can be found throughout Amazon's inventory on holiday must-haves and items in beauty, kitchen, and more. Home goods, gadgets, and clothing categories are popping this year.

Shoppers can take advantage of discounts available now, including saving up to 40% on daily essentials like diapers, coffee K-cups, and vitamins. They could also upgrade their smart home with two Echo Dot devices for $39.98, and shop Adidas, Calvin Klein, and other apparel.

Amazon could also roll out deals on its own clothing brands, and on devices such as Fire streaming sticks and Kindles. Shoppers can find savings on Dyson and Roomba vacuums, Instant Potsgames, and toys.

"I've been sourcing Prime Day deals for my site for a few weeks now and I'm seeing all kinds of deals, from beauty brands to pet brands to items that make it easier to work from home/remote learn," TrueTrae.com Smart Shopping Expert Trae Bodge tells Grow. "I would expect deals to be comparable to Prime Day deals in previous years."

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In 2018 and 2019, six categories took the top spot for deals, according to DealNews.com: home and garden, electronics, computers, gaming and toys, clothing, and smart home.

Experts at the site are predicting a similar trend this time, with home and garden making up 40% of the deals. Amazon devices could be up to 60% off and tablets could go for as little as $25 each.

The lowest-priced item you'll find depends on what you're looking for, but last year DealNews.com saw products sold for $3. The average discount then was and 41%, up a touch from 35% in 2018.

How not to blow your budget

A good rule of thumb is to decide what you need beforehand, like making a list before going to the grocery store, which has been shown to help shoppers keep from overspending. Or reflect on your budget and give yourself an appropriate spending limit.

Keep in mind that Prime Day isn't the only big sale happening this fall. Other major sellers such as Walmart and Target will likely have their own deals when Black Friday comes in November, and in previous years have hosted competitive sales during Prime Day.

"If you have $100 to play with, that's all you can spend, and my guess is that you'll spend very carefully," Bodge says. "If you make a list and stick to it, that will help keep you on track."

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