Don't Make These 5 Mistakes While Shopping Amazon on Prime Day

People shopping at an Amazon Books store in New York, New York, on May 25, 2017.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Amazon's 48-hour Prime Day sale is coming up on July 15 and 16—and if previous years' numbers are any indication, consumers will be doing a lot of shopping.

Amazon didn't disclose sales figures from its 2018 event, but some analyst estimates on global sales topped $4 billion. During the sale, 80% of Amazon Prime subscribers bought something, according to Business Insider Intelligence research. More than half of them spent more than $100, and 34% spent more than $200.

To make the most of shopping on Amazon during Prime Day—or any day—here's what experts say not to do.

1. Don't just shop online

"Amazon is pushing people toward its bricks-and-mortar presence," says Offers.com shopping editor Kristin McGrath. So you can find good deals in person at Whole Foods, Amazon Books stores, and Amazon Four-Star stores, too.

For example, through July 16, if you spend $10 in a single transaction at Whole Foods, you'll get a $10 credit to use on Amazon during Prime Day. At Amazon Book stores and Amazon Four-Star stores, shoppers can get a $10 credit for spending $50 in one transaction. (To be clear: For all of those deals, credits must be earned and spent by July 16.)

2. Don't forget to use the app

If you download the Amazon app, you can search the words "sneak peek" to view—though not purchase—all the products that will go on sale during Prime Day. Create a list of items you're interested in, and the app will notify you when they go on sale for you to buy.

3. Don't miss store-brand products

If there's a Fire TV Stick, Echo, or Kindle on your wish list, experts say now could be the time to buy. "Anything that is Amazon-made is going to be the biggest sale," consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch says. But those aren't the company's only store-brand items. You'll likely see big deals on AmazonBasics, for example, which includes goods like kitchen products, bedding, patio furniture, and more.

4. Don't assume Prime prices are the best

Use an app or comparison site to see how Amazon's sale pricing compares against offers from other retailers. There could be better deals out there: Target and Walmart are among the competitors advertising their own big sales to coincide with Prime Day.

The app Yroo allows you to search for a product and then see, side-by-side, the price of the product at different retailers. McGrath likes a similar site called Camelcamelcamel.com, which also shows Amazon price histories and lets you set alerts for future price drops.

The site lets you know if what you've found is "a good deal—rather than just looking on Amazon and Amazon telling you it's a good deal," she says.

5. Don't go directly to Amazon

Take a brief detour to a cash-back or rewards portal like Rakuten (formerly Ebates) or Swagbucks. When you click through from the site to Amazon, you can get extra savings. For example, Rakuten currently offers up to 5% cash back at Amazon on select categories—so, buying an Amazon device will earn you 4%, while luggage gets you 3.5% and kitchen gear gets you 2%.

Follow these tips and you'll be "primed" to get the most out of the two-day extravaganza, and get better deals at Amazon year-round.

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