5 Ways to Prepare for Prime Day 2019 Before Amazon's Sales Start

Leon Neal/Getty Images
Leon Neal/Getty Images

Check out Amazon's running list of Prime Day deals leading up to July 15 and 16 here.

Amazon's members-only summer anniversary sale, Prime Day, is just about the biggest online shopping event of the year after Black Friday. This year, the 48-hour sale will last from 2:59 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday morning, July 15 (midnight Pacific) and run through Tuesday, July 16. In previous years, the sale has only lasted 36 hours, so you'll get some extra shopping time this year.

Outside the U.S.? No problem. Prime Day deals are available in 18 different countries, including the UK, Canada, India, Germany, France, Australia, and more.

Limited-time flash sales can be stressful, and you want to be prepared to grab those amazing deals before they're gone, so here are five ways to prepare to have the best Prime Day yet.

1. Sign up for Prime (obviously).

As the name suggests, Prime Day deals are only for Amazon Prime members. If you don't have a membership yet, sign up for a free trial now—the promotional period lasts 30 days. After that, Prime costs $13 a month or $119 a year. If you're considering whether or not to make the jump to a full Prime membership, check out our list of all the perks Prime gets you beyond just free 2-day shipping.

2. Start thinking about what you want to buy on Prime Day.

Amazon devices are certain to go on sale, so Prime Day would probably be a great time to grab a Kindle e-reader, Fire tablet, Ring doorbell, Fire TV Stick or Cube, or an Echo. Bookmark this page to see all the Amazon device deals next week. What kind of discounts should you expect? Last year, Kindle Paperwhites were discounted $40 for Prime Day (going for $80), while Fire HD 10 tablets were listed for $100, a $50 discount. Prime Day is also often a good day for books: Last year, Amazon offered customers credits toward a future book purchase when they bought Amazon Charts books or Kindle e-books, as well as discounts on Kindle Unlimited subscriptions.

Other things that have gone on sale in previous years: Instant Pots, 4K TVs, luggage sets, Blu-rays, smartphones, FitBits, robot vacuums, and more. There's a higher likelihood that last year's models will go on sale rather than the latest and greatest gadgets, so if there's anything you coveted for Black Friday in 2018 that you didn't end up buying, Prime Day might be your lucky day.

3. Choose the right products—and prepare to comparison shop.

Trying to to decide what to buy? Check out our guide to fake reviews to learn how to spot the real deal, and consider downloading browser extensions like Fake Spot and Honey to help you analyze the quality of reviews and past prices to make sure that what you're buying is actually the killer deal it appears to be. Otherwise, you may discover too late that the massive "discount" you're getting is the same price the item has been listed at for months.

Prime Day has become a big enough event in the shopping world that other retailers have started offering competing deals, too. Macy's is running Black Friday in July deals until July 14 (use the code JULY for up to 25 percent off). Walmart is hosting Google Week, which includes up to 50 percent off products like Google Home and Nest from July 8 to July 16. You'll also want to check out Target's Deal Days on July 15 and 16 (and beforehand, because some things are already on sale), which will include discounts of 30 to 50 percent on small appliances, cookware, furniture, rugs, and more.

4. Check out the pre-sale deals you can already get.

Amazon is already offering a bunch of Prime-only deals in the lead up to Prime Day next week, including discounted Audible subscriptions ($120 per year, with an Echo Dot thrown in for just $1), discounted Marvel movie rentals ($2 each), 25 percent off Pepsi-owned brands like Lay's and Gatorade, and more.

You can already save on products sold by Woot, like this Wi-Fi-enabled countertop garden kit ($140 off right now), Stone and Beam home goods (including cookware sets, furniture, and decor for up to 20 percent off), and various Amazon-branded household goods, like coffee pods, toilet paper, trash bags, pain relief medication, and laundry essentials (all 20 to 25 percent off).

5. Check back with us next week.

Don't forget to return to Mental Floss on July 15 and 16, when the Smart Shopping team will be rounding up the best Prime Day deals as they become available.

Celebrate the Holidays With a Harry Potter Sock Advent Calendar From Target

Target
Target

Harry Potter Advent calendars are becoming a new Christmas tradition among wizards and witches at heart. For the 2019 holiday season, LEGO is launching an Advent calendar set of Harry Potter minifigures, and Funko is releasing its own calendar themed around the Yule Ball. Now, Bustle reports that Target is getting in on the action with four new Advent calendars packed with Harry Potter-themed socks.

No matter what type of Harry Potter fan you are, there's a batch of socks for you in Target's line-up. If you're someone who gets assigned a different house every time you take a sorting hat quiz, go with the first Advent calendar. It includes socks in men sizes 6 through 12 emblazoned with the crests and colors of all four Hogwarts houses.

The other three packs feature women's socks with a somewhat random assortment of designs. You'll find footwear branded with iconic Harry Potter imagery, like Hedwig the owl, the golden Snitch, and the Hogwarts Express. Other socks bear quotes from the books and films, like "Mischief Managed" from the Marauder's Map and Hagrid's famous one-liner, "You're a wizard, Harry."

Every Harry Potter Advent calendar from Target comes with 15 pairs of socks, working out to just $1 a pair. If you'd like to start planning the holiday season early this year, you can order them today from Target.com. And to make the holidays even more magical, don't miss out on this Hogwarts castle tree topper that plays "Hedwig's Theme."

Harry Potter socks from Target.
Target

Harry Potter sock advent calendar.
Target

Harry Potter socks from Target.
Target

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy.

8 Fun Bookmarks to Keep Your Place

iStock
iStock

Why settle for a torn piece of paper or receipt when you can have something way more exciting? These bookmarks are for readers who want to add some extra whimsy to their reading routine.

1. Sprouts; $12.50

These ingenious silicone markers don’t work like normal bookmarks. Shaped like adorable sprouts, they fit inside your book and mark the exact line you’re at on the page. Because they’re made with a flexible material, you can close the book easily with the sprout inside and it will spring back to shape when you open the book again. The sprouts come in sets of six. For a little luck, check out the four-leaf clover iteration.

Find it: Amazon

2. Butterflies; $10


If you've ever wanted to have a real Disney princess moment, consider buying these bookmarks, which will make it look like butterflies have perched on your books. The set comes with 10 pieces in a variety of designs.

Find it: Amazon

3. Crocodile; $13

These clever placeholders create the illusion that a crocodile is lurking on top of your book. When you lift up this intimidating bookmark, it shows the reptile’s sharp teeth, warning others not to dare lose your place. (If mammals are more your style, there is also a hippo option.)

Find it: Amazon

4. Lamp; $13

Let this lamp-shaped bookmark illuminate where you left off. The lamp shape sits on top of the book while the yellow light-beam fits snuggly between the pages. It comes in three colors: white, red, and gray.

Find it: Amazon

5. Literary Feet; $24

Remember that scene in The Wizard of Oz when the house fell on the Wicked Witch of the East and only her feet stuck out? You can recreate that iconic movie scene with a bookmark. Even better, the design isn’t restricted to just the witch: You can get all kinds of famous book character feet to stick out of your book. Just some of the literary legs available include Alice from Alice in Wonderland, a direwolf from A Song of Ice and Fire, and a magician from Harry Potter. There are also some non-book selections, like animals, ballerinas, and Yoda.

Find it: Amazon

6. Food; $30

Let some of your favorite food keep your place. The plush bookmarks feature a slice of pizza, ice cream, coffee, and an ice cream sandwich.

Find it: Amazon

7. Magnetic pals; $5

You’ll be even more motivated to read if you have a small buddy smiling at you from the side of your book. You can attach them to any place on the side of the page, so you know exactly where you are in the story.

Find it: Amazon

8. Pointers; $7

These bookmarks also mark the exact place in the book, but without the help of magnets. Instead, they come with stretchy loops that wrap around the entire book. A hand pointing can pinpoint the exact word, in case you’re the type that stops reading mid-sentence. They come in packs of three.

Find it: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy.

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