A few tips and tools for shopping on Prime Day

Krystal Hu
Illo by: David Foster
Illo by: David Foster

Almost half of the Amazon (AMZN) Prime members surveyed by Yahoo Finance say they’re ready to shop on Prime Day, while others are waiting to find out more about the deals. Here are some tips to help you shop wisely during the upcoming 36-hour sale event.

Make a list or set a budget

In a Yahoo Finance survey this week, more than half of the 3,001 Amazon Prime members have planned to shop on Prime Day. By this point, you may already have some ideas about what to buy, whether its tech gadgets or school bags. It’s always helpful to create a list of your target products, so you don’t end up buying stuff you don’t need.

But if you feel like you really don’t need anything, but just want to browse the deals and an item stands out to you, you’re not alone. Over one-third of Prime members surveyed say whether they make a purchase depends on the deals, while 43% of those who plan to shop already expect to spend more than $100 on the shopping holiday. The best thing to do is to set a budget for yourself to keep your spending under control.

Track prices and compare with other websites

There are some easy tools to help you find the best deals on Prime Day. (Photo/GoBankingRates)
There are some easy tools to help you find the best deals on Prime Day. (Photo/GoBankingRates)

Started in 2015 by Amazon, Prime Day has become one of the biggest mid-year sales in the retail industry. This year, there are many counter sales available at other retailers, including Walmart and Macy’s.

Marissa Tarleton, CMO at RetailMeNot, a digital coupon website, said consumers should keep in mind Prime Day is no longer just about Amazon. “It’s multiple retailers across online and in stores, so consumers should shop around. Most of the things consumers are looking for, multiple markets and stores have them. Don’t be shy to price compare,” said Tarleton.

For those who try to find true steals on Amazon, here are some tools you should use to hunt for deals. RetailMeNot, for example, offers cash back on eligible purchases. A price comparison site like CamelCamelCamel tracks Amazon price changes for you. And a chrome extension called Honey can automatically apply coupon codes at checkout.

Wary of fake reviews? FakeSpot has analyzed more than 1.7 billion reviews on Amazon and given them a grade on how “real” they are.

Use these lesser-known Amazon features

Here are some Amazon features you may have never heard of. (Yahoo)
Here are some Amazon features you may have never heard of. (Yahoo)

When you pay $119 for an annual Amazon Prime subscription, you probably are not using it alone. Some people share their Prime benefits with families and friends, and Amazon knows that. Save the hassle of sharing your own Amazon account and shopping history, by registering for Prime Household. For every Prime member with Household, it’s free to add one other adult and up to four kids to your Prime account. Everyone gets separate logins to shop for Prime deals but they need to share payment methods.

You can also do some good while going on a shopping spree. AmazonSmile is a program that donates 0.5% of your eligible purchases on Amazon to a charity of your choice. All you need to do is to order at smile.amazon.com, which offers the same products at the same price as Amazon, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate to charity on your behalf. The donation will be made at no extra cost and you can choose from nearly 1 million public charitable organizations.

Though 0.5% is not a large donation and it isn’t eligible for a tax deduction, AmazonSmile is still a great way to take advantage of the money you will spend on the e-commerce giant anyway.

Krystal Hu covers technology and economy for Yahoo Finance. What do you want to read about Amazon? Tell her via krystalh@yahoofinance.com or follow her on Twitter.

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