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Make sure you get the best Amazon Prime Day deals

Make sure you get the best Amazon Prime Day deals
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Now that we know Amazon Prime Day 2018 will be on July 16, it is time to get all our stuff in order and ducks in a row in preparation. After all, it's the shopping day we have been waiting all summer for and our best chance to get some insane deals.

An annual tradition that began in 2014, Prime Day will see Amazon discount more than a million of products from all sorts of categories. Some will be regular sales while others will be listed as "Lightning Deals," but the general theme is the same.

If you have been itching to buy something, there's a strong chance it will be on sale. The thing is everyone knows that, which means you will not be alone during your bargain hunt.

Make sure you are ready to get the deals

We understand that everyone will be looking for something different, and we are in no place to tell you what to buy. However, there are a handful of tricks you can use to ensure that no matter what you are shopping for, you find it with ease and speed.

The first and perhaps most important thing we can tell you is that it begins at 3 p.m. EST on July 16 and runs for 36 hours, meaning you have plenty of time to log on and browse. Just make sure you are an Amazon Prime member before doing so, because you must be one in order to participate in the sale.

With that tidbit out of the way, let's take a look at more ways to track savings down.

First off, you may not have to wait for July 16

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Although Prime Day officially starts that Monday, Amazon has already listed some good stuff at great prices. If you were looking for an Echo Show, the price has been dropped $100, while trials of Amazon services like Music Unlimited, Kindle Unlimited and Audible audio-book have been discounted for new users.

If it's an Amazon device you seek, this is your time to buy

It's not surprising that Amazon is discounting their own products. Prime Days of yore have seen great deals on the Echo line as well as Fire, Kindle and Fire TV devices.

You will likely see those on sale once again, as well as newcomers like the Echo Spot and Fire TV Cube. So if you have been considering something from the Amazon line, make sure to take a look during Prime Day.

What else can we expect to see?

With more than 1 million items set to be posted as Prime Day deals, it stands to reason products will span a good many categories. Experts expect to see more deals on products that fill certain niches, such as smart doorbells and door locks as well as home-security systems, smart thermostats and maybe even smart light bulbs.

In the past Amazon has offered discounts on some TVs, and there's a good chance some will be available. Which ones and at what kind of prices remains to be seen.

How to shop smart

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The challenge on Prime Day, besides sorting through the many, many, many items, is making sure you are able to take advantage of whichever deals you are after. While some deals are your typical sales, others will be Lightning Deals and therefore will need to be purchased as soon as you see them.

If you are unfamiliar with Lightning Deals, the general premise is they are provided on very specific items and usually last for a set amount of time. That could mean they are available for just a few minutes, or possibly whenever the item sells out.

Lightning Deals show up frequently, but randomly. There will also be Prime Day Spotlight Deals, which have a greater inventory and thus are available longer, as well as Gold Box Deals of the Day, which will be around for 24 hours before being replaced.

Alexa can help you find even more special deals

If you happen to own an Echo or other device with Alexa, you will be able to ask it for some help. Simply say, "Alexa, what are your deals?" and you will gain access to exclusive deals that are not available elsewhere.

You will also have the chance to shop for certain deals a little earlier than those who are only using Amazon's website.

And finally, the rest of the tricks

We've already given you plenty of information, but that's not the last of what you need to know.

One thing you can do to increase your odds of landing the best deals is to download Amazon's app onto your smartphone. The app will let you get an early look at advance notice of deals as well as let you sign up for alerts.

It will also let you see some Lightning Deals before they are posted, and if you want, you can use it to make a "Watch a Deal" list that will send notifications when an item you are interested in is about to go live.

Another good idea would be to click the "Join Waitlist" button for Lightning Deal items that sell out before you are able to snag them. It's possible the item will be deleted from someone's cart (items are removed after 15 minutes if the purchase has not been completed), and that will give you an alert if you are next in line to buy it.

You will also want to look into the free Amazon Assistant plug-in, which is available for browsers including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and Edge. It will enable you to compare products and prices while searching and also to get notifications when deals go live.

Prior to Prime Day you will also want to turn on "1-click" ordering for Amazon, as that will hasten the checkout process.

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