What you need to know about Amazon Prime Day

Find out everything you need to know about Amazon Prime Day, including when it takes place, what kind of discounts are on offer, and how much money it can help you save.

a rainbow coming out of an amazon prime package into a shopping cart with a corgi and several household objects around it
(Image credit: Amazon)

Since its inception in 1994, Amazon has become a household name and one of the biggest retailers in the world. Known for selling everything from A to Z, the company has expanded into streaming, smart tech & even groceries. Amazon products like Alexa, Echo, Prime & Audible are immediately recognisable names to many consumers around the globe.

When it comes to deals, one Amazon creation stands above the rest: Amazon Prime Day.  Now one of the world’s leading sales events, Prime Day is arguably the biggest opportunity the company offers customers to save money. As a result, it has become a favourite of bargain hunters everywhere and receives extensive coverage from world media each & every year.

So, what’s it all about, and how can you make the most of the best deals Prime Day has to offer? Join us as we dive into the details and bring you all the info you need to know about Amazon Prime Day.

What is Amazon Prime Day?

A collage of Amazon Prime Day promotional photos featuring packages, tablets, gifts, popcorn & a happy customer

(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon Prime Day is an annual sales event created by the retailing giant to celebrate members of their paid subscription service, Amazon Prime. Prime grants members perks such as free, faster shipping on a huge range of products and access to streaming services like Prime Video and Amazon Music, plus exclusive members-only deals each year on Prime Day.

The first Prime Day ran in July 2015 and coincided with the company’s 20th anniversary. It was created to rival Amazon’s Black Friday event, offering more deals than any Black Friday to date, and to celebrate the popularity of Prime subscriptions, which had grown to just over 50 million members in 2015. Fast forward to 2022 and membership figures passed 200 million. 

The event has proved immensely successful since 2015, with its size and sales growing every year. The first Prime Day outsold Amazon’s Black Friday event from the previous year (2014), which had already been a record day for sales with an average of 398 items ordered per second

In 2021, Prime Day offered over 2 million deals to customers in 20 countries, plus brand new exclusives across Prime Video, Amazon Music, and Prime Gaming. Amazon reported that tens of millions of dollars of goods were sold during the event, making it one of the largest sales events the world over.

When is Amazon Prime Day?

Two Amazon parcels decorated with Amazon Prime Day tape help aloft by happy customers

(Image credit: Amazon)

When Prime Day takes place and how long it lasts has changed a few times since its inception. Prime Day began as a single 24-hour day of deals in 2015 & 2016, then grew into a 30-hour event in 2017, followed by a 36-hour event in 2018, and then a 48-hour event in 2019. Prime Day has remained a 48-hour event since then, but exactly when the day has been has varied from year to year.

Every Prime Day from 2015 to 2019 took place in July, but the event was delayed to Tuesday & Wednesday 13th & 14th of October in 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. In 2021, the event moved again, with sales falling on Monday & Tuesday 21st & 22nd of June. This led to some uncertainty around the dates for this year’s Prime Day 2022 until Amazon confirmed that it would take place in July. The exact dates were later confirmed to be Tuesday 12th & Wednesday 13th July 2022. To top it off, Amazon also ran a Prime Early Access Sale on Tuesday October 11th 2022, which lasted 48 hours and additional savings.

Although the biggest discounts generally arrive on Prime Day itself, Amazon also tends to offer savings in the run-up to the event to entice customers in. These discounts can appear up to two weeks ahead of the day, and usually get better & grow in number as the main event approaches, so customers can get shopping ahead of schedule to snap up some early savings.

So far, the dates for Prime Day 2023 have not yet been confirmed, and Amazon is yet to release any details or hints as to when the sale might be. Make sure to keep your ear to the ground over the coming months, especially as it gets closer to summer, so you know as soon as the date is announced.

Do you need to be a Prime member to get Amazon Prime Day deals?

A wall of Amazon packages with Prime Day labels

(Image credit: Amazon)

Yes, Prime Day deals are only accessible to Prime members. One of the biggest mistakes customers make around Prime Day is trying to access deals when they aren’t signed up for the subscription service and subsequently missing out on discounts. At the time of writing, Prime costs £8.99 per month in the UK, or £95 a year, and new members can enjoy their first month free with the free trial scheme.

If you’re not currently a Prime member, making the most of your trial period is the most cost-effective way to get ready for Prime Day. You’ll have 30 days from when you sign up to use the service before you’re charged for your membership, meaning you can enjoy all the discounts the event has to offer fee-free if your timing is right. Students can get an even better deal, with a 6-month trial period when they sign up, letting you save on subscription fees for a term or two. To top it off, after that, students will only pay £4.99 a month - that’s almost half price.

Whether you’re paying for Prime or using a free trial, you’ll get all the usual benefits, including free two-day delivery and access to services such as Prime Video, Amazon Music, and Prime Gaming. Any items you buy on the day itself or in the run-up to it will be sent via speedy delivery too, letting you get your goods quicker for less. 

If you don’t want to subscribe to Prime in the long term but want to get involved in the Prime Day deals, sign up for a membership with a new email address within 30 days of the sales event to make use of your free trial period. If you time it right, the event will occur before your trial expires. You can then choose to cancel your membership before your trial period is up to avoid any fees, or just let your membership roll on if you want to keep the benefits of Prime.  

What kind of discounts can I expect on Amazon Prime Day?

An Amazon Echo Dot, Amazon Kindle, and an Amazon package under the Prime Day logo

(Image credit: Amazon)

There’s normally a variety of deals available for Prime Day, with an ongoing main sale, a ‘Deals of the Day’ section which refreshes on each day of the event, and Lightning Deals which will offer sizable savings for only a very short time. The abundance of deals on Prime Day is astounding, and you’ll see significant discounts across each of the e-commerce giant’s many categories. Expect price drops on electronics & devices, books, smart tech, films, TV, music, games, toys, clothes, healthy & beauty products, sports & outdoors products, food & groceries and more.   

Tech is arguably the biggest category for savings, and TechRadar notes that office & gaming laptops, high-spec ultrabooks, and lower-budget Chromebooks are usually on offer, as are Amazon's own-brand devices. 2019 was the best day to date for sales of Amazon’s own-brand tech, with Echo Dot smart speakers & Fire TV Stick streaming devices proving to be some of the best-sellers. A close second in 2021 saw Amazon offer a 50% discount on Amazon Fire Sticks - one of the biggest price drops ever recorded on this snazzy smart tech. Outside of own-brand gadgets, Amazon reported that customers purchased over 1 million laptops and 1 million pairs of headphones on Prime Day 2021. That’s a lot of devices! 

So exactly how much cheaper can things be for the event? Below are some of the best deals TechRadar reported in 2022:

  • £150 off Google Pixel 6 smartphones and £229 off the Google Pixel 6 Pro
  • £150 off the Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop
  • £100 off Asus Chromebook CX1100 laptops
  • £60 off Apple AirPods Pro earbuds
  • £75 off Garmin Venu Sq. smartwatches

Amazon also tends to offer discounts on its streaming services. For example, Prime Day 2022 saw up to 50% off selected movies, TV shows & records on Prime Video and Amazon Music, as well as savings on audiobooks & e-books & gaming through their streaming & e-book services. Prime Members could also get 30 free games with Amazon Gaming, including the cult shooter Star Wars: Republic Commando. 

If you haven’t signed up for any of Amazon’s services yet, you’ll often find new member deals just for Prime Day that are well worth your while. In 2022, new subscribers to Kindle Unlimited and Audible got four months’ membership free when they signed up (instead of the usual one), saving £23.97 on each subscription. We also saw new subscribers to Amazon Music Unlimited get between 4 - 6 months’ membership free with the purchase of selected Amazon Echo devices, saving £35 on membership fees. As such, Prime Day is just as great a time to sort out new streaming memberships as it is for shopping.

There you have it - everything you need to know about Amazon Prime Day. Armed with this information, you’ll be in the prime position to make the most of the retailer’s annual sales event next time it rolls around. Just remember your membership and you can snap up your next Amazon order at more wallet-friendly prices.

Harry Bowden-Ford

I’m Harry, the tech editor, and I started working at MyVoucherCodes in March 2022. When I’m not writing about retailers, I spend my time listening to music and podcasts, playing guitar in a band and writing music reviews. I’m also a fan of long walks, reading new books, kicking back in front of the Xbox and discovering new places.