Prime Day: 11 things you should buy, and 3 to avoid


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Prime Day can be overwhelming. Amazon’s big discount holiday features so many products and categories that it can be tough to track. We know another Prime Day is right around the corner, but exactly when remains a question. That won’t stop us from bestowing a little advice on how to shop it successfully.

You don’t want to get out over your skis and buy everything in sight, but if there’s a good deal on something you need, you don’t want to miss that either. It helps to know what to buy and what to avoid. Mashable has a hub for Prime Day coverage that can give you in-depth analysis of every shopping category you can imagine, but here are a few quick tips on things to buy and things to avoid as you parse through Prime Day.

Best things to buy on Prime Day

Mashable has lots of recommendations, but Prime Day is a great time to buy things you already planned on buying at some point. Don’t spend big just because it is on sale — buy something you need and get it cheaper than the retail price. Here are the top categories to shop on Prime Day.

1. Apple products

Buying the fruit company’s flagship tech during Prime Day is a major hack. If you’re already planning on buying some of the most notoriously expensive tech on the market, why not buy it at a discount? In light of Apple’s latest iPad Pro and iPad Air drops, we expect to see markdowns on older models. The iPad (10th gen) has a new low price, and we’d certainly like to see an extra discount when Prime Day rolls around.

2. Amazon devices

It’s no secret that the biggest discounts of Prime Day are usually on Amazon’s own devices. Whether you’re working on building out your smart home or you’re finally ready to pull the trigger on a new e-reader, you’re sure to expect record-low pricing on Amazon Echo speakers, Echo Show devices, Kindles, and more. Just stay away from Ring cameras (more on that below).

3. Robot vacuums

There are good robot vacuum deals all the time, but Prime Day brings some of the biggest discounts on iRobot Roomba models, Shark vacs, and more big-ticket brands. We expect that iRobot will have the best deals, since the brand is now owned by Amazon.

4. Everyday essentials

Even if you’re not planning on making a big tech purchase on Prime Day, it’s an ideal time to score the household items you would buy even if they weren’t on sale. From laundry detergent to paper towels and diapers, there are almost always deals on home products you might toss in your cart on a Target or Walmart run. And with Prime shipping, your must-haves will be at your door ASAP so you can spend more time taking care of the house and less time shopping.

5. Pet supplies

As the owner of two dogs, I feel like I’m constantly shelling out money for dog food, dog treats, dog toys, and grooming products. If you have a dog or a cat, it’s basically a given that you’re going to need to buy these essentials every few months at least. During July Prime Day, I bought a 50-pack of poop bag rolls for a fraction of what I’d pay for at the pet store, in addition to a ton of cheap treats and toys. Prime Day is the best time to stock up on pet stuff, especially from the Amazon Basics brand. If you missed out on the Amazon Pet Sale, don’t wait on the Prime Day pet deals.

6. Drones and cameras

DJI drone bundles, Holy Stone drones, and GoPro cameras are almost givens for deals we expect to see on Prime Day. We’ve also spotted solid deals on cameras from Panasonic, Canon, Sony, and Nikon in the past — just in case you’re finally ready to get serious about filming for your YouTube channel.

7. Smartwatches

In addition to sweet Apple Watch deals, you can bet that Prime Day will bring steep discounts on Fitbits, Garmin smartwatches, and Samsung smartwatches. For reference, we saw the lowest price ever for multiple Fitbit models during last year’s Prime Day.

8. TVs

You might not find the best deals on premium TVs during Prime Day, but it’s a good time to get a deal on mid-price Fire TVs. These won’t be your showstopper living room TVs, but are great for your guest bedroom or kids’ rooms. During last year’s event, we saw an invite-only deal for the 43-inch version of a 4K Omni Series TV for just $99.99, and we expect to see even more cheap Fire TVs to come this year.

9. Headphones

After covering basically every Prime Day that’s ever happened, we know which headphone brands will be on sale. Bose, Sony, Beats, AirPods, and JBL models will definitely see some solid discounts. During last year’s Prime Day, we saw steep price drops on the QuietComfort line of Bose headphones, so we’ll be looking out for sales on the newly-dropped QuietComfort Ultra headphones and earbuds.

10. Invite-only deals

Amazon is likely bringing back its invite-only deals program for Prime Day. You’ll need to request access to these doorbusters ahead of time, and if you’re one of the chosen ones, you’ll be able to score products at their sale prices. Last year’s invite-only deals included Blink outdoor cameras, Jabra headphones, a SodaStream bundle, and more.

11. Nintendo Switch and gaming deals

Upgrading your gaming console and even buying new games feels like a drag — when you’re doing it at full price, that is. Luckily, during Prime Day you can catch markdowns on both. During last year’s Prime Day, Nintendo’s holiday bundle arrived earlier than expected, so we can’t wait to see what this year’s has in store.

Things to avoid on Prime Day

While Prime Day might have some good deals, there are some things to look out for. Mashable covered things to avoid in detail, but here are a few quick tips.

1. Third-party sellers

In general, you can trust things sold and shipped by Amazon. Third-party sellers tend to be less reliable, and you run the risk of buying counterfeit products. If a deal from a third-party seller seems too good to be true, it probably is.

2. Ring doorbells and cameras

The steep discounts on Ring cameras and bundles might be tempting around Prime Day, but we don’t recommend anything from Ring due to privacy concerns. Not only are they easily hackable, but Ring is also notorious for giving people’s info away without their consent. There are plenty of home security deals from other brands on Prime Day, and if you need a little guidance on the good ones, check out our guide to the best home security systems.

3. Anything you don’t need

Like we mentioned before, it’s best to use Prime Day as a way to get something you need at a good discount. What’s not as advisable is buying things just because. Something you don’t need or won’t use is still something you don’t need or won’t use, no matter how good the deal is.

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