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9 things you need to know before Amazon Prime Day 2022

Expert tips for the big sale, from finding the best bargains to avoiding delivery scams and dangerous products

Amazon Prime Day will take place on 12 and 13 July this year, with 48 hours of discounts promised for Prime members. 

Amazon's marketing makes it easy to get caught up in the hype around Prime Day, but it’s important to keep the promotion in context and to think carefully before you buy anything. 

Here, Which? shares the nine things you should keep in mind before the big Amazon summer sale this week.

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1. What exactly is Amazon Prime Day?

Amazon pitches Prime Day as a sort of summertime Black Friday, with limited-time offers plastered across its homepage and marketing emails. It usually takes place in July, though it happened in June in 2021 and October in 2020. 

Although they’re widely promoted, the deals are only available to members of Amazon Prime, which costs £7.99 a month or £79 a year. If you’re not already a member, you may be able to sign up for a 30-day free trial to gain access to the offers. Remember to cancel if you don’t want to keep the subscription going after the sale.

2. Some deals have already started

Amazon has already reduced prices on dozens of items ahead of Prime Day, so it might be worth searching for products you want already. 

You can find all the latest on the website's Prime Day page. Just keep the rest of our tips in mind before you buy anything. 

3. Use tools to find the best Prime Day deals

Sometimes deals appear better than they are. For example items with Black Friday discounts can often be found cheaper at other times of the year. The same was true of some products reduced on Prime Day in 2021. 

When our experts trawled deals last year we found a Silentnight Classic 1200 Pocket Deluxe Mattress reduced to £251.05 from £329.99 - but the lowest-ever price on Amazon was actually £216.45 in January 2020.

So there’s no guarantee a product will be at its cheapest on Prime Day. It could have been cheaper earlier in the year, and it could be cheaper again in the future. 

You can find out just how good a Prime Day deal is by using a price tracker website, such as CamelCamelCamel, which shows you the price history of any product on Amazon. This will show you whether the item you’ve got your eye on has been cheaper before – in which case it might be worth waiting until it’s cheaper again. 

It’s also worth using an online retailer price comparison site like PriceRunner or PriceSpy to compare the discounted Amazon price with competitors. There’s a chance that the product could be available for the same price or less on another website.

4. Find out what customers think of Amazon

Every year we survey thousands of people on their experiences shopping in-store and online to help us find the best and worst places to shop for clothes, entertainment, furniture, homeware, DIY, beauty, and baby and child. 

The results include Amazon, along with other online marketplaces like eBay and traditional bricks-and-mortar stores. 

Read our full best and worst shops guides to see how customers rated Amazon in different categories.

5. Be wary of customer reviews 

Multiple Which? investigations have revealed the widespread presence of fake reviews on online marketplaces, including Amazon. 

Sometimes sellers pay genuine customers to place good reviews, skewing a product’s star rating in order to make more sales. Sometimes reviewers didn’t even buy the product, and they’ve just been paid to write reviews. 

There are a few things you can do to spot fake reviews:

  • Look at the reviewer’s profile: some sites let you see all the reviews a particular shopper has left. Take a look at a reviewer’s purchase history to see if it makes sense. Are they buying things they actually seem to want or need? Or might they have another incentive to post these reviews?

  • Check the review dates: look at when the reviews were posted. If several positive reviews appeared on the same day, it could be part of a coordinated campaign. 

  • Read the reviews: it might sound obvious, but it can be tempting to just look at the average star rating instead of seeing what individual reviews say. Fake reviews might be poorly written, or include little detail about the actual product. 

Read our full guide on how to spot a fake review for more.

6. Always check the seller

When you shop with Amazon, you’ll either be buying directly from Amazon itself, or from a third-party seller on Amazon’s platform. A product’s page will make this clear. 

It’s important to take note of who you’re buying from so you know who to contact about returns, delivery and customer service should any problems arise. Third-party sellers will handle these things themselves unless the product has the ‘fulfilled by Amazon’ label. 

You will, however, have extra support from Amazon either way thanks to its A-Z guarantee.

7. Look out for dangerous products

Speaking of third-party sellers, you might not realise that Amazon isn’t responsible for the safety of all the products sold through its online marketplace. 

In May, we put 11 cheap baby carriers and slings bought from Amazon, eBay or Aliexpress through British safety standard tests. Ten had at least one serious failure and nine could be potentially lethal if used to carry a real baby.

And last year, a Which? investigation found teeth whitening products with illegal levels of hydrogen peroxide for sale on Amazon Marketplace. We also found that 66% of 250 products bought from marketplaces like AliExpress, Amazon, eBay and Wish failed safety tests

8. Don't make impulse purchases

Seasonal sales are geared up to encourage impulse buying. You might find pressure-inducing graphics like countdown clocks next to limited-time deals, potentially forcing you to make a quick decision. Don’t. 

As we’ve said, products that go on sale are likely to be reduced again in the future, meaning you may have another chance to save just as much or more if you can wait. The best way to save money and only buy what you need is to research products you might want to buy in advance and see if they’re reduced on the day.

9. Watch out for delivery scams

Signing up to Prime should mean you get speedy delivery. But watch out for scams that could stop you from receiving what you ordered. 

For example, Amazon orders for high-value items sometimes have an extra layer of security involving buyers being given a one-time password over the phone to give to the delivery driver to ensure the items are handed over. 

Make sure you only give the code once you have received the item, as we've had reports of people giving them out over the phone before the delivery is made and struggling to get their money back.