Amazon Prime Day 2021 is coming soon. Here are some inside tips on how to get the best bargains in this year's big summer Amazon sale.
The dates for Amazon Prime Day have been confirmed as 21 and 22 June 2021.
The two-day sale event is returning to its usual summer spot this year after being delayed until October in 2020 due to Covid-19. However, in previous years it tended to fall in July and, according to Tech Radar, this year's June dates will be the earliest the event has ever taken place.
So what do you need to know before splurging your cash? Read on for expert tips on getting the best price, as well as how to spot fake reviews and whether the Amazon's Choice badge actually means a product's any good.
Amazon Prime Day is an annual sales event, which will take place this year on 21-22 June. Deals go live at midnight and popular products are likely to sell out before the end of the 48-hour period.
Prime Day is only available to members of Amazon Prime, which costs £7.99 per month. New members get a 30-day free trial, which you might consider worth it to bag a bargain - just don't forget to cancel if you don't want to continue.
Amazon Alexa users will reportedly be offered early access to some deals.
Our experts spent Amazon Prime Day 2020 analysing dozens of deals and found some were much better than others.
There were genuine bargains to be had on selected headphones, smartwatches and, perhaps unsurprisingly, Amazon-branded devices such as the Echo Show 5.
However, we also uncovered a child car seat on offer that's so dangerous we've labelled it a Don't Buy, and other products where better alternatives were available for less money.
We quiz thousands of people every year to reveal the best and worst shops, both in-store and online.
Our results include Amazon and other online marketplaces such as eBay, plus more traditional bricks-and-mortar stores and their websites. We break down how well stores performed in specific categories, from clothes and beauty to DIY and tech.
Good reviews are crucial for people trying to sell on online marketplaces, as potential customers are more likely to buy something if others have bought and enjoyed it.
But positive reviews can also be bought, with sellers paying genuine people for a good review by giving them the product for free or promising gift cards to fund their next purchase. And these aren't the only ways fraudsters can exploit online reviews.
Which? has conducted numerous investigations into fake reviews on Amazon, as well as other online marketplaces, exposing the multitude of tricks sellers use to artificially promote their products. Don't get caught out by misleading or fake customer reviews. Top tips to help you avoid getting stung include:
Got your eye on a particular item but wondering if Amazon Prime Day is really the right time to buy?
These can help you track prices of items you're interested in. Some send you an alert when the price drops and have price history charts.
Amazon doesn't fully explain how its 'Amazon's Choice' badge is awarded - but we know it's an algorithm that uses both ratings and price.
Many shoppers view the Amazon's Choice badge as a mark of quality, but our exclusive last year showed Amazon's Choice recommending potentially poor-quality products that appeared to have been artificially boosted by incentivised and fake reviews. Which? believes the system is easily gamed by unscrupulous sellers.
Our top tip? Don't just rely on the Amazon's Choice badge. Read the reviews yourself, compare prices and look at delivery times, then you'll be much more likely to make a good purchase.
We tracked the prices of 32 of the most popular makes and models of home and tech appliances across five of the biggest retailers: Amazon, AO.com, Argos, Currys PC World and John Lewis. We found that Amazon adjusted its prices much more frequently than any of the other retailers we looked at.
But it also offered the lowest prices more often than other retailers for the products in our investigation. In fact, it was the most competitive on pricing across multiple categories, including cameras, fitness trackers, kettles, electric toothbrushes and TVs. So if you're in the market for a big-ticket item, it might be worth watching the price over a few weeks to see whether it changes.
When shopping with online marketplaces such as Amazon, it's important to know whether you're buying directly from the retailer (in this case Amazon) or a third-party seller, as this can affect your rights.
The product page lists who the item is sold by. If it's a third-party seller, the order can either be fulfilled by Amazon or not; again this should be clear on the listing.
If you are buying from Amazon directly, or if the order is from a third-party seller but fulfilled by Amazon, then Amazon handles delivery, customer service and returns. If you're buying from a third-party seller which is fulfilling the order itself then delivery, customer service and returns are handled by the seller, rather than by Amazon.
Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day are now big days in the shopping calendar.
Amazon Prime Day usually runs across two days and is only available to members of Amazon Prime.
You've probably never heard of the term 'commingling', but if you shop with Amazon it might well have affected your purchases.
Commingling is the term used to describe a practice used by Amazon to help ensure speedy deliveries. It means that when a customer buys a product from a particular marketplace seller, sometimes Amazon sends the same product to you but from a different seller. These sellers essentially share their stock, and it helps them keep deliveries fast and efficient.
Critics, however, have warned it increases the risk of counterfeit products ending up in consumers' hands.
Not everyone realises online marketplaces such as Amazon aren't responsible for the safety of the products sold through their sites.
In May 2021, a Which? investigation found 21 of the 36 teeth whiteners available on online marketplaces permitted for home use, including five out of 13 products available on Amazon Marketplace, when we tested them in our labs.
And last year, Which? worked with five other European consumer associations to investigate 250 products bought from online marketplaces such as AliExpress, Amazon, eBay and Wish. A staggering . Products included smoke and CO alarms that couldn't detect smoke or carbon monoxide, Christmas lights that could give you an electric shock, USB chargers and travel adaptors that could cause a fire and a power bank that melted during testing.
Which? is calling for the government to give online marketplaces legal responsibility for the safety of products sold on their sites. Until then, these platforms need to enhance their checks before including sellers on their sites, and take strong action against those who break the lawto help .
Amazon is unusual in that it's a retailer that sells its own products, as well an online marketplace. It also has a range of Amazon-branded products - the Fire TV streaming devices, Amazon Echo range of smart speakers and Kindle ebook readers are among the best-known of these.
If you see an Amazon-branded product on sale during Prime Day and want to check whether you should buy it, check out our expert Which? test scores:
Like all big retailers and sales events, Amazon Prime Day uses psychological tricks to persuade you to part with your cash.
Wealth management firm Hargreaves Lansdowne has identified the following four Prime Day tactics, which it's worth being aware of to ensure you don't end up spending more than you planned:
(This article was updated on 2 June 2021 to confirm the dates of Amazon Prime Day, and on 16 June to explain psychological sales tricks.)