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Amazon Prime Day 2024: How to get the best deals, not get scammed, and what else you can expect from summer's biggest sale

Gearing up for Amazon Prime Day? Save time, avoid scams and score the best deals with these must-read tips and tricks.

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Gearing up for Amazon Prime Day? Save time, avoid scams and score the best deals with these must-read tips and tricks (Getty Images).

Amazon Prime Day 2024 kicks off in just a few days, which means it's time to get organized. This year's two-day shopping bonanza is back in Canada on July 16-17. Like always, shoppers can expect thousands of rarely-seen deals across Amazon's top categories, including tech, home & living, fashion, beauty and more.

While a Prime membership is your ticket to accessing Prime Day deals, it's not the only important thing to keep on (virtual) hand. To learn how to save time, avoid scams, and score the best possible deals this Prime Day, scroll below.

Unless you're, let's say, a Yahoo Canada shopping editor, you won't be spending hours a day hunting down Amazon deals on July 16-17. For people with jobs, kids and other fish to fry, this is where Amazon's Wishlist comes in handy.

Found in the "Account & Lists" tab, your private shopping list allows you to store all your wish list items in one location and keep tabs on price changes. If you have an upcoming birthday or anniversary on the calendar, you can also see friends' wish lists (if they give you access) for easy gift shopping.

Amazon’s shopping pages are broken down into easy-to-shop sections that give you access to the best daily deals, even outside of Prime Day. Some are only available for Prime members and others are time-limited. These are the types of deals Amazon typically offers:

  • Deals of the Day: Items that have been marked down for 24 hours — however, when the clock strikes midnight, prices (almost always) go back up.

  • Lightning Deals: These time-limited sales last for just a few hours, while supplies last. Keep track of the progress bar because once it reaches 100 per cent or time runs out, the discount is over. Prime members receive access to these deals 30 minutes before the public.

  • Coupons: Get the best prices on the items you know and love with an ever-changing selection of coupons.

  • Prime Early Access deals: Perfect for people who want to avoid the chaos of Prime Day, Amazon's early deals include a wide assortment of products that are already marked down to their Prime Day prices, like these, for example.

  • Prime-Exclusive Deals: Even beyond Prime Day, Prime members have access to exclusive deals not available to non-Prime members.

While Amazon Prime Day may have the largest marketing budget, that doesn't necessarily mean it will have the best deals.

In Canada, for example, Best Buy Canada, Walmart, Wayfair and Canadian Tire are all likely to host their own rival Prime Day sales. And while competing retailers may not offer Amazon's coveted one or two-day shipping, their prices may be worth the extra wait time.

A price comparison website allows you to compare and filter products based on several metrics, including features, reviews, and, of course, the bottom dollar.

Below, you can find several popular price comparison websites to test out ahead of Prime Day.

A Collection of Multi Colored Cleaning Supplies Collection Includes Chenille Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, Rag, Scouring Pad, Cleaning Sponge, Dish Cloth and Dish Towel on Pink Background Directly above View.
Amazon Prime Day is a great opportunity to stock up on home and cleaning essentials (Getty Images).

While you may have your sights set on a new 4K smart TV or pair of Apple AirPods, Prime Day is a prime opportunity to stock up on all the everyday unsexy essentials: Toilet paper, laundry detergent, coffee pods — you get the gist.

To shop the nitty-gritty basics, there are three key departments you'll want to keep tabs on (found on the left-hand side, under "Department:"

  1. Home & Kitchen

  2. Patio, Lawn & Garden

  3. Health & Personal Care

  4. Grocery & Gourmet Food

This is where you'll find everything from dish soap and toothpaste to the coffee pods that will help fuel your Prime Day shopping spree.

While the bulk of Amazon sellers and products are trusted name brands, that's not to say the retailer isn't without its fake reviews, sketchy sellers and scams.

Amazon Prime Deals are like anything else — if they look too good to be true, they probably are.

Let's go back to our AirPods as an example. Apple will never have a sale of, let's say, 50 per cent off. They just won't. You may find refurbished or open-box products for half-off, but authentic, brand-new Apple products will rarely be more than 10-30 per cent off. If you see a discount higher than that, lead with caution, not optimism.

Scam-spotting websites like Fakespot use AI technology to weed out scam artists and filter products by reviewer legitimacy.

An easy way to spot a scam: Read the reviews — the bad ones. If a product has hundreds of seemingly-perfect five-star reviews, but its one-and-two-star ratings repeatedly mention that something is off: Take note. As the saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

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