Prime Day 2020: Is that deal really the best deal?
Don't fall for the hype -- unless it's deserved. Find out for sure if you're getting the lowest price.
Rick BroidaSenior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Amazon Prime Day 2020, otherwise known as Oct. 13 and 14, will attract zillions of buyers seeking Black-Friday-in-October pricing on zillions of products. But here's the thing: While there are sure to be some solid bargains, it's a mistake to assume that every deal is the best deal.
This is akin to what I call the "Costco fallacy," which is the belief that absolutely everything in the warehouse has the lowest price anywhere. In reality, some items are cheaper elsewhere.
Similarly, during Prime Day, it's natural to think that every single product will be marked down to the lowest price of the year -- but that's simply not the case. So consider doing a quick bit of research before you buy anything. The money you save could be your own.
Historically, Prime Day is an excellent time to score deals on Amazon-branded products: Echo speakers and smart screens, Kindle e-readers, Fire TVs and so on. In fact, the prices on these items may be some of the lowest to date, or at least tied with the lowest. Case in point: The Fire TV Recast over-the-air DVR is already on sale for $130, which matches its all-time low.
OK, but what about that non-Amazon Fitbit Versa 3 you've had your eye on? Or those Sony headphones? They might be on sale, but how can you be sure this is the right time to pull the trigger?
Start with CamelCamelCamel, an invaluable shopping tool that monitors Amazon pricing. Just copy and paste the Amazon URL for any given product (or use the Camelizer browser plug-in, which saves a ton of time) and you'll see the complete history for that product.
And if you see a lower price on a previous date, now you know there might be a lower price coming in the future. Here's the lesson again: Don't just assume that Prime Day pricing is the best pricing. See for yourself.
But do you really need to go bouncing from one site to another just to price-compare? Nope! Tools like PopCart, PriceBlink and OctoShop can show you at a glance if there's a better deal to be found elsewhere. I definitely recommend installing one of these browser plug-ins.
Want to know more? I talk about these and other Prime Day strategies in the latest episode of The Cheapskate Show podcast!
Watch this: Amazon Prime Day 2020: Everything you need to know
CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs,
and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!
Immerse yourself in high-quality digital experiences for less.
Install our CNET Shopping extension and set price alerts on your top tablet and wireless headphone picks so you know when to get the best price.
Add CNET Shopping