7++ Amazon Shopping Tips, Secrets, Strategies: Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday & Every Other Conceivable Buying Day

Quick Summary: Amazon Prime Day Shopping Tips, Secrets, Strategies

  1. Add items that you ‘might be interested in buying’ onto your wishlist. I frequently get ‘price drop’ alerts this way.
  2. Buy your Amazon Lightning Deals right away, then research pricing, and cancel the order.
  3. Create a tab that has the Amazon deals just for the categories you prefer (see image below), i.e., hiking, sports, Kindle, etc. In this way, you are ready to go. Nobody likes a slow Amazon shopper.
  4. Get the Amazon Mobile App – go into the “Settings” option in your Amazon app, and choose the ‘notifications option to enable and disable alerts.
  5. Look for Amazon-branded (Amazon Basics) items – they often are cheaper. That includes things like electronics, kitchen items, bedding, luggage, well, you get the idea.
  6. Don’t be an irrational retail moron. My sister-in-law scoffs at me for visiting WalMart citing all kinds of things she believes to be true, then she goes to Target and buys many of the same items at a higher price. It is the same with Amazon… maybe you want to buy local, but Amazon is so much cheaper (and easier). If your personal ethics won’t allow you to shop at Amazon, then you shouldn’t be reading this page. If you want to send me a nasty note, see the bottom of this page.
  7. An Amazon chat rep once told me, “The only way I know to receive price change alerts in the full website is by adding the item to the shopping cart and leaving it, and you will receive notification at the top of the cart if the price is lower or higher.” Of course, you have to navigate the checkout carefully when purchasing other things.

Just so you know, I screwed up on most of these lessons so you don’t have to make the same mistakes.

Enough said, go to the Amazon Prime Day page or just to main Amazon page.

WHAT IS AMAZON PRIME DAY? On it most basic level, Amazon Prime is:

  • A way to appeal to you, I say ‘you’ because, as of 2017, there were approximately 80 million Amazon Prime members in the United States. Industry sources estimate that 60 percent of Amazon customers in the United States were Amazon Prime members.
  • A way to sign up non-prime customers to become Amazon Prime members (The average Prime member spends $1,700 a year on Amazon, $1,000 more than non-members, according to a consumer survey by Statista.)
  • It really isn’t a ‘day’ as the fourth annual Prime Day will last 36 hours – giving you more time to shop.
  • A way to allow consumers to spend more. Prime Day is an additional ‘buy’ day, much like the other monster shopping days Black Friday, Cyber Monday, July 4th, Labor Day and lessor days such as Portuguese Water Dog day and Strawberry Ice Cream Day.

In short, Amazon Prime Day is a way to optimize the full American capitalism spirit by pitting retailers against each other, allowing you to buy great deals (and thus spend more money at Amazon). BTW – wet your alarm clock to 3:00 p.m. Eastern on Monday, July 16 and goes through Tuesday, July 17.


Understand The Game – Know The Players: The site will offer two kinds of deals — spotlight and lightning. Spotlight sales are sales on the site for longer stretches of time. Amazon Lightning Deals (my favorite) are short-term flash deals that are only available one per customer. A Spotlight Deal is different from a Lightning Deal because these are items that have the most inventory and the best savings. Lightning Deals are unique because they last only for a finite number of minutes each and so only run for a limited time. Here is the Amazon Spotlight Deals main page.

Use The Thunder & Lightning Technique For Lightning Deals: Have you ever gone to a Costco and found something that wasn’t on your list (10 LED light bulbs, paddleboard, etc.) and thought, “Hmm, maybe I should buy that.” Then you didn’t buy it, but a few weeks later you decide to now purchase, you go back to Costco, and, it’s gone. Amazon Lightning Deals are the same way as they are only available for a limited time period or until they sell out. Your ‘Thunder & Lightning’ technique is when you see a deal click (thunder) as fast as you can and buy it (lightning) as soon as you can.

Amazon Tip – There are about 40 Amazon departments that offer Lightning Deals. I select just a few to monitor, electronics for me, kitchen and sports for my wife. Just check those boxes and bookmark the page.


Amazon Tip – Shop Early, Shop Often: Deals change frequently so I have been known just to keep a separate tab open for the Amazon Lightning Deals and refresh it from time to time.

Amazon Tip – You can buy a lightning deal, then cancel it before it ships. This gives you a chance to control the price, but then do price comparisons to ensure that it is a ‘good deal.’

Amazon Tip – If you miss a Lightning Deal, join the waitlist in case more items become available.

How To Ferret Out The Best Prices: The lowest prices will be on Amazon-branded created collections, Amazon now boasts “dozens” of private brands (Amazon Basics) — names that both promote the company (AmazonBasics, Amazon Essentials) and downplay the connection as not to totally alienate their sellers that they soon will do away with (Much like Uber investing in self-driving cars will do away with Uber drivers).

Don’t mistake my tone for distaste – I buy quite a bit at Amazon.

Find ‘Stuff’ You Want To Buy And Save It To Your Wish List: I frequently have been looking for something, say ‘hiking sticks’ but wasn’t ready to buy so I saved them to my Amazon wishlist (click here to learn how to create an Amazon wishlist). Then a few weeks later I receive a notification that the item has a lightning sale going on.

Amazon Tip – Add all your favorite browsing items to your wish list and be alerted when they go on sale.

Make Alexa Do The Work:  If you have an Alexa device, then you can let Amazon’s A.I. assistant do some of the busywork for you. Just ask Alexa what Prime Day deals are available and she’ll handle the heavy lifting, sniffing out the current and upcoming offers for you. Amazon likes to give Alexa users special treatment (sadly, it is akin to the theory, you give a bit of ‘good stuff’ for free and then they will pay for it when they are hooked), so some deals may only be available for order through an Alexa-enabled smart device.

Amazon Tip – If you don’t have an Alexa device you probably should buy an Alexa enabled device – not because it is the greatest thing ever (it is pretty good – but mostly setting timers, playing songs, finding recipes, making a call), but because you need to learn how to navigate the voice control world before the next generation takes off. Of course, the world needs people who love BetaMax tapes, paperbacks, landline phones and similar items that are dying or have died.

Amazon Tip – Get your address book and Amazon wallet updated. Be sure to delete any old cards or addresses – I know this because I once shipped a five-pound food order to my PO Box.

Amazon Tip – If your Amazon package is late, chat with an Amazon customer service rep. Amazon will give you a free month of prime anytime your shipment arrives late. Sometimes they will give you an Amazon dollar credit. Just ask for it.

Amazon Tip – Get the Amazon Mobile App – go into the “Settings” option in your Amazon app, and choose the ‘notifications option to enable and disable alerts.  Amazon recommends signing up for lightning deal alerts on the Amazon app.

What If You Don’t Have (or don’t want) An Amazon Prime Account? You can still buy.  One of the best tips for anyone without a Prime account is to sign up for an Amazon Prime account and then you can cancel your Amazon Prime account within 30 days. Prime subscriptions begin with a month-long free trial (six months for students). Not exactly the right way to game the system, but some do. Which means, even if you hate Amazon, you can still crush them with your purchase on Amazon Prime Day.

Amazon Gamer? If you have already ‘gamed the system,’ there is still another angle – The free trial month is only open to customers who haven’t had Prime within the past 12 months. If you fall into that category, you can sign up for a one-month Amazon Prime membership for $13.

Amazon Chat Rep Secret Tip:  An Amazon chat rep once told me, “The only way I know to receive price change alerts in the full website is by adding the item to the shopping cart and leaving it, and you will receive notification at the top of the cart if the price is lower or higher.” Of course, you have to navigate the checkout carefully when purchasing other things. Items can be moved to the ‘saved for later’ section of the cart to prevent accidental purchases.

‘Irrational Retail Moron’ Hate Email: If you didn’t like anything on this page, especially the ‘irrational retail moron’ comment, just copy the below and can send it to me.

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< Dear | Hey Moron0! | Really? | Duh >

“Hey U ar the moron. Don’t you kno that amazoan is killing american businessesss. I only shop <mispell name of retailer> and never woudl buy anything from amaoan. Oh, what? They have my favoirt online game for half price? Let me lok at that. You a moron still.”

You are < clearly wrong | so clueless |  completely plagiarizing > your writing on < enter whatever it is here > because < I am so much smarter than you and I will prove it right here | you have no basis-in-fact because I understand the law after being serverd three temporary restraining orders | your theory was disproved before Copernicus >.

< Furthermore |Therefore | Whatfore (Gawd, is that even a word?) > and this is why I comment, say, TELL you this: < I am an expert – you obviously aren’t | you offered a poorly constructed position lacking foundation | did you really go to college? | my tin foil hat voice told me to write you as I peer through your office window >. You must be one of those < (pick any political party) | (pick any religion) | (pick any group discriminated against) >.

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And for my mobile fans…

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< HAY | Reallly/? | s’up >

U so <wroongg | stoopid U > why u  < not ask me | so dum | steel my idea >? Git < life | out | smarrter > < u suk | uOK > WE goood? bro??

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