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According to Amazon, on July 12, Amazon Prime Day will generate more sales than either Black Friday or Cyber Monday. That makes it Amazon’s biggest day of the year. But finding deals in a morass of discounted garbage isn’t easy. Here’s how to get what you want out of Amazon Prime Day.

Getting Prime Day deals requires having an Amazon Prime account. For users without a Prime account, you can acquire a free Prime trial subscription.

Amazon’s Gold Box Deals

A big chunk of Amazon’s Prime Day deals shows up on its Goldbox page. Goldbox deals can be sorted and filtered by price and type. To illustrate, here’s an example of the Goldbox interface:

amazon-prime-goldbox-example

In the left column, under Deal Type, look for two kinds of deals: Lightning Deals and Deals of the Day. Savings and Sales, along with Coupons, offer solid discounts as well.

The best deals tend to be Lightning Deals, which are time and quantity limited. Deals of the Day also offer good discounts, but offer better availability, compared to Lightning Deals.

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If This Then That

If This Then That (guide to IFTTT The Ultimate IFTTT Guide: Use The Web's Most Powerful Tool Like A Pro The Ultimate IFTTT Guide: Use The Web's Most Powerful Tool Like A Pro IFTTT is an automation that will enable you to connect 2 services so that, when something happens with one service, a trigger goes off and an action takes place automatically on the other. Read More ) can automate almost anything. It can even automate deal-finding by using IFTTT Recipes, which function as customizable user-created automation scripts. It works like this: users can find or create automation scripts that detect certain conditions — such as whenever Amazon publishes new deals on their Goldbox page. For example, here’s the only one available through IFTTT, which links with Twitter.
ifttt-rss-to-email-intro
I recommend installing the IFTTT mobile app, which allows users to receive alerts on deals whenever their recipe “triggers”. Although it’s possible to create a recipe that relies on emails for notifications (see recipe below).

For those of you who are gluttons for punishment, I’ve created a pair of notification recipes for Amazon’s Goldbox Deals. If you are new to IFTTT, to acquire a recipe, you must create an IFTTT account and click on a recipe link below. Then add the IFTTT recipe to your account.

On the downside, Amazon releases a large number of Goldbox deals, which could overwhelm a casual user. Optionally, if you possess some experience with RSS and IFTTT, you can generate a filtered IFTTT recipe, just by using a keyword filter. I won’t get into creating a custom IFTTT recipe because we’ve already covered it. You can read more about how IFTTT can save you money Use IFTTT To Save & Make Money Use IFTTT To Save & Make Money Perhaps the best way to stay informed of special offers online is to embrace IFTTT, the popular data combination service that allows you to process data from websites and RSS feeds into something useful for... Read More Ben Stegner found a few pre-generated IFTTT recipes that save money IFTTT Recipes That Help You Save Money IFTTT Recipes That Help You Save Money IFTTT can be used to do nearly anything, and saving money is no exception. Here are some of the best recipes to help you live more frugally. Read More .

There’s an App For That

The easiest method of finding Prime Day deals is to install an app. To my knowledge, the best app is Amazon Price Alert for Android. It works like this:

First, install the app on your Android device. Then click on the plus sign in through the lower-right side of the screen. You will then need to type in the name of the desired product. After locating what you want, add it to your watchlist and choose a price — if the product drops below the indicated price, you’ll receive an alert on your mobile phone.

amazon-deal-finder

Alternatively, you can also install the official Amazon app (available on both Android and iOS), and add items to your Watchlist. The app will notify the user of any price decreases on watched items. If you choose to install the official app, you must enable Your Watched and Waitlisted Deals, which is normally an option within the app’s Settings menu. Amazon provides full instructions on configuring the app.

Really Simple Syndication

My preferred technology for finding deals is Really Simple Syndication (what’s RSS? What Is RSS and How Can It Improve Your Life? What Is RSS and How Can It Improve Your Life? Read More ). Many websites publish information over a feed, or continuously updated list of published content. All of Amazon’s product category pages also includes an RSS feed. For example, its Goldbox deals are listed here:

http://rssfeeds.s3.amazonaws.com/goldbox

Like all RSS feeds, you can copy-and-paste the feed URL into your favorite feed reader, like Feedly (guide to Feedly Unofficial Guide To Feedly: Better Than Google Reader Unofficial Guide To Feedly: Better Than Google Reader Do you hunger for the best desktop and mobile RSS reader ever made? For both the hungry and the hopeful, Feedly satisfies. Read More ) or Inoreader. Additionally, most feed-reader pro subscriptions ($40 a year) allows users to search through feeds for keywords. For example, if you’ve subscribed to the Amazon Goldbox RSS feed above, you can search it terms like “hard drive”. Here’s an example using Feedly:

feedly-filter-feeds-keyword

Another great option is SlickDeals’s RSS feed for its Front Page deals. It includes a great deal of content from Amazon (and other sites). The key selling point of using SlickDeals, though, is its amazing community of commenters and contributors. Here’s its feed:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/SlickdealsnetFP?format=xml

Reddit’s Deal Sub-Reddits

Reddit.com, in addition to its dank memes, also hosts a number of deal-finding subreddits (or sub-sections, within Reddit). Mark O’Neil just published a great article on the best subreddits for saving money on Amazon Save Money on Amazon With These 8 Sub-Reddits Save Money on Amazon With These 8 Sub-Reddits Reddit can be a great place to learn how to save money on Amazon, from shopping tips to great deals. Here are 8 sub-reddits that will help! Read More .The most relevant of these are /r/AmazonUnder25, /r/AmazonUnder5, /r/AmazonSpecials, and /r/AmazonPrimeDeals.

Each of these subsections contains a hidden RSS link. By appending .rss to any Reddit URL, you create an RSS feed. Users can add this feed to any RSS reader, like Feedly, Old Reader, and Inoreader (Google Reader alternatives Google Reader's End Is Nigh: Prepare With These Alternative RSS Readers Google Reader's End Is Nigh: Prepare With These Alternative RSS Readers Google Reader is dead. By July the Internet's premier RSS service is shutting down forever, leaving users to find a replacement on their own. If you're looking for an equivalent to Google these are just... Read More ).

For example, the RSS feed for /r/AmazonDealsUS looks like this:

https://www.reddit.com/r/amazondealsus.rss

Chrome and Firefox Browser Extensions

If you want a deal on a particular product, several extensions for Chrome and Firefox can help.

Some extensions can monitor whenever a web page receives the modification, such as a change in price. Users can configure the extension to monitor a web page and fire off notifications whenever a particular kind of change occurs. On Chrome, the best two options are Visualping and Page Monitor. Firefox’s equivalent of Visualping is Alert Box.

To track changes to a particular product, you must first configure the extension. Out of the two extensions listed above, I prefer Visualping. It works like this: First, install the extension. Second, navigate to the web page containing the product you’d like to buy and run the extension by clicking on it in the Chrome or Firefox toolbar. The third step requires a little more explanation.

visualping-icon-chrome

After installing the extension, navigate to the web page containing the product you’d like to buy and run the extension by clicking on it in the Chrome or Firefox toolbar. The second step requires a little more explanation.

To illustrate this method, I’m currently watching a Western Digital Red hard drive for a $10 price drop. So I’ve opened the web page and have clicked on the Visualping icon. You’ll see the following menu:

visualping-interface

You then choose either to use the Server or the Browser option. The browser option requires keeping the page open as a tab. The server option allows you to close the window. It fires off an email alert whenever the price changes. I recommend using the browser option, which lets you get an instantaneous notification of a price change, rather than waiting for an email alert.

Once you’ve chosen a method, you must then select the frequency with which the extension checks the page in question. Visualping can only observe when changes occur on specific regions of the web page you’re tracking. So you will choose Pick Element and then highlight a region of the screen where the price is listed. It looks like this:

visualping-wd-red-1tb

Finally, choose Start Monitoring to begin tracking price changes. If you’ve chosen the Browser option, you must keep that tab open, but not in the foreground, to continuously check prices.

visualping-user-interface-browser

On the downside, this method does not get the best deals – it only tracks price changes, which may or may not happen. Other extensions track an item’s price over a length of time, which gives you an indicator of when to buy a product. There are other options out there, such as CamelCamelCamel (best Amazon price trackers Shop Smart And Save Money - Check The Price History For Any Product With Camelizer [Chrome] Shop Smart And Save Money - Check The Price History For Any Product With Camelizer [Chrome] Don't pay more for a product just because of poor timing — see a history of price fluctuations before you buy anything. Camelizer is an extension for Google Chrome that shows you a chart of... Read More ).

What’s the Best Method?

It depends on what you want to buy. For most users, installing an app is probably the simplest option. For those looking for a very specific item, creating multiple custom IFTTT recipes based on all the RSS feeds mentioned in this article will offer the steepest discounts.

Anyone else looking to score great Amazon Prime Day deals? What methods will you use?

  1. cyndy
    July 7, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    The only watchlist I can find for Amazon is for the digital side and keeping track of movies and shows. I can't see where any of the lists I have track pricing or alert me to drops in price. Maybe I'm not looking in the correct place.

    • Kannon Yamada
      July 8, 2016 at 1:16 am

      Can I ask what method you're using? If you install a mobile application (the official Amazon mobile app), you must enable Watchlists before you'll be able to track items for price changes. I updated the instructions in this article (at the end of the section on "There's an app for that"). Hope that helps! Let me know if that doesn't help.

  2. Rhonda
    July 7, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Great suggestions, and I installed Amazon Price Alert on my phone. I realize many (most?) people use their phone as their main connection to the internet, but I'd love to see a way to get an alert by using my desktop. It's so much easier to browse Amazon on a desktop (at least in my opinion) and since I sit at my desk most of the day, it would be a much more convenient way to keep up with deals on products I'm interested in. I just did a quick search on my own, and there are several options out there, so maybe people like me will just do their own work :-) Great site--keep up the good work.

    • Kannon Yamada
      July 8, 2016 at 1:17 am

      Hi Rhonda!

      Have you tried using the browser option? The Visualping Chrome extension can hook into your desktop. IFTTT can also work for the desktop, although it appears that something is wrong with the recipes that i published.

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