Amazon Prime Day is like a modern version of those Christmas in July promotions that used to be popular before online shopping. During this annual sales event, Amazon offers steep discounts for Prime members on thousands of items. If you’re on the market for home security or smart home devices, it could be a great time to buy – as long as you keep your cool and do your research ahead of time. This year, Prime Day will be a two day event spanning July 15-16, 2019. Here’s what to know before you fill those shopping carts.

Step 1. You Need Amazon Prime

These once-a-year discounts are exclusively for Prime members. If you’re not familiar with Prime, it’s a membership that gives Amazon shoppers extra perks: free two-day shipping, access to streaming video and more. Prime membership costs $119 per year or $12.99 per month, or $59 per year and $6.49 per month if you’re a student. Is it worth it? For frequent Amazon shoppers, the answer is a resounding yes, but consider your own buying habits and whether or not you have a tendency to buy things you don’t need when companies like Amazon make it so easy.

 

Step 2. Decide What You Want Ahead Of Time

Amazon doesn’t advertise all of the specific sales in advance, so you need to do your research to identify the best deals as they arise. Decide which products and brands you’re interested in, and note their normal retail price. Beware that some brands might hawk a steep discount, when in reality the original price is overinflated. This prevents hyped-up sales tactics from getting the better of you and helps steel your resolve against poorly considered spur-of-the-moment buys. 

If you plan to shop for home security, smart home or family safety products, use the following Safety.com best-of lists to guide your purchasing decisions. We expect at least some items to be discounted across all of these categories. 

In years past, Amazon has featured lots of good deals on home security and smart home products from its own family of brands. Be on the lookout for deals on Echo, Ring, Kindle and Fire devices.

Step 3. Remember, You Don’t Have To Wait For Prime Day

Amazon’s domination of the online shopping space has many other retailers scrambling to be competitive and Prime Day is no exception. Many big box stores like Walmart and Target amp up their sales offerings leading up to and throughout the Prime Day festivities. And, even Amazon has been known to drop prices to record lows outside of the huge annual sales. Time is money, so if you can get a great deal right now without having to set aside time to shop during the 48-hour sale period, go for it (especially if you’re not interested in a Prime membership).

Step 4. Get Alerts About Deals Once Prime Day Arrives

Amazon offers a few tools to help you sort through the massive amounts of products vying for attention on this huge shopping day. You can also browse manually. We recommend either starting with one of the aforementioned Safety.com guides or searching through popular categories sorting by best reviews.