Arriving on July 15 this year, Amazon Prime Day is the retailer’s big mid-summer sale. Whether you’re shopping for instant pots or Amazon Echo speakers, you’ll find significant discounts on mainstream consumer gadgets that day and likely for a few days thereafter.
Unfortunately, sales on enthusiast gear are harder to find on Prime Day. Amazon’s Today’s Deals page won’t likely be teeming with video cards and CPUs. But you can find some great bargains on both components and other hardcore tech necessities, if you know what to look for and where.
Where to Look for Prime Day Deals
1. Follow our coverage
You don’t have to track down all the Prime Day deals yourself. We’ll be keeping a running list of deals, both from Amazon and from its competitors, on our Amazon Prime Day page.
2. Amazon’s Computer Deals Page
Don’t just go to Amazon’s Prime Day deals page and scroll past all the irrelevant products. Click on the Computers and Accessories category in the left nav.
We also recommend choosing lightning deals to focus on the short-term, hottest deals.
3. Check Newegg, Walmart and Microcenter
Even if Amazon doesn’t have any great component deals, some of its rivals will likely have their own sales to compete on Prime Day. Newegg is the most likely candidate, and you can see its current discounts on its Daily Deals page.
Most of us wouldn’t think of Walmart as a great place to buy tech, but walmart.com sometimes has good deals on laptops and components. If you live near a Microcenter, you can often find in-person deals on components that rival anything available online. It’s a particularly great place to get Raspberry Pi stuff.
How to Tell if a Deal Is Real
Don’t believe the hype. Not every sale price you see on Prime Day is an all-time low price. The price you find could be the same as it was the week before Prime Day or it might be higher than it was just a month before. It may even be the case that another site has a better regular price than Amazon’s (or someone else’s) sale price.
To find out whether you’re really looking at a deal, take a few steps:
1. For Amazon deals, use the Camelizer plugin.
This plugin will show you a complete price history for a product, based on the database at Camelcamelcamel. When you’re on the product’s Amazon page, just click the plugin button and you’ll see a chart.
2. Search PCPartPicker.
That site maintains a price history of nearly every component, across half a dozen retailers, but usually not Amazon.
3. Check competing sites to see if any of them has an even better sale on the same product.
For example, if you see a great deal on a graphicscard at Amazon, check Newegg also.
What Kind of Products to Look for on Prime Day
While it’s possible that you’ll find the CPU or GPU deal of your dreams on Prime Day, these types of products are more likely to be on big sales, both on Amazon and its competitors.
- microSD Cards: Great for Raspberry Pi users or people with Android smartphones, microSD cards give you a ton of storage in a tiny space. Look for a name-brand 256GB card that’s under $35, a 128GB model that’s less than 20 or a 64GB card that’s under $10. 32GB cards on sale should go for under $5.
- USB Flash Drives: If you need to move data using a “sneakernet,” a USB flash drive can come in handy. Look for a name-brand 128GB USB 3.0 drive for well under $20. You’ll pay extra for additional features, such as ruggedness or the addition of a Type-C port.
- SSDs: Who doesn’t need bigger, faster internal storage? Look for a name-brand 1TB SATA SSD for less than $100 or an NVMe drive in the same price range.
- USB Hard Drives: If you need bulk storage that’s easy to carry, USB hard drives are always a good deal during peak sale times. Look for a 2TB drive that’s well under $60.
If you’re reading this on the Internet rather than a printout someone handed you (and who would?), you probably have a router already. But does your router have the very latest technologies?
Routers are always going on sale at Amazon and elsewhere. Look for a three-router Mesh kit for around $200 or a dual / tri-band Wi-Fi 6 router for around $225.
The price of DDR4 RAM has been dropping steadily for several months now. During the Prime Day period, a great deal would be a 16GB kit for less than $50 or a 32GB set for close to $100. Expect to pay more for kits that are higher than 2666 or those that have RGB.
Robots, Raspberry Pi and Arduino
Electronics kits are often on huge sales during the Prime Day time frame. Companies such as Elegoo often have significant sales on Arduino starter sets or robots you can build yourself. We also expect to see some Raspberry Pi accessories or kits on sale during this time.
If you see a good sale, Prime Day might be a great time to get a new display. A good deal on a 144 Hz or faster, 1080p display that’s 27 inches or larger is one that’s less than $200. If you’re looking for 4K, 60 Hz, a price under $250 is great.
Gaming Mice and Keyboards
Keep your eyes peeled for good deals on gaming peripherals, such as mice, keyboards and headsets. Look for products from well-known, reputable brands that cost less than usual. There will be plenty of no-name products for sale, but you should only consider those if they have a ton of positive user reviews.
Power Banks, Cables and Chargers
Prime Day is prime time to find deals on power banks and chargers for your mobile devices. If you own a laptop that charges over USB Type-C, look for deals on adapters and external batteries that support USB PD (Power Delivery), preferably of at least 45 watts.
Remember that Prime Day is about more than just Amazon.com, but also keep in mind that if you don’t find a great deal a product you’ve been waiting for, there will always be other sales in the future. Whether it’s Prime Day or Black Friday or President’s Day, the best strategy during any sale is not to feel like you have to make a purchase, just because there’s a sale.