Amazon Prime Day has rolled around once again and for the third time since 2019, it will actually take place over two days. For many, it's a chance to get a head start on back-to-school shopping or an opportunity to grab an expensive gadget that was eyed for months — but it could also open the door for unnecessary debt. In fact, smart shopping expert Trae Bodge told Cheddar that while Prime Day does offer some amazing deals, part of the tactic is to simply get people to open up their wallets.
"We will see very deep discounts on certain things, and that's what smart shoppers should be looking for," she said. "I think shoppers should be mindful to not just snatch up a bunch of things that they don't necessarily need, especially if there is only a slight discount on that item." Bodge also noted that given the state of the economy and the historic rise of inflation, this is the worst time to accumulate more credit card debt as it is more expensive to pay off.
Last year, shoppers were more modest with spending than they were on previous Prime Day events. They spent an average of $47, which was a slight drop from the previous year when customers averaged about $55 per order.
When it comes to making the right purchases, Bodge said there are steps shoppers can take to ensure they are getting the absolute best deal possible.
"There are a couple things that I'm going to be looking for, and so what I've already done is put them on my wishlist because I should, hopefully, receive an alert if those items go on sale. I'm also setting a deal alert for those items on slickdeals.net," she said.
The smart shopper, according to Bodge, will check numerous retailers before making their final purchase decisions. Walmart is one of many retailers that, while less touted, can compete with Amazon on Prime Day through its "rollback" deals and is offering a counter-sale. She also mentioned that shoppers should browse coupon sites as some offer the chance to receive cashback deals with proof of Prime Day purchase.
"The last thing i'll probably do is be very mindful of which credit card I'm using because if you use the right credit card then you're getting extra points on your purchase. For example, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card should be the only card on Amazon if you have that card because on all Amazon purchases, you get 5 percent, but on Amazon Prime Day you can get as high as 20 percent back in addition to the sale that's already happening," Bodge told Cheddar.
For shoppers without Amazon credit cards, she said shoppers should use cards that offer them the most bang for their bucks.
Bodge said she also expects deep discounts on electronic goods like televisions. In 2021, supply chain bottlenecks became a thorn in the side of businesses worldwide, but as the shipping industry played catch up, retailers saw a surplus of inventory arrive and stay on store shelves. This spells good news for Prime Day shoppers. Last year, consumer electronics like mobile phones, wearables, and TVs were among the top Prime Day sellers.
As home upkeep remains a priority, some of which was sparked with the onset of the pandemic two years ago, Bodge foresees great deals in the home improvement category.
And if you're looking to build up your wardrobe at the same time, you could very well be in luck.
"I'm seeing a lot of sales in athleisure also because it's a category that retailers bought very heavily in when they saw the trend rising at the beginning of the pandemic, and then because of the supply chain issues, that athleisure is just sitting there now," Bodge noted. "What I hope and think is that parents who are savvy shoppers will start thinking about back-to-school and start snatching up those items for their kids — maybe buying a size bigger because they're still growing."