What is Amazon Prime Day and should I care about it?

Prime Day 2017. Amazon's mid-year Black Friday. The chaos is fast approaching. It's happening again this year as it has every year since 2015. And when it hits, it'll strike fast... like lightning. Thousands of Amazon's lightning deals will come and go over the course of the day. Some will feature the best products on the market going for their lowest prices. Some will feature worthy impulse buys. And some will come from the dusty rear shelves of Amazon's warehouses.

Amazon's last couple of Prime Days featured thousands of deals over the course of several hours. Most of those deals were there to fill the time and make it seem like an all-day event. The real stuff happened in short bursts, buried underneath layers of marketing and hype. We will dig through those layers, cast them aside, and come up with gems that won't be a waste of your time or money.

Be prepared, though. You'll have to act fast. Amazon's lightning deals normally last an hour or more, but on Prime Day the good deals will only last about as long as it takes to click "Add to Cart." Many a deal has been lost due to indecisiveness, but that's why we're here! Join us at Thrifter where we'll be doing a rundown of the deals worth buying as they go live so you can make the right call as fast as humanly possible.

When is Prime Day?

Amazon has officially announced Prime Day will be a 30 hour event starting Monday, July 10, at 9 p.m. EST and going until 3 a.m. Wednesday, July 12. If you have an Alexa-enabled device like the Echo Dot, there will be voice-only deals available starting at 7 p.m.

What is Prime Day?

Prime Day is Amazon's yearly deals event. Amazon says they want it to be the "world's best day to shop." It isn't, but it's close. Expect thousands of deals to drop over the 24-hour period, mostly in the form of fast-hitting quick-to-sell-out lightning deals.

Who is Prime Day for?

Only people who are Amazon Prime members will be able to participate in Prime Day. You don't have to be a long-standing member. Even if you just use the 30-day Prime Day free trial for the event you can shop the sales.

You should also be able to participate if you're part of Amazon Household, Family, or using the student-discounted Prime membership.

Where should I be looking on Prime Day?

Our live blog, duh! Follow us on Twitter, too, to witness the action as it unfolds. We'll be monitoring Prime Day all day long and doing our best to point out the real deals worth buying. No one person has the time or the ability to decipher everything Amazon's going to throw out there, so we've put together a team at Thrifter to do it for you.

We've got the best deal-hunters on the Internet prepared to give everything they've got to sorting through all the Prime Day deals as fast as possible. We're doing it because Prime Day is about more than the next item at a low price. It's about knowing whether that item is worth buying at all.

On Amazon, there's a landing page for all the Prime Day goings-on. You can also use the Amazon app to quickly scroll through lightning deals.

What can I do to prepare for Prime Day?

Prime Day is going to be fast and chaotic, and if you really want to get the most out of it there's a few things you can do right now to get ready. First, you need Amazon Prime to participate at all. Sign up for a free 30-day trial if you aren't a Prime member yet. At this point, the 30 days will get you through Prime Day. If you're satisfied with how awesome the event was, keep your subscription going.

Second, get yourself an Alexa-enabled device. The Echo Dot is only $50, often on sale for $40. This may enable you to get deals exclusive to voice shoppers, deals even other Prime members won't be able to get first.

Third, if you're really into Prime Day you can get the Amazon Prime Rewards credit card. You need an eligible Prime membership to get the most benefits out of this card. Signing up for it gets you a $70 Amazon gift card you can spend on Prime Day. Plus, you can get 5% back on Amazon from whatever you spend.

Fourth, this is the Amazon Lightning Deals section. Expect to see a huge majority of the deals on Prime Day to be in the form of lightning deals. Lightning Deals on a normal day spawn at a set time and expire in a few hours. Lightning Deals on Prime Day won't last five minutes. Get used to the ebb and flow of this page if you want to be the master of Prime Day surfing.

Fifth, go mobile. Amazon has a lot of apps for your smartphone. Some of these might make it easier for you to browse when there's a huge line of lightning deals or pages of sales you just want to coast through.

What about other retailers?

Other retailers are very likely to match Amazon's effort on the Prime Day sales. You may not see all the same items, or exactly the same prices, but we expect to see Best Buy and Walmart make an aggressive attempt to draw some business to themselves.