The countdown to is officially on! Starting 3 p.m. EST on Monday, July 16 and continuing until 3 a.m. EST on Wednesday, July 18, there will be millions of deals coming and going at lightning speed. But tracking the very best sales over the span of the 36-hour sale can get stressful fast, which is why we reached out to money-saving experts to help you with your Amazon Prime 2018 game plan.
And, remember, if you don't have a , you can by and get access to . Just remember to cancel your membership before the 30 days is up, or you'll have to pay.
Here's what you need to do to before the big day:
1. Make a wish list.
Figuring out your shopping list before a sale hits can prevent impulse buys, says Andrea Woroch, a . “Think ahead, not just about what you need right now, but what you’ll need in the coming months.” Holiday shopping, anyone?
Then, add these items to a list directly on Amazon by clicking “Add to List” under the “Buy Now” button on each product’s page. Once Prime Day rolls around, go to “Your List” under your account settings and you'll be able to quickly view if any of your items are on sale.
2. Check out Amazon's sneak peeks.
Once you (and you should definitely download it) tap the Prime Day banner anytime from July 9 through July 15 for a sneak peek of select products that will have Prime Day deals. You can also preview Lightning Deals (sales that start every five minutes and run for a set amount of time) ahead of time by going to “” on your app then clicking “Upcoming.” If you see something you’re interested in, click “Watch This Deal” to get a notification once it goes on sale.
3. Ask Alexa what she knows about.
Amazon's smart assistant Alexa can easily find deals for you. If you have an , ask, “Alexa, what are my Prime Day deals?” and she’ll offer up recommendations based on your shopping history. She’ll also track your Prime Day orders once they are placed. Just say “Alexa, where’s my stuff?” or set up delivery notifications in your Alexa app.
4. Definitely shop these four categories.
The best categories to shop, according to Shopping & Trends expert Sara Skirboll: , , , and . Historically, those are the areas with the best sales, so now’s the time to stock up for the holidays — or yourself!
5. And skip these.
On the flip side, Skirboll says you’ll likely see better deals on , , , and on Black Friday. So unless you really need something from these categories right now, you may be better off waiting until November.
6. Pay attention to Amazon products.
In the past, the best Prime Day sales have been on Amazon products, says Michelle Madhok, an online shopping expert and founder of deals site . “So, if you’ve been wanting to try an or those are usually marked down the most,” she explains. “Same thing goes for Amazon services, like .”
Savings on these products have already started: you can save , try out services like for as low as $0.99, and more.
7. Monitor prices beforehand.
This will give you a general idea of how much an item typically sells for so you can truly know if you’re getting a good deal. Woroch also recommends using . The tool monitors prices for Amazon products and lets you know when there’s a price drop and how much lower the deal is than the average price.
8. Double-dip on your savings.
Use cash back sites like and to find rebates across Amazon, so you can get earn some money while you shop!
9. Shop curated deal lists.
GoodHousekeeping.com is doing the hard deal hunting for you. Stop back here on July 16 at noon EST for the best deals in electronics, kitchen items, toys, beauty, and more.
With these deals in hand, you're ready to start your . Head on over to now to get ahead of the game.