Online retail megalith Amazon have their annual bargain-feeding frenzy coming up – also known a Prime Day.
It’s a big deal for Amazon, clearly. For affiliate sites like us they give us all sorts of banners and things to promote it, like this one:
It can be a great day for you, if you shop savvy which, after all, is what we’re all about here at ThriftyParent.
So – rather than the usual: “Buy this! Buy that!” we’ve put together a guide to help you:
- Get the most out of Amazon Prime Day
- Save money using Amazon Households
- What are the benefits of Amazon Prime?
Get the most out of Amazon Prime Day
OK, some key details:
When is amazon prime day 2019?
Amazon Prime Day starts at 00:01 on Monday 15th July 2019 and ends at 23:59 on Tuesday 16th July.
Yes, you’re right that’s two days. For the first time ever Amazon have extended Prime Day to Prime Two Days. Brace yourself for Prime Week in 2020!
It’s actually not such a leap, moving to two days – the deals available on most recent Prime Days ran for 24-36 hours anyway.
What is Amazon Prime Day?
Broadly its a shopping day, where Amazon Prime members get exclusive discounts, early access to products etc.
Think of those swanky fashion boutiques that do those ‘exclusive after hours access’ parties for all their most valuable customers – it’s like that, but on Amazon.
Recent estimates put Amazon Prime membership numbers at north of 100 million – so less boutique, more stadium-sized!
Do I have to be an Amazon Prime member to use Prime Day?
Well… yes an no.
No, you don’t have to be an existing Prime member. There is no vetting process of: “Well, you just showed up for the bargains – we’re not letting you in.”
Quite the contrary. One of the aims for Amazon is to sell more Prime Memberships. To give people that FOMO feeling that makes them want to become Prime members.
The good news: you can get a free 30 day trial of Amazon Prime.
Can I just get the free Trial – then leave?
Obviously Amazon are banking on the idea you won’t – but there’s absolutely nothing to prevent you from taking a free trial, getting the bargains you want and then cancelling your membership.
How much is Amazon Prime?
Basically it’s £7.99 a month (so £95.98 a year) or £79 a year if you pay up front (which equates to £6.58 a month).
If you’re reading this in the US, it’s $12.99 a month ($155.88 per year) or $119 a year if you pay up front ($9.92 a month).
However… there are other levels of Prime membership, so before you leap in, read on.
Amazon Prime – Student membership
Students can get a six month free trial of Amazon Prime.
After that six months it’s just £3.99 a month or £39 a year (equivalent to £3.25 a month) – $6.49 a month or $59 a year ($4.92 a month) if you’re in the US.
Who is eligible for Student Membership?
That’s a key question here. Obviously vetting every application en masse is going to be tricky for Amazon so the qualification criteria is pretty blunt.
In the UK you need to have an email address which ends .ac.uk. In the US it has to end .edu. Basically you have to have access to an email address that your college, university or school has given you. So firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com etc.
Now… most staff that work at these institutions also have .ac.uk email addresses too.
If you, a family member or a loved one are a student (or have access to an .ac.uk account) you can get Prime Student membership, a six month free trial and the discounted rate thereafter.
In the US there are also discounted rates available for EBT or Medicaid card holders – Prime Membership is $5.99 a month if you’re a relevant card holder. You get the 30 day free trial and will then need to validate your account with your appropriate card to pay the discounted rate (or cancel you membership).
Share the love – Amazon Households
Amazon Households allows you to share the benefits of Prime membership with another adult and up to four children (the kids cannot go shopping, don’t worry!).
How to set-up Amazon Households
Now… Amazon make it slightly tricky to find this, so here’s how you do it:
- Log-in to your Amazon account
- Click the “Accounts & Lists” – top right
- Scroll down to the “Shopping Programmes” box
- Find and click “Amazon Household”
The trick is ignoring the drop-down menu when you look for the “Accounts & Lists” in step #2 (this is usually the bit that says your name – e.g. mine says “Hello Claire”).
Then scroll-down to find the Amazon Household link (we’ve marked it with a subtle red arrow above!).
From there you can invite another adult with their name and email address. There are a few steps confirming which elements of your account you want to share. Warning: for all the good stuff, you will both have access to one another’s payment methods. This means you can see (and potentially pay with) their credit/debit card – and you can with theirs too.
If this is your husband/wife/significant other – hopefully this is fine. If you’re thinking this is a good money-saving wheeze with a friend, work colleague or neighbour – choose your ‘Prime partner’ carefully!
They’ll then get an email inviting them to the account. They have 14 days to accept. Once they do, you’re Prime buddies! Both of you can get all the Prime membership benefits (more below) for only one subscription fee.
If you have a child away at university or your family lives apart for some of the time – you can still use Households. All the benefits are included, like streaming movies, e-books as well as all the delivery perks.
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What are the benefits of Amazon Prime membership?
Other than the excitement of Amazon Prime Day you mean?
The biggest one is unlimited, free fast delivery.
On most items you can get next day delivery free of charge, if you’re a Prime member. On some items there’s even same-day delivery options – if you order early enough in the day.
The free delivery is unlimited – you can order as many things as you want, as often as you want and never pay a penny in postage and get it the next day.
Forgotten a birthday or need a last minute gift? No problem. Run out of something crucial but too busy to make that special detour to the obscure shop in out-of-the-ways-ville to get it? You’re covered.
Take it from us – the convenience of free next day delivery is hard to give up once you’ve experienced it.
Prime TV & Movies
Amazon Prime members also get access to Prime TV – covering Amazon Originals (aka TV shows Amazon commissioned or paid for) like American Gods, Jeremy Clarkson et al’s The Grand Tour (no, we don’t like him either – but he is, inexplicably, popular), Golden Globe-winning The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and new shows like Good Omens starring Michael Sheen and David Tennant.
Then there are movies from Paddington to John Wick (find out about the best movies on Amazon Prime in the UK).
They also have early access so you can rent (or buy) the latest big releases to stream to your TV – so hit movies like Bohemian Rhapsody, Bumblebee and the terrific Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse are all available to rent for Prime members.
And Amazon TV are broadcasting more and more sport too – including 20 Premier League games in 2019/20 – including a real Boxing Day bonanza of all ten Premier League games on 26th and 27th December.
If the football fan in your household is constantly bemoaning not having $ky TV (and the associated sky-high price tag) this could be a great sop for them.
Books & music
No football nuts in your house? Amazon Prime also gives you Prime Reading – with free access to thousands of books and magazines – from children’s fiction to the latest newsstand publications.
And there’s Prime Music – 2 million songs, ad free.
Other Amazon Prime opportunities
Amazon Prime is not the only subscription service Amazon offer.
Whilst Prime members get access to lots of offers and trials there are other services available.
The good news is, as a Prime member you can try many of them either for free – or at a significant discount.
4 months for just 99p (available until 16th July) – usually £9.99 a month.
This is Amazon‘s competitor to Spotity and other music-streaming services. If you have kids with Spotify subscriptions then using Amazon Household (outlined above) with your Prime Membership to get them a free trial could be a great way to shift them over to a more affordable option:
Audible is another Amazon-owned company.
It gives you access to thousands of audiobooks and podcasts – for £7.99 a month.
As a Prime member if you sign-up before 16th July, you can not only take advantage of their 30 day free trial but you’ll also get:
- Two free audiobook credits
- A £10 Amazon credit
Perhaps to spend on one of those Prime Day deals!
Did you know Amazon has access to more than 50 channels of TV? No… nor did we til we were writing this piece.
If niche TV is your thing there’s something here for you:
- Sports & Outdoors: Eurosport (including Grand Slam tennis); Gone (the hunting & fishing network); Horse & Country (equestrianism and more); the Nautical Channel (watersport) plus a whole lot more
- Movie channels including: Sundance UK (award-winning drama and comedy series); BFI Player+ (critically acclaimed British movies on-demand); MGM (classic movies from the US studio powerhouse) & Studio Universal Classics (on-tap all time favourites from Universal Studios); B4U (Bollywood classics) & Eros Now (premium Bollywood movies) and more
- Foreign language: Pongalo (Telenovelas and Spanish language movies); PBO (movies from the Philippines)
- Health & fitness: Sweatflix (12-minute workout and motivation shows); Yoga Anytime (does what it says on the tin!); BeFit UK (unlimited streaming of hundreds of workouts); Daily Burn (dance, strength training, cardio and more) – plus loads more
There are also loads of kids channels, anime, the popular Hayu channel (think Kardashians et al) and stacks more.
Each channel has it’s own monthly subscription fee starting from £1.99 a month.
If you’re currently paying for channels like these (e.g. workout subscription services) elsewhere perhaps shifting to Amazon as a provider could save you some money – especially with 50% off for the first 3 months?
One of our favourite Amazon subscription offerings is Amazon Business. Our favourite thing? It’s free. Not a free trial. Not discounted for x months – just plain ol’ free.
Do you struggle with purchasing stuff for your business and wish it could be as simple as buying your personal stuff from Amazon?
That’s one of the motivations behind Amazon Business.
You can set-up a free business account – order all your office staples like… well, staples and paper, printer ink all sorts.
You get the business-style benefits of bulk ordering discounts, paying by invoice, purchase order (PO) numbers, VAT invoicing etc. etc. It can even integrate with your procurement system (like SAP Ariba, Coupa and JAGGAER).
Plus you get the features you’d associate with Amazon and your personal shopping like: speedy delivery, easy returns etc.
There’s no monthly subscription fee or associated costs – and setting up an account is free. They will run a credit check (as you pay in arrears by invoice, so they need to know you’re good for it!) but otherwise it’s a great way to save money for your business – big or small!
Hopefully there’s enough there to help you navigate the choppy waters of Amazon Prime Day.
Our top tip? Don’t buy things you don’t need just because it’s discounted. It’s easy to get sucked into the excitement of sales days like Black Friday or Blue Cross discounts etc. That’s part of the fun (and the return on investment for the retailers!) – so shop savvy.
Did you pick up any bargains? Spotted any amazing deals? Leave us a comment below – share your shopping success!