How to snag Prime Day Lightning Deals

Amazon’s summer sales extravaganza, Prime Day, is happening on June 21 this year and typically lasts a full 48 hours. One of the best ways to find good prices during the sales fest is Amazon’s Lightning Deals.

Lightning Deals feature limited stock available at a low price for a limited time, with a purchase limit of one per customer per item. They generally offer some of the best sale prices during Prime Day, which makes the demand for them that much higher.

Lightning Deals expire in two ways: Either the time limit runs out, or customers claim all available stock. Because these bargains often sell out fast, you’ll want to have an action plan.

Strategy 1: Cart defense

Shopping cart against yellow building Thinkstock

First, let’s review how Lightning Deals work. Once you claim a Lightning Deal, you have 15 minutes to check out. If you don’t check out in that time, the deal drops from your cart and is back up for grabs by the general public. Or, if all stock is claimed, the deal goes to the next person on the Lightning Deal waitlist (we’ll get to that in a moment).

One strategy then is to claim something you really like by putting it in your cart, quickly jump over to a site like CamelCamelCamel or Keepa to check the item’s price history, and then come back to either dump it from your cart or buy it within the allotted 15 minutes.

Strategy 2: Plan ahead

Amazon Prime Day logo 2018 trailer Amazon

If that’s too much of a hassle, try looking ahead. Amazon often teases its lightning deals in advance. If you visit the Prime Day webpage, for example, you should see a carousel of Lightning Deals. Keep scrolling through those deals, and you’ll soon hit products that are on deck but haven’t started selling yet.

Upcoming Lightning Deals won’t show a sale price until they go live, but you can still use that time for research. If you find something you’d like to buy, do the historical price-checking right then. When the product goes on sale, you’ll know whether Amazon’s limited-time price is worth it or not.

Strategy 4: Get alerts for specific Lightning Deals

Speaking of which, you don’t have to wait around or keep an eye on the clock to know when your favorite deals are going live. The Amazon app for Android and iOS lets you build a deals watch list, and then get notifications when your deals are active.

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