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Amazon Prime Day 2020: deals, dates and more

Amazon Prime Day 2020

The Amazon Prime Day deals event is set to be very different this year, mainly because it's happening much later in the year thanks to Covid-19. Amazon sure is cutting it close, but it will surely want to keep its own private day in the sun, although that sun will be hanging a little lower if the mid-October dates are to be believed.

That's a little early for us to be able to get any tasty PS5 bundles or Xbox Series X deals as the consoles aren't going to be released by then, although the PS5 pre-orders and Xbox Series X pre-orders did kick-off recently, then sold out straight away of course. But we expect lots of Prime Day deals on next-gen compatible accessories like the best gaming headsets, so you'll be able to start building your ultimate next-gen gaming set up a bit earlier.

Amazon is busy building up its inventory right now and third-party merchant partners have been told to get their stock to fulfillment centers as soon as possible if they want to be involved with the Prime Day deals event which we're led to believe will be taking place around mid-October this year thanks to Covid-19 essentially wrecking the timing of basically everything this year.

Such a late timing though means we're entering Black Friday deals season by the time we'll be done with Prime Day. That's a long time to be on the lookout for deals and making sure you get the best price. We'll be here though picking through the very finest deals in tech, gaming, gadgets, and more though to show you what the best deals are with genuine discounts.

So yes, if you're reading this now, you're a little early. But don't worry we're actually seeing a lot of really good sales this summer. Check out some of our highlights below:

There have been a few Amazon sales and deals events running already recently, although nothing on the scale of Prime Day of course. And this page is also the spot where we'll be listing all of the best Prime Day deals on the day itself too, so feel free to bookmark us for the day itself on...

When is Prime Day 2020?

The big event usually takes place at some point within the first two weeks of July. But despite Amazon being famously coy with releasing the official date, it usually only confirms publically two weeks before, the date always ends up leaking beforehand either via promotional banners in the site's code or we've even had some super keen third-party merchants accidentally tell us when showing what deals they'll be promoting on the day.

However, with things as they are out there, we're not surprised that Prime Day will be delayed this year. As we reported earlier though, we expect Amazon Prime Day 2020 to now take place in mid-October. That's set to be the latest Amazon Prime Day ever, and way too close to Black Friday for our wallet's liking in all honesty.

That's one heck of a delay, but the surge in online demand from March this year saw Amazon really struggle, globally, to meet demand and ship deliveries on time, even for Prime members. So Prime Day (traditionally Amazon's biggest sales event of the year, even over Black Friday and Cyber Monday), would be almost impossible for it to pull off in the summer. Not to mention the impact on product supply has no doubt been affected by Coronavirus with factory closures and lockdowns in countries around the world.

Amazon Prime Day 2020: Echo Dot

Is October a good time for Prime Day?

We think August would have been much better, but that's clearly not happening and all the buzz about a September date has died out now. September would have been risky as it's traditionally the calm before the storm that is the Black Friday/Christmas shopping season. 

If we think back to last year though, by mid-October we were already seeing some fantastic deals at loads of top online stores as they tried to launch their seasonal shopping earlier than their rivals. Even so, any sale in October will be eyed with scrutiny with the Black Friday behemoth on the horizon. Not to mention not everyone can afford to splash out so close to the big shopping season. Summer Prime Days usually gives us time for our bank balances to recover!

Will Prime Day 2020 be a two-day event again?

We were expecting Amazon Prime Day 2020 to take place over 48 hours again as Amazon enjoyed record earnings last year with the longest-ever Prime Day sale. We even joked around the office that it might be a week-long event...then fell silent in fear of not getting any sleep for a week.

Despite Amazon seemingly making Prime Day last even longer each year (it did actually only last for a single day a few years ago), we'd be surprised to see the over-stretched retailer extend it again this year. We might even see it roll back in size and scale due to it being so darn close to the Black Friday season - which sounds eminently sensible.

Amazon Prime Day 2020: Prime members only

Do you have to be an Amazon Prime member?

Yes. Unlike regular sales events, Prime Day deals are reserved for Amazon Prime members. Never been a Prime member before? Then you could always time the free trial period to coincide with the big event, which will give you full access. 

Prime membership is actually a great value option though, that you might want to keep anyways. You get faster delivery, exclusive deals, access to the Prime Video streaming service, and more. You can sign up for free trials, monthly subscriptions (quit any time you like), or save a few bucks with a year-long deal if you like.

Amazon Prime Day 2020: Amazon Echo Show 5

What deals can we expect on Prime Day 2020?

First and foremost, Amazon's own devices get the absolute best deals on Prime Day. We're talking Echo speakers, Fire Tablets, Kindles, Fire TV Sticks, and more. Sure they get regular discounts throughout the year, but even the cheapest items like the ever-popular Echo Dot Alexa-enabled smart speaker went down past its previous cheapest price of around $30/£30 to a ridiculously hot $22/£22. If you're after any sort of Amazon device, Prime Day is a great time to buy.

TVs, wireless headphones, smartwatches, fitness trackers, Instant Pot cookers, power tools, robo vacuums, smart lighting, and more all got some fantastic discounts. If you are in the market for headphones, we often see models highlighted in our best headphones guide get some decent offers, so it's well worth checking for them on the day, or let us do it for you of course!

Here at GamesRadar though, you'd expect we had our eye out for Prime Day gaming deals and you'd be right. The thing is, Prime Day's always a bit disappointing for gaming.

Prime Day's gaming deals tend to focus on accessories. Headsets got a decent run last year, with the Razer Kraken Tournament Edition getting a sweet 38% discount. The official Magma Red DualShock PS4 controller price was knocked down to $44. Kingdom Hearts 3 was over 50% off in the UK and US.

Console deals were nothing particularly exciting, the main highlights being a PS4 Pro with God of War and Days gone for $350 and a PS4 Slim with Horizon, Last of Us and Uncharted 4 for £220 - currently on offer at £254.99 by the way.

If you've been trying to pick up a decent console deal lately you've no doubt noticed it's slim pickings out there, to say the least. With more people staying at home either due to lockdown, shelter-in-place, or common sense over the last few months, console demand has skyrocketed. Bad news for lower prices when stock alone is like gold dust. Buyers are snapping them up at standard prices and even inflated ones from third-party merchants, so you can forget about any big discounts later this year if stock hasn't recovered. And we would have been hoping for some tasty offers given the PS5 and Xbox Series X are coming in November.

Do other stores have Prime Day sales?

Absolutely. In the US, we saw Walmart, Best Buy, and eBay all really go for it last year with a lot of price matching going on and some strong picks in the electronics departments, TVs especially.

Similar scenes in the UK, with Currys, in particular, rocking some strong deals. We're particularly excited to see if ebuyer dust off its cheeky Optimus Day again. It's probably a bit much to see John Lewis or Argos go for a Megatron Day though.

Generally, other stores know Prime Day creates a lot of buzz and people save up for the event and are generally in a mood to splash a bit of cash. And unlike Amazon's sale, you don't have to be a paid member to take advantage of the deals at these other stores.

We will of course be keeping an eye on these other stores and bringing you any highlights too. And if any of Amazon's deals are available for less elsewhere, we'll let you know where those thunder-stealing bargains are as well.

Brendan is GamesRadar's Managing Editor of the Hardware & eCommerce team. Formerly the Deals Editor at our sister site, TechRadar, he's obsessed with finding the best tech, games, gadgets, and hardware at the lowest price. He spends way too much of his free time trying to decide what new things to watch on Netflix, then just rewatches It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia instead.