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Amazon Prime Day: A savvy shopper's guide

Rebecca Bracken is a news and views writer.

Insider tips to get the most out of Amazon's upcoming Prime Day sale

Forget Black Friday — Amazon promises its upcoming Amazon Prime Day will have so many deals it will beat any Black Friday sale you've ever seen.

On Wednesday, July 15, Amazon will celebrate its 20th birthday by holding what it is touting as a major deal-busting blowout sale on products across the site, Amazon Prime Day. But before you start running up that credit card, here are a few insider tips for getting the best deals.

Join Prime free (for 30 days)

Only Amazon Prime members are eligible to shop the Prime Day sales. For $99, Prime members get access to streaming video and music and free two-day shipping, so if you shop Amazon regularly, it might be a good deal. If you're just interested in shopping the Prime Day sales, sign up for the free 30-day trial. Just remember to cancel after 30 days, or your credit card will be charged the membership fee.

The hottest deals

Trae Bodge is the shopping ninja behind coupon site RetailMeNot, and she got the inside scoop that Amazon will be offering a "name-brand" 32-inch TV for under $200 and a low-priced Chromebook, which will likely only be offered in small quantities. Besides those two deals, Amazon is being tight-lipped about what shoppers can expect.

Don’t go crazy

Bodge also suggests that shoppers take a deep breath, avoid getting swept up in the sale mania and making regrettable impulse purchases. "If it's something you need and it’s in your budget, then buy it," she says. But she warns that shoppers might get better deals elsewhere and that price comparisons on sites like Nextag are still a good idea on items you’re looking to buy during Amazon Prime Day sale.

Check Walmart too

Before you get too excited about Amazon Prime Day, take a look at the deals Walmart will be offering on July 15 in direct competition to Amazon’s big promotion. Walmart says it will have thousands of "rollbacks" and "special atomic deals" to be had during its rival July 15 blowout sale. Other retailers like Target might follow suit with crazy deals to draw crowds away from Amazon, so check other sites for deals before you buy.

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