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Prime Day pro tip: Find extra deals with Amazon's app

Some deals will be specific to the company's mobile app.
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Michael Murtaugh/Wirecutter

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By Nathan Burrow

Amazon Prime Day 2019 will begin July 15, and we're getting ready to bring you all the best deals on Wirecutter picks and recommendations from our expert staff. Bookmark our Deals page, follow Wirecutter Deals on Twitter, and sign up for our daily deals newsletter to see the best deals from around the Web on Prime Day—and every day.

Prime Day is coming, and with it tens of thousands of deals. Because you surely don't want to spend every minute of Prime Day on your laptop scavenging for deals (that's our job!), let me offer a tip: Use the Amazon app, available for iPhone and Android. The app offers a great experience plus mobile access to the same marketplace you can find on the main Amazon site, including advance Prime Day deals and promotions. Amazon adds more Prime Day–specific content to its app with every passing year. Last year, for instance, we saw a number of app-exclusive deals that you couldn't get on a laptop.

Once you download the app, tap the Prime Day banner—it's presently displaying a days to Prime Day countdown. You'll find pre–Prime Day promotions as well as previews of the larger-scale Prime Day events (so far the the recent Taylor Swift concert and an upcoming celebrity Twitch Prime live gaming event have been featured heavily). You'll also see a "Get ready for Prime Day" section with a tutorial showing some of the features of the app, such as how to "watch" an item.

Amazon app

Tap the Prime Day banner to see a list of Prime Day events and promotions, including pre–Prime Day sale items. A tutorial is also available.

During the event on July 15 and 16, you can use the app to track your favorites as you shop and keep an eye out for Lightning Deals available for preview. Lightning Deals are available every day on Amazon, but they're especially abundant on Prime Day. They differ from standard deals in that they're designed to last for only a set amount of time (usually a few hours) or until stock runs out, whichever happens first. Once you claim a deal, you have a limited amount of time to pull the trigger and complete the purchase before your claim expires. Turn on push notifications in the Amazon app to increase your chances of grabbing a Lightning Deal on an item you're watching before it goes out of stock.

Amazon app

Once you tap the three horizontal lines at the top-left corner of the app, you go to your account's main menu. From here you can go to Settings then Notifications to make sure you receive alerts if any of your "Watched & Waitlisted" items end up as Lightning Deals. You can also accept notifications on items Amazon recommends for you.

This year, we're already seeing promotions similar to those we saw last year, but to take advantage of them, you need to be willing to try the camera features within the app. Prime members who use the "search with camera," "view in room," and "scan barcode" features can earn 20% off select items for a few more days—though the promo is oddly time limited, available only to app users between 6 a.m. and noon Pacific Time each day through July 14. This year also features a promotion for Prime users who install the Amazon Assistant browser extension, saving them $10 on an eligible order of $50 or more (the promo unfortunately extends only to new Amazon Assistant users). Even if you can't take advantage of the promotion, the browser extension also allows you to get alerts in your browser for items you've watchlisted on the app, a nice feature if you're switching between your phone and computer.

Do you absolutely need the Amazon app? No, of course not. But it can be a real help in ensuring that you snatch up the best deals on Prime Day.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
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