Making Your Money Last

When Is Amazon Prime Day 2021?

Circumstances beyond its control forced Amazon to move its annual Christmas-in-July Amazon Prime Day blowout sale in 2020 to October. It looks like Prime Day 2021 will be way earlier.

Amazon.com’s annual Amazon Prime Day event will likely be sometime in June this year, Amazon chief financial officer Brian T. Olsavsky hinted during the retail giant’s first-quarter earnings call Thursday.

While not citing specific dates, Olsavsky cited the pending summer Olympics and the fact that July, when Amazon typically holds its annual summer blowout sale, “is a big vacation month” as reasons to switch up the timing of the event this year.

“So, it might be better to have -- for customers, sellers and vendors to experiment with -- a different time period,” Olsavsky said. “We experimented the other way, obviously, in 2020 by moving it into October, but we believe that it might be a better timing later in Q2.”

Kiplinger recently reported Amazon Prime Day may take place July 12-13, based on a screen grab from a purported internal Amazon web page leaked to Kiplinger.com.

The image, sent by someone who claims to be an Amazon employee, shows July 12 and 13 (a Monday and a Tuesday) as the dates of Amazon Prime Day 2021. Those are typical launch days for Amazon Prime Day. And July is when Amazon Prime Day used to take place -- for five straight years prior to 2020, when the retailer moved the event to October due to the pandemic.

Kiplinger is unable to verify the authenticity of the screen grab; an Amazon representative, who was sent the screenshot from Kiplinger, told us only that Amazon has “not made any announcements about Prime Day.”

Bargain hunters know Amazon Prime Day as an opportunity to score a bevy of deals on all manner of merchandise. Search traffic for queries such as “when is amazon prime day” and “best deals on amazon prime day” spike in the weeks and months prior to the event as shoppers plan their spending sprees to save on big-ticket electronics and make early headway on holiday shopping. The event was designed in 2015 to juice sales during retail’s summer doldrums. Last year’s move to October, due to the pandemic, ignited record Prime Day sales for Amazon and kicked off the holiday shopping season a month early.

What to Expect on Amazon Prime Day 2021

Expect the Prime Day event this year to sing with better deals than ever as Amazon responds to stepped-up competition from Walmart, Target, and even in some cases Costco all now offering free shipping and same-day in-store pickup to siphon off Prime customers and compete with Amazon Prime Day. Other online retailers, answering the demands of customers increasingly shopping online during the lockdown, have also stepped-up free (or close to it) shipping.

In past years, Prime Day has offered huge deals on Amazon’s proprietary gadgets -- including Echo personal assistance devices (“Alexa…”), Fire TV sticks, Kindles and their ilk -- plus a flea-market array of baubles, gewgaws and bric-a-brac from other vendors large and small, as well as items from Amazon’s Whole Foods supermarket chain. Naysayers note Prime Day has been Amazon’s version of a garage sale, unloading a lot of silly and unsold inventory along with only the occasional true treasure.

If past is prologue, many Prime Day deals will be posted on Amazon.com weeks in advance of Prime Day, and some can be preordered by Prime members. Nonmembers can sign up for a free 30-day trial to tap the sales on Amazon Prime Day 2021. Not satisfied? Cancel the membership before you have to start paying for it.

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