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Fall Prime Day deals? Best tips & tricks to save money during Amazon Prime Early Access Sale

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Amazon Canada's first-ever Prime Early Access Sale kicks off next week, and we have all the details.

On October 11-12, Canadian shoppers can kick start their holiday gifting and shop Amazon's Prime Early Access Sale, a new two-day shopping event exclusive to Prime members.

Similar to Amazon's famous Prime Day sale, shoppers can expect thousands of deals across the retailer's top categories, including tech, home & living, fashion, beauty and more.

While a Prime membership is your ticket to accessing the Prime Early Access Sale, it's not the only important thing to keep on (virtual) hand. To learn how to save time, avoid scams, and score the best-possible deals, scroll below.

Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale is coming — click here for all the latest news about the shopping event, and check out all the early Prime member deals and sales you can already shop in Canada here. Don’t have a Prime membership? Sign up for a free trial here.

1. Save time and make a wish list

Unless you're, let's say, a Yahoo Canada shopping editor, you won't be spending hours a day hunting down Amazon deals on October 11-12. For people with busy lives, though, this is where Amazon's Wishlist comes in handy.

Found in the "Account & Lists" tab, your private shopping list allows you to store all your wishlist items in one location and keep tabs on price changes. If you have an upcoming birthday or anniversary on the calendar, you can also see friends' wish lists (if they give you access) for easy gift shopping.

2. Know how to find the best deals

Amazon’s shopping pages are broken down into easy to shop sections that give you access to the best daily deals, even outside of the Prime Day-like sale. Under the Deals Store tab, you’ll find each section filled with limited-time offers.

  • Deals of the Day: Here you’ll find a large selection of items that have been marked down for 24 hours — however, when the clock strikes midnight, prices (almost always) go back up.

  • Lightning Deals: These time-limited sales last for just a few hours, while supplies last. Keep track of the progress bar because once it reaches 100 per cent or time runs out, the discount is over. Prime members receive access to these deals 30 minutes before the public.

  • Coupons: Get the best prices on the items you know and love with an ever-changing selection of coupons.

  • Prime Early Access deals: Perfect for people who want to avoid the chaos of the Prime Early Access Sale, Amazon's early deals section includes a wide assortment of products that are already marked down to their Prime Day prices.

  • Prime-Exclusive Deals: Even beyond the two-day sale, Prime members have access to exclusive deals not available to non-Prime members.

3. Use price comparison sites

While Amazon may have the largest marketing budget, that doesn't necessarily mean it will have the best deals.

In Canada, for example, Best Buy Canada, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, Wayfair and Canadian Tire are all likely to host their own rival sale events. And while competing retailers may not offer Amazon's coveted one or two-day shipping, their prices may be worth the extra wait time.

A price comparison website will allow you to compare and filter products based on several metrics, including features, reviews, and of course, the bottom dollar.

Below, you can find several popular price comparison websites to test out ahead of the Prime Early Access Sale.

amazon prime day, collage of cottonelle tissues, fleecy dryer sheets, tide pods, mrs meyer's dish soap, keurig coffee pods, earth rated dog poop bags
Stock up on basics this Amazon Prime Early Access Sale and save on brands like Tide, Cottonelle, Fleecy, and Mrs. Meyer's (Photos via Amazon)

4. Stock up on basics

While you may have your sights set on a new 4K smart TV or pair of Apple Airpods, the Prime Early Access Sale is a prime opportunity to stock up on all the everyday unsexy essentials: Toilet paper, laundry detergent, coffee pods — you get the gist.

To shop the nitty-gritty basics, there are three key departments you'll want to keep tabs on (found on the left-hand side, under "All" and "Shop by Department":

  1. Home, Garden, Pets & Tools

  2. Grocery & Whole Foods Market

  3. Health & Beauty

This is where you'll find everything from dish soap and toothpaste to the coffee pods that will help fuel your Prime shopping spree.

man holding credit card with hand on laptop sitting at desk
How to spot a scam: Read the reviews (Photo via Getty)

5. Know how to detect fake reviews and scams

While the bulk of Amazon sellers and products are trusted name brands, that's not to say the retailer isn't without its fake reviews, sketchy sellers, and scams.

Amazon Prime Early Access deals are like anything else — if they look too good to be true, they probably are.

Let's go back to our AirPods as an example. Apple will never have a sale of, let's say, 50 per cent off. They just won't. You may find refurbished or open-box products for half-off, but authentic, brand-new Apple products will rarely be more than 10-25 per cent off. If you see a discount higher than that, lead with caution, not optimism.

Scam-spotting websites like Fakespot use AI technology to weed out scam artists and filter products by reviewer legitimacy.

An easy way to spot a scam: Read the reviews — the bad ones. If a product has hundreds of seemingly-perfect five-star reviews, but its one-and-two-star ratings repeatedly mention that something is off: Take note. As the saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

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