Amazon Prime Day 2019 expands to 48 hours

Sales expected to top $1 billion again

Hey Alexa, clear my schedule — it’s time to shop. As expected, Amazon Prime Day will begin at 3am EDT on Monday, July 15 — midnight at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters. However, this year’s event will continue for two full days. That’s 12 hours longer than last year — making this the most extensive Prime Day ever. It’s a clear sign that Amazon has succeeded in turning this five-year-old mid-July mega sale into sort of a summertime Black Friday.

If the past is any indication, look for huge discounts on things like Amazon devices, televisions and iPads. And if saving big dollars makes you hungry, expect to cash in on Whole Foods Prime Day deals too. (Amazon acquired the boutique grocery chain two years ago this month.)

Sales have already started

Can’t wait until July 15? No problem. Part of the Prime Day fun is spotting deals before the event actually begins. For example, there’s a 43-inch Toshiba Fire TV with a built-in Amazon Video streaming platform now listed at $180. That’s $120 off the original price. Other items currently on sale include an Amazon Echo Dot, a 64GB iPad Air and an 11-inch iPad Pro.

iPad Air on Amazon Prime Day
                        You can save right now on an Apple iPad Air. (Amazon)

You must be a Prime member to take part, and Amazon does offer a free trial membership when you first sign up. After that you can stay on board for $119 per year (or $12.99 per month) or cancel it within 30 days. Either way, you’re still set for Prime Day. Note: Prime Student Members are fully eligible as well. Yet another perk of a college education.

It’s too early to tell exactly which products will top the list of best deals in 2019. Last year’s biggest sellers included everything from Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean Electric Toothbrushes to 23andMe DNA Test Kits to Crest 3D Whitestrips. Prime Day’s nothing if not widespread.

Toshiba TV on Amazon Prime Day
The Toshiba — Fire TV Edition has already dropped in price. (Amazon)

Amazon’s strategy has inevitably prompted other retailers to get in on the summer sales trend.

Target just announced the debut of “Target Deal Days” set for (surprise) July 15 and 16, to build upon the success of last year’s one-day sales event.

Target’s 2019 version will include “rarely-on-sale home, apparel and toy brands as well as discounts and new deals each day,” according to the store. Walmart and Best Buy have held similar sales in previous years as well.

This is truly a worldwide experience. A total of 17 countries participated in Amazon Prime Day last year. The list included China, Japan, Australia, Canada and several in Europe — including the UK. New for 2019: United Arab Emirates.