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Amazon Prime Day 2021: When can you expect it? Is it worth the hype?

May 18, 2021, 2:27 PM UTC

It’s hard to believe that, just a year ago, Amazon shipments were taking a month or more to get to customers. And Prime Day, the “Black Friday in summer” shopping event that has become a favorite of Amazon Prime members was delayed until fall.

Things are a lot different this year—and Prime Day is coming back to its usual time frame.

Prime Day has been a fixture for the retailer since 2015. And the 2021 installment has a lot to live up to. Last year’s event saw sales for small and medium business partners set records. Shoppers spent more than $3.5 billion on goods from those companies, a 60% increase over 2019. And sales of the company’s Echo Dot led all other products.

So what can we expect in 2021? Here’s what we know so far.

When is Prime Day 2021?

As yet, Amazon hasn’t announced a specific date for this year’s Prime Day. In an 8-K filing with the SEC, though, it did say the event would take place sometime before the end of the second quarter. That would put it before the end of June – and if it follows the pattern of the past couple of years, it will be a multi-day event.

Amazon declined to comment on the start date for Prime Day when contacted by Fortune.

Why is Prime Day held in summer?

Six years ago, when Prime Day started, summer was a pretty dull time for retailers. People were too busy taking vacations and enjoying the warm days to worry about seeking deals. In July 2018, retailers saw an average sales drop of 4%, says global payments provider Payoneer

Prime Day changed that – in a big way. While Amazon didn’t disclose total sales from last year’s event, extrapolating the numbers it did give (third party sellers make up 58% of the total merchandise sold), the company likely took in more than $7 billion.

Are Prime Day deals better than Black Friday?

Sometimes they are, in fact.

That’s not true for all of the bargains, of course, but a price comparison study by BestBlackFriday.com shows that Prime Day is the best time to buy Amazon devices, as well as small electronics, small kitchen appliances and clothing. Tvs, laptops and gaming consoles tend to be better priced in the Black Friday period.

Is Amazon the only retailer offering deals on Prime Day?

Technically, Prime Day is an Amazon-exclusive event, but competitors have long since stopped ceding the day to the online giant and offer their own big sales. Target, for instance, generally runs “Deal Days” at the same time, trying to lure people who are already on their PC or mobile device looking for bargains.

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