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5 Things to Avoid on Amazon Prime Day

In collaboration with everyone at Wirecutter, here are five things to avoid on Prime Day.

2019 TVs

Unless you get a truly incredible Prime Day price on a 2019 television, buying a 2018 TV on sale will get you the better value. Our TV expert Chris Heinonen says the best TV deals generally come on Black Friday and after companies debut their newest models at the annual CES trade show (the next one will be in January 2020). If Prime Day is anything like Black Friday, you might also need to keep an eye out for confusing model numbers on versions that omit features — send us a tweet if you want to be sure a TV is a good value.

The bundle blunder (and the gift card gaffe)

Make sure that all the pieces of a bundle are really things you need and want. You might want a smart doorbell, but do you want or need the ubiquitous bundled mini smart speaker that comes with that if it represents any additional cost? Are you prepared to take the time to sell that extra item? Similarly, if a deal comes with a gift card from a lesser-known retailer (or one with specific terms such as a 90-day expiration), will you be able to put it to good use? If not, pass on the bundle.

Wasting the day waiting for Lightning Deals

Lightning Deals are designed to encourage impulse purchases. Instead of succumbing, browse the Lightning Deals in the morning to see what will be on offer, check with Wirecutter to make sure the price is low enough to qualify as a good deal, then set an alarm for a few minutes before it starts so that you don’t miss out.

Big-ticket buys you don’t need

Just because an item like a treadmill or a laptop is deeply discounted from its usual steep price doesn’t mean you should get it. Make a list of the specific things you need and want (even down to the make and model) and stick to it. Get independent confirmation from a reliable source (like Wirecutter) that it’s a good price on a quality item. If Wirecutter’s previous Prime Day best sellers are an indicator, you’ll most likely see a lot of small electronics (headphones, Bluetooth trackers) and small appliances (Instant Pots, robot vacuums) fly by. They’re valuable only if you know you’ll use them.

Redundant or obsolete tech

Do you really need that thing? If you own a toaster oven with convection, you already have something better than an air fryer with a big footprint (Wirecutter doesn’t recommend any air fryers). Also, sometimes older items on Prime Day are discounted for a reason — they’re aging out. Check for recent, newer-generation releases to make sure your shiny new thing doesn’t feel out of date next month.

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