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7 questions you were too embarrassed to ask about Prime Day

A Prime Day primer, if you will

(David Ryder/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Happy Prime Day! By now, the buzz is likely swirling in full force. In a few hours, you’ll have either ordered something -- or a whole porch full of items -- or you’ll want to step away from social media, if we had to guess.

If years past have been any indication, there will be a LOT of hype about Prime Day.

So, in case you’re feeling like you missed the boat, or you want to be able to nod along with your friends, either IRL or online, let’s take a step back and talk more about Prime Day. We’ll give you a “primer,” so to speak.

Let’s start from the beginning. What the heck is Prime Day, anyway?

The first-ever Prime Day was held in 2015, to celebrate 20 years of Amazon. It’s kind of like Black Friday for deals and promotions, except it’s held in the middle of July, not the day after Thanksgiving. And multiple retailers are involved in Black Friday. With Prime Day, it’s obviously just Amazon -- and of course, seemingly a million companies sell through Amazon, so that makes it arguably just as good. Plus, the free shipping! Oh, and there’s no formal date set. Every year it seems to be a little different, but Prime Day is typically bigger and better each year, and it’s held in mid-July.

So, I have to be a Prime member?

Yes. It’s $119 if you pay it once for the year, or $12.99 a month (so you’ll save about $37 over the course of the year if you choose the annual plan). If you’re curious about Prime, now might be a good time to give the 30-day free trial a shot -- not only will you score the Prime Day perks, as in, starting today, but you’ll realize how much Prime members really benefit.

We’re talking:

  • Free, fast delivery on most items.
  • A whole Netflix/Hulu-like streaming service -- you’ve got to watch “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" -- this is perfect for those of you who are cutting the cord and ditching traditional cable.
  • Prime Music, Prime Reading, Prime Book Box if you have kids -- we just found out about this while researching this article and signed up immediately.
  • Amazon Photos, Amazon Household, Alexa benefits -- if you use this kind of smart speaker, that is.
  • Discounts at Whole Foods. (!!!)
  • And probably a slew of other benefits we’re forgetting -- click or tap here for a handy guide to making sure you’ll get the most out of your membership. We’ve been members for years and learned a few tricks!

By the way: You do have to input your payment information to start the trial, and after your 30 days is up, if you haven’t canceled, Amazon will just assume you’d like to keep going. However, once you’re all registered for the trial, you can go into your settings and prompt Amazon to send you a reminder when you’re almost up, so that you won’t miss your cancellation window.

Why should I care?

Well, we kind of broke that down above, but we’ll reiterate: Prime Day is about door-busting deals, and you can tailor the experience to flag you about items you’re specifically looking for. This story will show you how: Make sure you don't miss a thing

If you like deals, and the convenience of having all your sought-after new items dropped at your doorstep, Prime Day will be for you. It’s Christmas in July! And hey, not a bad idea to get a jump start on any holiday ordering. But if you’re not into ANY of the benefits we’ve listed so far? That’s OK, too.

We can’t say we exactly understand, but at least now you know!

How do I fully take advantage of this?

Like we said: become a Prime member. Here’s another link about all those perks -- shopping, streaming, eating, reading, listening, you name it.

And then once you’re in, this article will explain how to search for and “watch” any particular items you’ve been scoping out. This is especially important, because once you’ve found something you really want, you’ll need to jump on that deal before it sells out.

Prime Day can get kind of competitive (but at least this eliminates the in-store fights that sometimes come with Black Friday, right?)

Oh, and set your cellphone alarms: Prime Days run from midnight Monday to 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

Wait, Prime DAY or Prime Days?

Days! Prime Day is actually two days this year: Monday and Tuesday.

Why do I keep hearing about Prime Day “launches?”

For a limited time, new products will be released just to Prime members. Learn more.

These are things like The most perfect canopy for tailgating, Hannah Andersson onesies, noise-canceling wireless headphones, a phone mount for your car, a cute Cozy Coupe that looks like a ladybug and a few beauty items -- just to name a few (we feel very seen, after sharing with you our picks).

You might want to watch for these newest offerings from Amazon as well, like the Echo Show 5, Fire 7 tablet and Kindle Oasis.

Why was there a Prime Day concert?

Yeah, we’re still scratching our heads over that one, too.

Good luck out there!

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