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3 things you should know about Amazon Prime Day

Free shipping wars
Free shipping wars 03:34

By Courtney Jespersen/NerdWallet

Born in 2015, Prime Day is the brainchild of Amazon (AMZN). It's a limited-time, limited-quantity sale with an exclusive guest list -- Amazon Prime members. After two iterations of the bargain blowout, Amazon announced that the third annual Prime Day is coming on July 11 (but deals start the night before). Here's what you need to know.

What is Prime Day?

In the retail world, Prime Day stands alongside Black Friday and Cyber Monday as a go-to shopping event for just about any product category. Past installments of Prime Day have included price cuts on everything from Echo speakers to toilet bowl lights.

This year, Amazon promises the discount day will feature hundreds of thousands of deals for Prime members. Deals will be staggered throughout the promotion with new savings launching as often as every five minutes.

What's the timing for Prime Day 2017?

So when should you get your virtual shopping cart ready?

Prime Day 2017 begins at 9 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, July 10, and runs for a total of 30 hours' worth of shopping time. In the past, Prime Day lasted for 24 hours.

But not every deal will be available for the entirety of Prime Day. Deals launch at various times and are available until they're 100 percent claimed. Once they are, shoppers can join a waiting list to be notified if additional units become available.

What do you need to do?

If you want to shop the sale, you'll need to be a Prime member. Amazon Prime costs $99 per year or $10.99 per month. New Prime members get a 30-day free trial before paying.

Then, consider downloading the Amazon App. With it you can choose to "watch" a specific deal and receive a notification when it's going live. That way, inventory wouldn't be sold out before you have a chance to buy.

Watch for early sales, too. Amazon says it will launch five days of daily lead-up deals beginning July 5 in anticipation of the main event.

And it likely won't just be Amazon hosting bargains. We expect copycat sales from other retailers on and around July 11 as part of a midsummer sale period that's come to be known as Black Friday in July.

Visit for more information.

This article originally appeared on NerdWallet.

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