Use Amazon Prime
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What Not to Buy on Amazon Prime Day

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Use Amazon Prime
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Pass on Prime

This year, Amazon Prime Day is a two-day bonanza of deals starting Oct. 13, a relocation from July forced by coronavirus. The internet is always abuzz with guides on how to save the most money and spot the best savings on items from pressure cookers to smartwatches, and speakers to cordless tools — but despite the many deals to be had, there are actually some things you should go out of your way to avoid.

Related: 12 Mistakes to Avoid on Amazon Prime Day

TVs
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TVs

Consumers may spot seemingly irresistible deals on televisions on Prime Day. Don't fall for them, advises Derek Hales, founder and editor-in-chief of product review site and buying guide Modern Castle, who has been tracking online retail trends in general and Amazon specifically since 2014. "With respect to TVs, almost every TV that isn't 4K just isn't worth it at this point," Hales says. "You don't want to buy a new 1080 — or less — LED now … If you do see a TV on Prime Day, make sure it's 4K and has smart features integrated." You can double-check reviews on rtings.com, which he calls "an incredible testing resource for televisions."

Game Consoles
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Toys
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Toys

Hales calls children's toys on Prime Day "another area that's very hit or miss." In general, he suggests waiting until Black Friday sales come around in this case, too. "If you're getting more generic or basic toys, you're more likely to find a deal," he says. "If you're looking for that hot toy of the season, it's more likely to be a miss."

Related: 70 Hottest Holiday Gifts From Amazon

Apple
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Google and Apple Products

It's best to avoid Google and Apple products — corporate rivalries simply don't incentivize Amazon to list them at a discount, Hales says. "Since Amazon is increasingly a competitor to Google and Apple, you can expect Amazon isn't going to do them any favors for Prime Day," Hales says. "As a general rule, these products can be found with better deals elsewhere, like Best Buy, Target, Newegg, Walmart, etc."

Drew Kalinski, founder of the Amztut guides for entrepreneurs seeking to make a profit on Amazon, agrees. "Google and Amazon aren't the best of friends — they are major competitors," Kalinski says. "Google has a wide range of home devices such as Chromecast devices and Google Home speakers similar to those that Amazon sells. If you prefer Google devices over that of Amazon, then I suggest waiting until Black Friday or Cyber Monday."

Related: Top-Rated Products to Shop on Amazon This Month

Back-to-School Items
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Back-to-School Items

School is usually on the horizon for Prime Days, but even in July you may want to resist the urge to stock up on school staples. "The best time to take advantage of back-to-school shopping is in August and September, right before the kids head back to school," Kalinski says. But with its temporary stop in October, and with holiday shopping just around the corner? Don't bother.

High-End Laptop Computers
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Laptops

Sara Skirboll is the shopping and trends expert at RetailMeNot, which offers deals, discounts, coupons, and retail insight. She's spotted deep cuts on a variety of laptops during Prime Days — but not the deepest of the year. "While laptops and other electronics will still see great discounts on Prime Day, they will have the best deals on Black Friday," Skirboll says. "If you're not in a rush, I recommend waiting it out."

packages at door
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Impulse Purchases

The truth is, there are far more impressive discounts and deals on Prime Day than there are things to avoid. That can increase the temptation to break your budget, and Amazon banks on people making impulse buys when the deals seem too good to pass up. "Don't buy something just because it's on sale," Skirboll says. "Keep a list of the items you actually need and have been waiting to buy. The thrill of the deal can sweep us off our feet sometimes, but it's important to stay grounded and stick to your budget."

Related: 30 Things You Should Never Buy on Amazon

Cameras
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Cameras

Tech purchasing insight and product review source Tom's Guide warns shutterbugs against shopping for cameras. Virtually all of the best camera deals come at year's end, when new models come out and retailers have to clear last year's inventory. Prime Day usually falls on the wrong side of the calendar year, but even in October it's not clear that you're close enough to the end of the year for sales to be significant.

Related: The Best Gifts for Photographers from Newbies to Pros

Anything From a Third-Party Seller
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Anything From a Third-Party Seller

Prices are lower and more merchandise moves on Prime Day compared with the average day for Amazon, but there's one thing that doesn't change: You should be leery of third-party sellers. While many are trustworthy, Amazon does not oversee and take responsibility for those kinds of transaction, so if you're not 100% sure about them, third-party sellers should be avoided. According to Android Central, a good way to make sure you're dealing with a trusted seller is to make sure what you're buying is either sold or fulfilled by Amazon — or that Amazon is both the seller and the fulfiller.

Pro Tip: Use a Price Tracker on Prime Day
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Pro Tip: Use a Price Tracker on Prime Day

No matter what you buy, Hales and Kalinski recommend using the camelcamelcamel price tracker as you shop. Hales calls it "a good double-check to make sure that the price you're getting is actually a good deal," and Kalinski affirms the idea of using it to check historical prices, which can help steer buying decisions when worried that a deal isn't as good as it could be. Just enter the Amazon URL and see if it's the lowest price the product has seen in the past six months to a year. If so, Kalinski says, "you are probably getting a great deal."

Related: 22 Insider Hacks and Secrets for Shopping on Amazon