Amazon's Prime Day will start July 16

Photo (c) Jorge Villalba - Getty Images

The company disclosed details two weeks after the information leaked

Two weeks after leaking details of its 2018 Prime Day, Amazon has made it official. The discounted shopping period for Prime members will start on July 16 at 12 pm PT and will run through July 17.

The 36-hour shopping fest will offer discounts from Amazon, as well as all Whole Foods Market stores. International shoppers can find discounts on TVs, smart home, kitchen, grocery, toys, fashion, furniture, appliances, and back-to-school supplies.

Amazon launched Prime Day in 2015 as sort of a "Christmas in July" shopping day, to get an early start on the traditional holiday shopping season, which kicks off in November with Black Friday. The company also uses the event as a way to promote memberships in Prime, since only Prime members can participate.

This year, Amazon says its Prime Day will feature expanded deals on Amazon devices, including the lowest prices yet on Alexa-enabled products like Echo, Fire TV, and Fire tablets.

Starting early

Just like Black Friday, Amazon is offering deals well in advance of the actual Prime Day event. Starting today, members can gets $100 off on Echo Show, the video version of Alexa. The device allows users to make video calls or watch video flash briefings, as well as movies and TV programs.

Amazon is also cutting the price on some of its exclusive brands, including 25 percent off on furniture and décor from Rivet and Stone & Beam, up to 20 percent off AmazonBasics items, and 30 percent off everyday essentials from Presto!, Mama Bear, and Solimo.

Early deals also include up to 50 percent off on movies and TV shows on digital, DVD, and Blu-Ray, as well as four months of premium Amazon Music Unlimited for 99 cents.

“New this year, members can shop exclusive Prime Day Launches from hundreds of brands worldwide, enjoy exclusive savings at Whole Foods Market and experience surprise entertainment events unboxed from giant Smile boxes in major cities," said Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO of Worldwide Consumer.

Watch out for scams

So many consumers make purchases from Amazon on Prime Day that it led to the emergence of a new scam last year. As we reported, scammers sent out millions of spam emails, thanking the recipient for making a Prime Day purchase and offering an incentive for posting a review of the item.

People who had not made a Prime Day purchase might discard the message or recognize it for what it was, but the millions who did make a purchase might think it was legitimate.

The spam email, which looked like it came from Amazon, provided a link for posting a review and offered a $50 gift card for doing so. But instead of going to Amazon, victims were taken to a look-alike site where they were asked to log in.

Those who provided their username and password gave the scammer access to their Amazon account, where thousands of dollars in merchandise could be ordered in their name.

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