How To Shop Amazon Lightning Deals On Prime Day & Every Day

Photo: Sophie Hur/Refinery29
Just like that, Amazon Prime Day is almost, basically, finally here. As one of the most shoppable events of the entire year (Cyber Monday who?), Prime members can take advantage of incredible deals across beauty, fashion, home, tech, and more. However, in addition to discounted prices and sale-exclusive launches, Amazon blesses us with extra-special promos called Lightning Deals. Here's everything to know about them.

What is a Lightning Deal?

Lightning Deals are very limited (as in, lasting for a couple hours) deals on some of Amazon's top sellers. Unlike everything else on Amazon's site, Lightning Deal items follow a strict, one per customer rule, and last until the deal expires or until items become out of stock. (Also, since Lightning Deals are extremely time-sensitive, it's a good rule of thumb to checkout ASAP so you don't lose any items in your cart.)

Where can I find Lightning Deals?

While they're extra hyped up during holidays and other sale seasons, Lightning Deals are actually shoppable 365 days a year. If you head over to Amazon's Today's Deals page (basically, a treasure trove of discounts), you can find everything from the site's Deal of the Day (an assortment of highly-coveted products that are on sale for the entirety of the day), plus the fleeting Lightning Deals. You can also sign up for Amazon's daily deals email to get on-sale items delivered to your inbox.

What's the one deal that I can't miss out on?

23andMe products almost never go on sale, so if you're looking to learn more about your DNA background, now's your chance to shop the Health + Ancestry kit for $100 off the retail price.

Are Amazon Lightning Deals for Prime members only?

Yes. (Sorry.)

Can you get notifications for Lightning Deals?

You sure can! Amazon actually allows you to watch Lightning Deals before they go live, which does all the work of reminding you when it's time to shop. Here's how it works: If you're browsing upcoming deals, you'll have the option to click "Watch This Deal." From there, any selected items will show up in your personalized Watched Deals section of the Today's Deals page. The best part, though, is that Amazon will automatically send a notification to your phone when the deal is about to start — just make sure you've downloaded the Amazon App and have those notifications turned on.

How long do Lightning Deals last?

Deals last anywhere between two to six hours, but like we said – it's all based on inventory. However, if you missed out on a deal, not all hope is lost: Amazon gives you the option to sign up for waitlists for deals that are 100% claimed, yet still within the sale's active time window; this option becomes available when items are not purchased within 15 minutes of adding to cart, allowing the deal to become available to the next customer on the waitlist. (In other words, you snooze, you lose.)

Do Lightning Deals repeat?

There's no guarantee that a deal will reappear, but in many cases, a deal will reappear every so often. This allows you to shop a deal technically more than once, gaming the one-per-customer rule. So, if you didn't get a chance to snag that portable record player or yoga legging or stainless steel measuring cups set, don't fret — just keep watching this space.
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