4th of July sales vs Amazon Prime Day: what I'd buy in each sale as a deals expert

Stack of Amazon Prime packages. woman shopping online at Amazon Prime Day.
(Image credit: Elpisterra via Shutterstock)

The 4th of July sales and Amazon Prime Day coincide as two excellent opportunities to bag a mid-summer bargain. Generally speaking, both offer great deals and we always cover each at TechRadar. You may be wondering, however, what the differences are and what you should be shopping in each event.

Luckily I can help. I've been covering these events as deals editor on TechRadar for four years now so I've got plenty of tips, advice, and experience to share for our readers. If you've got your 4th of July shopping list ready but are wondering whether you should simply wait until Prime Day (or even Black Friday), then I'll tell you exactly what to expect in each sale. 

While you're here, I highly recommend bookmarking our 4th of July sales and Amazon Prime Day hub pages, which we'll be using to roundup all the best deals in each event. If you're looking for expert-picked deals, these pages should be your first port of call over the next month. 

The key differences, explained

The 4th of July sales are a 'traditional' sales event

The 4th of July sales are what I'd call a 'traditional' sales event - one where the deals are shared between online retailers and brick and mortar stores. Overall, it's a pretty similar setup to other federal holiday sales like Memorial Day and Labor Day, which are other seasonal sales that tend to feature similar types of deals.

Amazon Prime Day, on the other hand, is an online exclusive mega-sale at the world's biggest retailer. It's a two day event that's all about Amazon specifically and you'll need to be an active Amazon Prime member to get access to the exclusive deals on offer. 

It's worth noting that other retailers have started to try and muscle in on the action in recent years by offering their own 'anti-Prime Day' sales around the Amazon Prime Day period. In general, Prime Day has become a kind of mini-Black Friday event in July, although perhaps not quite as vast in content yet. 

What to buy at each event

Amazon sale, prime day, fire tv, kindle, amazon echo,

(Image credit: Amazon)
  • 4th of July sales for appliances, furniture, grills, mattresses.
  • Amazon Prime Day for TVs, laptops, and electronics

I'd primarily recommend the 4th of July sales for appliances, furniture, grills, mattresses and so on - you know, the kind of things you'd buy in an outlet store. There are plenty of other deals (more on that later), but generally speaking these core categories are the best buys for 4th of July and other seasonal sales.

Amazon Prime Day, on the other hand, I'd recommend for electronics. TVs, laptops, headphones, and things along that vein. While the retailer's huge inventory covers a huge range of everyday essentials, it's usually the deals on electronics that we recommend people check out here at TechRadar - especially on own-brand devices like Echo Dots, Kindle, or Fire TV Sticks. We usually find Black Friday-level deals on models that we've personally tested and reviewed on-site so it's easy to recommend waiting until Prime Day to buy electronics.

It's not that simple, however

Yep - unfortunately not. While Amazon Prime Day remains the primo mid-Summer sales event, the 4th of July sales can sometimes have some superb hidden gems. It's not unusual to see decent price cuts on TVs, laptops, or other electronics earlier in the month at retailers like Dell, HP, Best Buy, and others. 

Right now, for example, the official HP Store is running its own 4th of July sale that's offering up to 55% off its range of Pavilion, Envy, and Spectre laptops - one of the better events we've seen from the retailer in recent months. Dell is also hosting a 'Summer Sale' right now with decent price cuts, although we could potentially see an even better 'Black Friday in July' sale at some point based on recent years. 

Because of this it's definitely worth at least checking out the 4th of July sales - even if you're shopping for electronics. In general we expect Amazon Prime Day to have better deals overall but there could be a few hidden gems here or there - which we'll of course be including in our 4th of July sales roundup.

Alex Whitelock
Deals Editor

Alex is deals editor at TechRadar. With over three years of experience on-site and eight years working in e-commerce, Alex has made it his personal mission to share all his favorite tips, bargains, and deals with our readers here at TechRadar. At work, he specializes in computing, phones, and covering huge sales events like Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day. Outside of work, you'll find him indulging his keen love of photography and PC gaming, or down at the local climbing gym hanging off boulders far too difficult for his abilities. His editorial bylines also include contributions to T3 and GamesRadar.