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If there’s one thing Amazon tends to be really good at, it’s marketing. The online retail giant has a way of luring customers in and convincing them to rack up giant credit card tabs to avoid missing out on limited-time offers.

One of the ways Amazon manages to get consumers to shop is by hosting events like Prime Day during the year. This year, Amazon held two such events — one in July and one in October. If you shopped during either event, you may have saved your fair share of money.

But soon enough, major shopping events that aren’t exclusive to Amazon like Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be upon us. And it begs the question, will Amazon manage to outdo itself? Or have Amazon’s best deals of the year already happened?

There may still be some pretty great deals to come

Without a crystal ball, it’s impossible to know whether Amazon’s holiday deals will be better than its Prime Day deals. CNBC did some research and found that the best prices for electronics and toys can usually be found during Amazon’s summertime Prime Day event compared to other major shopping events. But those still aren’t necessarily the best prices of the year.

Meanwhile, CNBC says that Amazon usually has the best prices on health and beauty products on Black Friday. But again, that doesn’t guarantee that this will be the case this November.

That said, one thing to keep in mind about Black Friday and Cyber Monday is that any excess inventory Amazon didn’t manage to sell during its two Prime Day events might be marked down in late November to avoid an overstock. So it pays to spend some time looking at deals during those Thanksgiving weekend events.

It’s not necessarily about getting the lowest price

We can bank on Amazon offering plenty of discounts during events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But will they truly be the best deals of the year? Maybe, or maybe not.

Here’s the thing, though: Rather than focus on whether Amazon’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday prices are the best prices offered on the site all year, you’re better off focusing on whether those prices are lower than other retailers’ prices.

Let’s say you’re looking for a specific toy that normally retails for $59.99. Maybe Amazon had it on sale for $34.99 during Prime Day, and on Black Friday, it’s available for $39.99.

That would mean you’re not getting the best price of the year on Black Friday. But if you want that item, and you already missed the chance to buy it on Prime Day, then it almost doesn’t matter that the price was lower earlier in the year. It’s not like you can go back in time and purchase it for less.

So instead of fixating on that, what you’d want to do in this situation is see what other retailers are selling that same toy for during Black Friday. If Target has it for $36.99, that’s a better deal than Amazon. It’s pretty simple.

All told, it’s hard to say when Amazon will offer its best deals of the year. Maybe those happened already. Or maybe they’re happening right now, in the days leading up to Black Friday.

Rather than fixate on getting the best Amazon deal of the year, try to get the best deal available now. Compare Amazon’s prices to those of its competitors, and sign up for invite-only deals for events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday so you don’t get shut out. With any luck, you’ll end up saving money either way — even if it’s not the most you could’ve saved this year.

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We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers.
The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Maurie Backman has positions in Amazon and Target. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon and Target. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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