Shanon Maglente | 

Here's How to Save Up to 90% With Amazon Lightning Deals

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Amazon Lightning Deals are exactly what they sound like, flash sales that last just a few hours (if you’re lucky!). So to get these savings from Amazon, you have to act quickly and do a little strategizing, which means clicking “add to cart” so you officially “claim it.” You have to hurry though, since these deals only stay in your cart for 15 minutes.

Oh and don't forget, while you can't mix a Lightning Deal with an Amazon Subscribe & Save discount, you CAN stack them with Amazon digital coupons — and the perks of this otherwise outweigh the cons. Here's everything you need to know about Amazon Lightning Deals, plus our favorite tips for maximizing your savings.

For more smart shopping tips and savings hacks, download the KCL app or text HACKS to 57299.

What are Amazon Lightning Deals?

iphone screenshots with amazon lightning deals and amount claimed

Lightning Deals are Amazon's timed, flash sale deals. With a good Lightning Deal, you could often save as much as 80% or more on any given item. Items from pretty much every category goes on sale, including tech, beauty, home decor, gift cards, and more.

Note that Lightning Deals are limited by time and quantity, so once a deal is 100% claimed, you won’t be able to add it to your cart. As you browse the best Lightning Deals, pay attention to the “claimed bar” on each listing to get a better sense of how quickly you’ll need to act. The hottest deals get scooped up fast, so if something you love shows it’s over 50% claimed, the time to buy it is ASAP.

Once you add a Lightning Deal to your Amazon cart, you have 15 minutes to check out and confirm your purchase. If you don’t finish checking out before the 15-minute countdown, the item will stay in your cart, but it’ll reflect the original price — not the Lightning Deal price. You can delete the item from your cart and re-add it to get the Lightning Deal price, but only if it’s still available for you to claim.

How do you find Amazon Lightning Deals?

There are a couple of ways to do this. The easiest way is to:

  1. Click "Today's Deals" on Amazon's top banner.

  2. Scroll down look for "Deal Type" on the left menu bar.

  3. Hit "Early Prime Access" under "Deal Type."

If you’re looking for the BEST of the best Lightning Deals, Amazon’s search tools will help you find them. You can sort your search by Discount — High to Low to see the deals with the highest percentage off first. I’ve seen some Lightning Deals hit up to 81% off regular prices.

Shop Lightning Deals happening now.

Can I get alerts when a specific item has a Lightning Deal?

laptop screenshot with amazon lightning deals and how to watch deals

An easy way to get first dibs is to add an item you're eyeing to your Watchlist. As soon as the deal goes live, Amazon will send you an alert in the app. That way, you can check out fast and score the deal in a flash.

What does upcoming deal mean on Amazon?

Upcoming deals are deals that'll go live in 24 hours.

When you’re looking at upcoming Lightning Deals, you’ll see a “Watch this deal” button under each listing. Just click this button to add the deal to your Watchlist.

Are Amazon Lightning Deals even worth the hype?

Most Lightning Deals definitely are. We've been able to get the ThisWorx vacuum cleaner for just $4 with a Prime Day Lightning Deal. For context, this usually retails for $39.99. That's 90% off!

However, it's important to beware of some deals, especially those sold by third-party sellers. Sometimes, a storefront will jack up the original List Price of an item to make it look like you're getting a really good discount, when in reality, you're paying the same price as any other given day. To make sure something's a good deal, copy and paste the Amazon URL for the item into a Keepa or CamelCamelCamel search. (I personally like Keepa more!).

You’ll be able to see the item’s price history and whether it’s been sold for less than the Lightning Deal price you’re seeing now. If the item had an even lower price in the past, it might be worth waiting for that price drop to come around again. If not, snatch that Lightning Deal while you can and rest easy knowing you’re getting a great deal.

Related: 5 Scams to Avoid When Shopping Third-Party Sellers on Amazon

What should I know about Amazon Prime Day Lightning Deals or Black Friday Lightning Deals?

Hands down, Lightning Deals are way better on Prime Day and Black Friday. You may find gift cards — which rarely go on sale on Amazon — with discounts of up to 22%. Or get a deal like $4 for car vacuums, with overall savings of up to 80%.

Do you have to be a Prime member to shop Amazon Lightning Deals?

laptop screenshot with amazon lightning deals and early access

No, with the exception of Prime Day. For Prime Day, only Prime members have access to Lightning Deals during the 2-day Prime Day event. On Black Friday, Lighting Deals are available to both Prime members and non-Prime members.

One of the lesser-known Amazon Prime benefits is that members get to shop Lightning Deals 30 minutes before non-Prime members. And because these deals come and go so fast, a head start makes all the difference.

Look for the “Prime Early Access” labels as you search for Lightning Deals to snag them before they go public.

TIP: Add Lightning Deals to your cart before they’re released to the public, and make sure your payment info and shipping address are up to date. This will help you move quickly on a Lightning Deal that’s sure to sell out fast.

Can you stack Amazon coupons with Lightning Deals to save even more?

laptop screenshot with amazon lightning deals and coupon stacking

No. It might appear that some Lightning Deal items come with Amazon coupons you can clip. This coupon only applies to the regular listed price, not the Lightning Deal price. Amazon might make it seem misleading in that way, but wanted to clear that up for you!

Can you stack Subscribe & Save discounts with Amazon Lightning Deals and coupons?

iphone screenshots with amazon lightning deals and subscribe-and-save

Unfortunately, you have to either shop the Lightning Deal OR use the Subscribe & Save discount and stack any eligible coupon on top of that. You can’t have it all!

Can I still shop a Lightning Deal after it's 100% claimed?

laptop screenshot with amazon lightning deals and waitlist button

Sometimes you’ll see a Lightning Deal that’s 99% claimed, but once you click it, the deal’s already gone. In this case, you’ll see a “Join Waitlist” button where you’d normally see the “Add to Cart” button.

Joining the waitlist gives you another chance to snag the Lightning Deal you just missed. So if other shoppers added it to their cart before you but missed their 15-minute checkout window, you’ll have another shot at it. This depends on where you are in the waitlist queue, of course.

The waitlist is a “first come, first served” kind of thing, so if dozens of other shoppers joined the waitlist before you, they’ll have the chance to grab the Lightning Deal first if it becomes available again.

TIP: Sometimes, you won’t have to join the waitlist at all, and the Lightning Deal will automatically become available again. I’ve found items that were 100% claimed, but when I refreshed the page 20 minutes later, they were only 92% claimed, and I was able to add the items to my cart again. So keep this in mind as a backup if joining the waitlist doesn’t work out.

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