PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) - This year, Amazon Prime Day is the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season. The annual sales event, which begins Tuesday, is exclusive to Prime members, but Amazon is not the only retailer offering discounts.

Amazon is promising more than a million deals on all kinds of products, everything from electronics and home goods, to appliances, apparel and toys. Samantha Gordon, the deals editor at Consumer Reports says some of the sales will be the real deal, but she says other items may not be as deeply discounted as they seem.

"You have to be really smart about how you’re shopping and my team and I have been sorting through all the deals that we know are coming up and going to be watching the sale over the next two days to help you find those best deals," Gordon said. "As you're shopping yourself, do your research, take your time, compare prices with different retailers."

That will be the key to getting the best prices, as other major retailers are also launching big sales events to compete with Prime Day.

"Ever since Amazon started Prime Day five years ago, we’ve seen other retailers taking part," Gordon said. "Normally this happens in July. Obviously this year it’s a little bit different, but Walmart has already started their sale. It’s called the Big Save event. It started last night and runs through Thursday. They’re promising a lot of Black Friday level pricing. Target, as well, will be doing Deal Days the same day as Prime Day, so Tuesday and Wednesday. Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, all of these different retailers are taking part."

If you're not ready to start holiday shopping, you will still have plenty of time after Prime Day is over to snag good sales.

"Prime Day is kicking off the holiday shopping season, so as soon as it’s over, starting on October 15, Amazon is going to be rolling out holiday deals," Gordon said. "The same goes for Target and Walmart and all of these big retailers are going to start offering up savings all the way through the end of the year, so you can take your time shopping this holiday season."

You have to be logged in as an Amazon Prime member to see all of the Prime Day deals. If you’re not a member, you can sign up for a free 30 day trial. 


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