Amazon's self-made sales holiday has a history of dominating e-commerce sales whenever it is held. Inc.’s self-created sales holiday, Prime Day, will be Tuesday, July 17 but actually kicks off mid-afternoon on the 16th, extending Prime Day into a 36-hour sale.

Amazon sent an email to account administrators in the AmazonSmile program July 2 confirming July 17 as Prime Day and encouraging them to spread the word. But Amazon is marketing Prime Day as a day-and-a-half sale. In the U.S., the sale will start at 3 p.m. Eastern on the 16th.

July 17 is the latest date Amazon has held Prime Day, which has occurred annually in July since 2015. In 2017, Prime Day was held July 11 and spanned the 13 country-specific sites Amazon then operated. It too lasted a little longer than a single day, encompassing 30 hours. Since Prime Day 2017, Amazon launched in Australia and offers Prime memberships there. Prime Day will be held in Australia. Other markets newly included in Prime Day offerings are Singapore, Netherlands and Luxembourg, bringing the 2018 total to 18 countries.

Prime Day offers special deals available only to members of Amazon Prime, which now costs $119 annually for U.S. consumers. With Prime, U.S. members get expedited shipping on their orders, access to streaming music and video content and other perks. (Membership costs and what’s included vary by country.) Amazon earlier this year confirmed it has more than 100 million Prime members worldwide. It does not break membership numbers out by country. Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated there were 90 million U.S. members of Prime in October 2017.

Prime Day will also extend into Whole Foods Market stores, where Prime members will get an extra 10% off a selection of products. Amazon acquired Whole Foods last summer.


In the U.S., Amazon last year dominated e-commerce in sales and traffic on Prime Day.

Prime Day has grown significantly year over year, with total sales topping $2.41 billion last year, according to Internet Retailer estimates.


This story was updated July 3 at 10 a.m.

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