Tag Archives: Kindle

Gear Up for Prime Day 

By Tracey Dowdy

Amazon Prime Day 2020 is just around the corner – mark your calendars for October 13 and 14. Amazon has already posted a host of early bird deals you can take advantage of now, and you can get notified about personalized discounts on the mobile app. The app includes features like voice-powered search and shipment tracking and is available for Amazon Fire, Android, and iOS. 

Here’s your need to know for Prime Day 2020:

College students get a free six-month trial. Amazon has partnered with Sprint to offer college students a free six-month Amazon Prime trial. Students get free delivery on over 50 million items, exclusive deals, unlimited streaming of Prime movies and TV shows, unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos. 

You can shop Prime Day even if you’re not a Prime subscriber.If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, you may still see sale prices on many items, but they may not come with the free one or two-day shipping for Prime members. Some products will be for members only – think Amazon-branded items like Kindles and Echos – there’ll still be plenty of discounts and available for non-members. 

Look for Wait Lists. Many of the best Prime Day Deals are available in limited quantities, so they sell out fast. Sometimes, customers put an item in their cart but then change their mind, and others take too long and Check-Out times out. The good news is many of these items feature a “Join Waitlist” button that’ll put you in a queue to grab it if it becomes available. 

Check Your Cash-back Options. Sites like Rakuten and TopCashback offer cashback on your purchases not just from Amazon but other retailers like Macy’s, Overstock, Winc, Rothy’s, Glossier, and Old Navy. If you’re good at paying off your credit cards every month or shop on Amazon often, consider their no-annual-fee Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card that comes with a $100 Amazon gift card at sign-up. The card pays you 5% back on just about everything you buy from Amazon and Whole Foods. 

Do your homework. Be careful you don’t get caught up in the urgency or excitement of Prime Day. Items go on sale every day, and many of the deals offered on Prime Day will be on sale again within a few months. I recommend installing CamelCamelCamel, a site that tracks Amazon price histories or browser plug-in Honey, which instantly notifies you if any third-party sellers have the same product at a lower price. 

Remember, Amazon isn’t the only game in town. Other big-name retailers like Walmart and Target have announced big sales of their own, so check out what they have to offer before hitting that “complete purchase” button. 

Of course, if you’re unsure if you want to sign up for Prime, you can always try Prime free for thirty days – just remember to cancel your membership after 29 days to avoid being billed if you decide it’s not worth it.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits, and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

Manage Content, Not Screen Time

In the digital age, it’s  become conventional wisdom that too much screen time is a bad thing for  our kids. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids under  the age of two have no screen time at all, and that kids over two watch  no more than 1 to 2 hours a day.

Numerous studies have chronicled  both the rise in overall media consumption and the correlation between  too much screen time and poor academic performance. As a result, parents are constantly reminded to monitor screen time and restrict it as much  as possible.

Unfortunately, that’s becoming increasingly hard to  do. Think of all the screens that are now commonplace around the home.  There are multiple TVs of course, but then there might be desktop  computers, laptops, iPads, iPods, Kindles, smartphones, gaming devices –  the list is almost endless. Are all these screens equally bad or are  some screens worse than others?

The reality is that screens will be an increasing part of our kids’ lives, not less. Most schools now  schedule computer time at school. Some schools even make a point of  providing each child with a laptop and require them to be in use for  virtually every class.

The use of computers, iPads, and other  devices is even more pronounced at higher learning institutions, where a recent Associated Press poll found that the average students stares  into a screen for over 6 hours a day. (That’s nothing – I estimate that  on an average day, I’m looking at some kind of screen for at least 10  hours!)

So how do we decide good screen time from bad screen time?

Clearly it’s down to content. An hour spent prepping for a test on NationalGeographic.com is a totally different experience for a child than watching an hour of cartoons on Nickelodeon. An hour playing the Watch Dogs video game is clearly not the same as an hour reading a good book on a Kindle.

So the next time you worry about your child and too much screen time, stop to consider what kind of screen time they are experiencing. I don’t think it will ever be  like good cholesterol and bad cholesterol, but maybe there’s bad screen  time and not-quite-so-bad screen time!