Amazon’s Prime Early Access sale: What’s in store
When Amazon’s sale begins on Oct. 11, expect to find the best deals on Amazon devices, such as the Kindle, Echo and Fire TV streaming players, and its private-label apparel, according to Julie Ramhold, consumer expert at DealNews.com.
Amazon already said the Fire 55-inch 4K Smart TV with hands-free Alexa will be 80% off, and some Echo devices will be 55% off.
Aside from Amazon’s own brands, other deals include half off Sony and Bose headphones, speakers and headphones, 35% off some Dell and HP laptops, 30% off Solo Stoves and 15% off Peloton bikes. (NBC’s Select has a full roundup of the best early Amazon Prime Day deals to shop right now.)
Unlike the first day of July, Amazon is offering more gift ideas this month – with more deals on well-known brands, such as Hasbro, Lego, Barbie and Sony – rather than household goods.
“They’ll be trying to get all the big holiday gifts: home decor, apparel, name tag accessories and toys, toys, toys,” said Casey Runyan, editor of online Brad’s Deals.
“The summer day was very toothpaste; it’s not the same as buying that great kitchen appliance or hot toy,” added Runyan.
Even the Amazon cover is back and reduced by 30%.
The “Amazon Cover,” from Chinese brand Orolay, went viral on social media.
New offers drop every 30 minutes. When a deal is on, add the item to your cart right away. Some items sell out quickly, Ramhold said.
However, to take advantage of the Prime Day deals, you must be an Amazon Prime member.
You can sign up for a month-to-month membership or a 30-day free trial.
Bargain hunters should be wary of the monthly promotion, Ramhold warned, as it does not extend to Black Friday.
“By doing this Prime Day event in October, Amazon has essentially guaranteed that people will have to pay if they want to shop in November,” Ramhold said.
The annual Prime membership also comes with power, with the retail giant raising the price to $139 from $119 earlier this year.
Target, Walmart, other competitors start early sales
Best buys aren’t exclusive to Amazon; other big names are also kicking off their own holiday sales this month.
“Retailers across all categories are taking advantage of the fact that shoppers are in the market for deals at this time of year to create their own events to move inventory and win volume from Amazon,” said Kristen Gall, Rakuten’s merchandising and retail analyst.
Here’s a look at some of the other sales events happening right now.
- target“Deal Days” began on October 6, with daily deals across all categories, including furniture, electronics, cosmetics, clothing, toys and sporting goods. Buyers also benefit from the retailer’s price guarantee, which means purchases made between October 6 and December 24 may be eligible for a price adjustment if the target price falls any lower before Christmas Eve.
- Walmart is hosting a “Rollbacks and More” event from October 10 to 13, which starts before and ends after Amazon’s sale and includes discounts on major gifts and electronics, home, toys and apparel.
- Macy’s The “Fab Fall” sale runs through October 10, with savings of up to 60% and extra bonus cash for loyalty members.
- Kohl’s is having a two-day Deal Dash on October 11th and 12th, with an extra 20% off already discounted merchandise.
- Bed, Bath & BeyondThe Fall Savings Event is on, with up to 50% off almost everything plus an additional 20% off one item and $15 off purchases over $50.
With sales starting earlier, retailers are hoping to lure shoppers with promotions well ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as consumers become increasingly wary of higher prices.
In fact, many consumers have already started buying Christmas gifts, research shows — and nearly 1 in 3 will shop this round of Prime sales, according to a recent report by market research firm Numerator.
Fears that prices will only go up from here have encouraged more people, according to a special report from the National Retail Federation. About 44% of shoppers said it’s better to buy gifts now, because those things could become more expensive before the end of the year.
How to get the best deals on holiday gifts
To maximize your vacation savings, start tracking prices now.
Ramhold recommends creating a wish list and then using a browser plugin like Camelcamelcamel or Keepa to track price changes and get price drops for the items you want.
“Once you have an idea of what they’re charging now, you’ll be able to tell much more easily if something is a really good deal,” Ramhold said.
It could also depend greatly on the type of object, Runyan added. “The offers vary greatly by category,” she said. “For electronics, 10% off is good; with clothing and accessories, the margins are much higher, so there’s more room to discount.”
“For extra savings, use promo codes or digital coupons and use rewards cards to [earn extra] points or money back,” Gall said.
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